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Thread: Site access problems?

  1. #1
    Groundskeeping Dept. SWCAdmin's Avatar
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    Default Site access problems?

    First post updated to reflect the latest. We have confirmed that our web host is, from time to annoying time, falsely identifying legitimate users as evil denial-of-service riff-raff and blocking them. Here's an explanation of what it looks like on your end, and what we need from you to fix it.
    (last updated 10/30/07 by SWCAdmin)
    --------------------
    If you are getting a regular, dependable "can not access this site" or other time-out sort of message (100% of the time from a certain machine) AND not having any problems reaching the rest of the e-world, then your IP address is probably being blocked by our web host. This may or may not occur for others on your immediate network (depending on how the network is set up). But it occurs all the time from your machine.

    For us to solve it, please send the following two bits of info by e-mail to webmaster@smallwarsjournal.com. (Do not post here)

    1) The WAN IP address. You will find the IP here: http://mywanip.com/

    2) Run a Trace Route and send me the results.

    a) Windows -- go to: Start > Run. At the prompt, enter: cmd, then hit enter (OK). At the DOS prompt in the window that opens, enter tracert smallwarsjournal.com Let it run until it finishes. Send us the results. One way to get it out of that little window is to right click, "Select All," and then hit Enter. Then go over into the e-mail and paste (Ctrl+V).
    -- FYI, Enter works like Copy in that DOS window, normal copy (Ctrl+C) doesn't work. C'est la e-vie.

    b) Mac -- similar, but the command is traceroute smallwarsjournal.com

    Notes:
    -- Pardon the obvious, but you need to get this info from the machine that is having the problems. Not from your other machine that's working fine. You can send the e-mail from anywhere.
    -- This is driving us nuts. And no doubt many of you, too. Anyone who is a computer guru and can help us solve the problem instead of treating the symptoms, please advise.
    -- If you are having other access problems beyond the occasional e-hiccup, please let us know. But if it isn't as described above, it will be a different issue. Send us this info as a start, but please describe what is going on.

  2. #2
    Groundskeeping Dept. SWCAdmin's Avatar
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    Default This remains a known issue...

    ...and I'm probably only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

    We are in between working with our web host to try to understand or enhance their sophomoric implementation of "security," and working on finding another host. Migration is a pain, but so is being IP blocked to the sweet spot of your demographic.

    Please know that this is nothing personal. SWJED got blocked two days ago, and one of our valued moderators has been black-listed twice. We are equal opportunity boneheads.

    See post #1 for a description of the issue, and the info I need to confirm and remedy it. Though they're pissing me off by causing the problem to begin with, our hosts' service desk is pretty responsive and you're generally unblocked within an hour from when I get the info to them as a support ticket.

    If any of our more technically adept folks have some comment on the market economy of web hosting out there, please let me have them. Our needs include a large allowance for MySQL database size, and no sophomoric blocking of legitimate users.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thank God I finally found this. My work machine is being blocked - a problem since I scan this board to give me heads up on stuff -for- work, besides reading and posting cuz I like it here - and I checked with our IT guy to find that no blocks or filters were in place. Thus I was chasing my own tail.

  4. #4
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by SWCAdmin
    For us to solve it, please send the following two bits of info by e-mail to webmaster@smallwarsjournal.com. (Do not post here)
    Please check your e-mail. I've been blocked for two days now. This is being posted from an alternate location.

  5. #5
    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    This is being posted from an alternate location.
    Say hello to the Vice President for me.

  6. #6
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default

    I have not been blocked but the speed is really down, especially when posting. May or may not have anything to do with security levels.

    The other thing that Slapout and I recently noticed while PMing with Carl and Lawvol, every PM went out twice to our email addresses.

    Lastly, which has Juliet to do with this thread, I've noticed that the edit function for posts disappears within two hours. I recall having a smigin more time to return to my post, delete or dot I's and cross T's.

  7. #7
    Groundskeeping Dept. SWCAdmin's Avatar
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    Default

    For general info:
    Edit privileges do expire, as Stan has noticed. Intent is allow corrections of oopses, typos, immediate second thoughts, etc. but not to allow changing statements depending on how they are received. Members can put clarifications or corrections in follow-on posts. We ask all to consider what you post, before you post it.

    Regarding Stan's other issues: (would have PM'd but am here already)

    Speed will ebb and flow. Sometimes it has to do with our server loads and stuff. Other times it is network traffic between you and us. I hope it has come back.

    I can't explain the double PM notice. I have seen it once or twice in an e-hiccup. Just grabbing at straws, are you in the To: block twice?

    If these last two haven't gotten better with time, please let me know by PM.

    Are the last two still

  8. #8
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default

    I was blocked yesterday for several hours and emailed Tom.
    When I went to the home page, it timed out but later worked fine. However going directly to council.smallwarsjournal.com for log-in, access was denied.

    Don't know if Tom got ahold of you, or the fantom merely gave up as all was back to normal.

    You're correct, the PMs had me addressed twice. When hitting reply to a multiple addressee PM, it doesn't appear that all are on the addressee line (apparently they are but not shown ?)

  9. #9
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    I was blocked yesterday for several hours and emailed Tom.
    When I went to the home page, it timed out but later worked fine. However going directly to council.smallwarsjournal.com for log-in, access was denied.

    Don't know if Tom got ahold of you, or the fantom merely gave up as all was back to normal.

    You're correct, the PMs had me addressed twice. When hitting reply to a multiple addressee PM, it doesn't appear that all are on the addressee line (apparently they are but not shown ?)
    Nope buddy. I don't get email at home

  10. #10
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    Default Just a thank-you

    I was blocked for a while but an e-mail to webmaster has returned me from limbo. Thanks

    Are others who were blocked accessing simultaneously from more than one machine behind a NAT enabled router? Just a thought as to why it might view me as a DoS attacker.

  11. #11
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    Default Intermittent SLOW access problems

    I've experienced intermittent slow access problems - I mean, really S-L-O-W. Has that been anyone else's experience?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffC View Post
    I've experienced intermittent slow access problems - I mean, really S-L-O-W. Has that been anyone else's experience?
    Oh yeah. It's gotten rather frustrating at times.

  13. #13
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Ditto. Get 'Time Outs' about every fifth or sixth

    connect at all hours of the day. Generally, slowest to load a page one of the sites I routinely visit.

  14. #14
    Groundskeeping Dept. SWCAdmin's Avatar
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    Default

    Good to know.

    We are wrassling with when to upgrade our hosting plan, vs. costs and service levels.

    When the whole internet is slow, that's life and your ISP plan. When it's just us, that's our hosting plan.

    We will reinvigorate our upgrade based on these inputs.

    Again, periodic timeouts are an internet connecitvity or throughput issue. Not a blocking issue as described in the first post herein

  15. #15
    Groundskeeping Dept. SWCAdmin's Avatar
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    Default Upcoming site transition

    OK, we pulled the trigger on a new hosting arrangement. 25x the cost of our prior econo host. But we hope any and all access woes are gone by next week.

    Expect some hiccups this weekend as we transition. Then a kinder, gentler, faster, better looking, vigorous new e-world where cigars, alcohol, and chocolate are not just better, but good for you, too.

  16. #16
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SWCAdmin View Post
    Expect some hiccups this weekend as we transition. Then a kinder, gentler, faster, better looking, vigorous new e-world where cigars, alcohol, and chocolate are not just better, but good for you, too.
    This is beginning to sound like the primaries....
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  17. #17
    Groundskeeping Dept. SWCAdmin's Avatar
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    For those of you who are "new posts" fans but don't look at the announcements, here's a repost of the current announcment.

    We're anticipating that this change will eliminate the death-by-IP crap that is the subject of this thread.

    ----------
    Site slow today. Work around available.

    No, it's not you.

    http://council.smallwarsjournal.com will be running a little slow today, Thurs, 6 March, maybe into Friday. Even slower than usual. Until the internet catches up to us.

    As a temporary work around, you can access the site at http://208.101.38.56/council/. That will be faster than the wordy URL for about a day, then they'll be the same. Downside -- if you use that temporarily faster IP address, it won't save your SWC login after you close your browser, so you'll just have to log in again.

    FYI, we are mid-transition to our new host, and SWC is doing a Jean-Claude VanDamme move right now with its gizzards on one server and its grey matter on another. Semper Gumby.

    It will shake itself out soon.

  18. #18
    Groundskeeping Dept. SWCAdmin's Avatar
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    Default

    OK. All of this server transition crap should have shaken itself out of the system by now.

    We are pretty sure that:
    a) things are faster for everyone
    b) we're done with the pesky random IP blocking that was the genesis of this thread.

    If anyone is having persistent problems, the WAN IP and tracert info asked for at the start of this thread is real helpful in any diagnosis. But we hope those days are gone.

    Send any snivels to webmaster@smallwarsjournal.com.

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