About those technical problems

Yesterday afternoon, I was just about ready to start a new post on this site – a book review, as it happens. I’d popped over to Amazon to get the linky thing that would give me the nice picture visible only to those visitors not using AdBlock[1]. Then I clicked my shortcut that normally brings me to the WordPress post editor. And not a lot happened. Eventually, Chrome gave up, and told me the site wasn’t talking to me, so there. A quick check showed Tiggercam, which is on the same server was also unresponsive. My first thought was that my virtual server was having a bit of a sulk, so I logged into the Linode control panel and rebooted it, which seemed to work just fine.

But I still couldn’t get to my own websites, dammit. Maybe the server’s really unwell, I thought. Time for some CLI TLC, then. Ah. No. Trying SSH timed out. Trying the Java console thingy on the Linode panel also refused to play.

So, I logged a call with Linode reporting what I’d tried so far. The reply came much more quickly than I was expecting, and told me that actually as far as they could see, it was all working. They asked me to do what I should have done in the first place, which was to do a traceroute and see where it was failing. And this is what I saw:

traceroute to 178.79.139.188 (178.79.139.188), 64 hops max, 72 byte packets
1 192.168.1.1 (192.168.1.1) 0.797 ms 0.555 ms 0.493 ms
2 10.97.148.1 (10.97.148.1) 10.366 ms 8.069 ms 8.308 ms
3 gate-geam-1b-ge110.network.virginmedia.net (80.0.145.149) 8.286 ms 8.676 ms 8.282 ms
4 gate-core-1b-ae0-0.network.virginmedia.net (80.0.144.141) 9.700 ms 8.143 ms 7.842 ms
5 manc-bb-1b-as2-0.network.virginmedia.net (213.105.175.169) 15.990 ms 16.687 ms 16.178 ms
6 popl-bb-1a-as4-0.network.virginmedia.net (212.43.162.85) 23.781 ms 21.376 ms 22.286 ms
7 * * *
8 * * *
9 * * *
10 * * *
11 * * *
12 * * *
13 * * *

For the less technical among you, that means that the connection to my site was failing on Virgin Media’s network. Hmm. So let’s have a look at the status page, shall we? Well, that seemed a bit reluctant to load. But not as reluctant as Virgin’s support forums, which didn’t want to talk to me at all. A bit of googling[2] showed that other people were also having problems.

So I left it to get sorted out, did some other things and kept half an eye on things until I went to bed. I’d expected it all to be sorted out by this morning, so I tried to load the site. This is what I saw at first:

Losing it

Losing it

Now that’s a site that’s lost all its images and most of its formatting. Bit of an odd time out really. A little later, it looked like this:

Getting it

Getting it

Well, some it was there, but pictures were still absent.

I checked the status page when I got to work, and at one point the estimated time to fix was an oddly precise 8:19am tomorrow. But it seems they managed to fix what was broken, and service has now been resumed, because when I got home, I got this:

Found it

Found it

All good fun, or something…

[1] Note: I don’t object to anyone using AdBlock while visiting Losing it, but all you’re missing is pictures of books and things that link through to Amazon. No other ads here, thank you.
[2] At the risk of sounding like an even older and fartier old fart than normal, can I just mention that it used to take months to get stuff into search engines, and that it’s actually quite impressive that you can now narrow a search to the last hour and see what people are currently complaining about?