Some good news from the tech support team

As most of you may know already, the Cycle365 tech support team consists almost solely of the attractive lady in grey shown here, modeling her new leisurewear.  She built and provides nearly all of the maintenance work for the site, with Bill supplying vision and backup support and me chipping in with moral support, encouragement and sympathy.  If it had been left up to me, we’d still be waiting for the first post to be published here.

We haven’t wanted to talk about it before, but the last few months have been pretty awful for tech support.  Profanities have issued from my normally clean-spoken partner for weeks now, as she has attempted to resolve issues with the site backup that began way back when we were still in Taiwan.  It still isn’t clear what went wrong, but the nightly incremental backup function died one night, and continued failing nightly from then on.  In fact, we’ve been running without a backup for almost two months, hoping that the site wouldn’t crash while she was trying to resolve the problem.  Watching Rachael struggle through this, I’ve been in the edge of bringing it up with the community and even considering dropping or handing off the site – with us leaving soon for another extended tour, it didn’t seem reasonable for her to carry this anxiety with her to Sicily – especially since she doesn’t really use the site herself.

After many conversations with vendors, much trial and error with failed experiments and swapping in some new backup products, we’re happy to report that the problems are resolved.  We’re creating a full backup of the site nightly now on an automated task that kicks off at midnight PST (which may impact response time while its running).  We’ve got unlimited backup space available and a process that appears to work reliably, so with luck this is the end of the issue.

Just in time for the spring Coffeeneuring season!

This is just a placeholder for now. I’ll add a real description when I get more time.

13 response to "Some good news from the tech support team"

  1. By: gregblood Posted: March 3, 2019

    Thank you, Rocky. I always knew you were the brains behind this website.

  2. By: Tony Cullimore Posted: March 3, 2019

    What can I say? Well, let’s start with a big THANK YOU, Rachael.

    You do wonder don’t you – such a basic function as Backup yet one seemingly designed to have problems. However I have the answer – Rachael is the unofficial software tester standing in for the person who should have done the job before software release.

    Thank you both for providing this site with all it’s Challenges and challenges.

  3. By: Alchemyrider Posted: March 5, 2019

    No one needs that much grief from software. Thank you, Rachael and Bill, for all you are doing to keep the Cycle 365 site running.

  4. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: March 6, 2019

    Well done Rachael. I suppose I never even think of the dramas involved with running a website. Much appreciated.

  5. By: The Navigator Posted: March 6, 2019

    Thank you so much for all of your work to keep us running and having a place to congregate. Please let us know if you ever need monetary help. I can’t offer website running help as I’m still trying to regain energy…. and just signed up to start working full-time in April, too (instead of just 4 days a week).

    • By: Scooter Posted: March 7, 2019

      Thanks for the offer, but the cost isn’t enough to be worth the nuisance of figuring out how to collect. We’re happy to be in a position to underwrite it. I am considering seeking out timely in-kind contributions though. We’ll start letting members know when we’re in their neighborhood so they can take us out for a beverage. Under our current plans we should be in your neighborhood next spring, so you should start setting aside a few AU$.

      Great news that you’re going back to work full-time! That’s a real milestone.

  6. By: Kathleen Jones Posted: March 3, 2020

    Hey Scooter,

    I’m still getting “site unsafe” warnings from my Firefox browser for this site. Certificates are not up to date. And did we ever upgrade WordPress to the safer version? I’m still getting notices in the dashboard that an upgrade is needed. It could be my antivirus protection is interfering in Win10.

    I know you’re busy on the road and all that but I’ve been meaning to ask these questions for a while. One reason why I haven’t been posting.


    • By: Scooter Posted: March 3, 2020

      Actually, I wasn’t aware this was an issue. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I’ll bring it up with Rachael and get back to you.

    • By: Bill Stone Posted: March 3, 2020

      I’m still getting “site unsafe” warnings from my Firefox browser for this site. Certificates are not up to date. And did we ever upgrade WordPress to the safer version

      I tested the site in Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. I receive no reports of “site unsafe” and see no problem with certificates. However, all three indicate “not secure.” That means the WP output is being delivered from a server via an http connection rather than an https connection. The latter is definitely preferable, but the former is not really a major issue if you know who is running the site. I suspect Rocky is not out to scam, spam, or hack us.

      Also, for whatever it’s worth, for years and years most sites have been delivered via http. Using https was generally reserved for secure transactions, such as submitting passwords or credit card info. Only within the last year or two (???) the major browsers have started flagging http sites as non-secure. Again, while https is in general preferable, I don’t worry about http if I’m going to a “known site” that I have confidence in, so I wouldn’t let that prevent me from participating here. Just don’t send your credit card info to Rocky! She might buy more leisurewear. 😉

      • By: Scooter Posted: March 3, 2020

        Thanks for following up on this, Bill. I read it to Rocky, and she nodded in agreement on everything, until the last sentence. She thinks it’s fine if you want to send you her credit card info. She promises to put it to good use.

      • By: Kathleen Jones Posted: March 3, 2020

        Thanks to both of you, and Rocky. I’m still getting warnings but they don’t stop me from going to the site. There were some vulnerabilities with WP that were not good, but the site update should take care of those. Onward!

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