Sometimes it seems that technology just conspires against us.
And often, it seems to happen the most, to those of us who have a good grasp of most things technical.
Most recently, I just noticed someone had replied to one of my posts.
The reply was in Russian, so I fire up google translate so that I could copy and paste the comment, translate, and then I could reply.
I then login to my website, write a reply, hit “submit comment”, and I get a page not found error.
Ok, I’ve been getting quite a few “page not found” errors recently, and I figured it must be my hosting company (Netfirms). Why? In the past, when this happens, I navigate to netfirms.com, and I would get the same error, yet other websites would work just fine.
This time, I thought I’d also try viewing netfirms and computer-aid.com.au from a “different location”. Easily done using proxify.com
Proxify shows my website without any issues…
OK, back to by normal web browser, go to computer-aid.com.au and netfirms, and now they work.
Ooooh, I hate intermittent problems.
I hit a navigation button on my website, and I get a page not found error…
I try FTP, but that fails, as does ping and ssh. Its as if netfirms and all their hosted sites have suddenly disappeared…
Then I start to wonder: I’ve seen similar problems in the past.
It could be a DNS problem, or a hosting problem, or a transparent proxy problem with my ISP.
Just as I’m about to write some “please explain” emails to any possible culprits, everything starts working again…
I then go to my main blog page, and I get a “bad behaviour” error (my browser is behaving like a spam bot)… I don’t like where this is heading…
I re-check everything, and suddenly everything starts to work again… except:
I notice that only my home page is generating an error (everything else is fine)
Since the home page has some dynamic content (a short summary of my last 4 blog posts), I figure that maybe the script (runs once per day) that generates the main page, has gone haywire (it does that about once every 2 months).
OK, back to SSH, and I can’t login again.
Time for a 5 minute chocolate break (I love the Cote d’Or 70% & raspberries dark chocolate… yum… I really do need to exercise more… 🙁 )
OK, back to SSH: now I can login (it must have been the chocolate 🙂 )
yep, my index.html is only 243 bytes (it should be over 10,000 bytes).
I re-run the script to generate index.html, but the file is still 243 bytes.
I look at the contents of the file, and I see an error message about “cannot read RSS feed”
OK, I point my browser at http://www.computer-aid.com.au/blog/feed
Sure enough I get: Access is denied. Error processing resource
I also login to my wordpress admin panel, and I see my scheduled post for a few hours ago didn’t get posted. A “missed schedule” error under the failed post.
OK, I post it manually.
Now, where was I?
Oh yes, index.html
I disable the script and go back to a purely static home page.
Now, where was I before that?
Oh yes: failing RSS feed.
Thats possibly due to using feedburner, and the “possible” netfirms outage (which I can’t really confirm… I wish netfirms had an outage “bulletin” so I could at least confirm my problems are not some strange blocks on my end.
Anyway, I’ll give it a few hours and then see if it fixes itself.
Now, back to replying to the blog comment.
I write the blog comment (for the second time), and this time it works.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has these time warps… a two minute job take an hour or two to complete.
I sometimes wonder if its worth it.
And whats worse, I still don’t know where the problem is, nor if it will happen again.
PS: I have since disabled “bad behavior” and my website seems more reliable… I’ll keep monitoring and see what happens.