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The web site is down because of a hard drive failure? Good grief. You've GOT to be kidding me! No backup? No mirrored hosting on another server?

This forum site, along with our main web site at ogaugerr.com, is backed up twice per day to off-site backup locations. The building where our servers are located could burn to the ground and we would be down for 30 minutes at best.

They need a new hosting provider. In this day and age that's completely unacceptable.

What I gather from the person I talk to it was not backed up Olsentoy.com and sounded very upset over it...... ADCXRob thanks for the Link but the PDF files are not coming up Dose anyone have a better link or something that works...I want to thank everyone for responding anything is helpful for us all.. Needs of meany out ways the needs of the few or the one. Spock wrath of Khan.

@Rich Melvin posted:

The web site is down because of a hard drive failure? Good grief. You've GOT to be kidding me! No backup? No mirrored hosting on another server?

This forum site, along with our main web site at ogaugerr.com, is backed up twice per day to off-site backup locations. The building where our servers are located could burn to the ground and we would be down for 30 minutes at best.

They need a new hosting provider. In this day and age that's completely unacceptable.

Completely agree.

It ain't 1995 anymore. 

George

@Rich Melvin posted:

The web site is down because of a hard drive failure? Good grief. You've GOT to be kidding me! No backup? No mirrored hosting on another server?

This forum site, along with our main web site at ogaugerr.com, is backed up twice per day to off-site backup locations. The building where our servers are located could burn to the ground and we would be down for 30 minutes at best.

They need a new hosting provider. In this day and age that's completely unacceptable.

Rich, from previous comments from Olson's, I'm pretty sure they host the site on-site on a computer in the corner somewhere.  That's stated as the reason for years they'd go off-line and need to "reboot" the server when they get back after the weekend.

The total lack of backup does mystify me!

Gunrunner, that's even worse! The days of running your own server from a corner desk in the office are long gone. Unless you are a complete and total IT expert, there is no way you can stay current with the software updates, patches and security issues that have to be kept up to date to keep the hackers at bay. It is a false economy to think you can host your own site and not have to pay someone to host it for you. Especially now that there are hosting providers that will host a web site with SSL, credit card processing, and email for less than $10 a month.

I know...I tried to run my own server back in the 90s and failed miserably. In fact, this very forum got started on that little Cobalt RAQ server. It didn't last long. The sites all got hacked because I couldn't keep the server properly updated. Credit card numbers were stolen, the web stores got hacked, the home pages on all the sites were changed to some porno site and I almost got sued by several clients. This actually happened when I was at York! I had to leave the show on Friday and make a fast trip home to fix this.

Ever since then I have given the site hosting duties to the pros who are in that business. I've had no problems with any of my sites since.

This is a real shame. With no backup and a twenty-year old hard drive, the likelihood that the data can be recovered is pretty slim. I wish them well.

Last edited by Rich Melvin

Prior to retirement, I did finite element modeling of numerous structures and subassemblies for engineering structural analysis. We always backed up these project models on a daily basis to a remote drive or storage device in a separate building if possible. I would not want to recreate a month's work in a model development if the hard drive crashed. I did modeling of stud sill tank cars for train line coupler loads, truck induced car body bolster loads and  positive and negative (Vacuum) pressures of the tank car shells as an example. Needless to say I back up my personal computer to an external hard drive at least once  a week as a mininum.     

Hi Everyone,

I would like to point out again that there is a very comparable, completely reliable on-line alternative for the Lionel Postwar Service Manual.  Over a year ago, the Lionel Collectors Club of America (LCCA) purchased the entire suite of HSL Lionel Digital Archive products.  One of the offerings is the HSL Lionel Postwar Service Manual.  These offerings are one small piece of the many benefits of being an LCCA member.  You can join today and begin using this online reference within the next few minutes.  The electronic membership is only $25/year.  I have not known the LCCA web-site to be down at all over the last several years (perhaps it has been a time or two for maintenance) and it is also continually backed up and hosted by a professional service.  

It is true that Olsen’s also had some proprietary supplemental and prewar information on their site.  It seems the main focus of the site was to help sell parts.  Nevertheless, the LCCA offering will cover 99% of your Lionel postwar service manual needs.  Whatever additional information that may not be included or different (i.e. unique to Olsen’s) will more than likely be provided by many of the expert repair folks who visit this forum.  They are usually more than happy to provide information that may not be fully documented elsewhere.

