Bluehost giving me the blues, looking for new web hosting

Eversince Bluehost gave me the heartbreak of telling me if my script cause a spike to their CPU for the third time, I will have to find a new web hosting company. I think that is rather stern and unfair, rather than chasing the customer away, they should try to help resolve what was wrong with my script installation. After looking around online, I found many negative reviews about Bluehost. And some place the power failure incident as a major negative point against Bluehost. Believe me, when all my web sites went down that day, I too had to wait it out for their servers to reboot. And they talked about world class backup generators and they weren't working that day with the excuse the power companies didn't allow them to use it.

Another down point is that Bluehost is one of the few web hosting companies that throttle your bandwidth, that means if a certain increase load to their servers due to higher website traffic, it would mean your web site will start to slow. Searching online, I found a review where a user who was a teacher, complained that her Wordpress website slowed to a crawl when many of her students were accessing her web site simultaneously. And I bet that the number isn't very high considering that a classroom full of student accessing her website requires throttling?

My Wordpress website in Bluehost is down and out!

Oh, blow me down! It seems I got two script: Wordpress installation and Statusnet is causing Bluehost server to overload and they had to shut down my account which was a big blow since I have several website domains hosted on it. Whenever a script installation takes up too much server webserver resources it will impact on other users and thus the prudent thing to do is to suspend the culprit which this time looks like me!

For Statusnet, I was experimenting with it. Didn't know it was using up so much resources. This one was very easy for me to let go. I just deleted the Statusnet folder where it was installed and that was it. But that was not the end of it. My Wordpress too was also causing server overload, and this installation is very important to me as I am using it regularly to blog. It has 500 posts and does earn me some Adsense income though small it still something. Unfortunately I'm just as in the dark as to what is wrong with my Wordpress installation. And the only way to avoid getting shut down and getting my account terminated was to chuck out my Wordpress installation in Bluehost. Boo-hoo!

Bluehost was very strict with their TOS, and if I cause their server to overload the 3rd time, I will have to find myself a new webhosting company! Well, maybe there is a silver lining in this predicament. Because now I have decided to look for a new webhosting company, perhaps one which is nearer to my locality rather than half a world away.

This time round I decided not to host so many website in one hosting account. Hey it may be cost effective to host unlimited multiple domains but if any one of your website caused an issue then all your other website will be affected. And if the webhosting company decided to terminate your contract, you will be in a big lurch to find a new webhosting company plus shifting all the data and reconfiguring your SQL database etc etc. Now that would be indeed a big disaster!

Since I still got an whole year's worth of hosting with Bluehost (I signed up a 3 year hosting plan with Bluehost as I felt their hosting plan and services was rather good despite being not the cheapest one around) and decided to continue with it till it expires next year. However with the above experience I have decided to split up my websites to several webhosting companies. Actually I'm already using another one, it is a good one, but I would like to try other web hosting companies too.

Locally we have Exabytes which is offering the same unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, but having have several websites, I think it is not necessary to have this kind of requirement. In fact you pay more when you can save with less. After all, how many of us average webmaster will ever achieve resounding super heavy website traffic? If you do and  you are earning good income from it most likely you will invest in an expensive dedicated web hosting in order to cope with the server load.

Since it is unlikely I will have such overly popular website, a shared webhosting will do just fine. Before shifting over to a new webhosting company, I checked the server logs and see just what amount of bandwidth and storage required. Then looked around for a suitable cost effective hosting.

For now, I will just be shifting my JanLeow.com website. When my hosting with Bluehost will be due next year I guess I will be moving out from Bluehost. Well it has been a good many years of usage with them, but in the end I have decided there are better offerings elsewhere and decided to give other webhosting companies a go.

 

MyBlogLog is gone!

Looks like Yahoo! pulled the plug on MyBlogLog.com on the 24/May/2011. Strangely I didn't receive the notice, but found out when my MyBlogLog RSS feed kept giving me error. I had some inkling and forewarnings some six months back when their new CEO announce major revamp to the Yahoo! web business shutting down services or selling them away. Several of their services that I was using like Geocities.com was closed and quite fortunately, Delicious.com was sold to another party.

Since I wasn't sure whether they were closing or selling Delicious I did try to back up all my bookmarks. Now that it was passed on to another company I can rest a little easy. Unfortunately the staff changeover has resulted in reorganization and the new Firefox 4 could not support their extension so I hoping that they will do soon before I'm completely comfy with Xmarks and say sayonara to Delicious for good!

As for MyBlogLog.com, I did have several of my website RSS feeds that went into it get chopped! And now I need to sort out my websites to remove their widget which is now no longer functioning.

Ah! The way dot com companies get shuffled around in the cyberworld you can never be sure who will be handling those services and thus your data and activities will change over time and you have to make adjustment for it. Just don't rely too much on each services I suppose and have contingency where possible (but sometimes it is hard to find an alternative)!

New devices for my PC hobby

Seems like i'm having a shopping spree on my IT gadget devices recently. Although Malaysia is having sales everywhere in the shopping malls. The same cannot be applied for computer gadgets.

With rather limited time, I haven't gotten around to blog about my new found gadgets.

Basically, i bought myself a LiveScribe 2GB Pulse smartpen as they were letting go at RM400 which was within grasp for me to give this smartpen a go. This model may not be new, but still works just as good.

I've also upgraded my modem coz my old wireless-B router already knocked out sometime ago and i was mulling whether to get the Belkin share router modem. But when Aztech recent lauch their new router modem wifi-N with a usb port for NAS, it was 1/2 the price of Belkin, at RM149, so I went for it.

