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Everything posted by Deverill

  1. Just wanted to drop in a note on this. I lost my DNS setting once because of a server crash and coincidental timing of my change being between backup and restore times. Other than that it's been fine here at TCH. Also, today we couldn't get into the hosted gmail accounts for nearly an hour. Suddenly it cleared up and had nothing to do with TCH... I couldn't even log in on Google's end. I don't know if I lost any emails but this is the problem with beta stuff. Don't even TRY to complain to Google about it. *IF* you can find their flavor of the helpdesk, AND reply to the auto-form mail with "further info", it usually takes 2-4 days for them to reply with a form letter based on the first 3 words of your complaint. If you think TCH not having a phone number was scary try depending on Google support!
  2. Thanks for sharing the pics, Bill. It's fun to see the stuff that goes into what we know as TCH.
  3. Although email problems like these are extremely frustrating, I thought I should throw in a couple of observations. I have been with TCH for 4 years and only once had an email problem, it was because of some weird routing I was doing combined with a server crash, and it was fixed within 10 minutes of me telling them there was a problem. If we don't tell them there's a problem then they can't fix it. They could probably write email pingers to sit and monitor email functionality on each server but I'd rather my emails get through without bandwidth/cpu wasters and report it to them when there is a problem. Yes it's painful until you realize there is an issue, but if it took me 2 days to realize it then how can I expect them to know it quicker - mine is just one of a BUNCH of servers. As far as complaining twice, Alex's test showed it was working and your confirmation of it remaining as a problem prompted immediate response. About the third complaint for old email - it was probably queued anyway and he basically stalled you until the server cleared itself as it would have without your ticket - but this is merely speculation on my part. Email bounces and errors usually take quite some time even in an ideal Internet situation. You know the situation of "Your email has been undeliverable for 24 hours - we will keep trying for 48 more hours." It's not fast in any situation. While your scenarios are indeed possibilities, there are others. My email issue had things black holed because of a dns entry problem that was the result of coincidental timing of a change I requested and a server crash/restore. I don't blame TCH for it at all - it's just something that happened. With all the "hands" involved in making email work across the Internet I think it's a bit unfair to assume ineptitude on TCH's part. I do share your sentiment about not wanting silent failures of email, but do not share you blame of TCH for it. The every five minute thing has been discussed in the forums and I have read suggestions from TCH that it not be set to less than 5 minutes, although I do not remember where it was. You are again assuming they have a NAS, MTA, MDA. It seems your experiences have limited your scope on how things can be set up and are causing you to leap to conclusions that TCH is doing what is suggested not to do. Perhaps, and this is also speculation, they have it throttled on purpose to prevent spammers or others from abusing the system. Remember, when a forum mod suggests something it is not a tech speaking - they are sometimes only guessing, but their guesses are usually pretty good. While there are basic expectations that customers have, these expectations are sometimes unreasonable and sometimes impossible depending on the situations. I can expect my coffee from McDonalds to be 103 degrees, but if there's a power outage it may not come out that way. As a former ISP I'm sure you can appreciate the fact that "stuff happens" and I hope you can also appreciate the percentage of good service they have provided over the years and not let the recent situation taint your overall view of TCH. I can say with certainty that TCH will do everything possible to give you better service that you even expect.
  4. I'll likely stick with what I have for awhile - only been playing 2-3 months and it's all still new so I don't feel I'm missing anything without it. My best char is a lvl 29 Rogue on Argent Dawn, but it's getting hard to get on to lately. <sigh>
  5. Hey Rob, good to see you. Wish I'd known you were COHing before I suspended my acct. Got sucked into the World of Warcraft thing. My lvl 38 scrapper misses me I'm sure, but although it was taking all my time I became pretty bored with it. At least WoW is different boredom. Take care bud, Jim
  6. Don't give up Samantha! The last couple are real head scratchers but if you got that far you'll get it! I just finished lvl 30 and thought for awhile it was a gag with no solution.
