Backup restoration success! The Drake Network is online

The backup restoration has succeeded and once again, The Drake Network is online! We do apologize for the outage but out of this, we have been able to contribute to the greater Mastodon community by reporting a critical bug that occurs in the very latest versions. You may view our issue reports here and here.

Once this bug has been resolved by the Mastodon programming community, we will proceed with upgrading our own instance as originally planned to the latest version of the code-base.

If at all possible in the meantime, we will try to move over the database to a closer, nearby server. This is the reason why our instance is lagging so slowly at the moment, plus there is no nearby Redis nor ElasticSearch providers either. We are currently working towards resolving this.

We did manage to move over the multimedia storage to our own, in-house solution though, which is provided by a Ceph S3 object-storage gateway across a thrice-redundant highly available cluster.

This provides many terabytes of accessible storage to us here at GekkoFyre Networks while being more immediately available and cheaper than the likes of Amazon AWS S3 or Wasabi S3. The latter of which we used extensively until now, despite it not being known for its stellar ‘reliability’.

Please note that there might be some temporary difficulties with regard to The Drake Network from our move over to Ceph S3 object-based storage, so allow for some patience as everything synchronizes over time (hopefully). We also ask for you to kindly report any major errors that you may see and/or experience to the technical support team, thank you.

But that should be all for now! We hope you enjoy the use of The Drake Network once more ^,==,^

Backup restoration of The Drake Network

I apologize, for I attempted to update the code that The Drake Network runs on but we encountered a critical bug that is known throughout the wider development community. I had only found out about this during the process, after attempting a compilation mid-stage via Ruby.

There is no known fix for our case right at this moment so I’m going to have to restore the entire VPS that The Drake Network runs on and continue from there.

The database and multimedia servers are separate, so there’ll be no data loss as a result of this, thank goodness. We just need to restore the code to its orginal working order.

Thank you to everyone for your understanding.

I’ve been spending the day out with my biological family at the cinemas so the earliest I can do the aforementioned measures is sometime tonight, Australian EST.

I’ve been desperately needing a rest these holidays after working several months straight on GekkoFyre Networks, with not even a break on the weekends. So yeah :(

Patreon Rumours & Termination of Twitter Account

It is true, yes, that we terminated our organization’s Twitter account for GekkoFyre Networks, due to a number of reasons. The primary reason among these is that Twitter is quite careless with how it treats an account holders data and the privacy thereof. It turned out that we were being shown to be ‘associated’ with individuals and organizations that we did not wish to have any sort of association with, whether they were NSFW in nature or even perhaps rather extreme in their political views, for example. Basically, other accounts that did not shed a favorable light on us for most observers.

For this reason, we are making use of our organization’s outreach account on The Drake Network instead, which is part of the greater Mastodon social network. If you are unsure of what Mastodon is then you can read all about it by clicking here but otherwise, we highly recommend it if you are sick and tired of how Twitter treats you and your privacy.

We will also be launching our Patreon page within the next few days, once it becomes the 1st of November, 2019, within the United States. As gut-wrenching as it is for me (Phobos D’thorga) to admit this, we cannot sustain the current costs of doing business without asking the community at large to donate a few dollars of their own monies here and there. Even if you can’t support us monetarily, we kindly ask that you spread the word instead about our Patreon which will still immeasurably support us a very great deal.

But otherwise, we thank everyone for the success we’ve achieved so far because without you, we would’ve never made it this far at least. We owe it to every one of you :)

Extended Maintenance Apologies for The Drake Network

Hello again all furries and Humans! In our efforts to update our Mastodon instance, The Drake Network, to the next major release (i.e. v3.0.0), so that we may continue offering the best services possible here at GekkoFyre Networks, some extended downtime was encountered. We offer our sincere apologies for this and although despite the fact that there are minor bugs here and there, we’d like the instance to be online for a day or three firstly before we update towards the latest minor release (which is v3.0.2 if memory serves correctly).

