Issues with Updates

Some of you have commented that the strip appears to have been late for the last couple of days. You are spoiled. It hasn't been late. It's been a mere 30 minutes early, instead of a whole HOUR early. Update time is, and always has been, midnight Eastern. In order to ensure that we rarely update late, the script triggers at 11pm Eastern, and for years now you've been getting your Schlock fix early. Some consolation, I know. The story -- for years now the updater has been a three-box affair: one server hosts the queued files, builds the updated pages in advance, and queues those pages up for delivery at update time. Another server, the one you know and love, serves up web-pages. A third box (actually, a TEAM of third boxes) serve as update backups. They grab stuff from the queue server, build their OWN updates, and then wait to see whether their backup service is needed. You can keep your comments about the inelegance or unwieldiness of this arrangement to yourself. Updates have been firing off like clockwork for years. Lately we've decided on a new architecture, and in the process of streamlining things we've left out some key bits. So, for the last two nights the update has been powered with generous amounts of handwavium. (I use the pronoun "we" here rather glibly. I haven't the faintest idea what happened this evening because I was Doing Something Else while Chalain and Bookworm worked their panicked magic.) So... growing pains at age seven. In a few short years the comic's voice will be changing, and it'll get very interested in junior-high girls.
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