With everything else that’s been going on in the world, the affairs of one little internet radio station may not seem like they amount to much. It matters to us, though. We’re a small but very dedicated cadre of creative fans who strive every day to make something wonderful for the rest of fandom to enjoy, wherever they happen to be in the world.
After nine years of operation, it almost all came to an end on May 8, 2018 at 8:47 am Pacific Standard Time.
Because that’s when our server vanished.
What happened was, our server just completely died. Just completely. Not even a trace of a heartbeat, just completely faceplant, THUMP! Dead. So we filed a trouble ticket, like we did a month ago when the same thing happened.
With the server vanished without a trace and no sign of whether we’d ever get it back, nine agonizing hours went by before the hosting service even acknowledged that they’d read the trouble ticket. When they finally did, they tried to upsell us to some new dodgy server arrangement that may or may not make our server work better, without quoting us a price in advance. At length, we decided to go for it anyway, because we have to have something on the air and streaming or we can just call it a night, with nine years of hopes and dreams gone in a heartbeat. We made the offsite backups available to their technicians so they can begin rebuilding the server.
Nine more hours go by and there’s no action on getting our old server back, or setting up a new one. We started looking at our options and discovered that we could get a much better server from the same company that was supplying our hosting service, at less than half the price.
Yes, our old hosting service was taking a 50% markup.*
As a test, we turned off access to one of the backups they would have needed to get things rebuilt, and hours more went by. With no communication from that at all, we concluded that they were not, in fact, working on our red alert crisis issue at all.
With more than 25 hours into the crisis, and no communication from the hosting service since the initial one at the nine hour mark, we began attempting to contact their support department every hour on the hour asking for progress information. We got no sign that they were even reading the messages.
At the 34 hour mark, we sent them one final message: “You’re fired.”
By hour 42, we were back online and back on the air.
We were extremely fortunate. We had enough business sense to make sure we were getting offsite backups made every other night, and we saved the company because of it. Had we not done this, it would have ended SCIFI.radio when the server vanished from the internet. We never did find out what happened, and because we were a sublease the original hosting company would not talk to us at all.
While we’re still redoing a lot of the special features that make the SCIFI.radio so much fun to listen to (they got blasted by backup errors or were lost completely in some cases), we’re very very grateful for you, our listeners and our Patreon supporters, who stood by us during our crisis, offering emotional and sometimes technical support.
Without the funds we get from the Patreon campaign, there would have been no new server. We quite literally would not be here without you.
So yes, this is a big “thank you” to everyone. You matter. We hope we never have another emergency like this one, but if we do, we know you’ll have our back.
- The company that did this to us is still in business. Will we drag them in media out in the open for what they did? No. We don’t think they deserve even that much public exposure in social media.
SCIFI.radio is listener supported sci-fi geek culture radio, and operates almost exclusively via the generous contributions of our fans via our Patreon campaign. If you like, you can also use our tip jar and send us a little something to help support the many fine creatives that make this station possible.