Finestories Storiesonline

Recent move followup

A follow up to our move post.

As you all know, the sites moved to a new location and even onto a new platform. During the move the platform changed and that led to some unexpected issues.

  1. Temporary SSL Certificate issue: Some people, namely those on IE7 and IE8 and a few on Android phones were getting an error about untrusted security certificate when they try to log into the site or use any secure pages. It turned out to be a configuration problem and it’s fixed (needed to configure and specify unique IP addresses for each secure domain).
  2. Kindle eBooks didn’t work: Due to the platform change new updated binaries for the kindlegen software from amazon were needed.
  3. Zip files issue: Some members reported inability to expand zipped archives generated on the new servers. I couldn’t duplicate the issue, but nonetheless, changed the zip archive generation algorithm to use my own hand-rolled zipping solution. Hopefully that solves it. I haven’t heard any complaints since the change.
  4. Slow site during peak time: The new set up doesn’t handle text search well. I’m not sure if it’s a hardware problem (not enough processor bandwidth) or a software configuration problem. Whatever it is, I couldn’t find a solution quickly. I’ve moved text search to a small server that I had lying around. It’s slow but for now it does the job and now text search works without affecting the main database server.
    I’m still working on this one. I will be installing a different indexing software (something more efficient than MySQL’s own built in full text index) and rewriting the text search scripts to use the new software. Hopefully that would solve it.

If there are any outstanding issues that you’ve encountered, let me know. You can leave a comment here or send me a message directly through one of the sites’ webmaster forms.

32 replies on “Recent move followup”

I am not a premium user but as a retired IT professional, I wanted to let you know how much I have appreciated the professionalism and consistency of the SOL website. Thank you.

I guess I wasn’t using a wide enough variety of expansion tools. All the tools that I used (two on my mac) created a folder for the multi-chapter stories and expanded the files into it.

I modified the script to zip the files into a folder inside the archive. From now on it will be like before, you can expand and you’ll get a folder properly named.

So far, so good. Zips right along on FF @ 10pm EDST. Thank you for going to the wall, for all the hard work by everyone involved and for keeping us informed. 🙂

One bug to report: “another random story” not working on iOS 6 Safari. Other than that, thanks for getting the site back up so quickly. 😀

Odd! it works on my system with Safari 6.0.1 on Mountain Lion 10.8.2 …

So it’s not a site problem. Could be a stuck javascript file. While viewing the home page, hold down the shift key on your keyboard and click the ‘reload’ icon in safari’s address bar for a couple of times, and then try the ‘another story’ link.

Thanks so much for your hard work! Unfortunately I haven’t been able to access the site on my Kindle Keyboard since the move. All I get is a maintenance message.

You need to reset your kindle for it to pick up the new IP address. Hold down the power button for 25 seconds and when it starts again it will find the new location.

Ah-HA! That fixed it! It’s been bugging me so much that I couldn’t access the site on my Kindle. Thanks so much for the help!

Just a quick thank you Sol is an easy to navigate seamless sight from my viewpoint. I have no inkling of the work involved but can guess that it’s plenty.

I’m unable to extract any content from ZIP files. I’ve tried on three different systems (XP and Win7) all with the same results.

I had the same problem and after some investigationed discovered that, assuming you have the same problem I did, of a single unknown file being extracted, you should simply rename that file with a .zip extension. Then extract the new zip as normal. Hope this helps.

I tried to view the new video, it would not play, so I tried to d/l it with the link supplied, got an almost blank screen with an icon that looked like a capital ” Q ” and with a ” ? ” in the middle of it!! So what do I do to either play the video or D/L it??

Which browser/system were you using? The downloaded file is an MPG4 video file. You need a program that can play it. VLC is available for Windows and Linux and should play it well.

I am still having problems with zip files. I normally use Win-zip to unzip, and I had receantly updated it I tried using PK-Zip. When that did not work, I went to Beyond The Far Horizon and downloaded a zip file from there. Both Win-zip & PK-zip unziped it normally.
No file that I had downloaded from SOL since the 22nd will un-zip. Last night I re-downloaded a zip file but it still did not work. I can’t believe I am the only one still experiancing problems, but I don’t see any other comments here. I am willing to work with you on this, and can upload an example file if that would help. In the meanlime, .TXT files are ok, so I will still get my fill of good stories.
Regards, Bill R.

The zip files are still not working for me. I found an old zip file (from 2009) and compared the first line (as a TXT file) with the same file that I downloaded today. I would assume that the file headers should be the same in both files, and these DO NOT match.
The only other thing I can think of that might be a problem is that I am still using IE8, not IE9 to access the internet.
Regards, Bill Roberts


The file I downloaded was Timeslip by Anthony Concept. What showed up in the old file was : “PK” then about 25 characters, then
“Anthony_Concept@Timeslip/UT”, then 7 characters, the “PK” again, then 36 characters, then “Anthony_Concept@Timeslip/57484_Chapter_32.htmlUT”.
The “PK” and the file name parts are consistent in other old ZIP files, and absent in the files I have been downloading today.
Hope this helps identify the problem.
Regards, Bill Roberts

Has the move affected author requests to remove stories from their accounts? I’ve sent two requests to have the story, Bewitching Hour, removed from my account and a full week later, it is still there and I have not yet heard back from you. Can you look into that, Lazeez?

Oh my god. There was a huge bug in the webmaster contact system that I’m sure lost hundreds of messages since the move.

I didn’t receive your requests at all.

I’ve fixed the bug now and it is working.

Story removed.

Another minor annoyance, on the home page below the “Suggested Reading” line there used to be the line “(another story)(back)”. Now they don’t appear when you first open the site, and sometimes, like tonight, don’t appear at all. I used them all the time. Can they be restored? Thanks

It’s supposed to be there. It’s there for me on all browsers.

When viewing the home page, if the link doesn’t appear, hold down the shift key on your keyboard and click the ‘Reload’ button on your browser’s window a couple of times, that should force it to load and work.

Follow-up to this issue … when I first access the SOL homepage, it looks as if the stylesheet or something is missing – different font type and size, as well as the “another story” tag. When I switch to another SOL page, such as “My Library”, everything goes back to normal, and re-accessing the homepage gives me my usual sized display. This only happens the first time I access the homepage for every browser session – any subsequent visits to the homepage during the same browser session work fine. Win 7 x64, Firefox 15/16

Having problems logging in with my iPhone keep getting this message. My other devices log on ok.

Not Found

The requested URL /subscribe.php was not found on this server.

Apache/2.2.22 (Unix) DAV/2 PHP/5.3.13 with Suhosin-Patch mod_ssl/2.2.22 OpenSSL/0.9.8r Server at Port 80

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