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Alden Bates' Weblog

Feigning normality since 1973

Hosting history of Tetrapyriarbus

Filed in: Website Management.

I posted this to my LiveJournal at the beginning of 2004 when I switched web hosts, but I thought I'd update it here...

Sometime prior to June 1996 - Planet FreeNZ
I'm not 100% sure about the month. That's the date of the earliest posting of mine I could find on Google Groups which mentioned the URL. During this period I created the Mel Bush page (the first major part of the site), and then TSV Editor Paul Scoones was so impressed with it he asked me to make the NZDWFC page as well.
Oct 1996 - First Doctor Who Web Guide to mention my site. Actually here's the first Web Guide from December 1995!.
URL: http://www.wn.planet.gen.nz/~bates/
Mar 1998 - IHUG
Moved to IHUG and my site moved with me. It expanded a bit during this time, but not a huge amount because it was an ISP page and therefore there wasn't a lot of disk space provided.
URL: http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~abates/
30 Aug 1998 - tetrap.simplenet.com
This was the first time I bought hosting. Simplenet was a very good web host at the time, though they didn't have Perl, but offered MIVAscript for creating dynamic web pages. It worked quite well. They were recommended to me by Jason Fraser who had his site on there as varos.simplenet.com.
(The simplenet URL first appeared in the 18 September 1998 Doctor Who Web Guide.)
URL: http://tetrap.simplenet.com/
20 Jan 2000 - tetrap.com registered
Due to the impending buying out of Simplenet by Yahoo, as Yahoo were going to scrap the xxxx.simplenet.com subdomains.
Feb 2000 - Simplenet swallowed by Yahoo
Unfortunately from there the service went downhill, with the MIVA server going down, disk space reduced to 100MB, and eventually Yahoo announced they were going to scrap SSI which my site made (and still makes) heavy use of. I therefore opted to jump ship.
20 July 2001 - switched to CIHost
Worst decision I made. Lots of site slowness and unexplained downtime. Unfortunately I signed up for a year in advance. When July 2002 rolled around again, they charged my credit card without asking me. Despite canceling, it took them several months to give me my money back. The only good thing about this period is that CIHost supported both MIVA and perl, so I was able to convert my miva scripts into perl.
6 Aug 2002 - switched to Sectorlink
Sectorlink were pretty good. Anything was a step up after CIHost, but there were niggly little things that annoyed me. Mainly to do with the site statistics system (ISTR this was the monthly reports I was supposed to be emailed not turning up or turning up months late).
6 Jan 2004 - switched to HostForWeb
HostForWeb have been pretty good. Their control panel and stats are pretty good, I can download the raw access logs, and their technical support is prompt. The only thing I think they need to work on (and this has been a problem all along) is that they rarely announce scheduled down-time, thus occasionally I'll find my site is down, report it, and be told that they're doing a server upgrade. Other than that, they're a pretty darn good web host.

I'm working by the assumption that Tetrapyriarbus started in June 1996, so the site is currently nine years old. That's 90 in Internet years. :)

The name, incidentally, was due to the fact that many other Doctor Who sites took their names from planets from the show, usually something like "Frontios" (there were about three web sites named Frontios at the time, ISTR...) and so I picked a planet name from Time and the Rani.

Posted August 2, 2005 10:47 PM

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