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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

New Setup

Monday
August 21, 2006

Following days of waiting, more than two hours on hold during three cumulative phone calls to iPowerWeb, and annoyances galore, this site is now set up on a new server.

The result? Ehh. Back when I signed up with iPowerWeb (in 2002) they used a program called cPanel to allow you to edit, upload, and do the things that people generally need to do with their websites. But at some point about two years ago, the company dropped cPanel in favor of vDeck, an in-house piece of software that wouldn't require the hassles of third-party interaction.

You might think that they would have just moved their clients over to the new server, but no. Instead, a customer has to make a request and jump through several hoops, even now, to make the change. The upside is that I now have 2 gigs of storage room (versus the tiny 150 MB I had on the old one) which should do me just fine for awhile. I've never been a graphics-intensive programmer; content always trumps style. Look at Google, the Drudge Report and The Best Page In The Universe as proof of that.

The reason that some people who visited this site today reached an inactive page is because I couldn't get into the new server to do anything. How could this happen? It turns out that the old server allowed you to have a $ (dollar sign) as the first character, but the new one didn't. My ignored multiple e-mails to customer service failed to fix this, and it took the third guy I talked with on the phone to diagnose the problem. But, all's well that ends well, right?

To be fair, iPowerWeb *would* have moved the files for me... at the cost of $50. That's right, $50 for the effort I did of FTPing the files to a computer and then FTPing them into the new server. Let's just say that concept didn't sit well with me. At the moment I'm having to double-up my new files (like this one) on both the old and new server until the ISPs across the world all get on the same page on this.

One thing that really annoys me though is when I get a tech support guy on the phone (funny how I've never spoken to a tech support woman) and the guy talks down to me like I'm Johnny Novice with this. To be fair, iPowerWeb didn't do this to me, but in particular when I had to reconfigure my modem in April of this year for my new Bell South service, I had a guy in India on the phone who was both condescending *and* hard to understand. Lovely.

How do I combat that? When the talking-down becomes too much to take, I throw a super-complicated question at them... and then listen to the person on the other end either put me on hold or thumb through whatever manual they have in front of them looking for an answer that's probably not there.

My keeper fantasy football league held its annual big summer redraft last night. To mark the occasion, I finally got around to making the league site compatable with Firefox (though I'm still not sure now why it wouldn't work before -- I messed with the styles.css file until I got it to function correctly.) The draft turned out pretty good for me, I think. About an hour or so before the draft, word came down that Kevan Barlow had been traded to the Jets from the 49ers, meaning that Frank Gore was locked in as the San Francisco starting RB. So when Gore was still on the board in Round 2, Pick 5, I was happy to snap him up.

Plus, no matter what Jeff Fisher does at RB (within reason), I'll be okay, as I have all three of the top Titans RBs: Chris Brown, Travis Henry, and the newly drafted LenDale White. If Jarrett Payton suddenly turns into his father circa 1977, I'll cry.

Over the weekend I watched two movies that I rented from Blockbuster: Match Point (not to be confused with Point Break) and The Cooler. Match Point featured an outstanding performance by the gorgeous Scarlett Johansson (and if you want to see an actually good modern Woody Allen movie, this is the one to see.) One of my all-time favorite actors, William H. Macy, starred in The Cooler, which also featured Alec Baldwin. The Cooler had a flawed premise that really made it tough to suspend disbelief, but Macy carries his role to perfection. I rented the movie specifically because he was in it; I knew little about it when I rented it, but I was thrilled to find out that it was set in Las Vegas, which is probably the best city around for having as a movie setting.

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