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02 Mar 17 05:24
Date Joined: 18 May 03
| Topic/replies: 3,576 | Blogger: Muqbil's blog
Receiving a "Server unavailable" message.

Internet connectivity is fine.

Anyone getting this same message?
Pause Switch to Standard View Raceform Interactive - Download...
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Report Muqbil March 2, 2017 7:28 AM GMT
Seeme like the whole raceform shooting match is on the floor.
Report Ramruma March 2, 2017 7:53 AM GMT
Same here.
Report Ramruma March 2, 2017 8:24 AM GMT
RI Support tells me they are working on a fix.
Report onlooker March 2, 2017 9:13 AM GMT
A very 'Good Morning' to you Muqbil.

Hope everything is well with you and the family - and island life is suiting you all just fine.

Good to see that you are still active in the game.
Report Muqbil March 2, 2017 9:20 AM GMT
Hi onlooker, lovely to hear from you. Island life is great, especially for the children, but hell I miss a day at the racecourse now and again :)

Hope you are still on top of the 'glorious uncertainty'?
Report onlooker March 2, 2017 9:25 AM GMT
The only days you are missing are quiet(er) midweek meetings at the likes of Pontefract.

Saturdays, Evening meetings, and Festivals being just one giant beer tent, nowadays ...

- and the beer is bloody awful, aswell.
Report taffy March 2, 2017 12:17 PM GMT
Has this been fixed. I am still getting No Server
Report Stow_judge March 2, 2017 12:23 PM GMT
What does RI deliver of benefit to you at the price vs racing sense data for a tenner a month, a price that it has held for a lot of years? Hom much is RI these days?
Report Stow_judge March 2, 2017 12:23 PM GMT
Report Pinza March 2, 2017 12:48 PM GMT
£47 a month
but can get 3 months for price of two or 6 months for price of 4.
Now and again they will have an offer of 10% off
Report taffy March 2, 2017 12:50 PM GMT
RI is £47 pcm. I have always used it and its predecessor.
I like the Own Rating function and the layout.
I have not looked at Racing Sense
Report OwenGlendower March 2, 2017 1:00 PM GMT
Taffy, still nothing here I'm afraid.
Report Ramruma March 2, 2017 1:33 PM GMT
Not fixed but they have emailed decs files for tomorrow.
Report Stow_judge March 2, 2017 1:52 PM GMT
I believe that the racing sense has a field for your own rating. It's best to link all the tables to your own database(s) and write your own queries, macros etc.
Report top2rated March 2, 2017 2:01 PM GMT

Report taffy March 2, 2017 2:07 PM GMT
As ramruna has confirmed the server is down but you can get the decs emailed from Raceform.

RI offers 4 sets of own ratings. Does racingsense do something similar?
Report slow learner March 2, 2017 7:06 PM GMT
Any updates on what's happening? Still no downloads here and their website now seems to be offline!
Report Ramruma March 2, 2017 8:07 PM GMT
No updates, just the decs emailed earlier. I could take a wild guess at what has happened but there is no real point. Let us hope they fix it before the weekend.
Report Stow_judge March 2, 2017 10:22 PM GMT
racingsense has a piece of software that interacts with the database. You have a no. of options to calculate their ratings. I believe that he has stats on his website as to how they work out. For free, you can download their software and a copy of their database to play with which has 10 years flat & NH form, UK & Ireland. The tenner a month is to get the daily updates. (prev days results & tomorrows decs)

Surely the point of getting the data is to calculate your own ratings. Buy Mordin On Time & the Andy Beyer books. Refine your standard times & your speed rating formula & crack away!
Report Muqbil March 3, 2017 7:14 AM GMT
This amount of downtime is silly.

1) Raceform should have a server replicating their main server.
2) Problem with server 1 switch to server 2.

This is standard practice for any business.
Report slow learner March 3, 2017 10:20 AM GMT
Yes it's becoming a bit of a joke now. I had a look on their twitter page but no updates from them at all.
Report rogerthebutler March 3, 2017 10:28 AM GMT
Just received:

We are writing to give you a brief update on the current ability of Raceform Interactive to update the database from the server.

We had a major hardware failure of the server on Wednesday evening which has required a total rebuild and are working to complete this today.  We realise this may be causing you very great inconvenience and can assure you our engineers are working to expedite this with the utmost urgency and as soon as possible.

In the meantime we will continue to send you the declarations and entries when they appear on our server, with the next batch at 12 noon today containing all the weekend overnight declarations.

