Dreamhost – How Tolerant Should I Be?


12 months ago I moved Geeknews over to Dreamhost services from Supernova.net. The reason for the move was Supernova’s flakiness in uptime. The last straw in my patience was when their servers went offline for over a week. Not just Geeknews was affected by the outage but so was my family site that was responsible for hosting the family’s e-mail.

Since the move to Dreamhost though it seems as if I’m plagued with bad luck. Numerous times in the last year their file servers have gone offline for over 12 hours at a time, meaning Geeknews along with hundreds or thousands of other sites hosted on that server, or its disk array, have been inaccessible. It also seems that most Friday’s the site goes offline for an hour, probably for maintenance?

A few weeks ago the outage lasted a couple of days, again this Friday evening we were offline until Sunday morning. Each time we’re offline we either get moved to a new server or the existing server is reconstructed and each time the disks are refreshed with a backup image that is 7 days old meaning i’ve lost all files (mostly images) uploaded in that time and need to go back and clean it up…again. So for the 2nd time in two weeks I’m reconstructing the site.

I can’t imagine if I had customers dependent on my site being available like some of the poor people affected by the outage, thank god I just do Geeknews as a labor of love or else I’d be apoplectic right now instead of just very annoyed.

I have a lot of sympathy for the support folks, it’s not their fault HW goes offline, but it would appear the management needs to invest more in fault tolerance, backups, alternative HW in hot standby to switch us over to with just hours of downtime as opposed to days, so they can work on the failed machine at their leisure.

Moving to a new host provider is such a fraking hassle, though I guess I should at least start looking now and staging the content to flip the switch the next time DH is offline.

So where do I go? While lamenting the latest DH outage with other folks suffering, I hear that Bluehost and Media Temple are good options. Do you have recommendations?

The 50 Skills Every Geek Should Have

Beauty and the Geek

Andrea from Gizmodo clued me into a new post on their site this morning while I was at work. I set it aside figuring I’ll check it out in the evening and blog it. By the time I get to it at the end of the day digg has already done its thing and made it quite popular, so once again I’m late to the party :-)

Gizmodo posted a list of 50 life skills every geek must have. Examples:

5. Wire your house for Ethernet and Coax cable

18. Fix your parents’ computer over the phone without looking at a computer

48. Calibrate a 7.1 surround-sound system

Go read and rate yourself, report back here on how you fared. What’s missing from the list? I propose we add the following :

1. Roll up a pen and paper RPG character in under 3 minutes

2. Coded at least one program as a teenager

3. Teach black hole theory to your science challenged spouse

Brazil Markets GPS ‘Find Me If You Can’ Lingerie

Brazillian GPS Lingerie

What a great geeky device to get  your wife/GF for Christmas, it’s a gadget and it’s also sexy. Retailing from US$800-1100, it’s lingerie with a GPS stitched into it.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Lingerie maker Lucia Iorio says her new design targets the modern, techno-savvy woman, but the GPS-equipped “Find Me If You Can” line has raised the hackles of feminists who call it a 21st-century chastity belt.


[via The Raw Feed]

The Manga Guide to Statistics

In other Manga news, I bring you….The Manga Guide to Statistics

Think you can’t have fun learning statistics? Think again.

The Manga Guide to Statistics will teach you everything you need to know about this essential discipline, while entertaining you at the same time. With its unique combination of Japanese-style comics called manga and serious educational content, the EduManga format is already a hit in Japan.

Manga Guide to Statistics

Japanese Man Petitions to Marry Manga Character

 Manga Girl

A Japanese man has enlisted hundreds of people in a campaign to allow marriages between humans and cartoon characters, saying he feels more at ease in the “two-dimensional world.”

Sigh. What the heck, let him have his fun, what’s it going to hurt? But society should get to determine who he marries. Let’s see, it won’t be a hot chick in a bathing suit or short skirt or one that that wields a sword. How about a manga cat or snake?

Yahoo News has the details.


[via digg]

Confessions of a Naked Sushi Model

 Sushi Model

Vanity Fair has an interesting piece from a woman that dove head first into naked sushi modeling recently. Not familiar with this Japanese practice? Read on:

Utterly exposed before a group of strangers, I do my best to fight off the impending toe cramp and a fierce desire to wince. This is all very new to me. You see, it’s my first time as a naked body sushi model.

In fairness, you might wonder how one becomes a naked body sushi model. More specifically, you might wonder how one with zero experience of undressing in public becomes a naked body sushi model.

Get The 411 On Google

Get the dirt on your friends!  Find out where your spouse was last night!  Learn the true identity of the guy on the grassy knoll!  Oh wait…..uh, maybe that’s not right…  Let’s see here, oh yeah!  This new service on Google….Goog 411 is a FREE service available on any phone for locating people or businesses, and automatically connecting you.  Sweet!  I can tell you the $1.50 charges on my cell for using 411 through Verizon Wireless were killing me ;(  Yay for Google, and their ever-expanding reach into multiple genres!  Thanks Mom!

Mobile News Update – 3 Nov ’08

 2 mobiles

Google patches Android security flaw [CNet]- Google and T-Mobile have begun distributing a security patch for the first Android-powered phone, the G1 built by HTC. This is the update alert message

MasterCard via your mobile [MasterCard]- A similar service has been popular in Japan for a while now but last week MasterCard announced the launch of the MasterCard Over-the-Air Provisioning Service, the first program of its kind that enables issuers to perform over-the-air personalization of their cardholders’ mobile devices in an easy, one-step process.

Lower-Income Users Boost Sales of Apple’s iPhone [Sci-Tech Today]- Lower-income US consumers are flocking to Apple’s iPhone, sending an early signal that smartphones are changing from a luxury to a necessity, according to research company ComScore Mobile.

How to Unlock a T-Mobile G1 [Android Central]- Simple instructional video. Just need the sim unlock code from T-Mobile which they appear amenable to providing.

AT&T Device Holiday Lineup [Into Mobile] – Lots of goodies. The Pantech Matrix looks interesting.

RIM Blackberry Bold Review [PC World] – The BlackBerry Bold sports a revamped design and interface, but it falls short in other areas.

I like Windows Mobile and am not ashamed to admit it” [ZDNet]- The sheer number of WM devices may also be a weakness because there is no central way that the platform is being marketed. Apple and Google have it fairly easy with a single device to promote from a single manufacturer.

Phoenix Mars Lander Is Either Dying or Just Really Sleepy


Phoenix communicated with NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter Thursday. The communication reinforced a diagnosis that the spacecraft is in a precautionary mode triggered by low energy. Mission engineers are assessing the lander’s condition and steps necessary for returning to science operations.

NASA’S Phoenix Mars Lander, with its solar-electric power shrinking due to shorter daylight hours and a dust storm, did not respond to an orbiter’s attempt to communicate with it Wednesday night and Thursday morning