Many of you have written in during the last few weeks expressing frustration at the seemingly random page hangs, error messages, freezes and other issues that have kept you off some of our pages. Thanks for letting us know about those things, and especially thanks for your patience. For the record, I have experienced the same issues myself (so no, we're not singling you out)! Anyway I thought a note explaining what we're doing about it would be in order.
Going back several months the site has been plagued with a variety of technical issues. Almost all of it has to do with server load. In other words, we have outgrown our house. I won't bore you with all the technical details, but since early January I have had our IT folks working on identifying and fixing the issues.
It all came to a head the other day when we finally realized that we needed to move to a much larger server system. We also needed to upgrade our forum software to the latest version, upgrade our store software to the latest version, and update one of our programming languages. In short, we needed to expand. Over this weekend, we have been testing the new servers, troubleshooting, and moving things over to the new system. Over the next couple of weeks we are performing various upgrades and maintenance functions in order to eliminate the issues we've been experiencing. So this next week, all of us should see big improvements in page load times, error reduction and so forth.
I will post more information on this process at a later time; I just wanted everyone to know that we've been hard at work to move the entire site to the next level.
Thanks for your patience during our "construction season".