Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

Just how do you change your hosting service?

Unfortunately, we’re rapidly becoming experts at this but for those that think they’re locked in to their current hosting service no matter what, think again because you definitely aren’t locked in.

Essentially, it’s fairly simple and has only seven steps:

  1. Sign up with a new hosting service. There’s lots (thousands actually) around though, as we’ve found, not all are as reliable as you might think from the reviews.
  2. Whilst you’re waiting for your new host to set up the account for you, take the time to begin the process of copying your website from your existing host to your own computer. It’s best to do that even if you’re sure that the copy on your computer is the same as the copy on the host.
  3. If you’ve a database driven site, export the database to your own computer. You may need to do this step later if you’re updating the site during the move (eg if you have a blog).
  4. Once the new host has given you the login details, copy the site to it’s new location and, if you have them, upload the databases (you’ll probably need to create the databases via the control panel first).
  5. At this point you will need to edit the config files of any database applications so that they point to the new location.
  6. Change the nameservers to point to your new host.
  7. Cancel your old hosting contract. Personally, I’d leave it a few days just to make sure that everything is working.

The big hassle is the time required to download and upload a large site but other than that, it’s pretty painless.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

The websites are on the move AGAIN!

It’s only been two weeks since we moved the websites on the American hosts from Powweb who couldn’t even manage to get the basic hosting account set up first time which says something about the poor quality of their support as they only offer one hosting plan so it should be a click and it’s done type of operation.

Lunarpages managed to get the account set up perfectly first time which isn’t really staggering praise as it’s what they do so they should get it right first time. However, the uptime has been dire for the two weeks. Week one saw the sites being down for around an hour per day so I fired off a support ticket asking my account to be moved to a more reliable server. The response was that they’d rebooted it and sorted out a “few issues” at the same time. It did improve alright but only for a couple of days and now it’s just going from bad to worse with downtime amounting to almost an hour less than half-way through the day.

Anyway, ’tis off once more and I’m in the process of downloading the first site that’s going to be heading for Integra-Net which I’ve heard a lot of really good things about and has the other plus point that they’re under $35/year for the hosting plan that I need.

What’s confusing me is why the hosting services are so unreliable though. With exactly the same site monitoring package in place my UK host is showing downtime of several minutes per week (presumably when they reboot the server) and, no, it’s not a UK based monitoring service.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Getting Umbuntu operational

Or rather not.

The basic system is working very well on the computer but I’ve two problems that are stopping me from abandoning Vista at the moment.

The first is the wifi card. I’ve spent ages trying out the various “solutions” that I can find and, so far, none of them work. My guess is that I’ll have to wait for the new version of Ubuntu to sort these (it’s due out on the 24th of April).

 The second is getting stuff out of Outlook. It looks like the various versions of Outlook have managed to corrupt the data over the years so at the moment I’m having trouble getting that out via Thunderbird although I’m hopeful that I’ll get that operational in due course. Having over 10 years worth of e-mails takes a “little” time to move.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

How can you keep the quality of your blog up?

One of the problems that you find when you’re blogging quite a lot is in keeping the quality of the posts up.

Many bloggers seem not to bother with quality and end up producing a steady stream of short posts that are barely in English and often total drivel. OK, I’ll admit that the “drivel” comment is a subjective one and some of those that write what I’d call drivel seem to have quite substantial readerships so clearly there’s a market for that out there.

What I try to do is to write about a number of separate themes that are intertwined here in the one blog. So you’ll see posts about finance, travel and daily happenings with very little linking them apart from them having been written about by me. That lets me write about three separate topics in a day and keeps things relatively fresh.

On a separate tack, I also have a separate blog over at The View from Arnold which has a similar mix of things but which treats them in a more indepth way and I’m currently limiting myself to five posts a week. What would appear here as two or perhaps three posts appears there as just one. I’ve also adopted the policy that every post will have a photo there which is turning out to be harder to keep up than expected: quite how the daily photo blogs manage it year after year I don’t know.

I’m thinking of doing a creative writing course next year so I’m also toying with adding a “writing” strand to the topics here but haven’t really got further than thinking that I’d like to do that so far.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

The tunnel out of Microsoft is nearly dug…

It took five and a half hours to download yesterday but finally I’ve got a DVD with Ubuntu (Linux) on it.

Setting up the computer to run both Vista and Ubuntu turned out to be surprisingly simple. All that I needed to do was to shrink the partition that contains Vista to make some room to install Ubuntu (you do that from disk management in Windows XP or Vista).

Next up was installing Ubuntu which was very simple and after the usual language and timezone selection, it installed and configured itself leaving me the option of loading up Vista or Ubuntu when I power up the machine.

The one problem so far is that I’ve not got the wifi card working but I’m installing the Ubuntu updates as I write this so perhaps it’ll be operational afterwards. As usual, there are a few drivers to be loaded so I can’t watch my videos ’til the updates are all installed for example.

Interestingly, you can use the Vista partition just as if it were part of Ubuntu. If I were doing the install again, I’d be inclined to just create a big enough partition for Ubuntu and hold the files in the Vista partition rather than try and make the Ubuntu partition as large as possible.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.