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We had a blizzard on Tuesday in Denver. Apr 24 and we got nearly a foot of snow out at the ranch.

We also lost power, which was a rude awakening. We had full laptop batteries, but no connectivity. I was taking kids to school and by the time I got back to work, the UPS's had run out of power, so I was stuck. I had time to grab a couple documents off my desktop before it died. Luckily my wife uses Cisco VPNs and has an air card from Sprint, so she can connect anywhere. I got the newsletter loaded and sent from her machine before we shut down. We couldn't charge the laptops, so we tried to use them as little as possible.

Why not go to Starbucks? We were snowed in. Literally. The kids bus made it to their stop and that was it. It got stuck there and was still there when I dug out with the tractor at 10 this morning.

So I got to Borders and worked a little, but had a scare. One of the newsletter processes is web based and it was failing.  So I hit the source file, edited it, and tried again. Still failed. I tried renaming a file, but it wasn't found. So I went to the backup web server thinking something had changed and tried there. Still it gave me errors.

Finally I realized that perhaps I had a DNS issue. I pinged the server and realized, by IP, that I was hitting the Denver server, not the UK one. I was about to start complaining to ZoneEdit, thinking they reloaded our zone from a backup for some reason, and then decided to check my hosts file. Sure enough I was pointing to the Denver server in there. I deleted that, restarted the browser and things were good.

Just an FYI, be very careful of using entries in the hosts file. If you wonder where it is, it's: /%system root%/system32/drivers/etc/hosts

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Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


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