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15 Sep 2002: Fire and darkness in September



September started out well. The summer was moving on, I was making progress with reading and personal study was taking off. What could go wrong?

Yesterday, I noticed that my mail client was taking a lot longer than normal to download my mail. I looked at what was happening and discovered that Outlook Express was having trouble finding joelgoodwin.com. So I opened my web site; no joy. Internet Explorer told me that the page couldn't be found. I went to ImHosted's site (my web host) and found I couldn't access that web site either.

I started to investigate. It appeared that most of ImHosted's sites had suddenly vanished; the main problem was that the ImHosted name servers were offline. I thought it might just be a temporary glitch and decided to wait it out. Meanwhile, I got worried about my mail.

A few hours passed and I realised that nothing had changed. Concerned that this was the end of my web site and mailbox, I started digging up information on ImHosted. Turns out that a lot of people have been upset with the poor support. They have also experienced odd outages here and there, which ties up with friends commenting occasionally, "I tried your web site the other day, but it was down." I had assumed that they weren't problems with my web site, because I had never experienced any problems. But once a couple of mails went missing too...

Then I spotted an interesting connection that I hadn't noticed before. I originally used Evrsoft's 1st Page 2000 to create this web site. Evrsoft recommended ImHosted some time ago and, after a little bit of research, I selected ImHosted as my web host. Yesterday, I noticed that a new piece of web site maintenance software that ImHosted was offering, Hostman XP, was written by Evrsoft. Oh. Now it seems that Evrsoft's words of recommendation is not as sincere as they appeared before. Furthermore, Evrsoft's site is still up and running, unaffected by the same disaster that has devoured my web site and mailbox.

Part of my web search also caught reviews of 1st Page 2000. When I originally looked at 1st Page 2000, the reviews were positive. This time, there are a hell of a lot reviews complaining that "this software has a Trojan virus!!!!" and that kind of thing. I haven't used 1st Page 2000 for a long time, so I can't verify this myself. I don't feel like I want to verify it either.

Well it won't come as a surprise to learn that I decided to change web hosts again. I'd had problems with free/minimal-cost providers last year which had forced me to switch to a monthly-fee provider. Now that I'm paying a monthly fee, I'm not sitting around while my site is down. Service is service, so as I type this, I am uploading all three sites to a new web host, HostMagik, and we'll see how they turn out. I've already updated the domain name details but will take a day or two before joelgoodwin.com becomes visible to the public again.

Not exactly something I need right now. I just hope all my mail turns up... somehow amongst this chaos I'm expected to study for a Japanese exam at Christmas.

I should at least be happy that the rest of my Amazon order turned up today. Five shiny new books that demand to be read. I can't wait to get my teeth into them but the weather is being cooperative, suggesting that I should get up and go do something that involves fresh air instead. Let's see how the rest of September turns out.