Admin Forums going offline Saturday, Jan 6 at 9am HST for server upgrade!

TimWilson

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
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Greetings all,

The important news first: we'll be taking the forum offline for a few hours on Saturday morning Hawaii time to upgrade the server. We expect to be back online Saturday afternoon.

After that, it will take approximately 48 hours for our new server location to be available worldwide. During that time, you may experience occassional issues accessing the site.

Once that process is complete, we'll be faster and more solid than ever, even as we continue to accelerate our growth!


You don't actually have to read any farther unless you want some of the nerdy details, but there's the news. Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions that aren't answered below!

Background
As we've discussed in the Site Feedback forum over the past couple of months, the forums have had a number of glitches -- primarily all white pages with nothing else on them -- delivered randomly. Some of you won't have seen these errors at all, others of you will have seen them a lot, but that's the nature of random errors. There have been a number of other issues related to performance that have been super-obvious to us on the back end, and reared their heads now and again, such as when we tried to introduce the much-requested Chat feature. We just didn't have the juice on our old server to do it.

Hardcore Nerd Stuff
We've been on a very high-powered server at a very highly-regarded server company, but it was the wrong kind of server. Most web pages are static -- text, pictures, and everybody sees more or less the same thing. To increase performance, those elements are cached, often in multiple locations around the world, so that everybody gets these static elements fast.

Forums are different, though. Instead of a few, static elements, our pages are built from multiple dynamic elements that are constantly changing. You don't solve problems with caching forum pages, you CREATE problems with caching pages.

Think about something as simple as the list of new posts. No two members get exactly the same list, because their read and unread posts are different. You're ignoring and following different people and forums, and so on. And every page for every member gets rebuilt with each new post added by anyone else!

So we're moving off the cloud server -- big and slow-moving, like clouds tend to be :) -- to a much more nimble dedicated server box. An actual physical server, which is really the only way that even a medium-busy forum can function at its best.

We're very fortunate to be growing at a time when "people" are saying that forums are dead, and when the ukulele business as a whole is struggling to adjust to the post-pandemic whatever-this-is, but the growth is exposing the limitations of our current hosting platform. Hence the move!


What Next??
After being offline for a few hours on Saturday morning HST, we'll be back, and things WILL BE GLITCHY while the Internet (note the capital I) replaces all of the old addresses for our pages with the new addresses. Sometimes pages will be out of sync, or refreshing will give you a different version of a page. Minor stuff, but sometimes annoying, no doubt.

Many of you won't notice a thing. Some of you will. In any case, it's normal, and will fix itself as (more nerdery, sorry) domain name servers (our domain name is ukuleleunderground.com, but there are hidden numbers associated with those letters and punctuation) update around the world.

Most of you are in the US, so you'll update more quickly. Folks farther away (including me, 5000 miles+ away from the server!!!) might take a little longer.

Then at some point early in the week, we'll go very briefly offline to do a fast backup and restore, so that everyone everywhere will be working from the same set of data to receive their unique pages.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and I'll answer as soon as I can. I'll be offline a bit while I work on preparations to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Thanks for your patience! Look at this as an opportunity to play your uke for a few extra hours on Saturday, and we'll see each other on the other side!

Mahalo,
Tim
Mod
 
Most of you are in the US, so you'll update more quickly. Folks farther away (including me, 5000 miles+ away from the server!!!) might take a little longer.
I find it scary enough to update a server in the same room as myself. Good luck, fingers crossed that it all goes well, and thanks for your efforts!
 
I hope the new server gets a fresh coat of paint in a lovely colour. Maybe a couple of cool stickers on it too.
 
I hope the new server gets a fresh coat of paint in a lovely colour. Maybe a couple of cool stickers on it too.
I always did have a hard time keeping mine stuck to that cloud.
 

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Oh NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
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I'm going to have to find something else to do... like actually play my ukulele!
You can always just shop for another ukulele at various retailer sites online. Plus, then you’d be all set to update the Please Someone Buy This thread when it’s back up.
 
I'm going to have to find something else to do... like actually play my ukulele!

No kidding! I didn't play nearly enough last year, but I'm back to every day so far this year! Not a huge streak, but gotta start somewhere!


I find it scary enough to update a server in the same room as myself. Good luck, fingers crossed that it all goes well, and thanks for your efforts!

Thanks Edwin! And agreed on the white knuckles of server transfer! Fortunately, the real work is being handled by people smarter and younger than I am who specialized in migrating databases and server installations, but it's been a while since I last assisted, and I'm doing my homework today. 😁
 
Is there an option to view the forum using the reader’s local time instead calculating from the time at GMT London England?

Otherwise it might be good to use Hawaii time (can see at a glance the Seasons of Ukulele start and end).

Thanks.
 
Otherwise it might be good to use Hawaii time (can see at a glance the Seasons of Ukulele start and end).

I DID use Hawaii time! That's what HST is -- Hawaii Standard Time. It's the same all year since we don't do daylight savings.

There is otherwise not a way to display local time in our forums -- I'd love to, and have had it on other platforms, but for the sake of this post, I figured that's sticking with Hawaii time was a good start, indeed, EXACTLY because of the Seasons, who've spent almost a dozen years reinforcing Hawaiian times on weekends in particular!
 
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Is there an option to view the forum using the reader’s local time instead calculating from the time at GMT London England?
I see local time stamps (Brisbane, Australia in my case) on forum posts, so there must be a setting for this somewhere. I set it years ago, so I couldn't offhand tell you where, but absolutely you can do it, and I highly recommend it for everyone.
 
Thank you for all the wonderful work you and the moderators do. And I look forward to the new year. May or Ukulele Resolutions come true in 2024
 
absolutely you can do it

I meant that the forum can't push local time for you. :) My point was that in my last forum, the server showed local time, even to logged-out visitors (based on best guess from IP address), and certainly to anyone logged in. This system doesn't do that automatically. You have to select your local time manually, and yes, it's in your Account Preferences at this link: https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/account/preferences

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Right at the top of the page, under your default theme, you'll find the timezone picker. You can set it to whatever timezone you'd like -- yours or anyone else's! Up to you!

And of course for a text subject line, where I had to pick something, I picked HST because that's where I am, and it's the one timezone beside one's own that most UU'ers have at least a passing awareness of....
 
Pacific time is 12 noon.
 
Good luck with the upgrade and thank you for the work that you and the team are doing.

For what it’s worth Hawaii time is 10 hours behind GMT (current UK time), so the change happens for us at 19.00 hrs / 7.00 pm.
 
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