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January 14, 2007

SFF Net Down Hard
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 08:44 PM *

Ice storms and power outages in Texas have taken down SFF Net. Time of repair is unknown.

Sff Net hosts the SFWA sites; if you were looking for them (including texts of Nebula-nominated stories) and couldn’t find them … that’s why.

More when I know more.

[UPDATE] Back up. SFF Net was down from 1900-2130 local (Dallas) time. But more ice storms are always a possibility.

The ‘Net treats censorship as damage and routes around it. The Web treats damage as damage, and makes parts inaccessible.

Comments on SFF Net Down Hard:
#1 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2007, 09:35 PM:

Thanks for the update, Jim. I hope JD, the kids, and Ratz are otherwise ok.

#2 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2007, 09:44 PM:

Dang. That's getting close to home. Literally. I'm just a few miles down the road and the freezing rain just hit here. Methinks I'd better go check my supply of candles...

#3 ::: Kristine Smith ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2007, 09:49 PM:

Thanks for the update. I wondered if the storms had hit hard down there. Hope everyone is ok.

#4 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2007, 10:04 PM:

Eyouch! I hope everybody's alright - ice storms are a bear.

#5 ::: Julia Kosatka ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2007, 10:06 PM:

Thanks for the update. We're sitting down here in Houston waiting for the storm to hit us tomorrow night.

Here's hoping everyone's better off than the servers.

#6 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2007, 10:17 PM:

I thought I heard a "Thump".

#7 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2007, 10:25 PM:

Thanks for the update. I wondered what happened,

#8 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2007, 10:32 PM:

Looks like they're back up.

#9 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2007, 10:39 PM:

We were all ready (it went from 60 degrees Thursday to 16 degrees Friday...). However I think it got so cold so fast that the ice didn't have much of a chance to stick, when I went out at noon Friday to run an errand it didn't take long to scrape off my car windows. and it didn't reform by the time I went home.

Today we crept out in Jim's low-slung sports car to get necessary groceries (eggs and that kind of thing), and did not have too much problem except for trying to walk on our driveway (it was a sheet of snowy ice). At least on the drive we can hang onto the car and porch.

and happy day, I have to go to work tomorrow. Publishing houses don't get MLK day. Especially event media houses.

#10 ::: JC ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2007, 10:48 PM:

Are ice storms common in Texas?
(My guess is that they aren't. But I've never been there.)

#11 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2007, 11:06 PM:

Where I live (just north of D/FW) we get some freezing rain once or twice every winter. It usually doesn't stick for very long as the temperatures generally don't stay below freezing.

And I don't mean to sound like a Texas chauvinist, but the fact is that Texas is one big state. They have ice and snow up in the panhandle while we're running around outside in shorts and T-shirts. A lot of the nasty stuff scoots through the panhandle and Oklahoma and we never see it.

#12 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2007, 11:12 PM:

JulieB @ 11

On the other hand, up above the Caprock the snow is likely to blow off the road before it sticks, if you're not in town. But freezing rain is ... not fun. Except for when it's thawing, and the pieces are falling off overhead objects.

#13 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2007, 11:18 PM:

Take good care, all of you, and stay safe.

Here in the SF Bay Area we have no ice or even rain storms, but the temperature at night has been in the 20s for the last 3-4 days in my neighborhood, and looks to be there for a while yet. Frost on the ground and on windshields in the morning. These lowered temperatures are hardest on the homeless, and hard on those in thin-walled houses with old heating systems.

#14 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 15, 2007, 01:17 AM:

Just in case it's not clear:

SFF Net's regulars are welcome to carry on their ongoing discussions and leave messages for each other here until their site is back up; and after that, too.

#15 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 15, 2007, 02:58 AM:

We are, indeed, back up at this hour. But ice storms continue, so we'll see....

#16 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: January 15, 2007, 10:48 AM:

I wonder if those storms were also the reason "Astronomy Picture of the Day" skipped from the 13th to the 15th, with no photo yesterday.

#17 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: January 15, 2007, 11:08 AM:

I'm working from home today because my moderately inclined driveway is basically one big moderately inclined sheet of ice this morning.


#18 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: January 15, 2007, 12:57 PM:

My steeply inclined driveway is a steeply inclined almost sheet of ice. The top step on the sidewalk is an ice sheet,, there's ice on all the elevated surfaces like the deck and the glass patio tables, there's ice in the mesh of the upstairs chairs (looks kind of cute) and there's ice on the roof. Note that I'm 200 miles south of Skwid.

The current bit of Schaenfreude comes from the fact that Rick Perry was supposed to have an inaugural parade tomorrow. Instead, I think the town closes down.