If you are not already a member, I encourage you to join the LCCA (https://www.lionelcollectors.org/) today and take advantage of having access to the HSL Lionel Postwar Service Manual along with many other great benefits.

John Holtmann

OGR Digital Archive Product Author

Last edited by John Holtmann
@Rich Melvin posted:

Gunrunner, that's even worse! The days of running your own server from a corner desk in the office are long gone. Unless you are a complete and total IT expert, there is no way you can stay current with the software updates, patches and security issues that have to be kept up to date to keep the hackers at bay. It is a false economy to think you can host your own site and not have to pay someone to host it for you. Especially now that there are hosting providers that will host a web site with SSL, credit card processing, and email for less than $10 a month.

I know...I tried to run my own server back in the 90s and failed miserably. In fact, this very forum got started on that little Cobalt RAQ server. It didn't last long. The sites all got hacked because I couldn't keep the server properly updated. Credit card numbers were stolen, the web stores got hacked, the home pages on all the sites were changed to some porno site and I almost got sued by several clients. This actually happened when I was at York! I had to leave the show on Friday and make a fast trip home to fix this.

Ever since then I have given the site hosting duties to the pros who are in that business. I've had no problems with any of my sites since.

This is a real shame. With no backup and a twenty-year old hard drive, the likelihood that the data can be recovered is pretty slim. I wish them well.

This is why I am so hesitant to buy items from certain websites. If they have the look and/or feel of old school design I don’t make purchases.  Like you said Rich, that’s what you pay the pros for.
Steve

I have a multi-layer backup scheme for the home machines using a large NAS, and several USB drives.  The NAS backups happen automatically, and the USB backups are manual.  I get a prompt every week to do an off-line backup.  I turn the drives on, run the backup procedures from a batch file, and turn the drives off.  If disaster befalls me, or heaven forbid, I get some sort of computer virus, I have the off-line backups that are at the most a week old.

John I did not interpret that as a statement of an offer to send a backup.  More like-- I bet they would like a backup.

I back up everything and have backups of backups. Better safe than sorry.

I found the site a handy reference to Prewar trains as there is not much out there on that subject. I bought a of copy of the Olsens CD but it does not open on my current MacOS. Lucky I also have one of their books but not all of them as I thought the CD would suffice.

Their business profile states 23 employees and revenue of $4 million. That's the kind of company that ought to have the resources to hire an IT guy for a week or two to rebuild the data base. There's gotta be a big old book somewhere in the file cabinet that mirrors the hard drive info.  What about (we assume a bunch of) on-hand inventory?  Do they take inventory every year as old Uncle Sam requires for tax reasons? Isn't there a separate data base that they use for that task?  And what happens to the 23 employees? Unemployment?  Put them to work, walking down the aisles and writing down the part numbers and nomenclature of everything that's on the shelves.

Throw away $4 M because of a reparable part of the infrastructure?  It's sad and unfortunate that it happened, but they could surely bounce back. Other businesses have suffered a lot worse events, like a warehouse burning down.

Sorry to sound so optimistic, but my career has been based on trouble-shooting and recovery. I'm sure there are people out there who can help get it going again.

Last edited by Arthur P. Bloom

From their profile:

Headquarters:

1281 Granger Ave, Lakewood, Ohio, 44107, United States

Phone:

(216) 317-5115

Great, I'm in Southern Ohio so not too far away. I will give them a ring! Even if all the data is gone, I can re-set them up a web site very quickly and host them in my data center for nothing. That is a lot of people impacted. We all need to pull together!

Thanks, TrainFinder Craig

Last edited by TrainFinder Craig

Hi Everyone, I talked to Sal at olsenstoy.com about the situation. Yes in fact they had a hard drive crash and when they replaced it they had even more issues with the drive they replaced. That computer was serving up the internet site so that's why the web site is down. I gave him a few ideas of what I could do to help (either looking at the drive, or help stand up a new web site not on that computer). He said he would need to think about it and call me back if he wants some help (I don't blame him it was kind of a call out of the blue). I gave him my info so we will see. BTW, he does still sell stuff on eBay.

Thanks, TrainFinder Craig

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