  7. There is something that you are not considering. TCH doesn't put as many resellers on a server as they do virtual accounts. Consider these made up numbers as I don't know the real ones and wouldn't ask them such private info: Server 1 - 500 virtual accounts - one domain per account - 40 GB each. - $5/month = $2,500 income Server 2 - 100 reseller accounts - unlimited domains per account - 35 GB each. 29/month = $2,900 income I'm not even sure there aren't more expenses related to reseller accounts/servers but would not be surprised if there were. Considering the return on investment from TCH's point of view, it only makes sense. From a user's point of view, I'm glad resellers are on servers that are easier to manage and handle when there's a problem. You are absolutely right that it seems inequitable -- but there are many behind the scenes things that go into the decision TCH has made.
  8. I have been using the Gmail hosted email for about a month now and my folks love it. They even have a portal where you can add RSS feeds for news and weather and stuff just like on regular Google personalized home pages! Google is certainly much nicer for my non-technical folks than squirrel or horde on the interface side. You do lose out on SpamAssassin, but you get Google's spam filters. They are pretty good but miss a lot of certain types of mail. Lately I've been seeing a lot of "Mail Delivery Error" types of spam that try to look like a failed delivery of email from you to someone else - then when you open it you see a graphic trying to get you to buy stocks... who would buy a stock suggested in that manner is beyond me! Anyway, the guys here were great - I submitted a helpdesk ticket with the info Google gave me and poof, there it was working within about 10 minutes. (It was a low priority ticket ) If you have any questions about it or anything I can help with feel free to PM me.
  9. True, most search engines ignore most of them as well. The revisit-after is not worth doing as the search engines will visit when they feel like it for the most part. The keywords are mostly ignored but in never hurts to have them. The description is important as some engines use that if they can't figure out what your page is about from the content. Also, from the search engine point of view, each page is separate. The search engines don't have a concept of a website but rather of individual pages each standing (or falling) on it's own merits, which is why it's better to customize for each page accordingly.
  10. I didn't choose public uptime reports because they are often misused by competitors and people with a bone to pick, but it would be cool for customers to see it. It still can be misused but if they want to pick nits they can become ex-customers and not worry about it, IMO. Barring unforeseen disasters, thus my choosing of better backup schedules, the uptime here is awesome so I think it would be a positive thing to have available. Your team is doing a great job keeping things running. Sometimes it's so great of a job we don't realize it's happening. I'd personally enjoy a staff-member-of-the-month page with a short bio and a description of how the staffer contributes to TCH and a few "personal interest" type comments from each. We see all the faceless names and it would be nice to see the talent and experience that goes into this place. And yes, you too, Bill - you can't have everyone else do an article on themselves and not do one yourself! I know it's not anything you have control over, but while we are wishing, I wish we could get more substantial web related conversations in the forums... more how-to's and such, instead of just happy birthday - welcome to the forums, but as I said - TCH has no control over that because it must come from us, the customers/visitors... but I can wish! lol
  11. That has to be a lot of work! Kudos Dick - thanks for looking out for us and all our new friends who will join TCH over time.
  12. If you do it with CSS remember to take out the vspace/hspace parts so you don't end up with some weird doubling of space or anything. In Firefox, the top pic is fine but the 3rd pic has text crashing into it and the only obvious diff is the vspace/hspace so I wonder if FF is processing those tags now? I have v2.0 by the way.
  13. I'm guessing that it's part of the license agreement from Intel that they include the jingle. It is not part of the formal name that we would have to emulate when speaking of them... just a marketing gimick.
  14. Welcome to the forums Keith. When you get your account all set up make sure you stop in and make a formal introduction and by all means, if you have any questions just ask. Folks around here like to help!
  15. This is true, but only to the extent that the browser implements that standard faithfully. If a browser doesn't implement the full standard you'll be right back to the situation pretty recently when you could count on IE not doing CSS properly because their CSS rule implementation was... uhm, flawed.
  16. Wow, if the first hop times out, and every one after that does, it sounds like either an internal network problem or an ISP problem. You bypassed the router - did you plug the internet straight into a computer or did you still use the internal network? If you plug the internet connection into a PC without any networking and still have a problem then it's going to be something with your ISP. The guys at the helpdesk will be able to track it down I'll bet.
  17. Thanks for the reply, Dick. That's why TCH rocks - cuz you guys know your end of things inside and out. I did a search and it seems that Expression Web will not rely on FPSEs. They are getting rid of the IE-only and substandard things to make it a serious tool and one that will run on any server - if I read it right. Here's the blog from MS I was reading from http://blogs.msdn.com/xweb/default.aspx This whole thing is sort-of moot since FrontPage is also a discontinued thing in the near future. Being replaced by ExpWeb. I haven't noticed any problems with compatibility and the only thing I am consciously aware of needing FPSEs for is uploading/synchronizing and I could as easily use FTP for that. The answer to your other question, I would use it without FPSE from what I've seen (which my experience at this time is limited) but I would not use it if I would have to change hosts. If TCH had a Windows server I'd probably stay on Linux and do what I needed to make the pages work there. I also wouldn't change to a Windows server to take advantage of the 'bots and stuff for the reasons listed below. Of course, it also counts that I don't like out-of-the-box 'bots like feedback forms, themes, etc. I'd rather incorporate something from hotscripts, etc. than use the generic thing. It does also count that I'm a developer who started hand-coding in the early 90's and have used everything from text editors to Netscape Composer to Dreamweaver to HTML-Kit so I'm probably not the typical FP user. I wasn't trying to convince you, Bruce. By all means, recommend anything you think will help someone - that's what we do in the Forums and why it is so great that we can come here and hear/say things from each of our unique perspectives. If we all agreed on one product it would be a boring place with few solutions I'm afraid. Everyone has to go with what they like/know/can handle/can afford/etc. I just wanted to share my experiences. If it weren't for this class I'd still be using HTML-kit and The Semware (text) Editor. I wouldn't have given FP a second look based on past experiences, but you never know what situation will thrust you again into the unknown or uncomfortable... unless you're stuck in a rut and a rut is just a grave with the ends knocked out. I'm just glad I have yet another tool in my box to use when it calls for it.
  18. [Mods, I put this here instead of the FrontPage forum because it is Software Talk and I'm hoping people who have written off FrontPage for life will see it, which they wouldn't do if it was in the FP forum.] I recently started a class at our church to train people to do the things that need to be done in the technology area. Things like CD creation, audio cleanup, projector and sound equipment control, etc. One of the areas that came up and that my Pastor wanted training on was web design. How would I do it? Obviously I don't want to try to do a 3 month long session on tags and java and such. I decided to use a WYSIWYG. For my own work I use a combination, depending on the task, of Dreamweaver MX, a text editor, HTML-Kit and various other tools such as FileZilla. Dreamweaver is cost prohibitive for our small group of students and it's future is unclear since Adobe bought it. I never used GoLive and it was just as expensive. That left, for a quality, non-transient tool only FrontPage (at least in my mind). I own FP2000 and the thought made me shiver! FP has always made garbage code with a simple title turning into 3 lines of <font/style/h/etc> tags. I figured, however, that I'm the final step between anything they create and the website so I can by hand and with tools clean up the code. No problem! I went to the store and purchased the upgrade FrontPage 2003 and have been using it for a couple of weeks. Boy was I shocked! The code is as clean as any WYSIWYG I've seen and it has tools to clean up things like empty tags, comments, whitespace, unused content, extra formatting tags, etc. “This has potential” I thought. Ok, so now I don't need a barf-bag to start it up, let's see what it can do! There are a lot of nice features that have been added to bring it up to a level of real tool. They have split code/design view, a pretty complete rendering engine, tag viewers and editors, various other element editors (more later), lotsa toolbars that can be customized to give you one-click access to most everything, way better CSS functionality, layers and much more. The element editors are similar for many things. For instance, right click on a table and choose Table Properties and you get a popup with all the options for tables, margins, alignment, etc. It's a very easy way to set things up without having to memorize the syntax. The ones that get me are like margin 1,3,5,10 – is it left, top, right, bottom or some other order? No more guessing. Another great help is the intellisense built into the code editor. Like many Microsoft tools, the editor knows the syntax of the language and has a lot of finish-for-you