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Geocaching Australia

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Given there's an anniversary of Geocaching it behoves us to post the obligatory history of geocaching links.

This link is interesting as it has some of the original usenet posts:
http://www.guysnamedkim.com/geocache/geocache_history.html

And of course the Buxley's history (slightly more opinionated, but accurate non the less, we consider this to be accurate):
http://geocaching.gpsgames.org/history/

Always remember: The name and the game were not created by the biggest player on the block, regardless of whatever trademarks they hold, and it should remain free for all, as always intended.
May 1, 2000. President Clinton announces that Selective Availability (SA) will be turned off. May 2, 2000 @ 12:00 AM Selective Availability is turned off. The Great Stash Game!! Dave Ulmer makes the first Usenet post about what will become Geocaching. May 3, 2000 ...
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Linda Rendell (NoTomorrow)'s profile photo
 
...and that's why I love Geocaching Australia. I found this info page with grid displaying plainly how "the big kid" can convince people to hand over their lunch money: https://sites.google.com/site/theateamcaching/searching
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Geocaching Australia

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Doing some database backups right now, site may be running a bit slow for a bit. (CR)
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First Performance Benchmark Test

Ok, so we've got the current database in and run a query that will bring a server on to its knees.
Basically it calculates how long every person who has ever logged a cache in Australia has been caching for, scanning and sorting over 10 Million Logs and 300000 geocaches.

The results are.... pleasing isn't the right word.... fan-freaking-tastic probably is better.

New server took 2 minutes and a bit to run .... Current server took 49 Minutes!

This bodes well!

More geekery as things get built and tested.
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Some unboxing goodness for you! 
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Paul Wilson (mtrax)'s profile photoGeocaching Australia's profile photo
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I'm getting 600MB/s write speeds on the SSDs we will be using for the Database.... will improve query times by a factor of hundreds. Currently we spend nearly all our time waiting for the I/O to read/write temporary tables to disk, which is why the current server runs like it does. I'll be running a few query benchmarks later today to see what the improvement is :-)
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Just a little (and exciting update)

A NEW new server has been procured (not secondhand new like the current box) and will arrive to me in the next few weeks.

Some specs for those who like them:

Dell R430 1U server
With:
2 x Xeon E5-2630 CPUs (8 Cores each, total of 16, current system has 2 dual core CPUs)
128 GB RAM (Current box has 4GB... count it 4GB...)
2 x 300Gb 15k SAS drives
2 x 600Gb 15k SAS Drives
2 x 200GB SSD drive (for Database) 
PERC H730P RAID adapter
2 x Redundant power supplies
And even comes with a power cord (actually 2) \:D/ 

This should remove a lot of the bottlenecks we are currently experiencing, and should see an expansion and improvement in the delivery of what we can offer.

The transition period will be in a few months, basically I need to come up with a foolproof plan and test the living daylights out of it.
One change will be a shift to using CentOS rather than the current Ubuntu setup (no real reason, just DELL supports Centos and it's a little more enterprise grade)
Depending on how we go we may upgrade the forum software, but probably at a later date.

Once again, thanks to +Andrew Mather for hooking us up.
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Paul Wilson (mtrax)'s profile photobronwyn lovejoy's profile photo
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Flash Gordon!
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The 6th of January 2015 makes 10 years since the first Geocaching Australia geocache went live. 

Amongst a fair bit of controversy, GA0001 - Asia Quake and Tsunamis Appeal (Australia) by Team Piggy, was listed and kicked off what would become the second phase of life for GCA.

We would like to take some time to thank all people who have made Geocaching Australia what it is today.
Thanks to all the Developers, Administrators, Moderators, Senators, Hiders, Finders and Forum contributors, in fact: thanks to EVERYONE!

Without the whole communities input and assistance the wonderful game/sport/hobby/obsession of our we would not have got to the point we are at today.

