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Thread: A Moment in BrainTalk History: Flood Protection On!

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    Administrator/Community Manager David Hosobuchi's Avatar
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    Default A Moment in BrainTalk History: Flood Protection On!

    As we embark on a fresh install of the forums, as we have done several times in the history of this community, I would like to take some time to remember some of the events that have made this community unique. One such event that sticks out in my mind was the Great Server Flood of 2003. I have managed to dig up the original post made by John Lester explaining this incident, and the sudden, unannounced downtime that had left so many of us frantic, thinking BrainTalk had disappeared forever.
    Quote Originally Posted by John Lester
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    Hi everyone, Well, it was Murphy's Law again. Just as I went out of town for a meeting, a malfunctioning air conditioner decided to turn the computer server room where BrainTalk lives into a swamp. The BrainTalk server went down, and it went down hard. Luckily there was no major hardware damage except for the UPS connected to the BrainTalk server, which went to that UPS pasture in the sky after going for a swim. Here's the timeline as far as I can figure it out:

    1) Server room air conditioner flakes out and starts pumping water into server room. Floor starts getting wet.
    2) UPS connected to BrainTalk Server was sitting on floor.
    3) Fortunately, BrainTalk Server is NOT sitting right on floor...it is a few inches above the wetness.
    4) UPS gets wet, gets toasted, and sends a dying power spike to the BrainTalk server, frying one of the power supplies in the server.
    5) BrainTalk crashes...merrily corrupting data on the way out. Fortunately, the death of the power supply doesn't seem to have caused any hardware problems.
    6) John notices dead server while out of town. Tries to remotely fix it. Notices it is REALLY dead...totally offline. Can't do anything.
    7) John returns after being away 10 days. Water has been cleaned up by then, and air conditioner fixed. Replaces UPS. Switches the BrainTalk Server over to another redundant internal power supply.
    8) John rebuilds corrupted data. Prays to the Patron Saint of Servers and hits the reboot button. Server comes back up.

    Anyway, that's it. I'm really sorry for the downtime. There was nothing I could do remotely, and I don't have anyone here at MGH who could have fixed this problem (it was a bit more complicated than just "reboot the server" kind of stuff.) At least this story has a happy ending. Take care, -John
    This is a excellent example of how BrainTalk Communities has grown and evolved over the years. With the latest improvements, we have a larger administrative staff, that are able to work remotely. Using a hosted Virtual Private Server (VPS), where the VPS servers do daily backups to "offline" servers in case the online servers have problems. If there's no quick fix, the offline server is brought online while they work on the broken one. This gives us our flood protection!

    More BrainTalk History to come....
    "The Most Determined Win!"


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  3. #2
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane, David.

    In those days, BT was our primary mode of communication. Pre-Facebook, texting, etc., we relied on BT for social as well as medical reasons, which caused greater panic and withdrawal symptoms than most folks are probably experiencing through this current BT transition. Lots of Child Neuro members now connect on Facebook evidently, so they're less likely to feel the same anxiety now as they did then. Plus, then we had no idea what was going on, and this time you gave us fair warning, and explained the transition. Of course, this move was planned, and the Great Server Flood was unexpected.

    It's good to know that BT has caught up with today's technology, which provides us with Flood Insurance. :)

    And it's nostalgic to reflect on the history of BT, recalling what was going on during those times, and those who frequently participated and have now disappeared. We all felt so close to each other and shared so much. While that may be happening elsewhere on the internet, my sentimental soul misses it here and hopes it will return.

    Thanks for the new home. It's very nice and roomy. :) A brand new roof over our heads, and no leaks! :)

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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    Administrator/Community Manager David Hosobuchi's Avatar
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    I personally remember when this happened at MGH. I was just a moderator at that time. I even remember trying to call JL on his new cellphone..

    We are not quite where we want to be yet. We have finally been able to transfer accounts, and create our budget going forward. Upgrades will follow within the next few weeks. This will bring us up to date with much needed security, as well as allow us to enjoy connections with other neurological sites. I believe extremely important for the evolution of our community. Evolution of this community will keep hope for the future. I am determined to do what it take in my capacity as our president to make our community thrive.

    No one will find an argument with me that we have had some miserable trauma over the years dealing with mismanagement here. I have had to deal with many huge frustrations. I believe in BrainTalk Communities. I believe in its members. I have been a member for more than 20 years.

    Now comes time to heal that trauma, and return to what we originally came here for.


    “The miserable have no other medicine but only hope"

    William Shakespeare
    "The Most Determined Win!"


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    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    ((((((David)))))) ~

    Thank you so much for your dedication and hard work on behalf of our BT family.

    I look forward to the new BT and many years of wonderful communication and support.

    Cheers to BT's Future!

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

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  9. #5
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    Oh wow, I remember this!!! I remember too when John Lester left and many of us wondered then too, would our community endure? Being offline during the flood and a couple of other times during times of transition felt like losing a limb. In those days, BT was our only connection to community - it was unique in the field. Thank you David for you do and have done over the years to support BT!
    Donna
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


  10. #6
    Administrator/Community Manager David Hosobuchi's Avatar
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    There are many stories like this....

    That is the legacy of a community that is over 20 years old, and has seen over 75k members in its midst.

    What I did not expect was for this to appear in the Forum Feedback section, as a forum post. It was supposed to only be an "Article' placed on the Home page.
    Perhaps a glitch? I don't know. Perhaps because I left it open for comment? I'll have to do more experimentation.

    Get used to seeing articles there. We need a better looking Homepage, with more neurological content.
    A good neurological community is after all about its content. Improving the content of our home page will attract more visitors.

    We could use an update for our logo as well. It's as old as our community. We need to upgrade the resolution to keep using it.
    Perhaps a contest might be in order to see who can redo it the best!
    "The Most Determined Win!"


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    Hi again, FYI I talk about the friendships forged in BT (Child Neuro forum) in my first book, The Four Walls of My Freedom. It's interesting to think about the trajectory of those friendships and how parent online connections have evolved. The true friends made in the early days though, those friendships will always endure.
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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    PS: Mike, here's a blog post I wrote in 2013 about the history of braintalk: https://www.donnathomson.com/2013/04...and-grief.html
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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