Sad news. Makoto-rin, the first server-rins that was willing to work for meat buns and manga to deliver Megatokyo goodness to you over the years has, after a very sad period of fading, forgetfulness and inability to talk or use chopsticks, passed on. She was 5 1/2 years old.
I suppose its a little silly to get sentimental about an older server, but Makoto was the server I bought to replace Largo’s overworked Entropy box that MT originally started on. I auctioned off a drawing at Otakon to raise money for her, and for a long time she served up not only the Megatokyo site, but Fredart, our mail servers, the Megatokyo Forums, our DNS, etc. After a while, Nayuki-rin joined the server harem to take care of the forums, then Mai and Sayuri came along to run MegaGear. After moving our store to an e-commerce hosting solution (which is really the best way to meet Credit Card PCI security standards), Mai and Sayuri went offline and are still waiting to be put to better use (they were not beefy enough to really be used for MT production servers) Mishio and Akiko were purchased to start taking care of growing server needs.
Actually, the current Nayuki is not really the original Nayuki. I forgot that she was replaced a while back when the original Nayuki server fell down hard and her components were not quite as robust as we needed them to be. Her personality construct was moved to the new server mostly because it was the easiest way to get things up and running again. So, um, Nayuki is a bit of a mutant, I guess. ^^;; Even so, they stayed friends and Makoto continued to host the Megatokyo site, Fredart, mail and other stuff for quite a long time.
A year or so ago, Makoto started to show signs that she was reaching capacity, and would slow down to a veritable crawl as people tried to read new comics. The plan was to build a new website and run it off the new servers, but in the end the quickest solution was to move the existing Megatokyo site first. Makoto was able to breath a little easier when her good friend and spiritual supporter Mishio-tan took over the gauntlet of dealing with all those refresh monkeys. Akiko sat quietly waiting for website dev, which someone was working on, but as he was doing just the back end, it required a lot of website work from me which was just not happening (partly because I am not very good at it) It wasn’t until some friends got fed up with the old site, took the bonehead by the horns and just MADE a new MT website for me. Once it was shoved in front of my face and I saw all the pretty shiny and that they had an actual working site, final development of the new website was underway and eventually launched. What you are looking at now is running nice and smoothly on Akiko, who just got a big memory upgrade last week. Baring any suspicious looking jars of jam (which I would not accept from her if I were you) everything is nice and stable and reasonably fast.
Meanwhile, Makoto still chugged along serving up Fredart, the Fredart forums, managed all of our mail and our main DNS. She’s sputtered along, sometimes disappearing off the net without warning or forgetting how to hold things or speak properly. Sometimes she would require actual intervention by a cologuy with nikuman or manga or both to get her happily on her feet again.
If you are familiar with Makoto’s storyline (caution: spoilers) in Kanon, then you might think that naming a server after her would be a dubious thing to do. ^^;; With her descent and gradual demise, she’s almost lived up to the name. She has gone offline several times in the past few weeks, till finally on wednesday morning she went down and would not come back up. Even when she did, she fell down after a few minutes. It turns out that a bearing went in the CPU fan an the case fan was showing signs of degraded performance. After a lot of effort (and a cologuy driving around the Dallas area looking for a CPU fan that would fit, then an appropriate case fan) they were able to get her up and running for a while wednesday night. Cortana moved most of what he could over to Mishio Thursday morning (Mishio, who just like before, will be taking on Makoto’s burdens). Then, after about 8 hours of being online for the last time, she finally succumb to the ravages of heat and faded memory and would not come back up no matter how many nikuman they shoved at her. Makoto was gone.
Putting my sad eulogy aside for a moment, this did cause a few more problems for Megatokyo than it should have. For starters, I have had no real access to Mail since wednesday, and right now I’m just waiting for the DNS changes to take effect to be able to access mail on Mishio. The biggest gaff of all was that was when Makoto went down, megatokyo’s main DNS also went down. It shouldn’t have ben a problem, but due to a configuration error the backup DNS did not work. Many of you (including myself) were unable to reach Megatokyo.com, the forums, and even Megagear, for quite some time. This was a REAL pain when you consider the fact that we were trying to finish up our pre-order for the Ph33l t3h Luv bear Wednesday afternoon.
Now, in these days of managed hosting where you often just lease space from a provider, having no idea what server your stuff is on, this sentiment and these kinds of problems may seem idiotic. After all, your service provider can take care of this stuff, and hardware can be swapped out as needed. Well, this is one of the negative aspects of managing and running your own servers, especially when you live in Michigan and the servers are in Texas ^^;;. But I kind of like having and managing our own servers. I like being able to walk into the colo center and seeing them work. I like being able to name them and give them personalities, sometimes even making comics about them. Maybe I’m just old school. Maybe I’m a little touched in the head.
5 and a half years is not a bad service life for a server. Little Makoto did good, and she lasted a long time. She might even come back, with a new motherboard and new components and some general fixup. Who knows? Right now, we’re gonna let her rest.
It irks me, but “Friday’s” comic is going to be late - I’ll probably post it saturday morning. I spent a lot of time this week dealing with this network meltdown, as well as extra work developing my digital hatching methods, but I really want to get the 3 comics per week average back in place so I’m gonna push on. Note also that I’m starting to rant again. Also, all of the MegaGear valentines Day stuff came in on time, and Sarah and I need to work our tails this afternoon and this weekend. Not only do we have to make the Ph33l t3h luv bears (its a dyesub product) but we have to get all the orders packaged and shipped ASAP so everyone gets their stuff before Valentines Day.
Thanks for your patience this week. I could tell you about other things that had me looking at the ceiling muttering ‘why me?’ many times, but that would be just whining. :P I treated myself to a new forum avatar, I’ve done some random sketching. I dug out my Grado SR60 headphones and started using them again (can’t listen to too many raucus tunes when baby is sleeping). I tried to keep my feet warm.
I also won’t point out the fact that Makoto came crashing down only a few hours after Seraphim posted her first rant in ages. Maybe evil p00h got her. Damn you, evil p00h!!!
I might be next.