Why can I go for days without being able to access these boards?

Every so often, I’ll try and come here and get that stupid white page that tells me the site is “unavaliable”?

It’s not strictly a PC issue, because this weekend, my wife’s desktop, my kids Powerbook and my laptop all got the same response. An hour later, I tried from the public library and got the same thing, then later at night (Satturday), I could get in, then I was out the rest of the weekend. Now, here at my desk I’m in again. But once in a while, the problem happens here too, so I’m thinking maybe it’s not an IP address issue either.

What gives?

The hamsters were vomiting.

We need new hamsters!

I never have that problem. I might be much more productive if I did.

It’s a question of timing. I personally find that the boards are far more responsive than they were six months ago. There are still certain times of day when heavy traffic makes it next to impossible to get through (usually between, say, 1700 and 1800 GMT, corresponding to late morning/noon on the East Coast of the US).

Overall though I’m impressed by the improvement in accessibility since the boards went subscription.

There’s no easy answer to give you, as access is sometimes difficult to predict.

Mostly you’ll get timed out when there’s too much demand on the server, which tends to happen as we get into the workday. It also tends to be heavier Mondays . . . today, since Monday was a holiday, we’re seeing a lot more demand today . . . as of this writing, a little after 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday the 5th, we have 724 Users Online (401 members and 323 guests) . . . that’s really pushing the limits of the system.

I would not be shocked if today was a difficult day for access.

Access is also affected by traffic elsewhere on the Internet; if there’s bottlenecks, slowdowns, outages elsewhere, it will tend to be reflected with us as well, as you often have to go through whatever else is between your computer and our server. If you see trouble in the greater Chicago area (which seems to happen a lot), you can count on having a tough time at the Dope.

your humble TubaDiva

There are several reasons this can happen. Some bear directly on the status of your home PC, and some don’t:
[li]The way a message board works is, there’s this huge wall-sized panel in the server room. This panel is covered with small neon light bulbs, in columns, each bulb next to a rectangle in which is written your user name. Every time you log in, the light goes on next to your name. In this way, the admins (who watch this process from an environmentally-controlled glass room) know exactly who is online at any given moment. (This, BTW, is why it was so important for **Bosda **to let them know he would be unavailable.) If the light next to your name is burned out, you can’t log in. Simple as that. Bulbs are replaced on a regular schedule to make this feature as unobtrusive as possible, but you might have been trying to get in while Maintenance had your bulb out.[/li][li]OMG!!!111 There is haxx0rz on teh yuor pC!!! Someone is stoled yuor MeGaHertZ!!!11one11!!![/li][li]The Masters of the Internet occasionally close off bits of bandwidth here and there to patch potholes, install new lights, do a little painting, or give the electrons time to nip out for a bite to eat and a quick pee. Although they try to do this more or less randomly so as not to impact specific sites too often, coincidences do happen now and again.[/li][li]The dog ate it.[/li][li]What TubaDiva said.[/li][/ol]

I hope this clears things up a little for you.

I like #4. But I will accept **Tuba Diva’s ** explanation.


Uvula, I like your explanation better. :slight_smile:

your humble TubaDiva

Can I send in spare bulbs so that mine never goes out?

Just for kicks, as an experiment that I think won’t make a damn bit of difference, when I pack up from the office today, I’m going to sign-off. Typically, I leave my sign-in active and always “on”. Most of the problem I have accessing the boards is at home. So, maybe it will make a difference to try and access without being signed on, THEN sign on.

If it doesn’t work, and I have problems over the weekend again, see y’all Monday!