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Emails 40th Birthday

It's a special day, not just emails birthday (which I've been posting posts for for about... eh... 6 years) but an anniversary! So I decided to kick it up a notch with some email history. It won't bore you, promise. Let's skip really quickly through the years. So, how did it start?

Well, back in the dawn of hellishly expensive electronical apparature, MIT graduate Ray Tomlinson was working with ARPANET (a military network) and was assigned to modify a program named SNDMSG, used to send messages between users on the same computer. It took a while, but in October 1971 he cracked it! The first email ever sent traveled a distance of one meter between two separate computers. One small step for a message, one giant leap for mankind. He also invented the @ character, to separate the recipient/network.

Since then email's been used intensely within ARPANET, but it wasn't until the 1990s and the introduction of the World Wide Web that the entire populace were allowed to embraced this great technology. Along came Hotmail, the first well-known free email provider. They offered a service nobody else did, and their servers were soon so flooded and overloaded it kept their email service from evolving or expanding for more than a decade.

During this time the alternatives started popping up, among them Yahoo, one who has managed to stay alive throughout a decade while all the other bright hopes died down and either disappeared or were lost in the shadows. Sure a few big ones like Mail and AOL still live on, but it's no longer the email heyday and it seems they've had to settle for the sidelines. As the competition increased, so did the need for a change with Hotmail, and they have changed (though maybe a bit late) to the better, expanding their available space per account to match the competition; with a sleek design to move into web 2.0.

Not too long ago Gmail popped up, and instantly things changed for the better, not just with Gmail (which is IMHO the best email client ever) but with all others who tried to stay in the game. A few notable mentions that could've revolutionized the platform were Flash-based Goowy nd others with insane file-size limits upto 1GB or more, but for the moment there are three giant providers that you can rely on. Hotmail (AKA Live), Yahoo & Gmail. Mail & Hush are a pair of survivors with not so great service, but with unique features that grant them a special fanbase; place in this list.

Despite the growth of text messaging, email doesn't seem to be slowing down at all! Back in 2001 31 billion emails were sent daily; in 2008 it was up at 171 billion per day. In 2010, it was 291 billion! And I'm sure that number will only continue to increase. Happy Birthday E-mail!

The Suspense

If any of you checked in on the site about fifteen minutes back you probably noticed the Suspended Account message that decorated the front page... and all pages for that matter. I contacted my host as soon as I found out about it (since they hadn't sent me any email) and it turns out it was just a mistake. So, that's a relief. Site is back up since about fifteen minutes, hope the downtime didn't bother you too much. Like, if you were in the process of reading through a blog just before the site was suspended and suddenly without reason decided to refresh the page and therefore missed the latter extremely interesting part of the blogpost. That would be bothersome. Just imagine if that happened just after you had reached the 'hope the downtime didn't bother you line'... wouldn't that be insanely aggravating? Well oki dokey then, I'm just happy it's all sorted out. If you still want to feel the suspense, just keep right on, because there should be some nice updates to the site tomorrow afternoon. I'll speak again then.

That Stove Looks Just LIke Ours

Surfing the web as I usually do, I found this.

That Stove That Looks Just Like Ours

It's a stove. A stove that some kind soul decided to give away due to reasons I cannot comprehend. Who in their right mind would want to give away a beautiful stove like this? Oh, it was working, so malfunction (the only valid reason in my mind) is not the reason. I'd have taken in this stove with open arms if my parents would let me. Problem is we live in a relatively small house and there's no room for an extra stove, and replacing the current stove doesn't seem to be anybody else's wish than my own.

We have a stove just like this at the summer place, an older model, with fewer buttons and a small operable vent to let out hot air from the oven. It also doesn't have those rings around the side-lights, it's similar but much nicer, and since the seller (err... giver?) estimated the ^ stove to be from around 1930 it's apparently much more antique than we thought. Still works fine. Still eats huge amounts of electricity. Still is to a kitchen what food is to a starving African. In other words, we couldn't live without it. So yeah, enough about our stove...

Do you have anything similar at home? Do share.

A Star

A Star

Batch Of Nostalgia - 6 Years Blogging

On October 17, 2005, CyberDyze was reborn dynamically using the MyBloggie platform. Back then the site had already been up for over a year, as an experimental playground, a transformable space for my many projects and ambitions. Design was a big interest and I redesigned the entire site a few times each month, often changing not only theme but type of content as well. I learned a lot, and after little more than a year of experimenting I decided to revolutionize the site with a database-based interface. MyBloggie was the choice.

Back in 2005 I was still in school, but I spent a large portion of my free time maintaining my site, and blogging, writing down tidbits of life and inspiration. When I looked out the window and saw a tree burning, the obvious thing to do was sit down and write a blog about it...

