Now That Was No Fun Son

Tags WATT

The cadpilot.com site is back up.

Why the Cadpilot site went down in the first place is a technological mystery lost in the Shards of the Cloud.
Why it remained down for exactly 21 days almost to the exact minute is as lost as King Solomon’s Mines or Malaysian Airlines flight 350. Many great minds on multiple continents beat their heads on their keyboards trying to fix it. No dice.

No one ever succeeded…and yet for equally irrational reasons…cadpilot.com is back up today. Huh?

Its’s Alive. It’s Alive!

I feel like a Monster…and they keep emailing me. I have little hair left; a new beard (no time to shave); and terminal droopin’ bags under my eyes. Sleepless in Seattle got nothing on me, man. Emotionally and intellectually depressed ain’t the word. I’ve been through all the many stages of Grief and backwards up the ladder too. Feels like a startup. Should I say, “restart”?

You know all about this. You use complex software. Now and then it just stops working. We are not machines. We are human. There must be a reason. There must be blame.

Honestly, often It is a “10 I D T” error. I’ve been personally known to do it.
Sometimes you really didn’t do anything but somewhere the Gods in the Machine do something. The unexpected crap falls on you. It is my turn. The site becomes the hanging chad of April.

“I really didn’t change a thing.”

“Yeah right?” is what we believe they think.

On the morning of April 14, 2014, just past the hour of 11:28AM, the site stopped publishing on the World Wide Web. I run a fancy smasky CMS (Content Management System). It is truly state-of-the-art. I am a managed and structured IT person, Dude.

It is Really Weird

On the morning in question. the CMS “backend” to the site continues to run fine. I even finish off the last published post sometime after noon.
Meanwhile, the site front end begins to puke up bogus and incomprehensible errors for no reason.
The site even auto publishes the post on time and even spits out a Tweet days later right on que.

Ain’t the virtual cloud cool?

OK? Something stepped on something?

I check everything on my end. The site runs great on my development server. This funky laptop has far less resources than my hosting service supplies? No problem. Time to delete and replace.
Sometimes stuff happens.
That why we have regular backups and backups of backups.
Hard drives hiccup even on badass RAID arrays – especially on brand new ones – don’t you know.
Delete the front end on the site and put up the “good stuff’.

Restart - Nada on the hosting server. DOA.
The hosting folks are usually helpful trolls. I chat ‘em up,

“Did you all change anything this morning?”

This is the WRONG question to ask a SENIOR IT Server Admin doing tech support.
Of course, they changed stuff, but what they changed they haven’t got a clue.
They certainly aren’t ever going to tell you or me.
This would make them accountable and liable. Silly me.

As a customer I don’t understand the “real” world of today.
I rather liked the world where people admit mistakes and fix them.

We learn this is not always possible as a matter of policy.

Ah well…Back to the Story of The Crash

The troll putters around a bit in the chat room virtually grumbling in the background about “stupid muddles” or was that “muggles”. He virtually mutters a lot.

He speaks those famous dreadful words, “Let me try this”.
“What are you going to try?”
The chat box says, “the technician is typing…” for way, way too long.

OH NO Mr. Bill

Wham! Everything on the site goes dark. My world as I know it comes to an end.
An hour later the troll gives up for the night – Time for a shift change.
I cannot give up. It’s not in me. It’s my website, damn it.
Maybe it is now morning in India.
They’ll be happy to help you out and get back to you right away…real smart people too…

I sign off knowing the next words I’m going hear are,

“I know nothing. I see nothing. I hear nothing.”

The Bodies of the Techno Fallen

Sure enough at shift change some conscientious manager looks at the hours on my ticket and acts rationally…in the morning SCRUM meeting I can hear the words,
”What are we doing people?”

We’ve been introduced to this modern Stonewall Jacksons. Never mind their behaviors create a Trail of Tears littered with the bodies of the techno fallen.

“We’re educated men, sir. We are a literate educated people.”

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

How many non-committal and vaporous responses can you make to a ticket in 21 days…not counting the multitudinous autoresponders that is?

This final Orwellian line from the support ticket thread deserves repeating.

You’ve heard it before and it says it all,

“We are willing to co-operate with us.”