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Mike1072

Addressing the Recent Downtime

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Hey everyone. As you may have noticed, the forums have been offline for about 3 weeks. Thank you for your patience. A special thanks goes to SConrad for getting us up and running again.

 

We understand that lengthy downtime is frustrating. We're also aware that the outdated forum software has been causing some problems of its own.

 

To remedy these issues, we're planning on migrating to a new web host and updating our forum software to the newest version. This migration is scheduled to take place this week, if all goes well.

 

Starting Wednesday, December 19th, the forums will be taken offline for another couple of days while content is transferred over. We plan to be back online in time for Christmas. Things will probably look a little different when we come back up.

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While I'm not looking forward to any more downtime, it's good news that we're moving to a better host.

 

If any help, monetary or technical, is needed to set up at the new host, I'm willing to contribute what I can. I'm a professional sysadmin when I am not wasting my life playing or modding BG. ;-)

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Nice to see online again, hopefully downtimes will be gone forever with the new hosting.

If any help, monetary or technical, is needed to set up at the new host, I'm willing to contribute what I can. I'm a professional sysadmin when I am not wasting my life playing or modding BG. ;-)

Don't worry, you are not the one sysadmin who enjoy this kind of guilty pleasure :beer:

Edited by ALIENQuake

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To remedy these issues, we're planning on migrating to a new web host and updating our forum software to the newest version. This migration is scheduled to take place this week, if all goes well.

My ancient phone is my primary means of accessing the forums (both SHS and G3). Unfortunately, it isn't compatible with some modern security certificates involved in the process of serving websites and forums as HTTPS. As a result, I have completely lost access to the Beamdog forums with my phone, which has severely impacted my presence there. I'm not sure what will be involved in these forum software upgrades, but I will be VERY, VERY sad if I lose access to G3 and SHS.

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While I'm not looking forward to any more downtime, it's good news that we're moving to a better host.

 

If any help, monetary or technical, is needed to set up at the new host, I'm willing to contribute what I can. I'm a professional sysadmin when I am not wasting my life playing or modding BG. ;-)

Thank you. We will be setting up a donations page once we are moved over. The new host comes with higher monthly fees.

My ancient phone is my primary means of accessing the forums (both SHS and G3). Unfortunately, it isn't compatible with some modern security certificates involved in the process of serving websites and forums as HTTPS. As a result, I have completely lost access to the Beamdog forums with my phone, which has severely impacted my presence there. I'm not sure what will be involved in these forum software upgrades, but I will be VERY, VERY sad if I lose access to G3 and SHS.

I'm not sure what's wrong with your phone, but if it can't access any SSL websites, that's a huge problem. We will definitely be trying to set up SSL on here. It's crazy to have a site with user accounts and passwords and no SSL.

 

For clarity, this migration applies to G3 only.

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I'm also willing to help financially.

 

You all do a great job making BG world lives.

 

But when it comes for technical help It will be difficult me... sysadmin is really not my area of expertise :D

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What kind of monthly (why not yearly?) fees are we talking about?

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It's the cloud hosting plan offered by the makers of the forum software. We're expecting it to be $45 per month. That includes keeping the forum license renewed, which would be about $10 per month if we went with a different host.

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Why not making like a "crowdfunding project" for a yearly fee (if providers allows it) ?

 

I would me more than willing to offer $20-25

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We're expecting it to be $45 per month.

Is this for G3 only or SHS and G3 combined?

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Welcome back, G3 and SHS!

 

"Who'd a thought we need ya!"

 

:cough: Sorry, I'm dating myself (and others).

We're expecting it to be $45 per month.

 

Is this for G3 only or SHS and G3 combined?

Here, here! I really want to know this too.

 

Please give us more details on whether or not server hosting will be separated for the two sites.

 

And, I really-Really-REALLY hope y'all will include Patreon and similar. For both sites.

Does this have to wait til the move? How can we help, right now?

 

I too am ready to step-up & provide financial support. (My sysadmin days are long gone--thank god.)

