August 4, 2012 Update:
Alright sorry for the downtime (again). We should be good now.
Basically, on Wednesday or so, the server became basically unusable- besides just being slow, the host was trying to solve the RAM problems, which meant frequent restarts, which combined with the slowness meant lots of downtime. On top of that, response from their Tech Support was abysmally slow in some instances. So we just kept the server down until we found a solution.
The solution, for now, was creating a new server with the same host, which they finally set up late last night. Dr. Bob and I stayed up into our respective wee hours of the morning setting it up and fixing the issues that came up. Fortunately we had backups of most things, but getting anything off the old server (such as our relatively short backup scripts, which ironically weren’t backed up) was a pain.
The site should be working now, with no lost information or unplanned outages. The Wiki is down right now but should be up before the end of the weekend.
Fortunately we’re more prepared now (hey, this is really our first sys admin gig), with backups of things we missed, more documentation of how to set up a server, and the acquired knowledge one inevitably gets, like deleting some MySQL log files can fix a slow Workbench startup… If we keep running into problems with this host, we should be able to migrate to a new server relatively easily.
Sorry for the extended downtime. Fortunately we didn’t lose anything and it wasn’t our fault.
Our host had a server migration on July 27-28, and the tech-artists.org server went down late on July 28th (I have been on vacation the past few weeks, so haven’t been checking TAO or my email much/at all). Once I was told the server was down, I tried to restart it, to no avail. Due to super-slow customer service, it wasn’t until about 12 hours later our host fixed their issue, and I was able to RDP into the server. However we found a poorly performing server and a broken website. After a full day of tweaking things on a super-slow server, Dr. Bob finally solved the problem and the site is back up. Don’t ask us what the problem was, we don’t know, but it has something to do with PHP and IIS.
However we still have a terribly performing server due to some phantom RAM usage, so the site may be slow or go down unexpectedly. We’ll keep you updated, and I’ll post on my G+ page and TAO’s twitter feed if the site is down.
In other news, I completely forgot to honor TAO’s 4th birthday. The site is more than 4 years old!