Monthly Archives: August 2006

Why I Left TextDrive

From the TextDrive helpdesk site:

Please be aware that due to some temporary hardware and network problems we need to work out, backups are not currently being made on any of the shared servers. This situation may take some time to resolve.

So… let me take this opportunity to remind people how important it is to own your data and keep local copies of anything that is important.

This was posted on July 13, and it has not been updated since. In other words, none of my data has been backed up in a month and a half. Even though my blog has been on my VPS at the wonderful Rimuhosting for about 6 months now, I still host my email on my “legacy” TextDrive account (which is down right now…again!). The email server has been down way too often the past few months, most often at peak business times, and I can’t take it anymore. I will be moving the remainder of my Internet presence away from TextDrive this weekend.

I know that some occasional down time is a fact of life on a shared hosting account, but what bothers me most about my entire TextDrive experience is the attitude toward the customer that pervades the company. In most of my communication with the company (whether it be direct customer requests or just trolling forums), the attitude has been similar to this: “There’s something wrong with your server. Another dumbass user like you did something he shouldn’t have. It must suck to be you. Deal with it.” The company is rarely apologetic and frequently blames its customers rather than take responsibilty for its poor service. One thing I learned at Rackspace is that hosting is easy. It’s service and the customer experience that is important. Unfortunately, service and customer experience are the most difficult things to get right, and very few hosting companies are able to pull it off. That is why Rackspace has been so successful while charging more than most of its competitors.

I joined TextDrive because of the hype in the open source community, and I love the idea that a chunk of my bill every month goes to an open source project. I would have been an easy customer to keep. I don’t want to worry about my web and email host, and I definitely hate switching, but I have been driven away. I stuck around too long, and I feel bad that the chunk of money that didn’t go to an open source project went into the pockets of the jokers at TextDrive. I rarely care enough to publicly slam a bad company, but the attitude at TextDrive is deplorable, and I would advise all my friends to steer in another direction.

Whew! Glad I got that off of my chest. I promise my next post will be much more positive.

It’s Settled

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been experimenting with new themes for the blog over the past few weeks. I know it’s not kosher to experiment on a production site, but most of you read my blog via the RSS feed anyway. The theme is a tad more Web2.0ish than I normally like, but it’s simple, and it stays out of the way. I like a lot of whitespace, and this theme has that in droves. There’s still some tweaking to do, but the main theme won’t change anymore.

I have some good posts that are currently being edited for final posting, and I hope to accompany the new theme with a bunch of interesting writing. There’s a lot going on in my life from a technical and career standpoint, and I’m excited about sharing it. I also have a cool announcement that I’m waiting until tomorrow to post. The rest of this year should be really good for me and for the blog.

Thankless Job

Being a public servant is a mostly thankless job. Although I don’t have a whole lot of love for our local politicians, it’s a little more clear to me now why they seem to have little respect for the citizens of our fair city. It’s easy to put yourslef on a pedestal if the people you see outside of your circle look like this. If I had to put up with this every day, I’d probably have killed myself long ago.

[via blogHouston]

Borat learns about football…in Houston!

In this installment of Borat in USA, our plucky hero reports on the game of American football (yes, the real football) for his viewers in Kazakhstan. So, where do you go when you want to learn football? Texas of course! Katy HS head coach Gary Joseph is the instructor he picked on for this assignment.

Choice quote: “I can throw a rock and hit gypsy from 15 meter, if chained. If not, 10 meter.”

Gotta love Sacha Baron Cohen.

[via HouSTONED Blog]

This can’t go unseen…

Newark Bears – Britney Spears Baby Safety Night. There is even a “special guest appearance!” I wonder if they’ll spring for the $20,000? This isn’t the first time the Newark Bears have had an off the wall promotion. Bird Flu Awareness Night was a classic. It featured a chicken wing eating contest, and everyone was provided with surgical masks. I can’t wait to see what they’re going to do for Scientology night on August 11. I bet their PR guy loves his job.