2015 and onwards offer us some unique challenges, no one can deny the game has evolved significantly over the last decade.
We are currently in the active planning stage of upgrading our server to a new hardware platform that will allow us to improve our services to the Geocaching Community, all the while of course remaining Free and Open.

Here's to another decade of geocaching, Oz style!
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James “Zalgariath” Finger's profile photoCraig Rathbone's profile photo
 
Congrats guys. I found a little link called "Team" the other day and it was interesting to see the names of those who began it all, and that a number are still kicking around! Here's to the next decade. 
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Geocaching Australia

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Database backup and sync about to occur.
Site will be a little slow or offline over the next hour.
Go outside and do some caching or something! (CR)
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New Server Update: Most issues sorted, just a few more things to add.

Stress testing the unit right now, and it's holding up VERY well.
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Server Outages

Over the next week or so I'll be turning stuff off on the old server to perform backups and dump configurations etc preparing the new server.

Due to no longer being able to stay up till the small hours to wait until things are quiet ts may now occur anytime without notice.

If you connect and find the website is not responding, or is timing out then that is probably why. 

At most it should be less than 10 minute intervals of outage.
Thanks for your patience.

CraigRat
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bronwyn lovejoy's profile photoGeocaching Australia's profile photo
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😁😂
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Oooh, what do we have here? 
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Dave DeBaeremaeker's profile photoGeocaching Australia's profile photoGavin Treadgold (rediguana)'s profile photoPaul Wilson (mtrax)'s profile photo
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in another post there are some more photos
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Not your usual post from us, but we'd like you to spare a thought and perhaps a little money to help Darren (Spindoc Bob)'s nephew raise money for the Cure for Brain Cancer Foundation. http://www.curebraincancer.org.au/my-fundraising/8363/clipping-for-a-cure 

Our thoughts are with Darren and family at this time.
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Angela Skellams (Dvixen)'s profile photo
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Hello valued users,

As you may be aware, the current server has pretty well reached it's end-of-life and is having some trouble keeping up with the size of the database (our logs database is about to tick over 10 million logs!!)

We are slowly working towards a plan to replace the current box and are looking towards members of the community to help us procure a NEW server through any contacts they might have with hardware vendors.

We would be looking at:
******************
1RU rack-mount server (this is non-negotiable due to the rack space we are renting)

Quad CPU- More Cores/CPUs the better. (64bit obviously)

As many HDD bays as possible - HDD size isn't a big problem 4 to 6 SAS drives (15k) would suffice. We use about 300gb currently across the system, so 4x500gb 15k SAS would easily do us. (2x300 and 2x500 suffice too). Also would like to look at an SSD somewhere in the mix if there's available slots and money.

RAID Adapter to do at least RAID 1-5 in Hardware

Dual redundant PSUs

RAM - Lots and lots of RAM (32gb ++) RAM RAM RAM RAM RAM

No OS required - We'll take care of that end.

We are not fixated on one brand or another

Our biggest issue at the moment is IO latency due do only being on a 32bit platform (4gb RAM maximum) and the writing of the SQL tables to HDD is now becoming a HUGE drain on resources.

We have a hardware budget of approx $10K
*******************.

We are not really that keen to use second hand servers, as we will always be behind the 8 ball running on older hardware, this will give us a chance to step up. That said, if we can get a newish last gen system with a bucketload of RAM and a pretty good CPU setup we may be able to talk!

A new server will give us a chance to get back in to the game, and for you the user it will mean less time twiddling your thumbs waiting for those graphs to generate!

So, if you work in IT or have some good, reliable contacts who can help us procure the above, please let us know!

Drop us a line at support@geocaching.com.au if you can help.
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Gerard Hodshon (ZZ7)'s profile photoAngela Skellams (Dvixen)'s profile photoGeocaching NSW's profile photoJames Clark's profile photo
 
Update: Things are progressing well on the server front. We've been put in contact with a vendor who has given us a very good price on some awesome hardware.

More news as we advance thru the process.
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Ian Sinclair's profile photo
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nightcaching's profile photo
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