As you can imagine, this is a very busy time for us, so please bear with us. If you could hold off emailing us as much as possible that would be appreciated - we will continue to inform you of any developments as and when the situation changes.

Many, many apologies for all the frustration caused by this.

Best Wishes,

Report slow learner March 3, 2017 10:29 AM GMT
Thanks for the update Roger.
Report rogerthebutler March 3, 2017 12:45 PM GMT
Just received the weekend declarations in an e-mail, which have to be imported manually into the RI software, so it looks as if the online updating (i.e. the usual) updating facility has suffered a catastrophic breakdown.

Fair play to Raceform for initiating some form of workaround but their disaster planning and recovery procedures were clearly non-existent, which is a joke for such a big company.
Report know all March 3, 2017 1:12 PM GMT
I think they day of speed ratings might be gone in some racing,in the old days they didn't move the rails but daily you get lots of races where railings moved added 45 yds to race distance but is it 45 yds could be 50 yds so its makes speed ratings very hard to get right nowadays any thoughts ?
Report know all March 3, 2017 1:26 PM GMT
Just found another race rails added 172 yds to race that's a lot! had a look at that race sence I still have the solidus book what a load of ------- that was, software seems to be going for speed ratings but as ive suggested its not like it used to be ? how do you recalculate your own ratings when the distance given to us by the race course is flawed.
leave all races alone where distance has changed which is a lot on the nh ?
Report chris20 March 4, 2017 9:45 AM GMT
mine still down I do not think they are working round the clock to resolve the issue
Report Stow_judge March 4, 2017 11:48 AM GMT
Know all, in my experience, it's nigh on impossible to set sensible, consistent going allowances to make the ratings fit. I have always just set them manually to make the ratings best fit in with the ratings you have attributed previously. I have never sat down and devised a method of calculating the going allowances automatically. Ghengis, who used to post on here many years ago, was an Access guru, and determined his going allowances automatically. His ratings were the best I have seen and he regularly posted double figure priced winners in the ABC club threads.
Report Stow_judge March 4, 2017 11:53 AM GMT
Most seasons, I re-analyse my standard times with the intention of setting consistent going allowances, but it's not long before I need to bend them to make the ratings fit. The proportion of races run over the wrong distance must be high. You'd think that they would be able to adjust the starting position in many/most cases.
There's also the practical aspect of how would you deal with so many different course/distance combinations. Your standard times table would very swiftly become hard to manage.
Report taffy March 6, 2017 12:28 PM GMT
Any news on the Server, please?
Report rogerthebutler March 6, 2017 12:35 PM GMT
Raceform are hoping for return to normal today - that was last Friday though and that ';hoping' doesn't hold out any great certainty....
Report rogerthebutler March 6, 2017 12:36 PM GMT
...aaaaaand just as I wrote that I got the following e-mail:

This is an update to keep you informed about progress on reinstating the Raceform Interactive update facility via our server. 

Our engineers are continuing to work on the server solution and we believe we will have make some real progress on this tomorrow, when we will be in contact with more news.

In the meantime, please do not click on the Update button within RI. We will tell you when this is reinstated. Our apologies that this is taking longer than anticipated.

In the meantime we will continue to send out files for those users that require them
Report taffy March 6, 2017 12:42 PM GMT
Thanks Rog
Report Ramruma March 6, 2017 3:56 PM GMT
It is a minor point but I do not really understand how we are supposed to import the data without first pressing the update button. Am I doing it wrong? The sequence is: press update -- which whirrs away, says the server is down, then exits -- then press update again and only then can the manual import buttons be pressed.
Report darkroom March 6, 2017 4:10 PM GMT
Ramruma - yes I have had the same issue. It seems you have to wait for the "server is down" message, let it close the update manager box, and then reopen the update manager box, at which point you can click on the manual edecs or results buttons. It only adds a few seconds to the task but agree it's a bit confusing until you have worked it out.
Report darkroom March 6, 2017 4:20 PM GMT
BTW there's one thing I do like about this thread - every poster has a joining date of at least 13 years ago bar one (who may have been around for ages on a different user name anyway for all I know). Let's hear it for the grizzled old Raceform Luddites!
Report taffy March 6, 2017 4:35 PM GMT
John Banks once said that the real professionals are the ones who last.
He didn't say if they used Raceform Interactive!!!
Report rogerthebutler March 7, 2017 12:37 PM GMT
Today's episode of Jackanory.....

