The past weeks were quite horrid. On a technical level anyway. While I was still busy struggling with the amassed incompetence of Deutsche Telekom - a problem that was eventually solved after our planned switch to a new DSL provider (who perhaps have more muscle in getting Telekom to move their butts and thanks to monthly contracts a vital interest in solving problems for their customers quickly) - our earthlingsoft.net internet domain stopped working. Just like that.
Looking into this we found out that the servers were still running but the domain name had stopped working. Even though we were far from the expiration date listed in the whois entry. But that was only the start. Our web hoster, hosteasy - with whom we had been reasonably happy for the past years - failed to respond to both e-mails and phone calls. Which sucked rather badly because the domain itself not working meant that our non-essential web-site didn’t work, but also that our e-mail stopped working and that messages were returned with some ‘domain doesn’t exist’ message to the sender. Very very bad.
After the hoster didn’t reply, some more research unveiled that they hadn’t paid their bills with the registrar. And in turn the registrar people put the domain on hold. Crooks, I say! I mean, they didn’t even tell us about the problem and essentially that meant they took our domain hostage until the bill had been paid. So once again we were the ones at the receiving end of the incompetence or crookiness of other people. Why do I always have to foot the bills for other people’s greed and laziness?
We were a bit hesitant to cough up that cash because we didn’t really want to stick with a web hoster who let us sit there for a week without even responding to anything. So we actually wanted to move the domain away as well, but eventually we realised that it’s unlikely that anything will happen before they see the cash, so we bent over and paid double or so of what that trivial service should cost and now have almost a full year of being registered with the rip-offers at X.OVO left. Hooray.
After asking around a litte, I realised that finding a new place to host the site still sucks as much as it always did: There’s a wide variety of price ranges (strangely, hardly cheaper than they were years ago) and no matter whom you go with, they might as well end up broke or crooks (logical ‘or’, of course) after a year, so it’s all just Russian Roulette. Something we already knew from our first and second web hosting companies.
Luckily, Jan happens to be involved in a small hosting enterprise with the great name traeumt.net (although that kind of cries for a proper IDN name träumt.net - if only because I find it hard to type the three vowels in the correct order) and we moved our stuff over there. It’s all nice and cool on the new server - if that kind of thing can be nice and cool. We even have SFTP access now.
But things are never that easy. Well things weren’t easy anyway as nobody was particularly keen on moving to another server. But rest assured that these things are a nuisance. Mostly because of all the crappy software involved. This starts at trivial points like moving files back and forth - which when done in a non-archived way can take ages with thousands of files probably because the protocols suck or so. And which you shouldn’t hope to use a GUI app for on the Mac (even the ever reliable Transmit disappointed me on this one). But that’s the easy part, the stuff you can work around.
The next step is that every Linux flavour seems to come with its own idea about how exactly permissions and things have to be set for things to work. And of course all that comes without any straightforward instructions on what you have to do (or even offers to make things just right™), so you are left with trial and error and having to ask the people who know and are patient enough to answer you. An honourary mention has to go Apache which still makes it ridiculously hard to set the type of files whose name don’t have a dot in them. Braindead, I say. But once more that joke is on me because I had to have file names without dots in them around here.
And yet, this wasn’t the bad part. Moving the blog database was. I have a feeling that there will be a post on that soon. As a little puzzle until then, why not stare at this and tell me what I would have liked to see instead:
I, personally, would have prodded you towards gandi.net for their hosting package (—and domain management). Apart from a few gripes from their competitors I’ve only heard good things about them.
Was the blog database thing a UTF-8 encoding issue with MySQL… unfortunately it’s quite common.