ability. Example, type “<” and it brings up a combo box with <head> <frameset> and <body>. If you type “<table “ it gives you all the options for a table – everything from "accesskey" to "width" and some helper entries for things like onmouseover. They also have behaviors so you can point and click your way to popup menus on your website, for example, by making the menu hidden at start – adding a behavior for your activation button that makes it visible – and a behavior for onmouseout to make it go away again. These add javascript to the code that is pre-optimized. To change the property of that menu from hidden to visible is about 7 lines of javascript. Sure you can do it in a smaller CSS script but it's not point-and-click. Another nice thing is that it has the familiar Office look and feel so people familiar with Office have a leg-up on learning the interface. File New brings up a “New Document, from template, from existing page,” etc. box just like Word does. FrontPage 2003 is not the solution to making quality web pages without learning HTML. A solid knowledge of how web pages work will prevent you from creating so many messy <font> tags, for instance. Using the tools available with the knowledge of HTML and CSS will create clean WYSIWYG pages. As an example, if I have 3 paragraphs <p>whatever</p> and select each and make it Arial font I get ><p><font face="Arial">Paragraph A</font></p> <p><font face="Arial">Paragraph B</font></p> <p><font face="Arial">Paragraph C</font></p> Eek! I do have another option though! I can use the Format-Style menu to open the CSS dialog box, select the P tag, click Format-Font and select Arial and I get: ><style> <!-- p { font-family: Arial } --> </style> <p>Paragraph A</p> <p>Paragraph B</p> <p>Paragraph C</p> This exchanges the font tag in every paragraph on my page for one line at the top, 2 comments and 2 <style> tags. Then use the tool to strip comments and it's even smaller. Additionally it's much easier to read. This is just a small example of the improvements of FrontPage from 2000 to 2003. Anyone who has an irrational bias, like I did, against FP because they used the old version and saw the havoc it created really should check out the new version. Please note: FrontPage as we know it is no more, BUT Microsoft is recreating it into a new package known as Microsoft Expression Web. There is a beta available that will run until some time in March if you're interested in seeing it for free. I tried it and felt right at home from the 2003 interface I'd been using recently. Microsoft is trying to get away from the stigma of the immature early days of FrontPage and they are repackaging several programs into a package of graphics/web/animation to compete with Adobe I believe. Am I going to delete my text editors, HTML-Kit, Dreamweaver, etc that I used in the past? No way – a worker who is well versed in many tools can do the job the quickest/best. I am, however, giving FP2003 a chance for my web design that I'm working on now and see how it ends up. I have to get this one project done quickly and FP2003 seems like a way to do it. If you have any questions, please ask. I am no expert but will be happy to tell you what I can. If you want to argue about WYSIWYG versus hand-coding l33t-ism then please don't – we've heard it all before. Use whichever tool you are blessed with having and the knowledge thereof and be happy with it. Not everyone will follow your path and we all think our path is the best.
  19. Good point EWJ - we (Americans especially) get used to our rights and our freedoms and sometimes forget ourselves. These forums are indeed owned by Bill and he can indeed do what he wishes with them. I've never seen him do anything out of line, though. We do enjoy the right to freedom of speech here in America, but Bill's not obligated to host the forum for us to do it in. Even if he did censor he'd be like most other hosts out there - no wait, most other hosts don't even have a forum but if they do they would censor. Why would a business advertise negative comments about it on it's own dime? Does McDonalds put up a billboard saying "'McDonald's coffee is too hot!' - little old lady who burned herself"? Of course not. They try to sweep it under the rug. Bill's just a (huge) step above all of them by being so open and honest. Most hosting company owners don't even hang out - they just spend the money their little scheme earns them... especially the <$5.00 per month ones. We're living in a nice mansion with servants and crystal chandeliers for the price of a 1 room flat in the ghetto... at least that's how I see it.
  20. Title affects ranking only extremely minutely... the search engines got tired of people gaming the rankings by stuffing titles. The big thing is to draw folks in. You have to convince them when they are looking at those 9 other sitesthat your site is the one to select from all the choices they see when they look for <whatever>. The title and description does that.
