To the poor, overworked 486-33MhZ that powers the SDMB...

I feel your pain. I really do. It must be hard to do so many page views, replies, and changes to the SDMB, all while making the effort of trying to stay online. Your poor little 10 year old CPU has so much to do that I understand why it takes so long for me to get a page view, why my posts keep disappearing in a “This page cannot load” screen from IE, why I just can’t logon sometimes regardless of whether I’m using cable, DSL, or a plain old dial-up.

Oh, sometimes you’re fine. Like right now, I was able to load the front page and get a page view pretty quick. But, I then just clicked on Cafe Society - 47 seconds to load! Then I couldn’t log on to the thread at all!

You have my sympathies. I know you’re trying, and trying hard. It must be scary, seeing all those cheap gigahertz machines out there, wanting to take your job, all the while knowing that they could do a much better job at it, faster, and with less effort. I know you don’t want to give up your position here at the SDMB. But, sometimes, we just have to let go, you know?

I think it’s time to retire.

Right after I posted the OP, I get this:

The page cannot be displayed
The page you are looking for is currently unavailable. The Web site might be experiencing technical difficulties, or you may need to adjust your browser settings.

Please try the following:

Click the Refresh button, or try again later.

If you typed the page address in the Address bar, make sure that it is spelled correctly.

To check your connection settings, click the Tools menu, and then click Internet Options. On the Connections tab, click Settings. The settings should match those provided by your local area network (LAN) administrator or Internet service provider (ISP).
If your Network Administrator has enabled it, Microsoft Windows can examine your network and automatically discover network connection settings.
If you would like Windows to try and discover them,
click Detect Network Settings
Some sites require 128-bit connection security. Click the Help menu and then click About Internet Explorer to determine what strength security you have installed.
If you are trying to reach a secure site, make sure your Security settings can support it. Click the Tools menu, and then click Internet Options. On the Advanced tab, scroll to the Security section and check settings for SSL 2.0, SSL 3.0, TLS 1.0, PCT 1.0.
Click the Back button to try another link.

Cannot find server or DNS Error
Internet Explorer

Thank you JohnT. And where do you live, so the Chicago Reader can send you the bill for the replacement?

Zev Steinhardt

Ya know, that does give me an idea. I know the much dreded “subscription” idea has been bandied about the boards, lynched, and drug into a deep pit of vipers (or at least very aggitated garden snakes). Has anyone considered a fund raiser? Maybe the Reader could set up a PayPal fund, or such, explicitly for the the Straight Dope Message Board. Funds generated would go to equipment upgrades, or other necessities. That way, folks could contribute when and how much they felt able to, with no pressure, except maybe for one of those fun little red thermometers they use to mark out financial goals. “Only $2,000 more to go this pledge break, and little Timmy will finally get the wooden legs he needs to go to school with all the other boys and girls!”

inkblot, ready to be flamed for this one.

No flame, inkblot, but the idea has been discussed before, as has the Amazon Honor System. For reasons known only to the powers that be, the Chicago Reader has turned down the suggestion. One of the Admins might be able to provide more info on that.

Zev Steinhardt

I won’t flame you inkblot, as a matter of fact, I’d contribute if such a fund existed. God knows it would be worth it if it meant an end to the “cannot find server” pages. Bleh


I believe that one of the explanations given earlier was that due to tax laws or incorporation statutes or something along those lines, the Chicago Reader cannot accept “donations” or “pledges”, you can’t just give them money, you have to be buying something (of commesurate value) from them. And IIRC if you just give them a server, they will be taxed on its value.

Not a bad idea, inkblot. Not bad at all…

True, but they are going to be taxed either way. If they sell subscriptions to the SDMB, then they’ll be taxed on the subscriptions. If they get a gift, they’ll be taxed on the gift. I wonder which one has the lower rate in Illinois (where, I presume, the Chicago Reader is incorporated)?

Zev Steinhardt

For that matter, we can donate to cover the tax, as well… There eventually reaches a point where it all comes out even.

I got US$50 that says ‘it’s new server time’, right here.

How incredidable. I just clicked on the “post reply” button and got a “page not found” error.

Assuming that this reply goes through, my opinion is simply that I don’t believe that the Reader wants to fix the problem.

Actually I think it’s a Commodore 64. :smiley:

  • s.e.

Hey! Don’t knock the C64. People have made working web servers out of them!

I’m sure they have. :slight_smile: I was wrong, it’s an MITS Altair running the first version of MS BASIC. :wink:

  • s.e.

Nah. It’s an abacus being controlled by a really fast hamster.

Zev Steinhardt

That was totally my next one… :smiley:

  • s.e.

How do you know it’s a 486-33MhZ that powers the SDMB? Is this just your belief or is it based in fact (cite?)?

What would the cost be to make the boards acceptable? I’ve noticed the same problem on several connections (ranging from dial up to cable).

All I know is that they could invest in 3-4 dual AthlonMP 2100+ machines, (or P4 2.4GHz machines) and it would help ease the load on the current server(s) immensely. This is my favorite messageboard, and it is also BY FAR the slowest one I visit.

The other forum that I most commonly frequent is considerably faster than this one, but it just as big, if not bigger etc. That’s the forums, and they have 90,000 users compared to 22,000 here. While sometimes it can slow down…when it does, it takes 13 seconds to load a thread, instead of 4. While here, I’d be happy if each thread or response took 25 seconds during business hours. Sometimes I wait 3-4 minutes, then get no server response…sometimes it loads, but takes over 2 minutes.

If I recall correctly, Anandtech’s only running 2-3 servers with dual Athlon 1.4GHz machines…and they can handle the load. They’re not really all that expensive.

As a matter of interest, does the Andantech forumn archive their threads? Are they accessible by search? How far back? How many posts/threads?

The board slows down because it kicks ass and everyone flocks to it.

I’m glad that the server is underpowered – if it was always peppy, I’d never get any work done.