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? I thought Id stop by to give some context. SHS and G3 are both currently hosted on the same server, provided by the German hosting company Hetzner. They have a program that reuses servers at heavily discounted rates. The upside for us is that SHS/G3 runs on a beast of a machine, more than capable of running both sites when working, for a total of $40/month. The downside is that, well, you get what you pay for. Because the hardware is recycled, it is unreliable at times. If I had time to jump on issues when they occurred, it would be way less of a problem. But due to work, it sometimes takes days or even weeks before Im able to get to it.

 

During the most recent downtime (caused by a failing hard drivethe most common reason when the server goes down), the G3 admins contacted me to say theyd like to move G3 off the server. They have an alternative. In their position, Id 100% have done the same thing. And personally, while Ive been happy to host G3 for several years now, I prefer to reduce some of the stress I feel when theres an issue and I cant do anything about it. Knowing that one of the sites will be unaffected helps.

 

SHS will continue to be hosted on the current server until there is another viable option. Theres no alternative that I know of that wont cost $150-200+. The difference between SHS and G3 is the size of the mods in the catalogue and bandwidth usage. Its not as bad as it used to be, but SHS still uses 600-800 GB of data traffic per month.

 

Finally, a note on donations. SHS has long accepted one-off donations and has ads on the download page for each mod. While the contributions from both of these income streams have been appreciated, they have at best paid for half of the overall costs. A Patreon is a great idea that Ill think about, and I encourage the G3 folks to think about it as well.

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For clarity, this migration applies to G3 only.

(This is a reply to the various "does this apply to SHS, too" questions.)

 

Yay to the planned move!

Edited by jastey

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Posted (edited)

 

 

On 12/16/2018 at 5:18 PM, Mike1072 said:

 

On 12/16/2018 at 12:41 PM, Sam. said:

My ancient phone is my primary means of accessing the forums (both SHS and G3). Unfortunately, it isn't compatible with some modern security certificates involved in the process of serving websites and forums as HTTPS. As a result, I have completely lost access to the Beamdog forums with my phone, which has severely impacted my presence there. I'm not sure what will be involved in these forum software upgrades, but I will be VERY, VERY sad if I lose access to G3 and SHS.

I'm not sure what's wrong with your phone, but if it can't access any SSL websites, that's a huge problem. We will definitely be trying to set up SSL on here. It's crazy to have a site with user accounts and passwords and no SSL.

I am indeed blocked from accessing G3 on my phone.  I do not have an issue with all sites that use HTTPS/SSL, only some.  When I try to navigate to https://www.gibberlings3.net/ I get the the following error message:

Quote

Unable to connect using the current security settings.  Please contact your service provider.

On my computer I manually downloaded G3's security certificate and emailed it o my cell phone (for reference, it is a Blackberry Bold 9930 running Blackberry OS 7.1 Bundle 2879).  I then installed it on my phone and explicitly trusted it.  I get the same message as before and am unable to access G3.  When looking at the installed security certificate, I see the following along with the other standard information:

Quote

Stale Chain Status

Unknown Chain Status

Revocation Status: Unknown

Trust Status: Explicitly Trusted

After poking around the internet and trying all of the suggested remedies I could find (to no avail), I have found this article which suggests the certificate chain might be missing a Root CA.  I then ran G3's certificate through a handful of online SSL certificate checkers.  Most of the basic checkers indicated everything was ok, but a couple of the more extensive ones threw up a red flag or two.

 

DigiCert came up with this:

 
Subject Starfield Services Root Certificate Authority - G2
Valid from 02/Sep/2009 to 28/Jun/2034
Issuer Starfield Technologies, Inc.

The server is not sending the required intermediate certificate.

In most cases, solving this problem in Apache is as simple as adding "SSLCertificateChainFile /path/to/DigiCertCA.crt" to your apache configuration file after/near your SSLCertificateFile line.

You can find the missing intermediate in the zip file containing your certificate, or download it from your customer account area.

Follow the directions on our certificate installation guide to install the missing intermediate.

If you have any problems correcting this issue, please contact our helpful support team and we would be happy to assist.

While SSLChecker reported that Root1 of the cert chain was missing.

 

The browser and Device TLS/SSL settings are set to the least restrictive settings available, and I'm out of ideas of what to try on my end.  Any assistance would be appreciated.

Edit:  This wysiwyg-only interface it really terrible.  I can't figure out how to un-mangle this post...

 

Edited by Sam.

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