Zim Registrar General’s ‘passport forms website’ going on and off

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The Registrar General department’s website which was revealed yesterday in a report announcing the availability of digital passport forms online see to have some issues. It may be that the department wasn’t quite ready to go digital yet. Since yesterday, the website has been going on and off. We have been experiencing it ourselves and information we have received from several people indicate they are having problems accessing the website.

The website is producing the “503 Service Unavailable” error as show below:

RG's department website website error 1259hrs-12102012

This error usually signifies an issue with the server hosting the website, but the exact nature of the problem is anyone’s guess right now.

We tried to contact the department via the numbers listed in the TelOne fixed line directory but the numbers were not answered. We also tried contacting them via the website’s contact form (remember on and off!), but upon clicking submit, this is what came up:

Form Submisison error on RG's websiteWe have also received information that contrary to the Registrar General’s statements in the Herald yesterday that the form could not be downloaded empty. It actually can on the following url: http://www.rg.gov.zw/PassportAppV9.pdf.



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14 Comments

  1. macdchip

    14 servers running from same IP address, or 14 servers all running from one physical server! Either way thats not good, they should have put some load balancing of some sort!

    Also, l would have expected such service of national importance to have redundant links but its one link through Telone, what happens when that only link goes down?

    Reply
    1. Shoko Mukanya

      i don’t see any problem with all these “websites” running from the same physical server….one of my 6 Centos servers (500GB HDD and 8GB RAM) runs 60 websites, 20 of which r busier than average….and we hav had no issues with this 503 error…..

      Reply
          1. macdchip

            CIR, committed information rate or jus guaranteed bandwidth both up and downloading! Your nic and cir + sla will determine how robust your server are gona be to serve the request.

            How about the design of the data centre or server farm, can it cop with the severe heat of this october! It is all this which can make the service to available or not, and lm a customer of telone so l know what to expect from them.

      1. Garikai Dzoma

        Dude are you honestly comparing your websites’ traffic to national sites? They (the gvt) should use cdn ASAP. Google loads faster than most Zim sites if your ISP is not on ZISPA.

        Reply
        1. Shoko Mukanya

          i doubt these sites attract more than 10,000 visitors a day each….my gut feeling tells me they are running from some linux server small enough to be a tablet (Ram + Space)….

          Reply
  2. ziv

    But its still half baked concept, (even if it were up) – it hasnt eliminated the queues currently prevailing, u still have to hand in the form in person…thats like typing the letter , then printing it and mailing it via zimpost….why not dwnload the form complete and apply on line like the US embassy does for their visa

    Reply

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