The T-28 is no more

It was bound to happen at some point, but today is the day the T-28 met its demise while flying in my hands. Fittingly, it was a mid-air collision with another T-28 (and another former Bayside member) that ended its flying days so abruptly. Seems there are some things that EPP foam just can’t recover from, and of course I found this out the hard way.

Goodbye ParkZone T-28, I’ll miss you.

Parting Company with Bluehost.com

After a few years of “like it / hate it” service with my web host, named Bluehost.com, I have decided to move on. It wasn’t just one incident or issue that pushed me to leave, but a steady and seamingly growing lack of interest from the company to find and fix the issues that arose.

I had a few sites and about 5 gigabytes of data sitting on this host, so moving isn’t trivial. That’s what makes the decision to leave even more instructive to others: if I have to put up with the serious pane of moving my site, email and data plus that of other friends and colleagues to another provider, something must be really wrong.

Over the course of my time with them, Bluehost.com steadily worsened in the support department. It seemed that each month brought some new problem or distanced the customer further from their support staff. Just last week on a support call I had to wait nearly 45 minutes on the phone for answers, only to have my call dropped. When I called back I got the now-standard line from them:

We don’t know what the problem is, but we are looking into it. No, we can’t tell you when it will be fixed or what caused the issue. We have tens of thousands of customers and it would be too difficult to find out what the issue is each time this happens.

It’s not too difficult for them to take my money but it is too difficult for them to explain why they can’t provide the service that I paid for? Along with complaints from folks who simply couldn’t reach me or had their emails bounced, this explanation pushed me to move to a new host, Arvixe.com. Will they work out any better? Only time will tell, but for now anything is better than what I am leaving.

I’ve had people accuse me in the past of acting impulsively or overstating the situation when it comes to customer service and bad company behavior. Luckly, on the Internet the service you pay for can be monitored and quantified, and what I will show below is just a snapshot of the service, or lack of it, that I suffered over the past few months.

Bluehost reliability

What should be noted is that this is a snapshot of the overall service reliability, with 100% being the best case scenario. Whenver there is a dip on the chart, web, email or DNS service was impacted for some period of time. The further down the graph dips, the more issues there were on that date.  This isn’t some arbitrary graph, this is hard data provided by Basicstate.com, thanks to over a year of service monitoring of my account every 5 to 30 minutes.

In closing, I cannot recommend using Bluehost.com at the service level I paid for. They may offer better service for higher paying clients, but as I found when I moved to my new host, there are plenty of other companies out there providing better service for like-or-lower prices.

New Host and Quick Test

This is a test post on the new host.

This is the first post on the new web host. Hopefully all is well and this will post up just fine. Time will tell if this host is any better than the last one, as the last one was positively awful near the end…. but more on that issue later.

For now the key is to find out if any of this works out and so far it looks like it does, or mostly does.

Better Web Site Days

After some initial problems it seems that the web site is all fixed up and working again.  This is a nice change of pace from the previous few days where everything just wouldn’t seem to work properly at all.

Strangely, many of the problems were due to “unsupported directives” in an Apache htaccess file.  I’ve never seen anything like it, but it doesn’t matter now.  Things are working again and I’m glad to have it done.

New Server Move Not-So-Complete

After having spent a few days on the new service, Bluehost.com, I can say that I’m having some problems that don’t allow me to say that all is well.

First off, all of my scripts that do site redirection are broken with an Server Error 500 page.  The reason, according to the logs, is that the headers (hidden stuff at the front of all good web pages) aren’t being sent.  But I’ve checked things out and they are being sent.  Wonderful, another set of problems to track down.

On top of that the host has been down twice in 2 weeks, not a good start.  This is why I am leaving my old web host, Infinology. I’m not buying into bargain basement fees here, so I have to wonder if this is what the web really is all about these days: advertise heavily, get the customer’s data and credit card, bill them, then hide away and let the service go to hell.  Sounds like some late 90’s business plans if you ask me.

WordPress 2.0 and site changes

I’ve updated the blog software to WordPress 2.0 and things seem to be moving along fine.  Over the course of the next few days I hope to be using more of the new features it offers.

This may mean some broken or strange looking pages. Bear with me while I figure it all out and get things back to normal, or at least a general state of working-ness.