Technical Notice, 2005-01-12 is moving its domain name server (DNS) during the evening (US Eastern time) of 12 January 2005. No outages are expected, but we wanted to let you know "just in case". Click the "read more" link if you are interested in the details. Windows users, please also click for a special notice.

A domain name server (DNS) is the machine that translates between the human-readable name of our server ("" or "") and the numeric address that is actually used by your browser when making the connection. Later this evening, we will move our DNS to a new computer.

The move will take place at approximately 20:00 EST, or about 01:00 GMT.

This should be entirely transparent to you, but we wanted to let you know it was coming so you won't be alarmed if there is a brief outage. The new server is already online and tested. Tonight, we will simply tell the Internet's top-level domain servers to start using it all the time. Tomorrow, if all has gone well, we will turn off DNS on the old server. The delay is needed because it can take several hours for the change to propagate around the Internet.


Most operating systems automatically find the updated DNS server. Some versions of Windows have a bug that causes them to stubbornly hang onto the old server until the next reboot. If your machine has this problem, you'll find that it fails to locate on Thursday, after we shut down the old server. In that case, just reboot Windows and all should be well. (How many times have you heard that set of instructions?)

Please note that we are not actually moving the web server — yet. That upgrade will happen within the next few weeks, but we're not quite ready now, and the DNS change was a prerequisite anyway. So it is very unlikely that anyone, regardless of operating system, will have a problem this time out. Please watch this space for notice of the actual move to the new server, because that is when users with the Windows bug will be likely to need to reboot.

We apologize for any inconvenience. Rest assured that we are doing our best to make certain is available to you with as few interruptions as possible.


'Tis over and done! The ol

'Tis over and done!

The old DNS server was taken offline yesterday. If you haven't had problems from this change by now, you aren't going to. :-)


UPDATE: Change completed ...

UPDATE: Change completed at 20:18 EST (Thu 01:18 GMT)

The old DNS server remains online for a few hours to allow remote machines to un-cache its IP number. Everything went smoothly.