And finally, I couldn't wait any longer and decided to iindulge myself with the SanDisk Cruzer 32 GB. I could only get it from PineApple computer store meeting up with old friends. I use to patronize their shop however their prices are not as competitive against the Low Yatt based shops in Digital Mall. Still they gave me a reasonable price. Which wasn't too bad.

Now preparing it for security and perhaps even install Ubuntu Linux into this thumbdrive since it got quite a lot of space!

Toyota Altis Major Car Servicing

Time to do a major car servicing to my Toyota Altis. Having clocked about 170,000km, some of the engine rubber seals and parts has worn out. Should have known that it was rather serious when I notices spots of engine oil on my house front car porch. It didn't cross my mind that the leak was serious. During one of the my field sales trip for a customer call on a late afternoon, I was suddenly taken in by fatigue and decided to have a pit stop in a Petronas petrol kiosk.

Toyota Car Servicing Workshop

While having a cup of coffee, I was thinking, "Perhaps I ought to give the engine oil level a look since I'm already here in the petrol station." After my coffee break, I open the bonnet and was rather alarmed that the oil level was empty!

I was rather fortunate to check it and bought some engine oil. If the engine was to burn, it would be a major disaster! Anyway the Toyota Altis was due for servicing so may as well send it in to fix the engine leak and service the car at the same time.

Seems like the Toyota section 19 service centre is rather pack for those cars undergoing major servicing and I will have to wait for a full one week before I could get my car back! No choice I suppose.

Although the Fukushima earthquake has affected Toyota parts manufacturers, there is still sufficient Toyota spare parts for servicing and repair. So the delay is not caused by the spare parts shortage but rather so happen there was a large number of cars being sent in for major servicing and repairs.

According to the Toyota servicing staff, such major servicing usually takes about 3 days, but this time round, the car servicing will take longer due to lack of lifting ramp service bays.

Spying at my calendar, I noticed next week there will be a two week long school holiday break. Perhaps that might have something to do with the many cars being sent in. After all, parents would like to take some time off with their children and go for some travel destination holidays locally. Sounds like a plan! Well, my son is still rather young for any long road trip. Perhaps in another month or so then.

Meanwhile, I just have to sort out my transportation issue. In Malaysia it is a big handicap if you don't have a vehicle to move around, the public transportation is just way too unreliable!

[update: May 2012]

Again my engine oil was way empty! This time round I sent it to Kota Ming Motor for checking instead. They checked the engine but could not find any leakages. All the seals are as it should be. So they inform that whenever cars become old, the engine would start to burn off black oil into the exhaust system. The workshop owner joked that my car condition was so much better than his old jalopy!

I bought this car way back in June 2004, so it has been used for 8 years already. So a partial solution to avoid forgetting to check for engine black oil level, was to use semi-synthetic engine oil and have the car serviced every 5,000km instead of the usual 10,000km. A thicker viscosity oil would also help prevent the oil from being burnt away too easily by the engine combustion.

However by using a thicker viscosity, the drive would not be as smooth as a fully synthetic engine oi. I could live with that. After all the car has served me well for so many years and it was coming towards the end of its trouble free driving. You could see the many scars of driving in Malaysia. No way you could keep your car dent and scratch free. If you didn't knock something, someone else would eventually knock into your car, as the saying goes.

One thing for sure, a Toyota car has a long durable life span. Even though this Altis car was manufactured in Thailand and not Japan, it still kept much to its quality standard.

HP OfficeJet warranty exchange problem

HP OfficeJet J3508 All-in-one Fax Scanner Printer


I was very pleased when my defective HP OfficeJet all in one printer fax scanner was given a one-to-one exchange. But my joy was shortlived after receiving the replacement unit. I don't know whether this was a slip up from the HP warranty service department. I don't know why they gave me a defective unit as replacement, in fact this unit was much worst off then my earlier OfficeJet.

Although my ealier unit could not get a dial tone,it could still print and scan. The replacement unit was a total wipeout. It kept giving me a paper jam message when i haven't even fed any paper. My guess the previous owner was a having a seroius paper jam defective unit. The HP service department didn't do a good job with the repair and they release the unit?

Very poor show on their part. Coz it left me with a poor impression about Hewlett-Packard. In their attempt to discourage people from submitting their defective HP units for warranty claim (they want to charge me $30 for checking a unit stillwithin warranty!) and made me call for phone support and yet they gave me a defective replacement! I was thinking how they could give customers brand new unit, but actually they are just giving reconditioned units which were defective and send it by the previous owner.

Sigh! No choice but to call them again to give me another replacement OfficeJet for the defective replacement OfficeJet that was for my earlier defective OfficeJet.

If the next unit is also defective, it would really show Hewlett-Packard having a very poor on their after sales service.

In fact I'm thinking twice about purchasing HP products in future. In their attempt to cut cost to improve their short term bottomline they are sacrificing their long term goodwill of their customers.  

Got My HP OfficeJet J3508 All-in-one Fax Scanner Printer

Eulogy for Victor Seow Kok Leong

Victor and I shared some good times together, since the time I met his sister, Lena. Victor and I had many similar interests. He like planes and aircrafts and together with Lena went on a holiday trip to Langkawi and enjoyed the LIMA airshow. I didn't know it was a reward by my wife for his visiting the doctor. Later he took up aeronautical maintenance course. The college was located in a very ulu kampong area but somehow that college run by MIC wasn't very good and Victor had to quit the course.

A close family friend, Mr Chan introduced a job as a land surveyor but later Victor took up the challenge of network administrator. Victor have learned a lot from there and decided to venture out on his own to start up a security system company with the support of doctor friend.