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I have a number of posts I've been meaning to make lately, on a wide assortment of topics, from how to make a karada using chain instead of rope to adventures with the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles to more pictures of the kitties. (It seems like whenever I post BDSM tutorials or pictures of the cats, the size of my friends list jumps appreciably. Hello, new flist people! Welcome aboard!) Chatted with timestheyare this afternoon and was reminded that there's a lengthy post about transhumanism that's been brewing in my head for quite some time.

And I haven't had time to post about any of that. In fact, I haven't had time to work on any of the projects I have on various burners lately. I'd intended for the new version of my sex game Onyx to be out last month--haven't worked on it since January. I'd intended to have the Symtoys site redesign done by now. I've been itching to begin working on that stalled book I keep not writing, too.

So what HAVE you been doing, Tacit?

Glad you asked.

I've been fighting with Network Solutions.

Right now, my largest Web site, the enormous sprawling monstrosity that is the Xero site, is hosted on Earthlink. It's been hosted on Earthlink for about ten years now. I want to get it off Earthlink, who keeps raping me in the ass for bandwidth (and with the site popularity continuing to grow, that's not going to end any time soon).

It's been on Earthlink primarily because I'm using Earthlink's ecommerce site. I resolved near the end of last year to move it to another hosting provider: GoDaddy. They're cheaper and offer a lot more bandwidth (like, twenty times more), and they're owned by an ex-Marine who's a stickler for rules, meaning they're not likely to suffer a complete meltdown a la Registerfly...God, what a mess THAT is.

Every step of the move has been more difficult than really necessary.

First, setting up a new ecommerce system. I chose ZenCart, a PHP solution, and installed it on a site I already have running on the new host. No problem.

But wait, I need a security certificate so people can connect securely when they put in credit card numbers.

Okay, no problem...but wait, that means migrating my existing site on the new host to a different server on that host.

Okay, that's done. Now I need to set up the new ecommerce system and point my existing sites to it. But wait, there's a security update for ZenCart. And updating ZenCart versions is about as easy as and as much fun as pulling teeth...on yourself...while walking across a tightrope...over the Grand Canyon...and reading Cicero's The Extremes of Good and Evil...in the original Latin.

Okay, so now I need to set up the ecommerce software again. Good. Now we're ready...

...oh, but wait, all the various Perl scripts I've written for the Xero site won't work on GoDaddy's server, because of some extreme wonkiness in the way GoDaddy configures paths. So all the Perl scripts need to be rewritten and tested. No problem...

...except that GoDaddy doesn't log or provide any diagnostic tools for CGI errors, meaning that debugging CGI scripts of any sort on a GoDaddy server is about as easy as and as much fun as pulling teeth...on yourself...while walking across a tightrope...over the Grand Canyon...and reading Cicero's The Extremes of Good and Evil...in the original Latin...while blindfolded.

Hey! If I update to version 2.0 of the GoDaddy hosting control panel, there is a logging tool for Perl errors!

Oh, wait. If I update to version 2.0 of the GoDaddy hosting control panel, I can't use server-side includes any more. The Xero site relies extensively on...server-side includes.

So, many, MANY hours of blindfolded Perl debugging later, everything is ready to move. I allocate server space, copy the files across, now I just need to update the A record for the domain name...

Oh, no, no, wait, Network Solutions won't let me. They say that the domain was registered through a third party. WTF?

I talk to Earthlink. They tell me that Earthlink-hosted sites whose names are registered with Network Solutions can only be transferred or updated after Earthlink first changes the records at Network Solutions, and would I like them to initiate this procedure?

No, I'd like them to knit me an afghan. Yes, I'd like them to initiate the goddamn procedure!

"We can do that for you, sir. It will take 48-72 hours. Then you will have to contact us again with a validation code from Network Solutions, and we will give you a Network Solutions username and password. If you wish to transfer to another registrar, you will have to unlock your domain name. That will take about 48 hours to propogate. Then you can start the domain transfer, see, and..."


And yes, I do want to transfer the domain name registration as well as the site. I'm tired of being fucked in the ass by Network Solutions.

It's the tag-team of assfucking, it is. Earthlink and Network Solutions. They've been double-teaming me for a decade. I've probably bought all the executives Ferraris by now. I'm surprised my ass doesn't look like a satellite photo of Mount St. Helen's. Hell, maybe it does; I haven't looked at it recently. Surprisingly difficult to look at your own ass, not that I try...

But I digress.

So Network Solutions is going to move the domain name at the end of this week. To give me, y'know, time to cancel the transfer if I change my mind, or if merovingian's evil robot double sends me a box full of tiny robotic wasps or something, I don't know.

After that, I can modify the A record to point at the new server. And then bask in the glory of bandwidth I'm not being assraped for, and fix all the little bits that will undoubtedly get broken.

I've been holding off working on a major rewrite of the BDSM section of the site until it's all moved and stuff. I'll probably add at least two more sections. When I'm not, y'know, trying to finish Onyx. Or trying to finish the update to the Symtoys site. Or, like, playing World of Warcraft.

Whee. I'm going to bed.



( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 3rd, 2007 08:35 am (UTC)
There're some REALLY nifty plugins I've found for Firefox that allow you to see, edit, and debug all sorts of problems like that across several platforms & page languages. Don't know if any of them would help you tho.
I love GoDaddy!
Apr. 3rd, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't help in this case, because a browser never "sees" a Perl script. The Perl script lives completely on the server, and sends its output to the browser; if there's an error, the only thing the browser sees is the message "500 Internal Server Error."

