FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!

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Thibault de Vassal    (2012-07-28)
FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!

Finally............. Oh I missed it so much, so much.

I'll write the whole story below. I hope it's now all ok, about one hour of moves should be missing, the hour just before the hard drive crash.

Thanks for your feedback and again, my apologies to all for this long, too long, really too long delay........

Thibault de Vassal    (2012-07-28 00:10:50)
FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!

First of all, I've added 15 days to all players in running games because of the delay and the fact that many of us may have no access to internet during the summer vacation (this time is added to the 46 days, 13 hours and 20 minutes since the crash for players expected to play), this issue was discussed at Rybkaforum, of course it may be unfair to few players in certain games where their opponent had few time but I did not find a better balanced solution, sorry about that :(

Among other consequences, the current championships cycle will last 10 months instead of 8, and july correspondence chess ratings will be updated very soon.

Well, how to start... fortunately such an event is rare but possible, and following the Murphy's law, it happened (first time for me), the server's hard disk crashed and the least I can say is I've not been lucky, even if I obviously did some things wrong.

Of course I had enough data at home to rebuild all games until a few hours before the crash but I thought it was worth it to pause the server during a few days/weeks to recover more moves, and if possible ALL moves. I really hoped that it would work and at the end it did, but not completely... for unknown reasons. I had also other data to recover from the server, including some FICGS data that were not backuped correctly (my bad), because I did not think far enough 6 years ago when I coded the first FICGS scripts... That will be fixed very soon.

So, because the DDrescue process did not work -unlucky- just after the crash, my server provider (OVH in France) had to send me the hard drive and it took sooooo much time already :/

Then I tried to recover some files and the databases by myself and I learnt much on how to save a hard drive but each process was really long, it took several days again...

Finally none process completely succeeded, few sectors of the hard drive remained unreadable and unfortunately the FICGS database is divided into very numerous parts written everywhere on the disk.

At the end, I brought the disk to the very best professionals able to save it... the process was quite long again and it did not completely worked as well, for an unknown reason the current database was still not readable but they did much better than me at the end.

Finally the whole process was worth it, but I did not expect it could take so much time.... 46 days, 13 hours, 20 minutes. And that's a shame :(

Of course, I could have used a RAID 10 server, I was not favourable to this choice because it is not 100% safe as well, I don't know it enough and it's much more expensive. I'll reconsider it though.

But the other things I did wrong are clear anyway, I lacked of experience in such a situation and most important, I'll do now better backups also on another server every hour. Next time (if any), we'll lose at most 1 hour of moves but the server will be able to restart within 1 day.

One thing is sure, internet was really empty for me without FICGS during this long month and a half and I missed our tournaments too much so that happen again! Have no doubt, FICGS would not have stopped in all cases but once again I'm really sorry about that and all consequences... I can only hope that you'll enjoy your games as before.

Thanks for your understanding.

Best regards,

Nick Burrows    (2012-07-28 01:14:03)
FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!

Thankyou for all your hard work Thibault - it is much appreciated! Ficgs rulez!!!1!
were you c'est la vie or stressed la vie?

Scott Nichols    (2012-07-28 01:29:58)
FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!

This brings up the quote, "you never know what you've got till its gone." Been wandering aimlessly to other chess sites, into unfamiliar territory, and sometimes unfriendly. Now again we have a homebase, a place to park our cars! :)

Don Groves    (2012-07-28 07:07:22)
FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!

Thanks, Thib, for all your hard work to bring FICGS back to life !

Peter W. Anderson    (2012-07-28 09:01:10)
FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!

Really good to have FICGS back. Thanks for trying so hard rather than giving up on what is a difficult problem.

Donation to follow - a small contribution towards RAID (mirroring perhaps?) or whatever it takes to make the system more resilient.

Charlie Neil    (2012-07-28 10:11:05)
FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!


Thank you for all your work. I missed my "club". Even down here among the 1200+ graded players we need our chess. We strive to improve.

Joop Simmelink    (2012-07-28 11:11:44)
FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!

Fast answer

Garvin Gray    (2012-07-28 15:34:59)
FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!

Scott, I am reminded more: to err is human, to really foul things up requires a computer :)

And, if computers get too powerful, organise them into committees, that will do em in


George Clement    (2012-07-28 17:04:44)
FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!

Thib thanks for getting it back. Great work.

Sebastian Boehme    (2012-07-28 17:26:23)
FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!

Many thanks for Thib on the hard effort put into making FICGS run again and on the surface look again as it used to.

Now may the rumbles and big tournaments continue.
Right in time with the big games of the Olympiad in London! ;-)

Thibault de Vassal    (2012-07-28 20:03:20)
FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!

Thanks again to you guys for your great understanding, I don't deserve it...

Many thanks Peter, be sure that I'll use it carefully (I'm to start the mirroring)!

Sylvain Praz    (2012-07-28 23:18:04)
FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!

I'm very glad that it could get ok again, really missed to play^^

Thx very much Thibault for all the work!

Jose Carrizo    (2012-07-29 00:45:52)
FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!

Thanks Thibault for your effort! FICGS is the best.

Paul Campanella    (2012-07-29 01:55:41)
FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!

46 days is certainly no joke and I imagine that this was no easy task. Instead of giving up and letting all the data just remain lost, you went above and beyond to recover everything as best as you could. In my opinion, that demonstrates your loyalty, devotion, and determination as the best website administrator around!

On behalf of myself and all of the other members of FICGS, I want to sincerely thank you for looking out for our us doing everything in your power to fix the situation as fast as you could.


Now that everything is back to normal... lets all have some imaginary champagne and toast the fact that we are glad that everything is back up and running! :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2012-07-29 02:47:29)
FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!

Cheers !!!

Garvin Gray    (2012-07-29 03:26:02)
FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!

The 46 days was so long that my ficgs games database was starting to gather dust lol

Rodolfo d Ettorre    (2012-07-29 16:10:57)
FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!

Thanks Thibault. Great effort.

Daniel Parmet    (2012-08-06 10:18:06)
FICGS IS BACK !!!!!!!!!

many thanks Thib.