There should be very little disruption with the next update (just an hour or two at the very most) so please do not panic at hearing this. It will be happening over the next few days in order to squash those few bugs that the current major version update has brought around and we ask that all users of our instance, to please report anything unsual towards the primary administrator, @phobos_dthorga, thank you.

Here at GekkoFyre, we use a heavily customized version of Mastodon called glitch-soc that offers many improvements and features that are not found in the original, baseline version. Some of these improvements have discovered their way into the base version of Mastodon also, we should add, since they are highly desirable by the majority of the users. But because we use such a heavily customized version, it can make the upgrade process a little more difficult sometimes, especially when making the jump towards a newer major release.

Other than that, we also welcome your presence within the GekkoFyre Networks’ Official Discord server, amongst the other 30-odd users. Activity is light so we promise that you won’t be overwhelmed!

Once again, we thank the users and clients of GekkoFyre Networks for making this organization possible.

The Drake Network Announcement; Oddities around GekkoFyre are now Fixed; Clear caches

GekkoFyre is happy to announce the launch of its own Mastodon instance called The Drake Network! Its demographic is aimed at the anthropomorphic (i.e. ‘furries‘), the LGBTQI, and the otherkin/therian communities but everyone is, of course, free to create an account on it. You may read over the mission objective, additional features over other Mastodon instances, and the rules by visiting the About page. We wish for everyone to have a fantastic experience and to be excellent to each other, no more.

But this comes with a new domain registration for us, specifically and, with the latter being an alias for our Mastodon instance and anyone who signs-up.

So what is Mastodon? Mastodon can be explained as being basically like a mix of Google+ and Twitter only with less bullies, trolls, and neo-Nazis. It’s also a social network but without all the venture capitalism and big corporatism that you tend to find within others, so don’t expect us to tolerate big business or data-mining of any kind here.

The biggest difference between Mastodon and the likes of Twitter, the now defunct Google+, Facebook, and other ‘commercial’ social networks is that instead of running on servers owned wholly by a corporate entity, Mastodon runs on computers owned by whoever feels like starting their own “instance”. Therefore each instance can set their own policies, code-of-conduct, who else they federate with, which servers they block and do communicate with, and so much more.

If you are the administrator of a Mastodon instance yourself and wish to create a federation relay with The Drake Network, then you only need to fill out this form and submit it to us. We should reply within the next 24-48 working hours. That said, we are already working with a few other furry-oriented instances within the community to create relays independently.

In other news, it also seems we had some oddities around GekkoFyre Networks with regard to how the web-pages were rendered. This was due to the use of Minification which compresses Javascript, CSS, and sometimes HTML even, but it can introduce bugs every now and then into the website that is employing said process. This is especially the case if there is a lot of code in use and it is of a complex nature. So for now, we have disabled Minification and do not plan to re-enable it within the near future. The ‘site theme’ that we employ doesn’t seem happy with the use of it.

If you continue to see oddities around GekkoFyre Networks then we would sincerely appreciate if you could clear your file cache within your browser, please. That should fix any remaining problems.

Lastly, one of our most valued staff members, Arctic Edward, has been promoted to the role of Social Media Manager! His new tasks will specifically involve managing and moderating The Drake Network in my blind-spots (speaking as Christopher McGill a.k.a. Phobos D’thorga here) now that my workload is starting to increase quite considerably as GekkoFyre Networks slowly becomes more popular over time.

Social media; Mastodon and Twitter

With the rapid growth of the Mastodon social network in recent weeks and months, we have decided to create an official GekkoFyre Networks account with them! If you wish to support us especially while we are in our infancy at the moment, then you should start following us over there along with your buddies. That said, while most people referred to these blog posts come from our Twitter account, not everyone does know that we have a presence over there too. All important updates are sent to Twitter and therefore that’s an excellent choice also if you wish to be kept up-to-date on the latest with us. So, it’s time to start spreading the word!