April 24th, 2006

By James Castwell

I was pretty young when I built my only 'Crystal Set' radio. I had been given a pair of head-phones from a B-29 so all I needed was a few more parts to make a radio. I became fascinated with radio from a very early age, I worked in a few radio stations in my younger years and loved it. I learned one very important thing. When you are on radio or T.V. and you screw-up, do not go back and call attention to it, attempting to fix it.

What happens is a mix up of words, you scramble two and come out with one you for sure did not intend. Do not go back and explain to your listeners that, yes, they heard right, you did say, "such-and-such." It's far better to just keep on going and hope nobody heard it at all.

Paul Harvey is the consummate professional radio broadcaster. He was on the air back when I was. I still marvel at his diction and pronunciations. Last week I heard him blow a word on the radio and guess what he did. Right, he kept on going just as if nothing had ever happened.

Why am I mentioning all of this? Well, we were off line for a couple of days and I can't just pretend nothing happened. Wish I could, but I owe it to you for an explanation.

Let me say in our defense this first though. Our 'server' is in a very secure building in a big city in Washington State, USA. It is a bit unique in that the building has two main feeds of electricity. If part of the city goes black, they can still operate on the feed from the other source. If both fail, they have a huge generator. Diesel, can run forever if fed fuel. No way FAOL will be off line due to lack of electricity.

But all stuff web-wise needs upgrading at some point. New software comes out, new little electronic parts and gizmos' get invented. We strive to be the fastest and most reliable out there. At three am, Monday morning we decided to do some upgrading. You know the rest. Two days later we come back on line. Now I can say it was successful, but that it took so long is ridiculous. I swear, it was not our fault. It was 'the gods,' 'gremlins,' 'things-which-go-bump-in-the-night.' Things happened that got to be laughable if not so maddening. The work went on non-stop, from start to finish. A lot of sleepless hours were invested.

Most of you have upgraded some improvement of some kind to some program you have on your computer. Mostly, no big deal. Mostly, they work. It's when they do not that all hell breaks out. It can, and it did. I already mentioned the electricity thing, how about twin mirrored electronic thingies running in our servers? Lots of that type of thing. I think we invented the word 'redundancy.' We can even pull important parts out of our servers while they are running and it will not shut them down.

Two blasted days. There is absolutely no way we could be down that long. Once a few years ago our 'mother board' caught fire! We were back on line in less that twelve hours, completely rebuilt and re-loaded, as we constantly copy the site. Two blasted days, and there are still some 'glitches.'

Not a chance. Take my word for it. Couldn't happen. Ever.

The good side is the Chatroom runs better, seems to get along with Microsoft browers better and less people are accidently 'booted' from the room. Maybe you don't know you can change the size of the print in there too.

~ JC (oh yes, I apologize to one and all for the confusion and just plain for not being there for you when you wanted it. I mean it, we are sorry it happened too. It was supposed to take about four hours.)

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

All Previous Castwell Articles
If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ]

FlyAnglersOnline.com © Notice