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
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
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.)