Well . . .not actual surgery, but the kind of surgery to put things back. Late last week we were experiencing strange behavior on the site - some posts from the archive were missing - some would show up and disappear - some just showed up scrambled. It was baffling.
As days went on, the situation got worse - suddenly, an entire years worth of posts was up and missing. Something was definitely going on.
And then Past Daily went dead. Calls into my site host brought a lot of different responses; none of them made a lot of sense. "It should be up and fixed in no time". Along with a lot of apologies. But still, nothing. This was all right in the middle of our annual Fundraiser, and as is always the case; the worst possible time. All my touting of how much history and Pop Culture contained within the pages of Past Daily proved hollow, as readers complained they couldn't get the website or any access to it, much less the ability to donate or contribute to the site and its continued mission.
The site was shut down - for no other reason than stuff was missing and no one could figure out why.
A weekend rolled over into Monday and it was revealed the server had gone down - my server and roughly 5,000 other servers - all malfunctioning for a lot of different reasons.
And so the phone calls continued - the apologies continued. And here we are now; waiting. Waiting for word that everything is back up and files are restored. And in the meantime, frustration. Pacing the floor isn't my idea of being productive - and since most days are spent posting or preparing to post - the idea of sitting and waiting for the green light is frankly, making me nuts.
But more than that, it must be frustrating for you, because I know a lot of you have asked why there was no site and no way to contribute. All I have in response is; be patient. That's what the webhost said - be patient. All will be resolved. All will be fixed.
Past Daily, in its present form, has been going along for the past five years - with few, if any interruptions - providing the best quality, the rarest and the most interesting aspects of history and popular culture. It's a labor of love, as you've no doubt heard me say thousands of time. It's also a labor of intense concentration. Putting up these posts has been no easy task - it's a simple matter of grabbing a file and uploading it and slapping a photo and a few words on. No. It's a process - a process of research, of retrieving (from the vault, in most cases), of careful listening - of restoring the sometimes dodgy sound and to present it in a way that doesn't make you feel as though you're wandering through an antique store, but rather, being a witness to history. It all takes energy and a lot of time.
But I want to do it because I think information, useful information, is important. And truths to tell, it's in short supply. There are a lot of historic sites currently floating around the internet. Many of them are come-ons; brightly colored packages containing endless hooks; bait-and-switch. Some are wrapped up in dewey-eyed nostalgia over events that never actually occurred that way - while others are nondescript document dumps. Massive amounts of anonymous information that is prohibitive to anyone but the most dedicated researcher to sort through the mislabeled files - the terrible sounding audio and little, if any, information as to why listening to this fuzzy and distant audio is important in the grand scheme of things.
I don't do that - I don't rely on other sites for my information - it all comes from my collection - that mountain of history, getting chipped away and preserved on a daily basis.
So when the site goes haywire it brings out the concern in everybody. Over the last few days I have been fielding all sorts of questions as to what happened; from the sublime to the ridiculous. Bottom line; it's a server malfunction and a restoration process which, for over 7,000 posts, is no easy job.
But it's happening and its slowly coming back - I have been assured all will be back to normal within the next few days.
In the meantime, my deepest thanks to everyone who has signed up to be a Patron - you have no idea how crucial your support is. And we'll continue bringing you all the best, all the rarest and all the history to your phone or desktop.
Big hug to you all,
Gordon Skene - Past Daily.