VPS Farm closing up shop

The hosting provider where I host this blog, VPS Farm, is closing up shop in two weeks. The owner is changing jobs and shutting it down. This means I have to find a new provider, and fast, or my handful of readers will be forever lost.

I have some local providers that I can turn to, so I hope to switch over to a new provider soon. With any luck the transition will be seamless but I’m sure a gremlin or two will pop up. Just bear with me. I promise that there isn’t much that can shut me up!

VPSFarm to the rescue!

No account of my weekend system administration adventures would be complete without acknowledging the outstanding customer support provided by my blog host provider, VPSFarm.

I emailed VPSFarm’s customer support first thing Saturday morning requesting they shut down my server. This was completed for me in a matter of minutes, and Vinay at VPSFarm sent prompt replies to my emails throughout the entire weekend (even close to midnight). He even provided a tarfile backup of my system. In short, Vinay and VPSFarm went above and beyond the call of duty – far beyond the meager amount of money I spend would justify.

Its easy to be a friend when times are easy, but when the chips are down you find out who your friends really are. Vinay Selvaraj and VPSFarm are the real deal. If you’re looking for an Xen-based Linux box you’d be stupid to look anywhere else.

Bravo Zulu, VPSFarm!

Highlights of 2013: Blog news

This year was full of blog-related news. Early on, I had to migrate my site from one hosting provider, VPS Farm, to another, RootBSD. VPS Farm offered wonderful service and had tools built to allow me to maintain my site anytime I wanted. RootBSD has been a good hosting provider as well, with near-rock-solid performance and a friendly, knowledgeable staff. Most of this transition was behind the scenes for most of my MT.Net readers, thankfully.

My blog showed up in a number of places. Earlier this summer, my friend Scott Huler linked to a post I wrote about our solar PV installation (more on that in a minute). The post brought quite a bit of traffic to my site and made me think of ways I might make money with my blogging. I approached Salon regarding a blogging position they had and reactivated the dormant Google AdSense ads I once had on my blog. Now the advertising revenue pays for about half of my hosting fees. I’m not living large but it’s better than nothing!
Continue reading

Now on new host

Well, the dreaded day did come when I had to move my website off the hosted VPS Farm server I’ve used since 2007. When I turned off my server for the last time Tuesday night I felt a twinge of sadness. It was like saying goodbye to an old friend.

The migration to my new host, Tranquil Hosting, went very smoothly, however. I had my sites down for about two hours Tuesday night as I shifted mail and websites to the new host. I was rather pleased with myself that things went so smoothly. I guess my many years of IT experience pays off!

Will I stick around with Tranquil? We’ll see. VPS was a deal that was hard to beat but there’s something to be said about working with a local firm like Tranquil. So far so good!

Google Reader and the danger of walled gardens

Sadly, I learned today that Google is pulling the plug on Google Reader, it’s RSS aggregation service. No explanation was given for the move.

Over on the Google Reader forums, I posted this question:

So, with Google’s shutdown of Google Reader, do the “walled gardens” of Facebook and Google Plus win? Is this the end of the easily-searchable, anyone-can-set-up-shop-on-the-Internet days?

Why would Google intentionally make it HARDER for its users to follow their interests online? How could Reader possibly be sapping enough resources to justify its end?

Continue reading

Quirky server issues

So the switch to the VPS Farm hosting provider is not going as smoothly as I’d hoped. Even with a swap partition enabled, the session ran out of memory.

I set up my home network management software instance to monitor the server for memory issues but I turned my network management box off as painters are working in the room where it normally lives. Thus I was unable to track issues with the server. I did have a console open on it which indicated it died around 11 AM today, though from what I still don’t know. Seems every 36 hours it decides to done blowed up.

Bear with me, folks, as I work out these issues. Thanks, y’all.

Hosting Provider Switcheroo

MT.Net may go dark briefly in the next day or so as it moves to its new home on a box at VPSFarm, a Xen hosting provider. This could normally be done with no service interruption to you, my dear readers, but a DNS change is being made simultaneously. Those tend to take a while to propagate so its possible you may not jump to the new site as quickly as you’d like.

Should you happen to lose your MT.Net goodness, please – do not panic! The new DNS changes should eventually propagate to you.

You’ll know you’re looking at the wrong site if you don’t see a post about Miss Teen South Carolina next up.