You, dear users, know this site as "the Coffee Shop" at www.firstgreatwestern.info
, but when you call up a page your computer transforms the www.firstgreatwestern.info
into 184.108.40.206. It looks it up on via a "name server" which is logically close to you, and which talks to other name servers. The 220.127.116.11 thing (the IP4 address) is to some extent geographic - think of it being computer number 163 in district 95 of city 170 and country 83, whereas the name is something that we choose logically based on who we are, not where we live. So it's like a forename surname and the lookup system is like enquiring "where does Graham Ellis work" and being told "48, Spa Road, Melksham, Wilts". With that latter piece of information, you can pop around and see me - with just my name, you're left guessing where I might be.
One of the elements we're using in this name lookup is very long in the tooth, and I'm re-arranging things so that we're more efficient for the future, and can retire one of the elements which is well past its "use by" date. And this may mean a hiccough in the name lookup. You might think that with "electronic speed" I could do this without you noticing, but the information about these name to IP mappings gets cached (stored) in order to keep the enquiry volume to a managable level, and even on central servers things are only updated every "so often". So when I do the re-arrangement, it's possible that you'll find the coffee shop disappearing from your view for a while - with the worst case of "a while" being as much as a day or two.
Status update (via a name that won't be moved) - http://www.wellho.net/share/status.html
Change planned for overnight tonight (Saturday / Sunday) after you've had a chance to read this.