Wasted Web Weekend

I was really looking forward to this past weekend away from the day-to-day, for many reasons. It is always quiet up in Door County, so that was very welcome. I also wanted to get out on the ice again, but none of the outdoor rinks were open.

As far as all that free time to push out a bunch of new content and posts for my different sites and blogs, I was psyched. Getting up at 6am (considered sleeping in for me these days), I could have a good 4+ hours alone with my laptop cranking out nothing but new code and tons of content. Not to mentioned time in the evenings as well, when the temp drops outside and there’s nothing better than sipping hot cocoa next to a warm fireplace.
But alas, my hopes were dashed by a long series of incompetence by my current (and soon to be former) web host. I’m not here to rant or vent or blast these poor souls who apparently don’t know very much about anything. Although, having saved all the chat transcripts and ticket updates, it could make for some very entertaining web sattire in the near future.
All told, my sites were not available from about Thursday evening and most of the day on Friday. This was due to a scheduled IP migration (which I was not aware of), and even though their status update said there would be no downtime, all sites were down due to propagation of the new shared IP addresses across the Internet.  If that was it, just about 24 hours of downtime, I probably could have managed to salvage some quality time with my sites.
Yet, something sounding so simple was undoubtedly excruciating 4 day ordeal that only ended about 6 hours ago. It turns out, that after 12+ hours of tech support chats, numerous vague and, at times, conflicting accounts of what was being done, the root of my agnst was a silly firewall issue that the network admins forgot to configure.  The firewall configuration that was missing would not allow me to access my files via Passive FTP. Doesn’t sound like a big deal (especially to tech support), but Passive FTP is the only mode that Blogger supports for FTP publishing.
So you can imagine my agony, wanting to spend all this time writing new content and code, and instead writing the same updates to a brand new tech support rep every 12 hours. Now that is behind me, and I can get back to writing all the updates that I had planned for this weekend, I have some catching up to do. On top of what I already have on my plate, I also get to search for a new webhost (I’ve narrowed it down to two) and plan out a migration and testing strategy. Always fun, as you can imagine.
Over the next few weeks, I plan to continue towards my personal goals of blogging and adding new features to my active sites.  In addition, I’ll be migrating my sites one by one to a new host and going through a fair share of testing for each. As part of this migration, I will be looking to upgrade some of my PHP 4 code to PHP 5, which is long overdue. I’ve also been toying with learning Ruby on Rails and having at least one site running on Rails, which shoulds like a good 2009 goal.
All said, I’m doing a lot better right now that I had been feeling about this disaster over the weekend. It’s time to move on and head to a better host and new opportunities. I’m sure to be laughing about this 3 months from now.

About Kris

Programming since age 14, professional software engineer Kris Nelson practices his life motto of "Never stop learning" by developing websites and Apps around his passions, while staying current with trends in technology and social media.