That DNS Thingy Yesterday

Yesterday there was a connectivity outage around one of our DNS name servers at This wouldn’t have been noticeable to the general public, except unbeknownst to us, the hosting provider for the backup name servers had been blocking DNS traffic “for security purposes.”

The result? Lots of people couldn’t find

Sandra’s out of town, and this is something she usually handles. In her absence I panicked and decided to make matters inestimably worse by using her Dotster login (Dotster is where the domain is registered) to point to different name servers.

This is something with which I had zero experience. Contrary to our wildest hopes, but to nobody’s actual surprise, I made an amazing mess of things, and motivated millions¹ of panicked readers to tweet at me, email me, or otherwise attempt a back-channel ping. The DNS servers I pointed at weren’t configured correctly, and simply pointed the domain at the parking page.

As of this morning I am an expert². Also, I did not get much sleep, and the work day I wanted to have yesterday was spent on urgency rather than importance.

The excitement accelerated a “skunkworks” project I’ve had Gary Henson of Plus 14 Ltd working on:, a new engine upon which to build Schlock Mercenary on the web. He threw bandaids at things, nailed two windows shut, and then we pointed people at the under-construction site so they could get their Schlock fix independently of me getting DNS fixed. This means that site is no longer “skunkworks.” It’s out in the open, and it’s not really good for much besides delivering the comic³.

The salient point: DNS is working now. If you can’t find comics at, caches need to be refreshed (some of which may be on your ISP.)


¹ dozens
² on the Dunning-Krueger scale
³ it is, however, an amazing piece of work, destined to be the greatest thing since ALT-code superscripts.