JC #10: There's an ice storm that makes it into Austin about once every two years, usually at highly inappropriate times, like, in this case, opening week for the university's spring semester. Since nobody knows how to drive in this stuff, and since there's lots of little twisty roads with hills on the west side of town, it's a mess. Count on 400 accidents, even with everything closed.

#19 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: January 15, 2007, 01:02 PM:

Fortunately for us, today is a school holiday. My husband is working from home. I always work from home, so it's business as usual - except for freezing my tail off to shoot some pictures of the ice.

#20 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: January 15, 2007, 02:51 PM:

I wonder whether Hallmark makes any "Sorry to Hear Your Server Is Down" cards.

#21 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 15, 2007, 02:59 PM:

Faren @ 16:
I haven't had any problem with APoD this weekend.

Today's picture is one of Comet McNaught over Catalonia, very pretty. Yesterday's was a time-lapse X-ray series of the center of the galaxy, with stars moving enough to notice.

#22 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: January 15, 2007, 03:57 PM:

Faren @16, PJE @21,

The APoD skips the 14th in the index page, but not in the "next" function if you're already on the page.

Watching stars move in the center of our galaxy, how 21st century cool is that?

Nova just had a good program on that in Monster of the Milky Way. It showed stars whipping around Sag.A. like comets do around the sun. Neat.

Although I personally am disappointed- not sure why- that our galaxy has a central black hole. (I've also been disappointed in our universe for only having 500 billion galaxies. I was hoping for something more uncountable.)

#23 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 15, 2007, 04:01 PM:

Although I personally am disappointed- not sure why- that our galaxy has a central black hole

The spindle has to go in somewhere.

#24 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 15, 2007, 04:30 PM:

A weird Disney movie at the center of the galaxy...

#25 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: January 15, 2007, 05:28 PM:

#22 Kathryn--where do numbers become uncountable if 500 billion is still countable?

No, I'm kidding. I know exactly what you mean.

I don't know why you'd be disappointed in a central black hole, though--that's seriously just about the most awesome thing I can think of being there, besides, like, William Shatner or something.

#26 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: January 15, 2007, 06:14 PM:

Ethan @25,

77 galaxies per person: great big number, that. 77. whoooooo.

It's just that just about every other galaxy has a black hole. Be cool to live in a galaxy without one.

Not to mention who wants to live where there's a sun-eating black hole in the middle? Would you want to live in a house with a central vaccum capable of taking children? It isn't safe. Yeah, sure, should be losing more sleep about Eta Carinae. But first, that's a southern thing- black holes don't care what hemisphere you're in. Second, a black hole can eat a hypernova, and wouldn't even notice.

#27 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: January 16, 2007, 12:44 AM:

Kathryn #26: Galaxies per person, eh? I never thought of it that way. I demand at least a hundred galaxies for my own personal use. I wonder if Americans get more than everyone else, like we do with other resources?

Would you want to live in a house with a central vaccum capable of taking children?

If it would mean my house would be permanently child-free, I'd be happy.

#28 ::: Alex ::: (view all by) ::: January 16, 2007, 08:52 AM:

Jim, you forgot the bit that says "the 'Net treats censorship as damage and routes around so long as you're multihomed with two or more mutually independent downstreams".

#29 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: January 17, 2007, 09:04 AM:

We've had another "winter event" roll through overnight. Unlike Sunday, though, there are no reports of power outages. The worst of it seems to be south of us this time. It started as rain and then changed to snow, which means the streets are even more slick than they were the other day. No school. Husband working from home. And I'm stuck until I get more ink for the printer. Perhaps by noon...

#30 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: January 17, 2007, 12:48 PM:

I'm still marooned here in Austin. Our outdoor thermometer has just climbed to 32 for the first time since this whole fandango started. Power has been behaving here (knock wood), and it looks like there's enough milk until tomorrow afternoon, by which time all our twisty little hill roads should have shed their icy accumulations. (At the moment, all the major freeway interchanges are closed because of icing on flyovers.) Husband working from home again as university is closed. (No one has explained to me just what they're doing about 7000 students in dorms--these guys have to be fed and watered presumably.)

Ordinarily we do the groceries on Tuesday, and over the weekend the predictions were that the weather would have cleared up by then. Ha, ha, ha. I suspect that the grocery scene tomorrow adternoon and evening is going to be horrific.

#31 ::: Laura B ::: (view all by) ::: January 21, 2007, 09:59 PM:

I was stuck in my house in Austin, too. I hear ya about the hills. If I didn't get out soon I was going to flipping kill somebody.

#32 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: January 22, 2007, 01:52 PM:

I heard about one woman who described the enforced durance vile as "camping out with appliances."

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