Users on the West Coast (and inveterate night owls) may have noticed some downtime tonight.
Short version: it was a computer problem.
Longer version: The version of PHP I was using was recently cited for security issues with WordPress. Moving to a secure version of PHP required a Debian dist-upgrade, which in turn required a switch from MySQL to MariaDB for reasons of software freedom with which I completely sympathize but which are also a God-dammed hassle to manage on the fly. The first ten hours of MariaDB usage went fine, but then it went crazy and corrupted all the tables. I reinstalled and reconfigured the entire stack from the webserver on up and brought over this evening’s backup. So far, so good. Fingers crossed. I apologize for the gap in site availability.
TBH, as the kids say, it was half-decent fun getting this rickety old box running correctly against the clock and with thousands of error messages filling the logs. My contract for hosting is almost up so in a few months I’ll get to do this all over again, with interest.
The photo is from an upcoming story that has all the ultraviolence — and just this once, it’s not your humble author on the wrong end of a 60mph roll on pavement.