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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Speculations about Steve Job’s Unfinished Super Yacht “I” – (Dutch Design 61)

Steve Job's Unfinished Super i Yacht

With the demise of Steve Jobs all sorts of unconfirmed rumors appear as to the whereabouts of his unfinished super yacht, the design of which was commissioned to Philippe Starck a couple of years ago. Apparently Jobs has commisioned Dutch Royal Feadship to build the yacht. According to more rumors currently the hull is in Feadship’s Aalsmeer yard. As usual Feadship remains silent as to their clients details.

Would it look like the above rendering? (via Jameslist)

Steve Jobs Floating IPodOr more like a floating IPod? (via A Few Too Many)

Would it follow the design of Philippe Starck’s “A”?

Predator
Look like the Predator? (As Cult of Mac believes)

Feadship Qi
Or more be like Like Feadship’s Qi? Like Bootblog believes.

H2ome
Like H2ome, built by MMGI? (via Gatsby Online)

Feadship X Stream
Or more like Feadship’s X Stream? Like IPad Info believes.

Speculation all over the place. I’m insanely curious, and you?

Now we are VPS hosted in Amsterdam

Yes, as indicated before, with the help of VPS.net our hosting has moved to Amsterdam.

I do hope outages and failures will be less, far less, or better even: Non existent anymore!

For the first time in 2 months I’m glad we can now see uninterrupted supply for over 24 hours (actually I would call that “normal”, won’t you?).

Update: After an appalling almost 9 hours downtime on December 29, 2011 I’ve decided to move away to Dediserve

Last edited by GJE on April 20, 2012 at 9:48 am

Websynthesis – Coppyblogger steps into WordPress only Hosting

Oh Irony 1

Just while I’m in the middle of the (too lengthy) process of deciding whether to stay with VPS.net or change hosting provider again and even go to a dedicated WordPress hosting outfit, I see a pre-battle tweet by Brian Clark AKA Copyblogger that nobody has done it right so far. When someone asks him whether he had looked into WPEngine he answered:

Yes, we decided to roll out our own Websyntesis. Apart from WordPress itself, this is the third dedicated WordPress only hoster after Page.ly and WPEngine I’m aware of.

Oh Irony 2: Copyblogger is a former Thesis partner – hence the name?

Last year there was much ado about Matt Mullenweg threatening to sue Chris Pearson of Thesis with respect to the theme’s GPL compliance. I started my post with:

Yesterday I opened my dashboard and noticed syn-thesis-1 by Matt Mullenweg in a window

While this was going on Chris Pearon and Brian Clark split up their partnership and Brian gave an interview to Technosailer about this split up. Guess what? Technosailor is one of the guys behind WPEngine.[Oh Irony update: I found out Technosailor stepped down first and left WP Engine entirely later]

Afterward Copyblogger teamed up with Genesis od Studiopress, a WordPress theme framework developping community.

Oh Irony 3: Chris Pearson is on VPS.net

He seems decently served by VPS.net. However I’m not sure anymore he’s still there.

Oh Irony 4: Woothemes is also on VPS.net

Next to Genesis and Thesis Woothemes is the third big WordPress theme developper and also they are seemingly served well by VPS.net..

Preliminary thoughts

  • You can only host at Websyntesis if you use the Genesis theme. Not for me for the moment.
  • Theme wars just one step further…As Chris has promised his version 2.0 for over a year now without delivering…this might be an inducement to step away from Thesis.
  • Brian claims the cemetery of WordPress blogs with hosting issues is only due to wrong theme coding..I really doubt this, because I’ve experienced strange things with later versions of WordPress after 2.8. It could be in the WordPress core coding as well IMHO.
  • It’s about time for a European counter intitiative in dedicated WordPress hosting.

Update

And I just discovered another US based WordPress only hosting party: Zippykid

Last edited by GJE on January 5, 2012 at 11:07 pm

To VPS or Not to VPS?

VPS logo "in tha cloud"

Introduction

Some readers may remember that almost a year ago Happy Hotelier and its significant sister blog Chair Blog were kicked from its then shared hosting plan by a Dutch Hosting Company without any warning. I was Furious!, to say the least. After the dust had settled it appeared (and they admitted) they had been overselling.

Hasty move to a US based shared hosting plan

All of a sudden I had to find another hosting company. I found and moved to Westhost through a post by Yoast.

