BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 2 September, 2002, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
Signs of life in 1901 census website
Census website, starting to work again
The troubled 1901 census website is flickering back to life - eight months after it crashed under the sheer weight of its popularity.

The website was a ground-breaking attempt to offer everyone online access to the 100-year-old census and the ability to search for their ancestors on it.

Designers had allowed for 1.2 million users per day.

Instead, after a huge launch fanfare on 2 January, the website attracted 32 million hits per day and collapsed just three days later.


We want to get it right

Public Records Office

It struggled on fitfully through January but was taken down in February for two weeks' for repairs.

It has been offline since while engineers worked to shore it up but over the last few days a working test version has quietly gone live.

The Public Records Office insists it is not publicising the new version because it is still undergoing testing.

Softly, softly approach

But there are no plans for a formal launch and a spokeswoman said they "simply can't speculate" when it would be fixed.

"We want to get it right," she said.

"As soon as it's ready and we're comfortable that we're not going to disappoint people, we'll let everyone know through the website."

Census record
The entry of cricket legend WG Grace

But privately, the PRO admits part of the reason for this much quieter approach is to avoid overloading the site and a second embarrassing crash.

On Monday the website carried the message that the PRO hoped the "modifications will shortly be completed".

The site is being taken up and down as QinetiQ Ltd, the company responsible for its technical running, tweaks and tests new programmes.

The spokeswoman said the work was designed to make the website "more robust" and to "speed up certain elements".

Meanwhile, people are able to do a search for their relative's census entry if they are lucky enough to log on during one of the short periods the site is live.

See also:

19 Jul 02 | UK
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes