Easy Online File Conversion

I’m not big on sending my files over the internet to random websites – but the boys over at Media Convert have done a sterling job to create a 1-stop file conversion site.

I was struggling to find a program that would convert an OpenOffice Draw file (.odg) into something easily read on Windows. Eventually I settled on converting it to a PNG.

The process was painless. Upload the file, wait a few moments, and then download the converion.

The site even does music and video formats, as well as a raft of others.

Rock on.

WordPress 2.5

I upgraded to WordPress 2.5 today.

It’s great. Installation was a breeze, and the new admin interface is sleek and simple to use. It works much better than the onl one as an added bonus.

I’m not going to go on and on about it, when so many of its neat features are already on the WordPress site.

One thing that I have found increasingly useful of late is an upgrade script that I found on the internet. Whenever a new version of WordPress is released, I run a shell script that lives on my server, and WordPress is automatically upgraded. I suppose I’ll have to post that soon!

Lacking Somewhere

It’s been a little while since I last posted, so I thought that I’d better throw something up for 3 reasons.

  1. I’m sitting at a computer installing over 10 CDs worth of software, and extremely bored
  2. Lots is happening in my life, a great deal of which I can’t go into on this blog
  3. Some stuff does happen, but I’m always too busy, and so I end up forgetting.

Well, no more! One of the core reasons for less posting is that this blog is fundamentally self-serving. I use it mainly for my own reference, so that if I need to do something IT-related I can load up the blog. Likewise, if I’m talking to someone I sometimes say, “I had that problem – search for it on my blog.” It’s a doddle. The investment in time is always a catch, though, and so I sometimes slip up and not post for a while.

So a rundown on cool things that I’m keeping an eye on or doing is coming right up.

Thankyou, Plus.net

Well, it seems that I have to give Plus.net a big thumbs-up on what could have easily been a crisis.

At 2008-01-18 08:57:02 this was posted on their support site:

We have recently become aware of a number of PlusNet customers who are experiencing problems receiving email following the migration of their accounts to the new Postini anti-spam platform.

Email sent to customers accounts may be returned to the sender as undeliverable with the following server response:

554 No relaying allowed

Our engineers are investigating and further details will be provided as they become available.

Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience.

Kind Regards,

Bob Pullen
Customer Support.

I was one of the lucky bods who was affected. So my website was down for a day… It only has nonsense anyway. This blog was still up so I wasn’t worried. What the great part was is that they restored all of the sites from backup, so by the time I woke up the next day, everything was working exactly as the day before.

Once again, the Plus.net people don’t let me down. It’s nice to see them back on form.

Fasthosts, You’ve let me down

This is an open letter to Fasthosts

To whom it may concern:

I’ve been a reseller of your packages for a couple of years now. There have been blips along the way, but nothing that prevented me getting my job done.

Remember when you had those floods? I was a little disappointed that I hadn’t been contacted about the situation. But you did have the problems with dedicated servers on your site as part of a newsfeed. Still, it was only for a few hours. Reading some forums and posts, I understand that I was lucky. Some were out for a day or more!

The recent issue of the security breach had me worried, so I changed a few passwords. Ultimately, I left it up to the clients to decide if they needed to change their passwords. How naive of me to think that would be the end of it.

Your policy of a blanket password reset over the last two weeks has left me and my business reeling. I’m currently in the middle of 4 development projects, and then suddenly all of my hosted mySQL databases have had their passwords reset! Any site depending on mySQL suddenly stopped working!

Needless to say a good amount of time was spent getting these going again. Resetting passwords, rewriting code etc.

But then it all went wrong.

After I fixed the first few sites, your FTP servers stopped responding. The customer services telephone queue seems to average about 1 hour (at a non-geographic national rate – I hope that you’re making a good profit from that). When I do finally get through, I get told that it’s probably because people are resetting their passwords – it will settle down soon.

Well, I’ve been waiting for it to settle down for over a week now. My development projects have stalled. Existing sites aren’t working. My clients think I’m either lazy or incompetent. I am powerless to get anything done and it’s your fault, Fasthosts.

Yet the propoganda you send out suggests everything’s alright and that you’re hitting a momentary blip. No one is standing up to be accountable for the debacle.

Clearly the blanket password reset has caused a raft of other problems, FTP, control panels, emails and so on. Service is spotty at best, support non-existent. I am incapable of doing my job.

You’ve let me down, Fasthosts. And the shocking part is you don’t seem to care. You’re irreparably damaged my business.

I’m now actively looking for a new reseller partner. It’s time for us to part ways.