The debugging plugins work with client-side code, but not with server-side code.
Apr. 3rd, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC)
Ah, gotcha. The descriptions of some of them sounded like theyd at least let you SEE it so you could find bugs, but you know far more about it than I do :)
Apr. 3rd, 2007 12:23 pm (UTC)
Some days I'm almost ashamed to work for Earthlink.
But hey, it's a decent paycheck, and I like the people I work with. LOL
Sorry you're having so many problems. :(
Apr. 3rd, 2007 03:21 pm (UTC)
To be fair, the problems are more on Network Solutions' side than Earthlink's. The biggest problem I have with Earthlink is their puny bandwidth allocation; a "business-class" Web site gets 20 GB a month, whereas the free home page on GoDaddy gets 200 GB, and their business site (which costs exactly one-quarter of Earthlink's business-class site) gets 1000 GB. If Earthlink were cost competitive and offered the same amount of bandwidth, I'd stay; hell, I've been using them since I moved my site from my first provider in late 1997.

I noticed that Earthlink recently added PHP, MySQL, and canned programs like Weblogs to all their hosting accounts. Too little, too late; had they offered more bandwidth instead, I'd've stayed. Every time polyamory gets mentioned in the media, I get clobbered for a couple hundred dollars in excess bandwidth charges.
Apr. 11th, 2007 09:58 pm (UTC)
[i]...since I moved my site from my first provider in late 1997."[/i]

And before that, it was on my TRS-80 Model III...at 9600 baud...
May. 14th, 2007 10:09 pm (UTC)
2400 baud, actually. I didn't get a 9600 baud modem until well after aLTER rEALITY went down. :)
Apr. 3rd, 2007 01:10 pm (UTC)
Go Daddy?
I've heard lots of people grumble about how GoDaddy is a royal bureaucratic and technical pain in the ass. Perhaps not in the massive assfucking way that Earthlink is, but still annoyingly clueless - despite the marine in charge.

I haven't needed hosting of my own since my sites get to ride along on a friends server - but I have heard raves about Dreamhost: http://www.dreamhost.com/

For Domain Name management - I have always used DomainMonger. www.domainmonger.com. They have never once touched my ass.

Apr. 3rd, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Go Daddy?
I love GoDaddy. I've had great success with them, both as a registrar and as a host. Technically, they have the best support I've ever experienced in a Web host; granted, I've only had to call them a few times, but they've been very efficient at solving problems.

Of course, my sample size is very small, so it's possible my results haven't been typical, but I've had no problems.

I've heard good things about Dreamhost. I've also worked with 1and1, which likewise has a stellar reputation, though I've found 1and1's tech support team lacking (I had to do a massive update to a large number of A records for a bunch of domains registered there a while back,a nd 1and1 doesn't allow the user to change A records directly--you have to go through their tech support team), and it took them quite a while to get around to it. They also require that you buy SSL certs from them--at five times the rate places like GoDaddy charges--for any sites they host. So when it came time to move the Xero site, that's why I eliminated 1and1 despite their reputation.

Didn't check out Dreamhost, though. I think I'll do that.
Apr. 3rd, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Go Daddy?
GoDaddy's been my host for some time and I've signed friends up there. They give lots of bandwidth for great prices, and their tech support's always been friendly & flawless. I don't know anyone else who's had problems with them either.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 3rd, 2007 03:32 pm (UTC)
I would never DREAM of knocking Cicero! I just can't read Latin and can't walk a tightrope, is all.
Apr. 3rd, 2007 03:26 pm (UTC)
*sigh* Well, at least you can still amuse US. Good luck.
Apr. 3rd, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
Always good to know my pain is useful for SOMETHING! :)
Apr. 3rd, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC)
Hey, all you have to do is realize that you must fully SUBMIT to the process. It's all about the DOMination and the pAIN: Why else do you think they call it a DOM-AIN?
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 3rd, 2007 07:34 pm (UTC)
Either one works fine by me. :) most people in real life use "Franklin;" most people who know me online use "Tacit."
Apr. 3rd, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC)
That's a lie, they refere to him as "The all-consuming evil" or "Your Dark higness"
Apr. 4th, 2007 01:51 am (UTC)
I have the most interesting complex about this. I've known you as "Franklin" for years now, and you're my sweetie so I've always thought of you as "Franklin", but then I got into this whole online thing where all your usernames are "Tacit". What ended up happening is, depending upon the context in which your name comes up, the two names switch around both in my speech and in my head automatically. The correctly-associated name pops up all by itself and I don't even notice it until someone points it out to me.
Apr. 11th, 2007 10:00 pm (UTC)
...and some people still use Turtle.

Why, I don't know, he hasn't gone by that in hundreds of years. Thousands.
Apr. 3rd, 2007 06:02 pm (UTC)
My godaddy transfer situation is finally cleared up too! I called up for the fourth or fifth time and said "I have two seperate websites that use two seperate email addresses, and have their own seperate custom 404 pages. Can you make that happen?" This guy's answer was "Yeah, we'll just give you two seperate accounts". Duh!

So he sold me the seperate account and walked me through setting it up and pointing my domain that was previously hosted elsewhere but registered through godaddy (not that I needed much walking-through at this point, having already gotten quite familiar with all the various administator actions in trying to host 2 sites with only one account). After cautioning me the various changes would take 24-48 hours, I had my site up and running in about 8 hours, and the email caught up by the next day.

The mess I went through before was frustrating, but at least the reason was that the first couple of guys were trying to save me a few dollars - they just didn't realize that the two sites were totally unrelated and that I'm not a complete neophyte when it comes to websites. So I'm still happy with godaddy, recent complications included.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )