Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dedicated Servers – What You Might Not Know

Five years ago I happily procured a dedicated Red Hat server from a very popular managed hosting company (if not “the” company). I did this mostly out of convenience for my clients, who would always call me with hosting issue this or that, and there would be little I could do for them other then help create a support ticket for their existing host. It got to be a pain, especially after a major Dreamhost outage way back when, and a lot of my clients were on Dreamhost. I figured this would be a good time to look at getting my own server and selling space to my clients on it.

A lot of my clients expressed interest in more reliable hosting even if it mean more money, so I figured it was time to pounce. Soon I had my own dedicated box, and soon enough I was turning a little profit, not much, but better than nothing. Better yet it never went down (well, once, but that was a freak accident and they rebounded quickly). Better yet, the phone support was amazing, and I could easily install stuff on it and do things that made my life as a developer easier.

Life was pretty good for 5 years. Some headaches, but nothing outside the normal.

Then my 5 year contract was up. The server was ending it’s life cycle, and with that, so was support for the server. It was time to upgrade ol’ betsy before things got ugly.

I was floored to learn that costs had more than doubled since I signed my original contract. When I expressed my dismay, they wanted to push me into the cloud, but while that seemed to make their life easier I didn’t think it would make my life easier. And it was still going to be way more expensive than ol’ betsy. Upgrading betsy seemed it would cause more headache than it would solve, and she couldn’t even run the latest Red Hat anyways.

On top of that, I was going to be responsible for migrating everything myself. Websites, settings, email, databases. The works. No way I had the time or inclination to do that, so I’d have to hire a 3rd party – costing yet more money.

But the really kicker is that I was not about to tell my clients that their hosting cost was more than doubling. If they bailed, I’d be stuck with a huge bill every month.

I investigated other hosts, but in the end, decided this was a headache and time suck that I never wanted to deal with again. What I needed to do was to sell the server, and ideally to a company that had phone support as I know some of my clients would really need that. And guess what? I found such a company. And a good one at that. Migrations have been going through well, clients are happy, and guess what? They are doing the migrations, not me – the weight on my shoulders is gone. And also guess what? If my clients have any issues, they pick up the phone and call this other other company, not me. I’m sure I’ll still get some questions, but hey, this is a huge improvement.

So there’s the scoop. If you get a dedicated server, just know time’s a tickin’.

I’m Still Here!

I haven’t had a new post in awhile, so I just wanted to drop a quick “hello!” and let folks know I’m still alive! It’s just been an incredibly busy summer for me. I’ve been working too much, traveling, working on the house, gigging (I play drums), seems everybody I know is getting married, etc. etc.

On top of that, I’ve been dealing with some wrist/arm pain from over working – so last month was a super drag because I had all of this work to do, but could only spend so much time in the office because I didn’t want to make my pain-issues any worse (I’m wearing wrist braces as I type this – they help).

So, all this will eventually lead into a post on keeping those hands and arms healthy, and what to do when they aren’t feeling so good. My wife reminded me this is something I seem to go through every summer, and I’ve learned a few things about managing it that I hope to share when things calm down a bit.

Cheers!

Turn Numerous Television Without Pity Review Pages into One Page

One day I got tired enough of clicking through 20+ page TWOP reviews, and decided to experiment with creating a tool that would collect all the pages in a given review, and assemble them into one clean page for easy printing.

So I went into the lab, and came up with a working program that does just this.

Now, I originally thought that TWOP made you click page to page instead of offering an all-in-one page because they placed different ads on each page of the review, but the ads are the same on every page. So I don’t feel like I’m cheating anyone here. Yet, I still click an ad before I run the review through my program – you should too.

twop2.jpg

To use it, simply find a review on TWOP, copy the URL, and paste in into the tool. If you find a review that doesn’t seem to work, please leave it in the comments section below so I can debug it. Any other comments are also appreciated. Now…

1-Page-i-fy That TWOP Review!

Canceling Your GoDaddy Account

no-godaddy.jpgI cannot believe that at one point I was considering moving all my domains over to GoDaddy1. Their management interface is confusing to the point that I believe it’s intentionally confusing, so that you have a hard time figuring out exactly what charges you are incurring (there’s no single page that shows all of your charges), and when such charges will incur. When you do get one of those annoying $2.95 charges, there’s no indication on the bill as to what it was for. Well, no more! I finally bit the bullet, transferred the domains, and began trying to figure out how to cancel my account.

Like I Said, They Don’t Make It Easy

I looked and looked, and found no way to cancel my account. Searching their online help system for “cancel account” turned up nothing useful. I resorted to emailing their “tech support” – here’s the response I got, which is little more than a map through their convoluted system – hope it helps someone else out!

From GoDaddy:
How to Cancel Your Account

The following is an email I received from GoDaddy, regarding my inquiry to cancel all services:

Unfortunately Go Daddy cannot completely remove a customer account from our system for legal reasons. However, you can use the instructions below to cancel all products or services for this account, remove all payment methods from this account, and turn off all opt-in email notifications. Company policy restricts Go Daddy Customer Support representatives from making changes to customer accounts or services on behalf of the customer. You will need to make this change from within your account.

To cancel all products and services, follow the directions below:

First, log into your customer account:

  1. Go to the GoDaddy Account Login Page
  2. Log in using your account username (which may be the same as your customer number) and password

If you have trouble logging in, our password reset form may help you. You can find this form through the following link: Account Retrieval Page

Once you have logged in to your account, follow the steps below to cancel:

  1. Select ‘Payments and Renewing Items’ from the ‘Renewals & Upgrades’ menu.
  2. Check the box next to the item(s) you would like to cancel and click on the ‘Cancel Item’ button.
  3. Select ‘Cancel Now’ or ‘Cancel at Expiration Date’ in the menu that appears to the right.
  4. Click on ‘Save Changes’.

* Canceling now will immediately remove the service from your account. If you choose to “Cancel at Expiration Date” the service will remain active until the date specified and will not be renewed.

Please use the below instructions to remove a payment method from our system. Note that there must be no products or services in our system which are currently linked to that payment method before you can remove it.

  1. Select ‘Credit Card & Payment Info’ from the ‘My Account’ menu
  2. Select the radio button next to the desired payment method in the list.
  3. Click the ‘Deactivate Payment Method’ button.
  4. If there are any products or services currently associated with this item you will then be forced to move them to another payment method before you can continue.
  5. After moving any products or services to another payment method, click the ‘Save Changes’ button.

You can choose not to receive email notices by updating your customer account settings. Follow the directions below:

  1. Select ‘Account Settings’ from the ‘My Account’ menu.
  2. Click on the “Email Preference Information” link.
  3. Go through the choices and select your preference for each.
  4. When you are done, click on the green “Save Changes” button.

You can also use the “UNSUBSCRIBE” link found at the bottom of all the notices that we send out.

Footnotes:
1Note that sometimes you want to link to a website, but you don’t want that link to count for anything in terms of Search Engine value (as search engines use the total number of inbound links to a website in their ranking algorithms). To still link to a site, but not pass any SEO relevance onto it, or even to have it count as a vote against the website you are linking to, you can use the vote-link and rel-nofollow microformats, as I did with the links to the GoDaddy home page:

<a href="http://godaddy.com" rel="nofollow" rev="vote-against" title="GoDaddy site">GoDaddy</a>

On Comments

Offensive comments will not be posted, and if you can’t spell, well then that won’t be posted either. Cheers.