Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.

Tim Challies

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And...We're Back (For Now)

I woke up this morning to find my site replaced by a little message saying “Your account has been suspended. We have sent you an email explaining why. This email should also contain information on how you can unsuspend your account.” That was quite a rude awakening and managed to throw my entire day into a state of chaos. The message I received in my email said little more than “Hey, by the way, we shut your site down. You can email us to find out why if you want. Or not. It doesn’t really matter. Oh, and have yourself a great day! P.S.- the abuse department does not arrive for another four hours.” Needless to say, I was far from thrilled.

Several of you have remarked that over the past couple of days the site has experienced a fair amount of downtime. These have been short outages that last only a few minutes, but are nevertheless quite annoying. Despite those outages I was quite surprised to find my site suspended this morning. It turns out that sometime in the middle of the night it was determined that this site was causing the server undue stress which made everything run slowly. And so it got shut down until I could deal with the problems. Fair enough, I suppose. I’d expect the same if another site on the server was causing mine to run slowly.

I received some mixed messages about what was causing the trouble, but it seems that the forum software (phpbb) is the most likely candidate. I made a couple of changes and am hoping that those will keep the problem from happening again. However, we really won’t know until traffic increases throughout today or tomorrow. I have also disabled a couple of small features that I will re-enable slowly. If you happen to be an expert in all things MySQL and care to drop me a note, I’d be grateful if I could ask you a couple of questions.

Ultimately the problem with this site is you. Yeah, that’s right, you! If people didn’t keep visiting the site I wouldn’t be taxing the server in this way! And it was not lost on me that the last person to comment in the forum prior to the big crash was none other than Phil Johnson. Tsk tsk. (At the risk of stating the obvious, I am just kidding. Except about Phil Johnson. That guy is just bad news. I ought to revoke that King for a Week I gave him yesterday).

I was surprised and somewhat amused to see how much of my morning routine revolves around this site, and how incapable I was of doing anything until I got the problems worked out. I usually crawl out of bed at around 6 and head downstairs to post the A La Carte. Following that I have a time of reading the Bible, praying, reading a good book or writing. Sometimes they happen in a strict order and sometimes they all blend together. Either way, almost none of them happened this morning except a lot of praying. And then I spent an inordinate amount of time right through lunch troubleshooting the problem.

Anyways, I hope the problem is now resolved, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is still some work to do. So if you return later in the day and are greeted by ugly error messages, at least you’ll know what’s happening.