Save up to 75% off Harry Potter DVD/Blu-Rays at the Official Harry Potter Store

I just bought HARRY POTTER: THE COMPLETE 8-FILM COLLECTION DVD SET for only $46.99 (only $5.87 per movie)!

Check it out:
Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection DVD Set

Also, check out all the other great deals by clicking the banner below (I believe the sale ends Monday morning):

Official Shop of Warner Bros


For all purchases made by clicking on the banners above 7% goes to support your favorite Harry Potter RPG (Hogwarts Live).


Reminder!

DO NOT REFER YOUR OWN ALTS. That is cheating. If you are caught your account that was the referrer WILL be locked, no exceptions. If you are caught having more than 4 accounts on your IP, the highest account(s) will be locked.

You are responsible for any activity that comes from your IP address, if you have siblings that play, make sure they are responsible and follow the rules.

P.S. CYBERING IS NOT ALLOWED ANYWHERE ON THIS SITE. YOUR FIRST OFFENSE WILL LAND YOU A WEEK LONG BAN.


Marriage Module

Earlier this morning, a player used a loophole in the marriage system to marry himself to a bunch of random players.

We have temporarily deactivated marriage and flirting until the loophole is fixed. Any marriages that were NOT affected by the lonely player looking for love are still intact, just hidden for now.

The players that were forced into marriage with him that petitioned, your marriages to him have been annulled. Any of you who did not get a chance to petition yet, petition
once the module is back up and we'll annull yours too. If you petition with your previous spouse's name once the module is back up, we'll remarry you through the Editor. (We can't do anything while the module is deactivated.) We also cannot restore previous marriage dates, just marriages.

Thanks!

Oh, and please remember that this is just a game. We know that marriage on here is pretty important to some of you and you do have a right to be angry and/or upset about it, but it is still just a game. There are more important things in life to whine and cry about. Thanks.


Where do Hogwarts Live donations go?

Some of you have been wondering where the donations go. While this is explained fairly well in the Prefect's Lounge I want to do a week-to-week breakdown of the costs of running Hogwarts Live during the month of July 2011:

Week 1 - $103.20
Week 2 - $167.80
Week 3 - $133.51
Week 4 - $183.37

Subtotal: $587.88

You should all know that there have been many times in the past where I've personally covered all or part of HL's monthly overhead. Because of this I do my best to give donators unique perks as a thank you for their continued support.

Our actual donation goal is an estimate of how much I think it will cost each month to run the site. The breakdown above does not include one-time fees for the physical equipment and hardware upgrades needed to keep HL running smoothly. Nor does it include unexpected expenses due to hardware failure or planned expenses such as prizes for raffles. Our monthly goal is subject to change based on the actual cost of running the site.

If our costs rise significantly so will our donation goal. If our goal is exceeded the money is kept in an HL-only account that accrues interest. These funds will eventually be used to purchase new servers should HL need to support more users. New servers can cost thousands of dollars.



For further information read this bit from the Prefect's Lounge:

All moneys donated to Hogwarts Live are used specifically and only for costs associated with running HL. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, fees for server equipment (hardware), web hosting, bandwidth overages, and for the domain name. If donations exceed the costs for the current year then any and all unused donations are saved for the next year's expenses.

Donations are not used for any of Headmaster Danilo's personal expenses.

HL has its own money market account where the unused funds earn interest. These funds are kept in case of emergencies such as hardware failure where parts need be replaced or repaired. They are also used for any other necessary expenses that may arise such as purchasing a new server, hardware upgrades, and other equipment used for the development and maintenance of HL.

Sometimes if deemed prudent the interest accrued on the money market account is used to purchase prizes for the Candy Raffle. These kinds of expenses are generally recouped right away.


Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene made its way up the East Coast leaving devastation in its path, Irene has claimed over 20 lives so far. In New York State there are towns that are completely gone and will have to start over, many people have lost everything. People may be wondering why this matters, but it personally affected one of our long time player of Hogwarts Live, Tom. He lost his entire house due to the massive flooding in New York State, his entire county was put in a state of emergency because it was completely flooded out, emergency services even had a hard time rescuing people because of the rapidly rising water levels. Luckily him and his family got out safely. This hits close to home for me personally, being Tom and I live so close to each other and attend the same college. I know many players on this game are also good friends with him. I have talked to Danilo about having money from HL donations going to help Tom and his family in their time of need. He said that if players would like part of their donations to go to Tom's family, to owl him(Danilo) after they donate.

