Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Server Moving

827 words

What is it with webspace providers? So far we’ve found ourselves switching the webspace provider yearly. Not to save a cent or two – I think we mostly ended up buying a bit more as we wanted more bandwidth or more features – but because invariably the old provider started to suck. While all of them have been friendly at the beginning, after a year their service ranged somewhere between non-existing to hostile. Last year, for example we had a provider that simply ended up being bankrupt – but instead of admitting that they kept claiming things will improve ‘soon’ until just before they vanished completely (a time by which we had already moved, luckily).

As we were in need for a quick provider change then, we did exactly that. And the new provider, UD Media was fantastic. They fought the battle for the domain transfer (which apparently was a bit annoying when the old provider sucks) and sorted everything out rather quickly. We were quite happy. Keeping us happy after this initial effort would’ve been quite easy: Just keep things running and that’s it. But they didn’t. First there was quite some massive downtime because a server broke and it took them a few days to suggest to move us to another one.

Once they had done this, some good luck broke the server hard drive and we learned that the feature they called ‘daily backups’ in our offer meant ‘daily backups of the databases’ – which we didn’t use anyway. Luckily we also did backups ourselves but it caused quite some trouble to restore recent blog entries – which eventually was possible with help from my readers! I was quite upset by that time but as moving servers is such a hassle (FTP is slow and sucks with many files, you’ve got different paths, different user names, slightly different Apache’s….) I just tried to forget it.

However, the provider had another trick up their sleeve: They suddenly limited the memory each script could use. Not that any supposedly smart computer person can actually tell you how much memory a software uses or how much memory you need to run Movable Type… but the limit was too low for it (allegedly 16MB per process). Now this wasn’t the service I had paid for: Stuff ran for months without problems and now it stopped. So I started sending e-mails for which I kept getting stupid answers which ignored the problem. I think I have about seven ‘support’ answers which simply deny that there could be any problem and claim that whatever they did was for the best of their customers.

Thus it even dawned to me that I shouldn’t be their customer then. As we had payed them for a whole year and it turned out that while their offer is for a ‘monthly’ service, they also make you pay for a year up front and won’t refund anything. I’ll call them lying wankers for that, but who knows how ‘reasonable’ the legal situation for that is? And who’d want to make a lawyer rich just for a few Euros? Just remember that UD Media sucks.

Thankfully, Alf stepped in and let me have some space on his server to run Movable Type in the meantime, meaning I could keep on running my blog. Thanks Alf!. That meant that all the blog traffic was 302 (temporarily) redirected to ‘earthling.dyndns.org’.

Then, for various reasons, it took ages to find a new provider for our site. We’ve got one now and I think we moved to the new server completely. We’re just waiting for the domain to be switched over. So far people have been friendly and helpful. Let’s hope it stays that way. To move things around, I now put up a 301 (permanent) redirect from earthling.dyndns.org back to earthlingsoft.net. On the old earthlingsoft.net server, I put a 302 redirect to an alternative address of the new server, so the we’ll just have to wait until the DNS switch happens and everything should be in the right place all the time without anybody noticing.

I tried to keep links on this site as earthlingsoft.net all the time of course, so particularly permalinks that have been made should point to none of the temporary addresses. On the other hand, some people may have copied URLs with the temporary address from their web browsers, so that doesn’t work.

Judging from the logs of the earthling.dyndns.org server, there is one person who is using NetNewsWire 1.0.6 from the address who has managed to subscribe to the temporary address (how?). NNW seems to have some sort of bug which makes it try to download the feed about once a second. With the app running for hours and hours that’s not a good thing! So if you are using NNW and you subscribed in the previous months, please have a look at the URL you are using and replace earthling.dyndns.org by earthlingsoft.net there.

March 27, 2005, 13:39

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