New hosting service

What a hassle that was! I’ve spent the past month trying to get my website up and running again. The problem was I my website was hosted on a site called pages garden. I’ve had very little problems with them for 3-4 years. But somebody finally mentioned to me that my website was down and it said I needed to renew it. So I started the renewal process on pages garden. But a week and a half after I paid them nothing had changed. So I canceled that order (it said canceling would automatically refund), and tried again. It took my money again, never refunded me for the first time, and still didn’t do anything. So 2 days later I sent in a support ticket telling them the problem. A few hours later I got a response saying my ticket was forwarded to billing, and it may be up to 12 hours before I got a response. Six days passed and not a word. I replied to the ticket asking what the holdup was. I had no response by the next day, so I started another ticket but this time directly to billing. Who knows, maybe their ticket forwarding was broken. I explained the issue again. I again got an automatic response saying wait up to 12 hours. 2 days later and still no word. So I started searching the internet for other people with a pagesgarden problem. It seems like most of the problems started over six months ago. It’s like they just went out of business, but decided not to tell anybody. So I went back to pages garden and saw that the billing department number is now in Malaysia. So basically, I had lost all the data on my website, and I was out 100 bucks. I started the process of transferring my domain name to a new provider: GoDaddy. But pages garden registrar requires that you wait for a week for the transfer to complete. I left them dirty messages on my support tickets, and started a dispute with PayPal to try to get my money back. Who knows if that will work though. It could be somebody committing fraud and emptying out the account without doing anything. Anyway I’ve finally got things working again. It’ll take a little while for the new name servers to propagate, but people should be able to see this page soon. I think I’ve got most everything rebuilt. I may not have some of my pictures uploaded anymore though. Restoring my database was a bit of a hassle. I found a backup copy from June 2006 (when I moved to Houston) hidden on a backup of my old hard drive. So it was a backup of a backup. Once I found that it was easy to restore though. The newer entries were harder to come by though. But through the magic of google cache I was able to get the html of all entries back to 2005. Then with some massaging of the cached page using magical VIM tricks and text substitutions I made each an sql query string for my database. It took me a couple of hours to recover though. I then tested it by inserting into a local copy of the database on my desktop. After about 6 tries I worked all the kinks out and imported the entries into the new godaddy database. But there may be some odd issues, or pieces missing because of the global substitutions I was doing. But a quick scan looks like it is all there.

So finally over a month later things are finally back to a somewhat normal state. Now I’m thinking of redoing this ugly web design. I never really completed it in the first place. But at least I’ll now be able to post blogs, receive comments, and most importantly check my email again. Hope to see ya’ll soon.

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