What happened to the GIA?

   The short version: in the month of August 2001, three of our hard drives, both of our backups, and a network card have failed. Plus, we're completely out of money. Most gaming sites would take this as a sign to throw in the towel, but we at the GIA aren't that smart. Or maybe we're that much smarter! In any case, we're digging in our heels, regrouping, and trying to put the pieces of the site back together for you, the readers. Find out how you can help.

   The long version: In early August, the GIA's root OS hard drive (the one that hosts the operating system and server operation files) began showing physical errors. GIA staffer Andrew Vestal decided to stop by the colocation facility with a new replacement SCSI hard drive. As long as he was going to have the machine offline for maintenance, he decided to install a 20 gig IDE HD for data backup. Upon arrival at the facility, however, the following things occurred:

  • The 20 gig IDE HD Andrew was expecting failed to arrive before he left for the facility, forcing him to purchase a new 20 gig IDE HD from a local electronics store.
  • The new SCSI HD had major surface errors and a new one had to be purchased from a local store.
  • Before the data could be transferred to the new drive, the root OS hard drive failed completely and would no longer boot.
  • The root OS hard drive backup was incomplete and several weeks out of date.
  • The GIA floppy boot disk was corrupted and failed to boot.

   At this point, the GIA staff thought seriously about just throwing in the towel. Still, eight hours of labor, a few hundred personal dollars, and a few minor miracles later, things were fine.

   For three weeks.

   Saturday morning, the server began to fluctuate on and offline. By Saturday afternoon, it was completely down and refused to come back up. Some tweaking got the server back up, but it refused to respond to outside Internet connections. We replaced the Ethernet card, and all seemed well.

   BUT! Since nobody on the GIA staff had actually seen the physical box that housed the GIA server, we could not know then that our auxillary fan was no longer functioning. It was overheating that had killed the first network card; back online, it was overheating that would kill the next two hard drives.

   Somewhere around Sunday morning, the hard drive that housed the GIA page itself locked up completely and refused to respond to SCSI commands. Additionally, the IDE backup drive began exhibiting surface errors. Both drives are now fused hunks of metal--good for doorstops, bad for webpage serving.

   We're already spent hundreds of dollars trying to repair the server, and it'll probably be a few hundred more before we can get the page back online. The GIA hasn't turned a profit since early 2000, and these unimaginably difficult server woes have eaten into our already dwindling reserves like a ravenous swarm of locusts. As it stands now, the site is completely broke. We have enough money to last through September; after that, it's lights out.

   Nevertheless, we're incrementally restoring the site from an older backup, pages found in Google.com's cache, and locally stored content. We expect to have most of the site back up within 1-2 weeks. We hope to be able to start posting breaking news sooner than that; given the circumstances, however, we're not going to rewrite stories that can already be found at other news sites, and we hope that you'll give them your patronage.

   So ... what happened to the GIA? We lost our site, our backup, and we have no money. The GIA is hurting. In fact, it's dead. But Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man, was also dead. And like the Bionic Man, we can rebuild the GIA, better than it was before! Smarter ... faster ... sarcasticer. And for a lot less than $6 million, to boot! But we need your help--so please, donate to the GIA. Thanks for your patience and understanding during this time of difficulty.

The GIA Staff.

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