I was very impressed with Westhost’s outfit and client service…I felt I was back to “normal”

However, shared hosting proved too slow

I found my sites loading too slow. As Yoast’s article also mentioned VPS.net and I respected Yoast’s expertise I followed his advice to try and use VPS.net……So in December 2010 I moved to VPS.net, which, with the benefit of hindsight I regret:

My 10 months uptime

These snippets from my pingdom report show A measly uptime of 97,23 % – Total Downtime since December 8, 2010: 8 days 15 hrs and 49 minutes with 190 instances!!!!

It is noteworthy to see that the numerous comments to this original post of Yoast seem having disappeared completely. In a Twitter conversation Yoast admitted the comments dissappeared though his own fault through a sloppy MySQL dump. [update] However with the number trimmed down they can now be found on a Separate Page.

Yoast’s Second Post

A couple of weeks ago Yoast published a second post about VPS.Net Cloud Hosting, Cloud Servers, what’s the difference? It featured an interview with one of the guys at VPS.NET. I just read it when my sites were down for 5 hours on September 4/5 and made a comment in a series what turned out to be many comments, mostly of people who had issues with VPS.Net.

Some VPS net clients reported about their dissatisfaction

Through the posts of Yoast and via Twitter I found som blog posts from other (former) clients of VPS.net:

Yoast’s Third VPS Net post

Yoast was taken aback by the many negative comments the prior post attracted.

Therefore, in VPS Net Issues and what they do about it Yoast grilled the CEO of VPS.net in an interview with some tough questions and some pertinent answers from the CEO.

However, My situation even deteriorated afterward:

Pingdom September and Oktober Outages

Click the image for the full downtime report according to Pingdom: Uptime 93.08 % Downtime over three days in hardly two months at 93 instances with September 5 with 5 hours and September 15 with 10 hours and September 16/17 with 29 hours downtime the most frustrating days…

You have to be a Geek bigtime to be able to manage a VPS!

  • Domain registration management. Do keep it separate from your hosting provider in case you want to move away from your hosting provider. Rather than moving a domain from one hosting outfit to another which can take up to 5 working days, you can easily change the url to where your site is hosted and depending on the TTL you’ve set the propagation can be as fast as a couple of hours.
  • You must always keep a separate e-mail, because if you don’t and your VPS goes down, there is no other way of communicating with the support other than a slow web based ticket system
  • Server management. Anybody know how to login into and manage an Apache server from a command line? I don’t. It is very specific linux stuff.
  • How to secure or harden your server against outside intrusions? I’m not technical enough to give you guidance.
  • How to manage a CDN (a Content Delivery Network)?
  • Control panels for the VPS (the server itself)?
  • Control pannels for the programs you want to be run by your VPS?
  • Updating the stuff.
  • Preparing for calamities with backups and so on.

I can assure you it is a steep learning curve and actually much too time consuming to be bothered with. I’m sure Yoast is well versed in all these matters, but I am not and I don’t want to be. I simply want to be able to run my business and occasionally post here and on my other blog, without all this hassle.

Alternatives for VPS Hosting

I came across two companies who do dedicated WordPress hosting: Page-Ly and WPEngine. Both take away the hassle from you.

If you are interested here are some reads about them:

Page-Ly relies on Firehosting. WPEngine relies on its own servers (and not on Amazon as I assumed earlier).

I’m very much inclined to make the step to WPEngine despite the following consideration:

In Which Country do I want to host?

Basically I don’t want to host my site outside The Netherlands. The reason is that I am not familiar with the ins and outs of foreign (mostly Anglo Saxon) law and I don’t want to get involved into another legal system by the mere fact my sites are hosted in a foreign jurisdiction. The Netherlands itself has red tape enough.

That’s the reason I’ve tried a VPS plan with XLS hosting in the meantime. XLS hosting is a pure Dutch provider, but has a setback: It’s helpdesk closes after office time. But during the day I’m usually busy with my business and later in the evening I can find some time to go into hosting details so their service level doesn’t work for me.

I’ve also tried JaguarPC as they advertised having Dutch clouds. However after signing on they admitted that they wouldn’t start new Dutch clouds in the foreseable future.

Preliminary Conclusion

So despite their setbacks I’ve decided to try VPS.net once more with their AMS based cloud servers.The speed of VPS.net is great as well as its support..They promised me a migration….Also, their slogan is 100% uptime, but they do not refund you for downtime…they credit you for future use…..

Or am I being stupid staying with them one more time?

Updates:

  1. It went very well for 6 weeks…
  2. After an appalling almost 9 hours downtime on December 29, 2011 I’ve decided to move away to Dediserve

Last edited by GJE on April 20, 2012 at 9:50 am

Steve according to Guy

Steve Jobs Apple Logo
Borrowed from Jonathan Mak

I’m not an Apple fan

From years on I’m reasonable versed with computers.

