recovers from unscheduled outage

Due to technical problems on our server, went offline at approximately 16:23 US Eastern time on Saturday. The senior staff were at an event and didn't know about the problem until almost midnight, but were able to restart the server easily. We apologize for the inconvenience. (Techies can click "read more" for details.)

The cause of the failure is unknown as of yet, but at 16:23:59 our SQL database server simply froze up. In the half-dozen years that this server has been online, this has (as best I recall) never happened before. The restart at midnight, when we returned from the event and noticed the problem, was uneventful. No data was lost (in any case, we have very up-to-date backups).

In a for-profit environment, there are ways of automatically notifying administrators of things like this. We've never set something like that up for, because it's not a commercial site. I may look at doing some kind of auto-paging system in the future, however.

Again, we apologize for any inconvenience.