If you’re reading this, you’re seeing the site on my brand-new webhost. We knew this had to happen sooner or later. Six months ago I migrated to 1 & 1 Hosting, and their service was so spectacularly bad that I concluded I would need to move before my one-year term was up. The only thing that differentiated their service from sabotage was the fact that they billed me for it. And then two months later my site went down again.
I know you’re probably sick of hearing me whine about hosting problems. For those of you backing my Patreon, I know this isn’t the kind of content you’re hoping to see. I promise I’m trying to return this place to normalcy as quickly as possible.
Usually I pay for services a month at a time, and when I do I always feel a little guilty because I know I could save a lot of money if I went with yearly billing. It would figure that the ONE time I decide to roll the dice and pay for a year in advance, it would blow up in my face. Still, I can’t let sunk costs keep me at 1 & 1 any longer.
For the curious, here is the straw that broke the camel’s back:
I woke up this morning at 2amI keep strange hours sometimes. to discover my website was down. Just like last time, the database that drives this site had been locked without warning or notification. Like I said in my original rant on these jokers, they don’t offer email or any other text-based support. You have to call. So I did.
After running the obstacle course that is their phone treeYou must type in your 9-digit customer ID AND your 4-digit PIN before you’re allowed to wait in line for a representative, who will then ask you for the 9-digit number again. and getting a human being on the phone, they explained that the database was taken down due to some unexplained problem and that to have it re-enabled I’d have to talk to the security team.
“Okay fine,” I said like Bruce Banner trying to not Hulk out.
“They’re available from 9am to 5pm during business days,” the guy told me matter-of-factly.
So these shitwizards TOOK DOWN MY SITE, without warning, and without even sending me an email, and then they went home for the night!?!?
I did manage to get off the phone without cussing the guy out. I know this isn’t his fault that he works for the drooling stooges at 1 & 1 Hosting.
While I waited for the saboteurs to show up for work, I found a new web host, created an account, transferred my database, created the new database, set up a fresh install of WordPress, and uploaded the massive /images directory that the blog draws from. Technically I was up and running and was free to drop 1 & 1 Hosting at this point. The problem is, I’d set up the database from my most recent backup, which was two days old. I’d have lost the two most recent posts, along with their comments.
That’s an acceptable price to pay for escaping the destructive “service” of 1 & 1 Hosting, but I thought it would be nice if we could get out of this one without any casualties. But to do that I’d need a fresh copy of my database, and to get that I’d need to get it unblocked.
So when 9am rolled around I called them and asked what was up. The guy on the phone said that I was having trouble with spammers doing something to my database. I’ve got four layers of spam protectionAkismet anti-spam, Bad Behavior, the “I am not a robot” checkbox, and various blocked IPs and keywords. and I’m not sure what else I could do, but whatever. I don’t actually care what he has to say. Even if this was my fault, their handling of this has been completely unacceptable and all I want is out. I just need this guy to unlock my database so I can get a fresh snapshot for the new site.
He tells me he’s going to write up a description of what I need to do and email it to me. So then I have to sit there on the phone while he writes me an email and all I can think is WHY DON’T YOU GUYS OFFER EMAIL SUPPORT THIS IS MADNESS! but I’m trying to stay calm and not shout random insults into the phone while I wait.
So then he tells me we’re done and before he hangs up on me I tell him to unblock my database. He promises to do that. Call over.
Half an hour later and my database is still blocked. Moreover, I never got the email he promised.
I start worrying that maybe I mis-typed my email when I signed up, and that’s why they never contact me. But then I remember they’ve sent me a bunch of spammy advertisements encouraging me to “invite a friend” to 1 & 1 Hosting. No thanks. I’m having trouble picturing a situation where I could hate anyone intensely enough to inflict this madness on them. The point is, they have contacted me in the past. I check my spam filter and the trash just to make sure. Nothing. No email. This is a gmail account, so forgive me if I’m a little suspicious of the idea that the problem might be on my end.
I call them back, run the rat-maze again, get another guy on the phone, and then I get him to unblock my database. He tells me it will take 10 minutes for the change to “take effect”, because I guess their webhosting hardware is based on gears and pulleys and we have to wait for someone to turn the giant crank to make the thing go.
This is the Morton Grand Saline in Texas:
It’s the largest salt mine in the United States. It’s a wonder of engineering and nature. Discovered in 1888, it’s the centerpiece of the Morton Salt company and the backbone of the town of Saline Texas. The mine reaches 213 feet below the surface and produces 450,000 pounds of salt every year. And yet, it’s not nearly as salty as I am right now.
I have a lot of work left ahead of me. The forums are broken. A bunch of files still need to be transferred. Hopefully I can get this sorted quickly and we can get back to the interesting content.
 I keep strange hours sometimes.
 You must type in your 9-digit customer ID AND your 4-digit PIN before you’re allowed to wait in line for a representative, who will then ask you for the 9-digit number again.
 Akismet anti-spam, Bad Behavior, the “I am not a robot” checkbox, and various blocked IPs and keywords.
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The Best of 2017
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2017.
The story of me. If you're looking for a picture of what it was like growing up in the seventies, then this is for you.