At university I was the only law student who did some programming on a mini (then the name for a mini sized mainframe) computer. You know how? By feeding punch cards with program lines to a card reader. One error and you had to change one card, stick it correctly in the stack and wait your turn when 20 other students were waiting their turn to process their stacks.

Commodore PET

For me Personal Computing started with playing around with a Commodore PET.

I use Windows pc’s. I’m not a Mac lover. I’ve occasionally looked at Apple, but time after time decided to stay with windows, even if CTRL ALT DEL is my most used key combination. Occasionally I’ve even tried to load a PC with Linux in various tastes, but time after time decided to stay with Windows…

My main aversion is Apple is too expensive and too closely controlled to my taste. I rather tinker a bit:-)

However, I have to admit I have an Ipod and very recently an IPad as well. The Ipad I bought mainly to try and get my Dear Wife involved with e-mail and Skype….

But even the Ipod proves my point: rather than sorting throught my collection with ITunes I sort my music with MediaMonkey

But

That doesn’t mean I don’t respect Steve Jobs who passed away last week.

Who better to quote than Guy Kawasaki, the once Macintosh Evangelist who has closely worked together with Steve before he went on his own?

Steve Jobs teached us a lesson or two – 12 according to Guy, but he might be a bit biased.

Guy Kawasaki Steve Jobs Apple Logo

Following I saw on Guy’s Google+ account where he copied it from his blog:

Experts are clueless.

Experts as journalists, analysts, consultants, bankers, and other “gurus” can’t “do” so they “advise.” They can tell you what is wrong with your product, but they cannot make a great one. They can tell you how to sell something, but they cannot sell it themselves. They can tell you how to create great teams, but they only manage a secretary.

I do second that. As a former consultant I know that is also the case with services!

Customers cannot tell you what they need.

“Apple market research” is an oxymoron. The Apple focus group was the right hemisphere of Steve’s brain talking to the left one. If you ask customers what they want, they will tell you, “Better, faster, and cheaper” that is, better sameness, not revolutionary change. They can only describe their desires in terms of what they are used to….

around the time of the introduction of Macintosh, all people said they wanted was better, faster, and cheaper MS-DOS machines. The richest vein for tech startups is creating the product that you want to use—that’s what Steve and Woz did.

Big wins happen when you go beyond better sameness. The best daisy-wheel printer companies were introducing new fonts in more sizes. Apple introduced the next curve: laser printing. Think of ice harvesters, ice factories, and refrigerator companies. Ice 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0. Are you still harvesting ice during the winter from a frozen pond?

My guests appreciate what I stand for only after they have experienced my hotel and our services. Both are beyond expectations.

Design counts.

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

Which is a quote from Steve himself. See for other valuable quotes: Quotations Page.

Changing your mind is a sign of intelligence.

When Apple first shipped the iPhone there was no such thing as apps. Apps, Steve decreed, were a bad thing because you never know what they could be doing to your phone. Safari web apps were the way to go until six months later when Steve decided, or someone convinced Steve, that apps were the way to go—but of course. Duh! Apple came a long way in a short time from Safari web apps to “there’s an app for that.”

“Value” is different from “price.”

Woe unto you if you decide everything based on price. Even more woe unto you if you compete solely on price. Price is not all that matters—what is important, at least to some people, is value. And value takes into account training, support, and the intrinsic joy of using the best tool that’s made. It’s pretty safe to say that no one buys Apple products because of their low price.

Real CEOs demo.

Steve Jobs could demo a pod, pad, phone, and Mac two to three times a year with millions of people watching, why is it that many CEOs call upon their vice-president of engineering to do a product demo? Maybe it’s to show that there’s a team effort in play. Maybe. It’s more likely that the CEO doesn’t understand what his/her company is making well enough to explain it. How pathetic is that?

Real CEOs ship.

For all his perfectionism, Steve could ship. Maybe the product wasn’t perfect every time, but it was almost always great enough to go. The lesson is that Steve wasn’t tinkering for the sake of tinkering—he had a goal: shipping and achieving worldwide domination of existing markets or creation of new markets. Apple is an engineering-centric company, not a research-centric one. Which would you rather be: Apple or Xerox PARC?

Marketing boils down to providing unique value.

Look at it this way:

Top left: unique and valuable—this is where you make margin, money, and history. For example, the iPod was unique and valuable because it was the only way to legally, inexpensively, and easily download music from the six biggest record labels.

Thank you Steve and Guy