A bad case of the Crashies

After about 18 months of 100% uptime the server LISNews sits on crashed yesterday afternoon. It came back up in decent shape, things seem to be back to normal after just a little bit of work. The bad news is I still can't tell for sure what happened. It's like the server was tired, so it just took a nap for a few hours. EV1 turned it back on, and I repaired a few tables, and that's about it. Seems to be back to normal now, I hope. Now that LISNews is alone it wasn't a big deal, had .org crashed I'd be much more worried.

One skill that seems to separate a real computer geek from a computer user is the level at which he person can click around to find the answer to a problem. I was just asked to figure out a problem with a Windows program I'd never seen or used before, and, eventually, I figured it out. The person using it was afraid they'd break it if they went poking around.
With just a limited set of widgets to work with on windows there are only so many things that can go wrong, or be done to any program, and once you've seen most of them, most windows programs will tend to make sense most of the time. There's a level of comfort that a geek has around an operating system they know that allows some bold mousing to be done, which will usually lead to solving the problem, though could also lead to disaster. I don't feel the same way poking around the command line in Linux. One misplaced "rm -rf" and your day is ruined.

Comments

I've figured

that what seperates the geek from the average user really two things: The guts to try something new, and the ability to read and interpret what something means when it comes to a given program.As for your linux box, could be something very simple to figure out. I was running a mail server on linux away back and it suddenly crashed out of the blue, and a reboot could not restore it because the bios thought the server had a hard drive controller failure. I was testing a new server to take the old server's place, but instead placed it into production. I later found out the only reason it crashed was because the hard drive cable came loose inside the case (yes the cover was on). When I pushed in the hard drive cable the box came alive and loaded the OS without complaint.

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