  21. It's most likely that Google saw it as duplicate content and figures folks would only be interested in one page. Remember, any links out there should all point to the same site. If 1/2 of your links go to .com and 1/2 go to .net then you'll not get the full benefit of the links to boost your placement in Google or other search engines. Right now it's showing 16 links to one name and 22 links to the other. One thing that will help tremendously is to get them all pointing to the same name, regardless of which it is. Google is pretty stupid in one way - it doesn't realize that pages belong together as a site - each page stands on its own - and it sure doesn't know one is parked on the other. It just sees that example.com/index.htm and example.net/index.htm have the same info and that can cause one to drop. If all your links are going to .net then I'd not worry about .com. People who use search engines are looking for information, not the URL of the ones offering the information. If you get a high ranking (1st page) and have a catchy title and text that looks like what they are seeking then they'll probably not ever look at the URL to see if it's .com or .net. Additionally, submitting your site to Google is nigh on worthless. Google uses what it finds via links 99.9999% of the time and submissions don't really do much any more. I've even heard suggestions to NOT submit from time to time. Google uses what it finds by following links as it scans the internet with Googlebot. Think about what people will be typing in and looking for when they find your site. You need a catchy title - if someone is looking for funny clips and sports news then say that in the title. Check some sites you get info from and see what their titles are. Look at how they show up in the search engines... and don't focus on just Google. Also make sure you use a good meta description. I found it on Google and when I saw "This is my domain" I thought, "Gee, that would turn me off" - even though it's true and a little of your personality in there, I suspect, it looks ... unappealing. Everything you do should be directed at bringing people to see what you have to say... as far as intro text, titles, descriptions, etc. I hope it helps! At least it's a little better than walking away from a K22 paper jam! (less painful too!)
  22. Link farms are indeed against their policy. Their guideline in that area is "Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100)." The question becomes, Is TCH a: Link Farm? Reciprocal Link Site Something else? Since Family Member site A doesn't link to Family Member site B then it's not a farm. In this regard, the Family Member pages are reciprocal links... but that's not a bad thing necessarily. Google offers this: The question comes down to are the Family Member pages for attracting the 'bot or to help folks find quality content. There is no question that the 'bot will go to pages it wouldn't otherwise because they are listed here. It is equally un-arguable that TCH benefits from the links. The question is, does it offer any value to a site visitor? In my opinion, and that's all it is, the links here can and have helped people find good sites. I have used it myself when looking for someone to do x or y because we have an automatic common ground and I can contact them a bunch of ways. I can also look here in the Forums and see if they are smart, but maybe not web design-smart, or do they come across as bumbling idiots. On the other hand, my link on my sites is there, not to get a single link of questionable Google-points back to my sites, but because I believe in TCH and want to do what I can to help people find them and to kind of pay back, in a small way, the great service they give me. Either side can be argued as to whether it is something Google is tickled to death about, but it's not against their terms of service and doesn't violate their overall guideline of "do no evil". Hope it helps. By the way, the definitions quoted above came from Wikipedia.
  23. Although Mike's thinking is right I just wanted to remind everyone that "deadbeat hosts" are not like TCH. A site move to another server may turn into a week long nightmare if the guys are incompetent, swamped with work, or any of a dozen other things that separates TCH from the rest. It may not actually turn out to be faster and certainly not better in the long run. Besides, if it is a DNS problem doesn't it stand to reason that another server would likely have the same problem? Remember, if you put the other site on an account here and process the DNS change, there would be no down time - the visitors would just suddenly show up here instead of there depending on when their ISP gets the change. Then, when you're confident everyone is coming here (up to 72 hours) you can drop the other site. The only down side to this would be if they have a forum there where posts would get split and that they have to check email in both places for 3 days.
  24. I have had a very similar thing happen several times lately and the fix for me (using Firefox) is to clear the private data (cache). Something makes the forums hang but when I clear the cache it works again.
  25. Well, I meant paint but indeed there are better tools for such things.
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