If your RSS reader suddenly got bombarded with posts from 2006 about Ubuntu, you might have assumed that we had invented a machine that could teleport you backwards in time… but that was not the case. Turns out the latest community build of MySQL (the database server we use) is not compatible with older versions of WordPress (the software used for the site).
This all started on Saturday, when the hosting provider we’ve used for a few months had a huge explosion that knocked out power to the data center, bringing the site down for a number of hours. After realizing that they weren’t going to fix the problem anytime soon, I migrated the site over to a backup server late Saturday night.
Since that server couldn’t easily handle the load, I signed up with yet another hosting provider, and finally migrated to the new server late last night… Unfortunately the version of MySQL just happens to be incompatible with this version of WordPress, and I didn’t catch the error until people started complaining.
Thankfully it only took about 5 minutes to fix… for more on the actual problem see this forum post.
[Update] The fix was to switch back to version 5.0.45, for those that were wondering.