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Oct. 2nd, 2008

... the SWG poised to tumble into the Great Internet Rubbish Bin and disappear without a sound.

Seriously, this afternoon delivered the biggest SWG-related fright I've had since the site went live some years ago. Even more than the time that I deleted all of the challenges by accident (and Rhapsody--may the muses smile upon her!--had to restore them for me). Murphy likes to mess with my life, which is neither unique to me nor news to anyone here. I came home from work this afternoon, sat with Bobby for a few minutes, and then checked my email for the first time because of my rather odd day at work (the subject of another post). The first subject heading to grab my attention:

WEB HOSTING ACCOUNT EXPIRED for: SILMARILLIONWRITERSGUILD.ORG

Eek, much?? :^S

Back in September, I got an email that the SWG account would expire in one month. I had the option to renew it then or wait for it to auto-renew in October. Bobby and I talked about it, and we decided that since we were getting ready to travel overseas, it would be wiser to wait until October.

So in the flurry of trip preparations and schoolwork and keeping caught up at work, I gladly forgot about it and trusted it to "auto-renew."

What I had forgotten was that the domain was registered two years ago, and the credit card that was used has since expired, so when the auto-renew was attempted, it failed, and the site was shut down.

I was sent an email informing me that the host had done me the favor of keeping our data ... for 24 hours. Then it would be gone.

Normally, this would not be so much of a problem. I was sent the email at 5 am; I usually sneak a look at the website by 10 am at the latest and could have taken care of it before most of our American members, at least, would even know the site was down. Of course, Murphy being what he is, yesterday was the day that I had been asked to help with scenarios at work, so while I normally could have been renewing the site, I was waving an assault rifle at my coworker and calling him obscenities. The scenarios ran all day, so by the time I got the email (as well as numerous emails from SWG members and one email from a manager at our host, who had apparently been trying to frantically call me all day to find out what was wrong) the SWG had only twelve hours left before annihilation!

Perhaps it seems melodramatic to look back on that with a touch of terror, but this is a site that I and countless others have put hours of work into over the course of the last three years, so even the thought of the site going into the Great Internet Rubbish Bin sends my heart racing.

The good news is that I renewed the site immediately upon getting the message, and we were up and running again in minutes. A close call ... too close!

The other good news is that, even if the site had gone kaput, I keep all of the files carefully backed up and Rhapsody, who has been acting as webmaster on the archive for some months now, does wonderfully for backing up the database, so we could have restored the site to its original splendor ... but neither of us really has the time right now for that kind of effort.

In all, it was a lesson learned in not trusting auto-renew when the fate of my biggest web project is at stake!
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