Hosting

 

Nutella

Where did January go? 

Whoosh – it’s over month now, since I wrote anything on here. I’m sorry if you follow this avidly ;-(

My Moodle installations are hosting by Siteground in America. I’d rather have a friendlier host and a more user-friendly interface, but let’s face it, once you start messing about behind the front pages of web sites and VLEs* they all tend to be unfriendly for a non-technical bod like me.

I have three Moodle installations at present at http://eduvel.org.uk, two are sub-domains of the older Moodle 1.9 (I also have Moodle 2 and Moodle 2.3) and until about ten days ago they worked fabulously. There are drawbacks to using a server in the States, but as far as my requirements go – it’s all worked well.

However, Siteground changed their server address last month and I haven’t been able to get onto my sites since then.

They had said that the transfer from one server to another wouldn’t be a problem:

1) We are happy to inform you that the shared hosting service you are using will be upgraded to a conceptually new hardware configuration. […]

2) All these improvements will result in better loading speed for your website.[…]

3) This will not result in any downtime, but you and some people who have recently visited your website at the old IP location may experience problems accessing it for some time after the change due to IP data cache at their local Internet providers.

4) Once the files are transferred, your account will be assigned its final new IP, but this time the change will not result in any DNS cache problems, as we will set up your domain name and we will redirect any traffic coming to the transitional IP used during the process to your final one.

So I waited until this week and I still couldn’t get on!

So I’ve wasted lots of time today sorting it out.

I suspect that Siteground are on the West Coast, so replies to emails come overnight – delaying the process somewhat. Luckily, my domain name hosts 1and1 are much quicker off the mark.

1and1 host my now defunct Village-eLearning Consultancy web site and over the years I’ve bought several domain names through them. It’s easier then when renewal time comes along to just say yes to the one company, rather than lots. However, this does mean that I have to go through the (to me) nervous process of re-directing the domain via DNS settings. Siteground had told me that despite the notes above, I had to change these manually. Grrr.

Well, I couldn’t see any of my sites on the 1and1 dashboard – they’ve changed the dashboard since I needed to do anything like this – so I had to email their support team. There was a problem with the email address I was using, so I eventually had to ring them.

The lady I spoke to – Indian I suspect – was very competent, very patient and very helpful. It took me very little time to change the DNS settings once I knew where they were. And, despite the promised wait of 24 hours, I’m already back using my Moodle pages. Whoo ooo.

Moral? Don’t be impatient, read all of the little tabs and links on a dashboard and don’t trust ‘trust us’ notices from Siteground. ;-(

*Virtual Learning Environment – VLE. Moodle is an example of such a thing.

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Why hasn’t Flickr got a belting App?

There was some discussion recently about the success of new and emerging photo sharing sites such as Instagram and Photovine.

The counterpoint of this discussion was the effect it has on more established sharing sites like Flickr (and Photobucket?).

At first, I failed to see the point of the discussion (as I interpreted it) as Instagram and Photovine offer completely different services to sites like Flickr and Photobucket.

Ref:http://davepeck.visibli.com/share/K4VmAN written in response to http://thomashawk.com/2011/08/flickr-is-dead.html

I had to ask the question (via Twitter): What do people want from photo sites? Why is Flickr dying? What changes are needed? @alextronic replied to @dsugden @jamesclay and @davepeck – It’s an amazing site that could do with a better app!

And that made me realise the problem. Flickr really could do with an App that does ‘stuff’. Following a recent James Clay blog post [http://tech.jamesclay.net/?p=2099]I recently bought the Paper Camera App http://bit.ly/qxJuMK (to go with Instagram and all the other photo Apps). I paid 69p. and am only marginally disappointed with it. How difficult would it be for a company like Yahoo! to develop an absolutely belting App that allows the pencillification of Paper Camera along with all the different filters found on Instagram. Even if they charge more than 69p! After all their customers have an abundance of photos – perhaps they’d like to play too?