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October 9th, 2013

‘Alien Pastures’ Slackware Blog Down 5 Days, Returns

Alien Pastures, the blog of Eric Hameleers, otherwise known as AlienBOB, returned to functioning status yesterday after being unavailable for about five days. The blog, popular among users of Slackware, was the winner of our Best FOSS or Linux Blog competition which took place in August. Mr. Hameleers is well known for publishing Slackware scripts “and other goodies’ on a separate website.

We first noticed the site was down last Wednesday, receiving a “could not connect to remote server” error when we tried to access the site. That same day, Mr. Hameleers posted notice on Twitter: “My blog is down. The hosting server (harrier – host to many Slackware related projects) had a SATA controller failure.” Yesterday afternoon, after the site was returned to service, this notice was posted in a forum on by the user Alien Bob: “My blog is back up… The server has not been fully restored, Robby is working his a** off at the moment, but at least the web services are back up.”

Today, on Alien Pastures Mr. Hameleers gave us more details on what happened:

Eric Hameleers from Alien Pastures

Alien Pasture’s Eric Hameleers or AlienBOB

“Oh my. The server which hosts my blog, as well as,, the mailing lists and several more personal web sites, and on top of that is also known as ‘’, lost both of its RAID-configured drives. One drive is completely dead but Robby Workman was able to rescue much of the data on the other drive. It’s still a mystery as to why two disk drives failed at the same second, and accusing fingers are being pointed at the on-board SATA controller of the server.”

“Fortunately, Robby managed to install Slackware anew, and configure it back to operational status. Only a lot of mirror data is still not available but that is being sucked back in from other Internet mirror servers, so I expect that full services will be restored pretty soon.”

At this point, all we can say is, Welcome back, Bob. We missed you while you were away.

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