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Traffic jams up

The newly opened Web site was involuntarily shut down today, a victim of too much traffic.

The newly opened Web site was involuntarily shut down today, a victim of too much traffic.

VA Research unveiled the site today as a new Linux portal, but a surge of Web traffic from interested onlookers today apparently brought the site down, said John Hall, vice president of VA.

"We think it was the Slashdot effect," he said, referring to the online "news for nerds" discussion site, which posted a story about the Web site today. "All the lights on the Christmas tree lit up."

The site uses a VA Research server running Linux, but Hall said the company suspects the problem originated from a server in the Netherlands, where the site used to be housed. It takes about 24 hours for changes of address to propagate across the Internet, he said.

Getting the huge surge in Web page requests is a common enough phenomenon that the term "getting slashdotted" has entered the Internet vocabulary, at least among nerds.

VA Research is looking into the issue, but in the early afternoon, all the site said was, "This Web page is not here yet."

VA Research obtained the domain name from Fred van Kempen, a Linux consultant who now will be one of several members of the advisory board running the site.

"VA's motivation for developing best represents the interests of the Linux community, and for this reason, I awarded the domain name to them," van Kempen said in a statement.

Other board members include Leonard Zubkoff, VA Research's chief technical officer; Chris DiBona, director of Linux marketing at VA Research; Forrest Baskett, chief technical officer of Silicon Graphics, Phil Hughes, publisher of the Linux Journal, Doug Kennedy, vice president of alliances at Oracle, Patrick Lens, founder of the Linux software distribution site Freshmeat, Rob Malda, founder of Slashdot, and Nick Petreley, editorial director of LinuxWorld.