I was peacefully sitting glued like super glue in front of my computer working on my site damaging my sight when I threw a vast glance out the stained glass of the window and realized that there was a great big fire of flames outside! It was right across the railroad track from where we’re at, which we live right beside. Blazing and amazing! Soon after firetrucks started arriving and striving to turn of the fire and keep people surviving.

Writing has always been my best way to vent, and so I turned from writing lyrics and notes to writing blogs and poetry online. During my first years I wrote a lot of poetry. I experimented with music, animation, design, games; all forms of artistry that were available at the time. Looking back, it's a wonder I had time for so much! Now it feels like just typing in a weekly blog is enough; I still feel busier than I felt back then. In the timeline, there are virtually no negative posts. So how was life back then? What's been going on these past few years? Going through posts...

I created the Infinity series, a set of 99 music loops. I went to the film club Projektor in Sundbyberg with my buddy Bear a few times. They showed great movies such as 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' and 'Kung-Fu Hustle' for a small audience, never more than ten people. Eventually the club moved and they gave away all remaining for free, the event accompanied by soothing music of a live band called the Tiny Boys (If I remember it right). We tried visiting the new location once, but it wasn't the same any more. I started watching One Piece in 2005 after having being hooked to Bleach & Naruto already, and went through all episodes in an insanely short period of time (there were hundreds). I designed start pages for awesomestart, a new and innovative site at the time of which there is now millions of alternatives. I wrote poetry, made lolipops (what I called site intros), games, posted text from around the net to a personal database I called the Library and also made my first PHP script ( a link dump - the first one on the net! ). I also practiced a bit of Jujitsu until I dislocated my knee, played a lot of Motherload, made a decisive switch from Yahoo! to gMail, found Maddox and became an avid fan, created a file database I called the FTPDB that later had to be removed due to server restrictions and spent a lot of time on NG (which is still a big interest).

Not long after the blog was made I switched from MyBloggie to WordPress. The first system was simple, and the first dynamic script I used for my site, but WordPress had so much more, the possibilities and features were endless! Unfortunately, this script was also a bit resource-intense and buggy at the time, and I didn't know my way around plugins, so I quickly started hogging server resources and thus decided to change to CuteNews, a text based CMS. I moved over all the blogs, and used this script for one or two years, before once again going back to WordPress. Moving the posts to CuteNews had been easy, but I had now been posting much more, so there was much more to move. To top it off, there was no export feature, like there was with WP. I had to transfer all posts one by one, and the comments, and add timestamps to recreate the ones that had been posted! It wasn't fun, but I did it, I transfered everything and since then I've stuck to WP. It's much faster now.

Three years after this site was born; two after I started blogging, I graduated. Life after graduation didn't change much, except I didn't hang out with friends as often and I actually had more time to spend on my hobbies (of which this website was still my favorite). At first I attended Stockholm University, but after half a year I decided to study from a distance, and for the next three years that's what I've been doing, sitting by the computer, alternatively working on the site and working on studies. At times this place doesn't feel as inspiring as it used to, but at times it's still just as fun to play around with as I remember. Here's to another 6 years!

What Good Are Discounts If I Don't Use Them?

I just bought another full year hosting, with a different host, with a new account, with a 25% discount for life and I really don't know what to use it for. Say what? It only cost 70SEK (that's about $10) a year, so I didn't really have much choice. :) Even without the discount that price was highly competitive!

Last year I signed up with a different host for a full year and I haven't even used the account, at all! It expired yesterday. It was a reseller; I had big plans for it, but it turned out the host wasn't as good as I expected so I feel worse paying for it than I do not actually using the account. Their control panel is so slow you have to literally wait a minute while a page loads, and in modern day that just doesn't cut it. This years discount host seems better, despite their calling themselves Reliable Host. I mean, any real host would choose a less reliable if they really were reliable and not just wanted to sound it. The name almost made me not buy hosting at all, but at that price, it's worth the risk anyway.

Reliable Host are new (thus cheap - for life - to the selected few who buy plans now) with great hopes and dreams and I hope as much as them that they won't die or start overselling their servers when their financial situation gets tough. Signing up with a new host is always a risk, but then again, if nobody signs up with new hosts there won't ever be any old hosts will there?

So, apart from the reseller I signed up for last year and never used (which I would still have had 70% off for life on had I not not renewed it a couple of days back) I bought a domain name for 10 cents last year as well. Don't know if I mentioned it, but that's a cheap domain! I put up a splash page saying I'd have a site up for the domain, but never made it, there's just too much to do and I don't have time for new projects if I don't let some old ones go. I mentioned the VPS I bought too, right? That was two years ago, and that didn't work out because the host died on me, disappeared; took the money with them. I didn't lose faith in new web-hosts though, as you should've understood by now if you read the above. ;)

So, for the sake of memory practice and to those who are interested in the world of webhosting and need a few names to blame... I won't link them because they really aren't places that need to be linked to. Here's the list:

The VPS that disappeared on me was The VPS Gods (.info).
I paid for a full year too and though it was cheaper than most hosts a VPS is never cheap. Their disappearance left a big hole in my pocket.