Dear subscriber,

This is an update to keep you informed about progress on reinstating the Raceform Interactive update facility via our server. 

Our engineers are continuing to work on the server solution and we believe we will make some real progress on this today, and we will hopefully be in contact with more news about that later today or early tomorrow.

In the meantime we are continuing to send out files for those users that require them
Report Ramruma March 7, 2017 12:57 PM GMT
On the one hand, it is pleasing the RI team is putting in the work to send us the files.

But it does rather sound like the system was built 20 years ago by the chairman's then-12-year-old nephew and not updated since, and for the past week the team has been scrabbling through old filing cabinets looking for obsolete software CDs and licence stickers, or else trying to buy spare parts on ebay.

Great workers, bad management. We'll keep the red flag flying here. Crazy
Report Muqbil March 8, 2017 11:29 AM GMT
It's an absolute farce now.

Is Raceform going under?

The worst Mickey mouse outfit on the planet could have a website restored and operational in a couple of hours, let alone the update server.

The email updates are fine and dandy but I (like many others) rely on the skeleton updates after midnight each day, part of the reason I pay seventy odd quid per month.

It makes absolutely no sense how it can take this long to resolve a tech problem.
Report taffy March 8, 2017 12:07 PM GMT
Is there any other news apart from the "we are working ... and hope" etc.
Report Ramruma March 8, 2017 12:51 PM GMT
@Muqbil -- It makes absolutely no sense how it can take this long to resolve a tech problem.

You are right it should not take this long. I work in the industry and it is a few hours, tops, which is why I think there is more to it than we've been told.

Ironically, some customers might even prefer the emailed updates, if Raceform could find a way to automate them. Another solution if they cannot resurrect the update server would be simply to upload the files three times a day to an ftp site from where we could download them.

Though that is 90 per cent of what the update server is anyway. If they've rebuilt it but can't get it to work then I'd be tempted to look at the encryption used, since RI is very old and probably cannot cope with the new stuff. And now I'm guessing which is what I said I'd not do.
Report Muqbil March 8, 2017 7:25 PM GMT
If there is anyone reading this who has any inside knowledge on the topic, would be greatly appreciated. The daily emails of "more news tomorrow" are wearing thin. I get the sinking feeling this problem is not going to be resolved and receiving decs and results by email will be the norm. I remember back in the late 90's we used to get the files via email and the app was supplied on a couple of 5" disks :) The skeleton results usualy available shortly after midnight were a huge step forward for me, hence my current frustrations.

After all the moaning, I have to say the support is usually spot on and very prompt.
Report Whippin Piccadilly March 8, 2017 8:26 PM GMT
I was looking into subscribing to RFI once the old RP has vanished for good. Now it sounds like this is going to vanish too? Cry
Report Stow_judge March 9, 2017 10:51 AM GMT
Racing sense @ a tenner a month should be investigated. You can download the database with 10 years flat & nh form (UK & Ire) and the software for free from their website with no obligation. (I have been subscribing for more than 10 years)
Report know all March 9, 2017 12:42 PM GMT
They are testing the new version of what ever has gone wrong now my friend was complaining this morning its very shortly he was told today if ready
Report BoosterRooster March 10, 2017 7:11 PM GMT
Has anybody managed to get the new version to work?

I got emailed it earlier this afternoon, though it still doesnt work for me?

Cant update. Cant even open up the old decs i had saved now.
Report Ramruma March 10, 2017 7:31 PM GMT
It worked for me. What happens? If you can open the new RI and look around then you probably installed it correctly. If it works but will not connect to the update server then you may have a firewall of some sort in which case you might need to allow or whitelist the IP address in the email.
Report BoosterRooster March 10, 2017 7:49 PM GMT
Thanks Ramruma.

It seems to have downloaded the new version, as i can open it and look around.

It wont let me update though.Just get the message cannot connect to server, please try later.

I assume it is some sort of firewall issue, though i havent got a clue how to resolve it. I cant find where i am meant to enter in the number they gave me. My security software doesnt have anywhere to enter that, and ive tried to add it to the windows firewall to allow it, though it doesnt seem to work.

Trouble is im computer illiterate.Probably something really simple, but i havent got a clue how to do it.

Nobody answering emails anymore so guessing theyve all gone home. Probably have to wait til Monday.

