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Just got the forums up and running after about 5 days of downtime, our longest outage in over 2 years. Will fill in the details later, but basically a combination of some changes made by the hosting company coincided with me being on holiday, and it was only when I got back to Beijing on Thursday that I could start doing anything about it. Despite the 'please contact billing' message you all saw, I had paid my bills, and the forums are not bankrupt.

No info should have been lost, and there should be no problems - however, I can't test everything so if something isn't working, please do let me know.

Any email that was sent to @chinese-forums.com or @sinosense.com addresses over the last week will have been lost. This includes anything sent via the contact us form. If you sent something important, please resend.

Apologies for the hassle - as I say, will fill in the details later, but just now I still have other sites to fix.


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Aw man, first I asked for help to translate "The Fall of the Qing Dynasty," then I used it on a paper I opened in my webmail, and printed at school [which I did not save the changes]. Then I decided to enter my research paper in a writing contest for money, but couldn't get the brownie points by putting the characters because my blessed chinese-forums.com was down. :wall:wall:wall

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I missed this forum! One question I am curious about is the issue Comrade TSkillet linked from Danwei.org regarding registration of web sites in China. I would like to know if this new rule has any ramifications for roddy and his wonderful sites.

Roddy, you don't have to reply now but maybe mention it in your separate post later. Thanks!

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The registration regulations apply to sites hosted within China. Although I run the site from China, it's located physically in the People's Republic of Manchester, England and therefore these new rules have no impact on me, apart from causing me to roll my eyes and curse.

The recent problems were unfortunate, and if they'd happened a week earlier or later would probably have been solved in a matter of hours. However, they happened while I was on holiday in Guilin, and I wasn't about to spend hours in internet cafes trying to sort it out.

Basically, since the change from phpBB to Vbulletin about 6 or 8 weeks ago, forums activity has jumped massively, by about 75%, and reached a point where the hosting company felt it was using too many resources for the amount of money they were getting from me (an admittedly small $10 a month) and was slowing the server down, affecting other sites sharing it. As a result they closed the sites down by redirecting all visitors to a 'please contact billing page'.

I'm not happy about the way they did this, as they didn't bother informing me, and they made it look like I hadn't paid my bills. I frequently don't pay my bills, but in this case I had.

There then followed a slow exchange of emails with the hosting company - I was only checking email once a day - during which I formed the conclusion that the hosting company were making no effort to keep my business. They claimed to have transferred the site to its own server, but I could see no evidence of that, and as they were still redirecting the domain name it wasn't any use anyway. By the time they got to the stage where I could even attempt to get things up and running, I'd given up. What should have been a short transfer process had taken days, resulting in significant downtime, lost ad income and search engine rankings, not to mention the devastation and dispair that must have rolled over all of you when you discovered you couldn't access your favourite site. There was no way I was going to pay them for the dedicated server they claimed I needed.

After I got back to Beijing on Thursday I spent a couple of days looking at options, and decided to go with a more powerful shared hosting option from the host I was originally with when I started the forums. One 100MB database transfer later, and we were up and running, at a fraction of the cost I'd been quoted by the other firm.

If growth continues as it has, it's likely another server move will be necessary within the next 6 months. However, this will (hopefully) be much more controlled and result in little, if any, downtime. I have a huge amount of faith in the current hosts, and have had multiple sites with them for over two years.

One thing that I would like to point out about this is that it's actually a result of a good thing - it happened because of growth in the forums. Think of it as growing pains, not death throes. I'm committed to running this forum at least in the medium-term, and it isn't going anywhere. It's actually become so successful that (ironically, 48 hours before it got turned off) I received a fairly reasonable offer from a party interested in purchasing the site (won't name them, but if you've noticed any similar sites to this one appear in the last few months then you might be able to guess).

These problems also affected other sites. I spent much of yesterday rebuilding the signese.com database almost from scratch, and newsinchinese.com is also in the process of moving to adsotrans.com's server (that was likely to happen anyway though). Signese.com is now up and running, newsinchinese.com should be shortly.

So, apologies for the problems, but we're back up and running - get posting!

My thanks, as always, to everyone who contributes on here.


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This is great, the forum is back! I had thought that the site got banned, but it didn't look like the message they put out when a website gets banned. I was pretty scared because a few days ago (previous Saturday :wink: ) a couple undercover police came to my mom and took her out for lunch and dinner, and brought her back afterwards, and then this place stopped working...

Well, best wishes for this forum!

-Shìbó :mrgreen:

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Nothing particular. I'm back and want to post something or anything here. The sudden closure of the forum was an odd experience. Very very odd... like, I'm in a party, having fun. I go to restroom for a minute. When I come back, everybody is gone. Huh?

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