The SSL Certificate Caper

For the last 10 years, like most websites, Fpnotebook has had an SSL certificate to allow for encrypted data transfer from a trusted web server to your web browser. When these certificates expire (every 6-12 months), most modern web browsers will render the website inaccessible. Fpnotebook's website is hosted on Microsoft Azure, which automatically renews its certificates weeks before expiration. Unfortunately, on 11/28/2023, after auto-renew had silently failed, the website's certificate suddenly expired without warning and the website was no longer accessible. Working with Azure technical support, I was able to renew the certificate and hopefully prevent this same problem from occurring in the future.

Other Misadvertures

I appreciate the trust you've placed in FPnotebook for point of care medical reference, and know all too well that website downtime can throw an expected obstacle to an already harried patient care day. I frequently use fpnotebook in the Emergency Department. I was working a busy late shift on 10/28 when I suddenly found my own site blocked.

I follow a "belt AND suspenders" strategy for reliably delivering updated content on FPnotebook with monthly publication cycles, and continued access to content. However, in 25 years of web publishing this resource, I am humbled by the unexpected. Three weeks ago, November 6, 2023, the main workstation which builds and uploads the Fpnotebook web content each month, suddenly died with a standard Dell firmware update, and could not be resuscitated. The subsequent 3 weeks have been spent in rebuilding the publishing backend (many moving software parts), while still updating the website content and working my fulltime job. There may be problems with the December 2023 publication and I ask that you let me, as always, when you run across problems.

What to do when the website is inaccessible

Downtime has been relatively rare in the 25 years I have run the website. However, I expect at some point the website will be transiently inaccessible again.

There are several versions of FPNotebook on the web, and on handhelds (iphone and IOS). The content on these different versions is identical. During the SSL certificate expiration related downtime, FPnotebook mobile site was accessible.

The The Android and IOS Fpnotebook Apps are $25 per year subscriptions that contain the same fpnotebook content in a portable, disconnected app that is resistant to website downtime. You can use the app on trial and cancel before the 14 day trial expires.


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