So if you have been following along in the last 24 hours, you’ll know that this site was down for most of yesterday. It went down just before 11am. As of 2:30am EDT on July 1, the site is back up and by my estimates, 99.9% restored.
The specifics of what happened are not completely clear. What I do know is that the problem was with my hosts MySQL servers. This is a WordPress-based blog, self-installed, and I use MySQL in conjunction with the installation. Something in MySQL failed. My first indication was when I jumped to the site just before 11am and found that the most recent post was from June 15–some 15 days ago! I got a little panicky as you might imagine. Then, I noticed that the site began to fail. That was likely due to the fact that MySQL was failing at the host site. After several hours, the host sent out a message to affected persons, myself included, letting us know that there were in fact problems with sites using MySQL. They indicated 12-18 hours to restore the problem. Given that time frame, I know from experience it is usually a restore from backup (often from tape) of a known-good configuration.
Continue reading Website outage and recovery (and kudos to IDrive)
It is by no means any secret now that Amazon in Germany screwed up and shipping about 180 copies of George R. R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons to people who had placed orders. Martin is furious about this, as he should be. A Dance with Dragons is book 5 in the Song of Ice and Fire series, and a long-awaited addition to the series, particularly after HBO completed its airing of the first season of Game of Thrones. I have read the first two books (my thoughts here and here), and I’m partway through the third book, A Storm of Swords, and I am enjoying the series quite a bit. Like many people out there, I don’t to know what is coming next until I have the book in my hands and can read it myself. Put another way, I want to avoid spoilers.
But what I find most interesting about this recent Amazon debacle is that it feels like regardless of what Amazon’s responsibility is in the matter, it will be the fans who have received the book early that we will depend on to hold their tongues for another couple of weeks. It seems as if it is implicit on fans in this situation to keep their mouths shut, despite the fact that mistake that was made was not their own. Should one of these fans write a post about the book, others might react negatively to it, and I’m not sure that is right.
Continue reading Where does a fan’s responsibility lie? Amazon’s screw-up with A Dance with Dragons
Last night I finished reading George R. R. Martin’s A Clash of Kings, the second book in the Song of Ice and Fire series. ¬†I gave Game of Thrones a 5-star rating. Five stars is a hard rating to come by and a hard rating to match and while I didn’t give A Clash of Kings 5-stars (I give it 4), it is only because some of the novelty of the style in which Martin tells his story is no longer new.
Outside of that, A Clash of Kings was a rather breathtaking book that carries the story forward from where A Game of Thrones left off and mixes in some new viewpoint characters along the way. I counted 9 viewpoint characters throughout the novel (10 if you can’t the Maester in the prologue, who we never return to). Some of these characters we are familiar with and some of the them are new. Some of the new viewpoints are familiar characters, like Theon Grayjoy, but this is the first time we see things unfolding from his eyes. Others are new to the story, like Davos.
Continue reading My review of A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin