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Is anything going on with the servers?


Some odd things have been happening in the last half hour (or less):
• Clicking on my ID at the top right does not give me my updated/"latest" profile page but shows a previous page for the list of My Recent Threads. I just tried it again and it shows an old version of it. It occurs even after I clear my browser cache. [I refreshed it a third time and the "updated" page then loads.]
••[Coincidentally I noticed that just before I did the third refresh this "FRAM Extra" Flash ad loaded with video and sound - and which I COULD NOT halt or pause - on the page where I am composing this new thread. Any bearing on the issue?]

• When I clicked on at least two threads - including Melanie Wong's last thread on this board - I am unable to access it and I get a "500 Internal Server Error" message.**
• Hmm, I just tried to open up "Site Talk" in a new tab and I get the same error message.**

• Last night, I could not get Chowhound pages (like my profile) to load around 1 or 2 am EDT (I think).


** (Copy and paste of the 500 Internal Server Error message):

Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, webmaster@chow.com and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.
Apache Server at chowhound.chow.com Port 80

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  1. Getting the Internal Server Error about 50% of the time.

    2 Replies
    1. re: pine time

      2 attempts to start a new thread got that. Otherwise ok.

      1. re: pine time

        Same here. And required three attempts to get this reply box to open.

      2. have the same problem...Internal Server Error message 500

        1. Thanks for all of these detailed notes about what you're experiencing. We think we've fixed the issue now, but let us know if you continue to see these issues.


          21 Replies
          1. re: mudaba


            Thanks - it was fine yesterday evening but the site again appears to be having problems?
            Between about 8 am and now (8:42 am) EDT on 8-1-2012 I was unable to get into Chowhound in FF and Chrome. The landing page of chow.com could be reached but load was v-e-r-y s-l-o-w, and I could not cross over to any other page except the main recipes page.

            Chowhound was unreachable except for what I think were old versions of my profile page, very slow loading, and only on a couple of tries. Usually in FF a blank page is loaded. In Chrome I get error messages like the following:

            Server error
            The webpage at http://www.chow.com/profile/145506 is currently unavailable. It may be overloaded or down for maintenance.
            Here are some suggestions:
            • Reload this webpage later.
            HTTP Error 503 (Service Unavailable): The server is currently unable to handle the request. This code indicates this is a temporary condition, and the server will be up again after a delay.

            No data received
            Unable to load the webpage because the server sent no data.
            Here are some suggestions:
            • Reload this webpage later.
            Error 324 (net::ERR_EMPTY_RESPONSE): The server closed the connection without sending any data.

            Server error
            The webpage at http://www.chow.com/topics/861058 is currently unavailable. It may be overloaded or down for maintenance.
            Here are some suggestions:
            • Reload this webpage later.
            HTTP Error 503 (Service Unavailable): The server is currently unable to handle the request. This code indicates this is a temporary condition, and the server will be up again after a delay.

            I am in now, but it required two refreshes of this thread page (1st reload --> blank page) after the "reply" module did not load. Hopefully this post makes it.

            1. re: huiray

              I had been having those same issues. huiray, but I put it down to maintenance of the Chow systems. I even got a cute page that had a picture of dirty pots & pans in a soapy sink and an "oops" comment about cleaning up... everything seems fine now though, knock on wood.

              1. re: Gio

                Unfortunately I did not get that "pots and pans" page this time with any of my tries at getting on. Yes, I've seen that page before on previous occasions when they were doing maintenance - odd then that some people see it and some don't this time?

                1. re: huiray

                  Hey folks. Sorry for the down time last night. Sometimes through last night we we're able to put the "pots and pans" message up, while at other times we needed the servers configured the way they normally are and couldn't provide that message. Huiray, it sounds like you didn't have the same luck Gio did about when you tried to view the site.

                  - Shane

                  1. re: meshane

                    Ah, OK, thanks.

                    I appreciate the continuing efforts of you folks.

                    1. re: meshane

                      Another issue that is cropping up for me is that my profile page shows a new post; such as this one http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/847171 that says "kevin" put a new post up 10 minutes ago (when I first looked at the thread), yet the post doesn't show, sometimes for as much as an hour. In fact it would seem that the thing that would to "force" kevin's post to finally show is when someone adds a reply to the non showing post and then it pops up.

                      1. re: Servorg

                        And here is another thread showing a new post by Mr. Taster 8 minutes ago and when I open it there is no post: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/861241

                        Originally this problem was put down to servers not being "in synch" - is that what is going on now?

                        1. re: Servorg

                          And just now, when this reply popped up to the post I couldn't see, the invisible post then appeared along with the reply at the same time: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8612...

                          1. re: Servorg

                            Just for the record, I'm getting the "now you see it, now you don't" posts too...

                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                It's been going on at least 2 and possibly 3 days for me. I tend to let these kind of things go for a couple of days to see if they clear up based on back room fiddling.

                                1. re: Servorg

                                  This has been popping up for me from time to time too.

                                  I expanded one of those threads (which said it had been updated just xx minutes ago) to show all posts in the full form then searched for "minute" and I did find that new post then. Curious.

                                  1. re: huiray

                                    Curious...yes. Also curious how some folks reporting a problem get a reply from Engineering and some don't...But I probably shouldn't take it personally. ;-D>

                              2. re: Gio

                                I've noticed the "new invisible post" notifications as well for the past few days.

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  We believe we rooted out this problem yesterday evening. Please let us know if you continue to see this problem today.

                                  - Shane

                              3. re: Servorg

                                And the new reply by Dave MP not showing up in this thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/733630

                                1. re: Servorg

                                  We are also aware of this issue, and actively working to resolve it. Sorry for not giving your a reply earlier :) It has been a busy couple of days, but please know that we see and appreciate your feedback, even if we are sometimes a bit too busy to get back to you right away.

                                  CHOW Eng

                                  1. re: Engineering

                                    As a new symptom of the same problem I am seeing a new post with new post flag, but when I open the thread the post isn't showing but rather a message to the effect that there is a new reply. I now refresh the page and all the posts open up, including the new one.

                                    With short threads this isn't an issue. But for long threads I am now having to run a word search looking for the latest post.

                                    Thanks for letting us know you are aware of the issue and working to resolve it. Any feedback is always better than shouting down a well and only hearing an echo...echo...echo ;-D>

                                    1. re: Engineering

                                      Here's another related issue - my profile page says that the "Last Post" for a thread (e.g. http://www.chow.com/topics/861684) was made by me [huiray] at xx minutes (in this case, 20 mins) ago; but in fact the last post (at said 20 min ago) was made by the responder [klyeoh] to my actual post made 26 min ago!!

                                      1. re: huiray

                                        We believe that we have identified and resolved the inconsistency that was causing this behavior. Please let us know if you see any more Shrodinger's Posts or other inconsistent behavior after this.

                                        1. re: Engineering


                                          (p.s. The link I gave above should have been http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/861674 , of course, corresponding to the snapshots I posted)

                                          Of course, the cat escaped from the box by the next day after additional posts were made to the thread. :-)

                  2. I haven't had your issues, but starting Sunday & continuing, I stopped receiving e-mail replies to my posts.

                    Double-checked my settings & the box for receiving e-mails is still checked, but no updates to posts.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Bacardi1

                      Hi Bacardi1,

                      We're aware of the issue with notifications and hope to fix it within a week. Sorry for the inconvenience.

                      - Shane

                      1. re: meshane

                        Oh, no problem. I just miss them. :)

                        Thanks for letting me know that it's not a permanent issue!

                        1. re: meshane

                          Woo hoo! Many thanks for getting the e-mail notifications back on track!!! :)

                      2. I couldn't access any of the chowhound pages ( http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/1 ) for close to the last hour either from laptop (firefox) or iPhone (safari). Server not responding error messages or Chow's problem page. Only chow.com homepage would come up and I was not logged in. When I tried to log in, nothing happened. From the chow homepage, using the pull down menus for any of the boards, nothing would happen. In firefox, usually I see a message that says connecting with xxx or waiting for xx, and there was nothing even after I temporarily allowed all scripts on the page.

                        All other sites were working fine for me. Unlike the last report, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8611... , FB was fine too.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          Yes, we had a server error today at 1:18 PDT today which lasted for 37 minutes. Sorry for the inconvenience.

                          Just to provide a little background, we did a major server upgrade last weekend. The recent problems we've been seeing are related to cleaning problems caused by the server upgrade, and new configuration challenges which we are improving daily. Despite the glitches you've been seeing, we've taken some major steps towards improving the site infrastructure in recent days. Even though it may seem the contrary, the glitches are a sign of good things happening at chow.com.

                          Thanks for keeping an eye out for us Melanie.

                          - Shane

                        2. On the same topic. Pages are not updating as they should. These are the two symptoms:

                          1. When I open Chowhound, the board will display just as it did the last time I opened it. First thing this morning, the "newest" threads were those that I viewed on Friday. Refreshed the page, cleared the cache and so on, and Saturday & Sunday's posts appeared, plus one new update to a thread today. Over time, three threads were updated. When I open Chowhound in a new window, I just see the one new update to a thread -- the display from the last time I cleared the cache.

                          2. The updates to the thread brings the total number of replies to three, as displayed on the board page. When I opened the thread itself, only the reply from last Friday displays.

                          3. As noted in a different thread, there continue to be problems logging in.

                          1. Hello,

                            The CH servers are really slow today. Anything else/yet-more-gremlins going on? I've had several time-outs, pages (including my profile & almost every thread) take more than 30 s and sometimes up to 1 min (before the time out) to load - or not at all.

                            15 Replies
                            1. re: huiray

                              It's "Willy Wonky and the Server Factory" if ever there was one...so many little problems, but mostly the site won't load and most of the time all I'm seeing is a blank page (I feel "lucky" when I actually get an official error message).

                              1. re: Servorg

                                All back to normal at this moment in time. Speed of loading is perfect and all boards are accessing without any difficulty. No weirdness with new flags or any other anomalies.

                                Thanks to Engineering.

                                1. re: Servorg

                                  Perhaps there are no more Olympic events to watch live online tonight, slowing down server traffic everywhere you look?

                              2. re: huiray

                                They weren't just SLOW - they were non-existent for about an hour or so, as I was only getting various error pages (except for my own profile page). And the issue with "new invisible post" started up again.

                                P.S. I tried to post this post about 30 minutes ago, and got the spinning wheel and it wouldn't post. I refreshed the page after copying what I wrote into my clipboard and pasted it and hit Save again. It took this time.

                                1. re: huiray

                                  Hi everyone,

                                  Yes, you're right. We are experiencing periodic outages over here. It's all part of the server work Shane has mentioned that is ongoing. We are working on getting everything up and running as soon as possible!

                                  Thanks, Meredith

                                  1. re: mudaba

                                    Looks like the new ad serving stuff is now working.

                                    1. re: steve h.

                                      Just to be clear, there is no new ad server stuff. We've upgraded the servers for CHOW and Chowhound.

                                      - Shane

                                      1. re: meshane

                                        respectfully disagree. ad serving is much quicker now.

                                        1. re: steve h.

                                          I'm curious, what is "ad serving stuff" and "ad serving"? And what is your point in posting about it so aggressively? Thanks.

                                          1. re: carolinadawg

                                            Look to the top of your basic (entry) chow page, look to the right margin of your basic chow page and you should see ads. Nothing wrong with that. It's how sites pay the bills. Now click on a link to your favorite chow forum and check out the ads on top, to the right and at the bottom. These ads are "served" to you based on your history. Slow response on a site can sometimes be traced to the amount of time it takes for the remote ad server to respond. It's good business to improve the lag between a user's request, serving the information (local) and serving the ads (remote).

                                            Please point out where I was rude or aggressive.

                                            1. re: steve h.

                                              Slow site response can happen for any number of reasons, but in this case, it's definitely server upgrade for the site that has nothing to do with ads.

                                              Meredith of CHOW

                                              1. re: mudaba

                                                I thought "upgrades" were supposed to lead to "faster and better" response and performance... ;-)

                                                1. re: mudaba

                                                  Can't help noticing that every website I use has slowed to a crawl in the mornings and early afternoons for the last week and a half. The server reaction time goes back to normal when the live Olympic events are over for the day..

                                                  1. re: KTFoley

                                                    Good point. Still, CH was the only site (yes, I was on others as well) that timed out several times and/or took >>30 secs, sometimes almost a minute, to load...

                                      2. re: mudaba

                                        Any chance that part of the problem might have something to do with time signatures?

                                        The Minneapolis St Paul board -- when it finally updates past the last time I logged it -- displays a list of threads and notes who last updated them & when, ie. thread ABC was updated 2 hours ago by Chowhound XYZ. That board keeps indicating that I am not logged in.

                                        If I open thread ABC, Chowhound XYZ's last replay was actually posted three hours ago. However, the thread indicates that I am logged in while the board does not.