Model Mayhem is down again

Well it’s becoming routine. www.ModelMayhem.com is down again for unknown reasons. The last time they went down for four days due to a bad code roll out. The purchase of the site by Internet Brands was suppose to improve things but I can’t recall the site going down as often or for as long a duration when it was owned by Tyler. Granted Internet Brands is new to the nuances of the site and probably don’t know about all the traps and pitfalls Tyler set in place when he threw the site together with shoestrings, smoke, and mirrors. But a huge Web site holding company with so many sites under their umbrella should have some kind of redundancy built in to reduce or minimize such catastrophic failures.

Update Feb 2011: Model Mayhem’s conversion from MySQL to Postgres has taken much longer than they planned. If you are a member of Facebook, join us here at Beyond The Mayhem group.

This post does not pertain to the outage that occurred beginning November 12, 2009. For that outage, refer to this post. Yes, it’s kind of sad that there are multiple posts discussing Model Mayhem’s outages. Even more sad that this blog is the “go to” place to get information regarding these outages.

Update: February 9, 2009 4:00 p.m. Yep. It’s down again. It started with a db error and then just poof, it’s gone.

Well it’s becoming routine. ModelMayhem is down again for unknown reasons. The last time they went down for four days due to a bad code roll out. The purchase of the site by Internet Brands was suppose to improve things but I can’t recall the site going down as often or for as long a duration when it was owned by Tyler. Granted Internet Brands is new to the nuances of the site and probably don’t know about all the traps and pitfalls Tyler set in place when he threw the site together with shoestrings, smoke, and mirrors. But a huge Web site holding company with so many sites under their umbrella should have some kind of redundancy built in to reduce or minimize such catastrophic failures.

There are some rumors of a massive internet wide denial of service attack but the symptoms on Model Mayhem just before the outage does not support this. Prior to the failure, the typical database and cache error message were appearing which does not support a D.O.S. attack which would typically return a server not found or server busy error. At quick check of the US-CERT Web site does not include any information on current massive D.O.S. attacks.

Well this is a good time for me to tell you about a Firefox add on called Check4Change. This handy add on will monitor a web page at user selectable intervals and alert you by sound if the site has changed. So instead of constantly hitting refresh on Model Mayhem to see if it is back up, you can install this plugin and go about your lives surfing the web, cleaning your camera sensor, watching T.V., or waxing your cat.

Here are the simple steps to get this running.

  1. Download the plug in here. Of course being a Firefox add on, you have to have FF installed.
  2. Under Options, check the kind of alerts you want to get.
  3. Now go to www.ModelMayhem.com and you will see the text phrase “ModelMayhem.com will be back soooon” if it is down. Highlight this and right click, choose a custom duration. I used 15 minutes because I have a feeling the downtime will be measured in hours, not minutes. There’s no need to waste bandwidth or your computer resources on hitting the same page over and over again.
  4. It’s important that you leave this tab open. Closing it will stop the monitoring process. It’s ok to have it in the background.

Now just go about your business.