Site Down and Back

Server BugsToday I found out to always shut down MySQL instances manually before restarting the operating system. 🙂

You may have noticed TodayIFoundout.com has been down for the last 38 or so hours.  Long story short, I needed to restart my server and when it came back up, the MySQL instance had been corrupted due to not shutting down all the way before the OS restarted.  For those who don’t know, MySQL is the database software that serves as the back end for my various sites including todayifoundout.com.

In any event, despite my sincerest efforts, focusing my considerable expertise (B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science and several years of real world experience) on the problem  for about 23+ straight hours, I could not get any instance of MySQL to start on my server.  The issue turned out to be a known bug in MySQL, but this did not help me as none of the work-arounds fixed the issue.

After no luck with fixing the corrupted MySQL instance or getting new instances installed and started, I finally gave up and tried another tact, which is typically a last resort type of option on live server type setups, but I thought it might be a quicker fix and it was.  After taking a couple hours rest, I eventually completely re-imaged my system with a clean operating system install and re-configured everything and restored the sites and databases from there.  Lesson learned.

Sorry for the down time.  New “Today I Found Out” posts will be on the way presently.  For now, I need some rest. 🙂

Bonus Facts:

  • The “My” in “MySQL” was named after co-creator Michael Widenius’ daughter, “My”.
  • MySQL is often mispronounced “My Sequel”.  It is officially supposed to be pronounced “My S-Q-L”.  So apparently, even with my B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science, I have always been pronouncing this wrong. 🙂
  • MySQL was first released by Michael Widenius and David Axmark on May 23, 1995.
  • MySQL was eventually sold to Sun on February 26, 2008.  Sun was later acquired by Oracle very recently on January 27, 2010.  If you aren’t familiar, Oracle is one of the larger companies in the world primarily dealing in database software.
  • Oracle’s co-founder, Larry Ellison, is currently worth about 28 billion dollars, making him the 6th richest person in the world.  At one time, in the early 2000s, he was the richest person in the world.
  • Ellison is known for his extravagant lifestyle.  His home Japanese style estate is estimated to be worth about 200 million dollars.  He also co-owns the sixth largest yacht in the world, the Rising Sun,  which also cost around 200 million dollars.  A licensed pilot, Ellison owns several aircraft, including several fighter jets, which have on occasion gotten him in trouble with the law.  Among his many cars, including the Audi R8 and McLaren F1, his favorite is the Acura NSX, which he frequently gives away as gifts.
  • At Ellison’s wedding to his fourth wife, Melanie Craft, a romance novelist, Steve Jobs was the wedding photographer.
  • The Oracle database software was originally created for the CIA in the 1970s.  After completing the work for the CIA, Ellison took the Oracle software and created the current Oracle company in 1977 under the name “Software Development Laboratories”, which was later named “Relational Software Inc.”, and then “Oracle”.  The database software itself was inspired by a paper Ellison had read by Edgar F. Codd on a “relational model of data for large shared data banks”.
  • MySQL creator Michael Widenius started a movement to try to stop Oracle from getting their hands on MySQL when they acquired Sun, due to his concerns over what they will do with it.  MySQL is not only open source but currently is also free, unless you want professional level technical support and other such business “features”.  There is some thought that Oracle may change this quite soon, though Oracle has denied it.
  • Michael Widenius never finished college.  He studied at Helsinki University of Technology before dropping out, pursuing his own business interests.  Besides his daughter My, he also has a wife Anna, a daughter Maria, and a son Max; the latter of which “MaxDB” is named after.  He’s also currently working on a branch of MySQL with a “Maria”  storage engine.
  • If this server problem I had would have happened just three days later than it did, it wouldn’t have been a problem.  I just bought and shipped off a new server to my host that has backup drives built in for storing full images of the system.  It is also configured to be able to re-image the main drives within about 15 minutes or so of something like this occurring, if I ever need it.  My current setup only allows me to back up the files themselves, which doesn’t help too much when the underlying software is the problem.  The new server is also much nicer than my old, so will allow for faster sites during peak load times.
  • Now that I’m about done re-configuring everything on my current server, I get to do it all again when my new server arrives at my host tomorrow. Timing! 🙂
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5 comments

  • Today You Should Find Out: “if the server problem you had *had* happened three days later”, not “would have happened.” Googling “would have” returns some fine info right up top, it’s that common an error. 😀

  • Thanks for putting in all the hours to fix software and write articles. It’s one the first stops I make in the morning with a fresh cup of Joe (well explained a few days back). Fueling my infinte paradise of useful/useless facts, burning it up late night talking to the most beautiful girl I met in my life who could listen to my stories all day. Props where are props are due: thanks again Daven

    Cheers,
    A big fan of your site from The Netherlands

  • I just read about this site in the June Readers Digest. Can’t wait to see it and follow!

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