You can also donate to other families in need through the Red Cross:
https://american.redcross.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=ntld_main

No one around here expected Irene to do so much damage in the middle of New York State, our area here, the storm kept moving away from and we were in and out of Medium and High zones, while places like NYC were in the Extreme zone and they didn't really get hit much at all. I know other states got hit just as hard, and I hope anyone's families in those states are alright also.


Bad Navs

A lot of players have been complaining about bad navs recently- the Click Here page or just a plain white page. We have previously posted some tips here on how to avoid them, but I'd also recommend clearing your browser cache and your DNS cache. Clearing both of these may help prevent the badnavs from happening so much for seemingly no reason (and won't hurt anything even if it doesn't help).

Directions on flushing your DNS cache can be found here
.

Directions on clearing your browser cache can be found here
.

You just need to look for your specific browser and operating system on each link then follow the instructions.

Please petition if you do get stuck and we'll fix your navs as soon as we can.

Thanks!


IF YOU ALLOW A BANNED PLAYER ON ONE OF YOUR ACCOUNTS, THE ACCOUNT WILL BE BANNED. IF A BANNED PLAYER KNOWS YOUR PASSWORD, I SUGGEST CHANGING IT.


Explanation of recent slowness and temporary downtime

Hi All,

You may have noticed that the site has been a bit slow lately and we even experienced some small outages. Some of our ex-players decided to go script kiddie on us and retaliated their bans via a series of automated attacks that overburdened our server. This made the site inaccessible to all instead of just to those who were banned.

Over the past couple days I have been making a number of security improvements to mitigate the impact of further attacks of this nature. If the safeguards I have put in place should be overcome our data center will block the malicious traffic and notify the proper authorities.

In addition to this I have asked Alchemist Edmund to return to his role of system administrator. This means that if the site should go down again I won't be the only one who can bring it back up.

I appreciate your continued patience and understanding concerning this matter.

Sincerely,
Your Headmaster


Owl Post

The Owl Post is currently down. Although you can write messages and appear to send them, they are not being delivered and all old owls have been deleted.

The Owls should be working again at some point today. I do not know if all old owls will be able to be restored, however.

Please don't petition the problem as we have no way of replying.

Thanks!

UPDATE

The owl post is now working but all old owls have been deleted for database preservation and to help speed things up again. Please be sure to delete old owls from your inboxes to help prevent issues like this in the future.

Sometime over the next 24 hours, Danilo will post an update concerning the recent downtime himself.

Thanks!


Warning of Possible Downtime

Please note I don't expect any downtime but want to make you all aware of the possibility of downtime in advance.

Our hosting provider Peer1 is experiencing a critical situation with their San Antonio datacenter. Half of their computer room air conditioning units (CRAC) are non-functional due to a water main break. Last year Texas had issues with rolling blackouts across the state and while it didn't interrupt service I was worried Peer1's backup generators wouldn't outlast the blackouts.

If temperatures at the San Antonio datacenter threaten to damage equipment Peer1 will have to proactively shut down servers. At this point I'm seriously considering moving to a datacenter in either Toronto, Chicago, or Los Angeles (where I live). Toronto and Chicago seem most likely since they aren't known for their natural disasters.

Again, depending on how Peer1 handles the situation we may not have to move any time soon.

UPDATE: Peer1 has resolved this issue. So no more worries! :)


Wizarding Law in the 21st Century

Back in November, I wrote a blog post on Justia's Law, Technology and Marketing Blog with an overview of the legal and political systems in the Wizarding World.

In celebration of the launch of Pottermore and the release of the final movie in the series, I have written another post to continue where the movie leaves off with a review of what we know about the legal and political system of Harry's world in a Post Voldemort Era. If you are interested, take a look at Wizarding Law in the 21st Century on the Justia Law, Technology and Marketing Blog.