The host that now have incredibly slow servers are Desire Host (.net).
"All our packages include low server load" my ass... they have good plans just not good servers/personal/hosting/etc.

The domain I bought for 10 cents was bought at Binero (.se).
A free hosting account came with it for a full year, too! When they don't have special prices their prices are above average though, but on the bright side - they have both good service and good servers. It's one of those 'normal' hosts you can actually rely on, but they rarely give discounts, and when they do it's never for life. If they did (and it was big enough to bring the price below normal prices) I'd have bought an account with them immediately. Same thing goes for Loopia (.se) and One (.com). Though I had problems with mod rewrite on the latter. I told them and they gave me a refund. As for Loopia, I haven't tried their hosting yet, but they're good with domains.

Another host (like Desire Host) that offer great plans and pricing is Magma Host (.com).
I'm still signed up with a reseller there because it is insanely cheap (for life) but they truly suck. I hate to just flame them but I haven't had good experience with their services, their servers... not with anything. On the bright side I have a free dedicated IP for life along with my account - no extra cost (which is probably the reason I still have an account there in the first place). But that bright side is quickly darkened by the fact that they put my name on a client testimony and said good things about themselves. If they just start taking care of their business like they should I'll forgive them though.

Now that I'm on the subject. Hotfile. They suddenly decided to sharpen their policies and delete unwanted files like crazy. They deleted everything, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, that had been made public (not my files, the files of people I wanted to download from... I didn't have any uploads). I bought an account there for a year and little more and halfway through there was suddenly nothing left to download. Well, obviously there must have been something, but I couldn't find it. There was this one day when my download speeds crept down to 2KB (holy low shit) as well and stayed that way for a few days. I contacted support, got no answer. I looked on their site, they mentioned nothing.

They may be giving unlimited b/w and easy access to anything you want to upload, but if you're thinking of using them for anything not private (like backing up all your files) I don't recommend them. Frankly, I wouldn't trust my personal files with them either, they don't strike me as reliable at all after all I went through with them. But speaking about file hosts...

RapidShare. I signed up for a one month (or wait, was it one day?) account and enjoyed every second of it. Only problem was that downloads were actually limited, unlike the crappy host above, but you get what you pay for. Good support. Good service.

FileFactory. I signed up for a one day account here as well to download a batch of files, and all went good. Only thing I didn't really like was the fact that one day cost almost the same as a full week. I feel like I should've signed for a full week, but I only needed a day, but still... to sum it up that sales trick of theirs sorta cut down my respect for them a little. They have a download limit too btw. If I chose between this and the above, the above gets full attention I should mention.

There's also MediaFire and MegaUpload (been thinking of buing an account for life there, just one fee and it lasts as long as you live) but I haven't used them yet so I won't mention them. Oh whoops I just did... but seriously though, they seem like the top two candidates in the file hosting (a)biz right now.

And while I'm still talking about hosts and what not, the first host I ever signed up with, Canaca, are specialized in KVM hosting now (not that it's relevant. They had (still have) plans with insanely high amounts of space and bandwidth (at least they don't offer unlimited, many thanks for that) that you won't ever be able to use. We're speaking around 400GB, and that together with an acceptable usage policy and no hosting download sites allowed on their servers (all 'normal' hosts have that in their ToS, no shame there). What makes it stupid though is that I signed up with the Silver plan when they had a Bronze plan for half the price, and I still never used up more resources than the Bronze plan offered. Actually, at the start I think I would have been better off with just a free web-host and a domain name. A few 100MB would have been more than enough.

So I guess that's what they call experience. I eventually moved from Canaca not because the price was too high but because their servers were getting rather slow and they kept giving me trouble suspending my account for too many processes running amok or stupid things like that. Maybe not so stupid in retrospect, but back then I just didn't like my account getting suspended. Still don't, but I'm not stupid enough to let scripts go wild and eat up memory any longer. Or maybe the scripts I use are just a bit better than they were back then...

I know I've tried maybe a couple of other paid hosts as well, but I can't remember them... maybe I haven't. Free hosts are a different story though, if you're a 'professional' website owner (who uses FTP, SQL databases, Mod Rewrite, etcetc) - never get free hosting. The sites that offer free hosting on the scale you need will die down very quickly. I know. I've been signed up with ten or twenty and they're all gone now. The ones who still exist are the ones who won't let me upload files larger than 2MB or mod rewrite links or even give me access to a database. In other words hosts that aren't suitable for me any longer. So... moral of this story is... the world of hosting is vast and wild so....

Actually all I wanted to say was that I just bought a new hosting account and this time (third time right right?) I plan on using it for every cent of its worth! :) Later.

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