Was working ok during the week downloading the results and decs, but now i just keep getting 'housekeeping' and 'error' messages.
Report Ramruma March 10, 2017 8:01 PM GMT
Have you still got the decs from the email sent earlier today? You should try using those files. Remember to check the email for the instructions for the new version, if you previously had an older one.
Report Ramruma March 10, 2017 8:14 PM GMT
Stop press: they've just emailed an updated set of decs files.
Report BoosterRooster March 10, 2017 8:17 PM GMT
Thats a good idea, i'll try that, see if i can get the weekend decs back in then try and sort it properly on Monday. Thanks for your help.

The technical assistance usually provided by Rcaeform Interactive is top class in my opinion, and they always help make things understandable for the less tech savvy.Its probably one of their best selling points for me.

Its also one of the few form providers that have remained constant, and resisted the urge to fiddle about with the lay out and just stuck to whats worked for the last 15/20 years or so.

Its been a rough few weeks with the new sporting life and racing post sites proving more or less unusable for me. Raceform Interactive was the one constant who i could always rely upon to keep it simple, and allow form study without making my computer freeze up.

Hopefully get back to normal next week and this will prove a one off.
Report BoosterRooster March 10, 2017 8:20 PM GMT
Just got the email too.

I will go back to doing it that way for now. At least they have kept things up top date in that sense. I dont mind having to do it manually. Hopefully get back to normal next week though.
Report BoosterRooster March 10, 2017 8:40 PM GMT
Managed to download all the Decs, though cant open up any races, just get eror messages.Run-time error '1031'.

Something badly wrong my end now.

Reading a horses form has never been so difficult than these last few weeks!

I want to go back to 1998, a loose leaf version of the form book and a copy of the racing post.
Report Muqbil March 11, 2017 3:08 AM GMT
Some progress being made. Was able to install the patch and update but since then the connectivity to the update server has been lost again.
Report Ramruma March 11, 2017 7:57 AM GMT
Same here -- cannot connect to the server Saturday morning. As an aside, even yesterday, the results were a day behind.
Report slow learner March 11, 2017 8:14 AM GMT
Yes managed a download after updating the installer but now having the exact same problem. I don't have a good feeling about this. Sad
Report Ramruma March 11, 2017 8:26 AM GMT
Email from RI with new decs and results files:
We understand that some users are still not able to connect to our server, while others were connecting yesterday but no longer can. This is now being investigated as a matter of urgency.

Luckily it is only the Lincoln Trial at Wolverhampton today so they still have time to fix RI before the actual Lincoln.
Report chris20 March 11, 2017 8:38 AM GMT
They have not even e mailed me with anything, I still can not download anything and I am starting to think will this be up and running for cheltenham
Report e.w pat March 11, 2017 8:44 AM GMT
With the demise of the Post form as we know it to a basically unusable mess, i was about to subscribe to Raceform,having second thoughts now !..are there any other alternatives that people could recommend ?  Thanks
Report Ramruma March 11, 2017 6:52 PM GMT
Can connect and download at the time of this post.
Report Ramruma March 12, 2017 9:22 AM GMT
Sunday morning: a new fix (software patch) email.
Report Stow_judge March 12, 2017 9:50 AM GMT
Is the RI data in an Access database?
Report Ramruma March 12, 2017 11:27 AM GMT
Not sure -- I think it was originally one of the pre-Access databases, possibly Foxpro. Maybe someone who links directly to it will answer.
Report chris20 March 13, 2017 8:48 AM GMT
I can not access the raceform website and I can not download anything of my interactive
Report china castle March 13, 2017 9:01 AM GMT
Status ia ready to connect when I go on the update page. I try to download the decs and results and after about 30 secs of trying says failed to connect.

Been sent 2 different updates now and both don't work.
Report Muqbil March 13, 2017 9:35 AM GMT
The first patch didn't work for me, the patch received yesterday seems to have fixed everything. Now able to update results and decs.

The database is foxpro, which I tihnk is a really old legacy db the last version of which was released in 2007.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, china castle, hang in there.. An email to them today will surely get you up and running.
Report chris20 March 13, 2017 11:06 AM GMT
I am up and running the link they have sent me now works
Report china castle March 13, 2017 12:00 PM GMT
Got it sorted now
Report BoosterRooster March 13, 2017 3:19 PM GMT
Back up and running here too. This version seems a lot slicker and quicker to navigate too.

Was dreading having to use the racing post website during cheltenham week, its slow enough on a normal weekday without all the extra traffic it will be getting this week.
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