Aistarin posted on July 25, 2017 at 9:15 PM

We weren't supposed to have survived this downtime

And yet here we are.

Sequence of events pieced together from what Jeremy has told me as he was fixing things:

- The main server ran KVM
- 64digits ran as a self-contained virtual machine
- 64digits was also stored on a logical volume...
- ...managed by Debian 6's LVM for some reason
- Our VM was on 8.7 Jessie
- This combo is apparently unstable under high I/O
- never noticed because we are all but dead
- Automated MySQL backups sometimes push us to the limits
- First freak out two weeks ago, system goes in read only mode
- dmesg shows nothing
- reboot VM and carry on
- second freak out
- reboot VM again
- error: unknown file system.
- dmesg returns I/O errors out the wazoo
- shit shit shit shit shit
- fsck does its thing
- inodes for important directories were wiped out and could not be restored, extent of file system damage is unknown
- what we know as 64digits is now nothing more than just a 320gb blob of zeroes and ones on the hard drive
- SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT
- a grep of the blob shows the MySQL database to be more or less intact
- maybe all hope is not lost yet
- as I start researching ways to file carve SQL databases back into existence, Jeremy rolls up his sleeves and starts guessing where the inodes are and manually restores them
- he manages to guess correctly for /var
- he finds a SQL dump dated Sunday morning
- Glory to 64Digitzka!
- the database is more important than your files, but he keeps going
- user files restored!
- not enough room on drive to spin up a second VM
- not enough room on drive to create archives
- can't delete backups or blob of zeroes and ones until we are certain the restored files can be used to rebuild the website
- buying a new server is cheaper than uploading/downloading the tens of millions of individual files to/from cloud storage
- rsync everything to our new home
- 64digits is now running off of the bare metal this time

So yeah...don't forget to thank Jeremy for his hard work to save this site!

Aistarin posted on February 23, 2017 at 3:50 PM

Join our Discord Server!

Our community's continued use of IRC has become very archaic and most of us have been reluctant to even install a client to connect to the channel, most settling for that shitty Mibbit web app I set up almost 7 years ago. However, over the last year I have seen more and more friends ditch IRC and Skype in favor of Discord servers and group chat, and I'd like to remind you all that we've had a Discord server up and running since last April:

https://discord.gg/u4pFUr8

Officially, we will continue to support our SlashNET IRC channel for the foreseeable future, and I will continue to idle in the channel to make myself available to anybody seeking site-related support. However, from here on out, all development work will be prioritizing Discord integration over IRC, which includes a chatbot that I am planning to develop for v4.

If you have any questions, feel free to let me know.

Thank you,

-Aistarin

Aistarin posted on February 07, 2017 at 8:21 PM

10 Years

There was nothing I wanted more than to be part of a community where people shared my interests and I was a bit disappointed to see that programming as a hobby was pretty much unheard of when I started using GM back in early 2004 (in the mostly rural town I grew up in, of course). Literally the only other programmer I knew in middle school was this insanely genius kid who would make his games in C and Allegro, and he ended up getting a full ride at MIT when he graduated high school.

What is most amusing is knowing that had my new PSP never gotten stolen from my backpack during freshman year in high school, I would have never gotten bored enough at home to start using Game Maker again, especially after my 4-5 month hiatus following my failure to establish an indie (freeware in 2007 terms) game development club at my school. Eventually I just settled for Robotics and Comp Sci AP, but by then I had already settled with joining several online GM communities and it just so happened to be that 64digits lasted the longest.

I also would have never imagined I'd be the one redeveloping the site from scratch, as well as ending up with ownership of the domain itself. Now that I've gotten past my two month rough patch (which involved me losing my SF apartment and boomeranging back to my parents), I'm left with some time to work on v4 on the train rides back and forth. As for progress, I have ported most of the php bbcode parser that JoshDreamland coded for us to Node.js (demo here ), and now all bbcode is processed server-side in the context of a user's session. In addition, I've now set up activity feeds at the user level to display whenever a user posts a blog or comments on one.

I'm looking forward to getting the file manager up and running, so this week I'll be coding the abstraction layer which will allow us to choose between hosting all users files on the server itself or using a cloud storage system such as Backblaze B2 or Amazon S3. So far B2 seems the most promising (and cheapest), so I'm gonna start creating the hooks against this API first. Once this is solid, I can finally move on to developing user game and media submissions, as well as file and picture uploads at the comment level.

I feel like at this point it would be too optimistic to say here's to another 10 years, especially considering that firestormx can pull the plug on our dedicated hosting any day now (which I'd be happy to take over as well), and the fact that the same self-gratification I used to get from my early GM days is the only thing that is motivating me to continue working on v4 now that most of my buddies have moved on. I would love to eventually get to the point where I can pass the torch to somebody else so I can refocus my persistence on game development.

It would probably be too optimistic to even say we'd last another year, but I guess we will have to wait and see where the current takes us.