You may have noticed…

I am in the process of revamping – resuscitating? <charging whine> “Clear!” <kajunk!> – my dusty old blog and web site. Why now? Well, you only really value something when it is gone. And this web site did disappear for a short while 🙁

Several years ago, when I was a little more active in games journalism, I was sponsored by Paco Garcia from G*M*S Magazine, who supported several budding writers at the time, providing them with a web site at his own expense; sort of like the patrons of old, before Patreon existed. And was one of these, registered with 1&1 (owners of Ionos, of which more later), and set up by Paco with a shiny new WordPress install. All was great, even though my time and energy to write waxed and waned over the years, until he forgot to renew the domain name registration. It was an oversight, of course, but an expensive one.

I only knew that the site was down when someone tried to access the downloads section of my Sifteo Resurrected page; one of the most popular items on the server, as it is the only repository of software and games for the now defunct Sifteo Cubes, along with hacks to get the software working for them, now that the remote servers are no more. (For more information on that, click the link.) The person contacted me on Reddit to say that the links didn’t work, and I went to my page to find out that the domain name was “up for auction”, which came as an unpleasant surprise. After an email or two to Paco, it turned out that he had ‘lost’ several domain names through a repeat subscription to 1&1 failing, and that the cooling off period for re-registrations had lapsed. I had no alternative but to bid on my own domain name.

I complained, of course, but Ionos – a domain name “parking” service – said this would take so long to process that the auction would be over 🙁 and so I reluctantly bid the “minimum” bid of $79, which added to the fees for transferring and re-registering with my domain name supplier ukreg,com (aka Fasthosts), came to just short of £100. I also needed a server for the site now, but Fasthosts, who are very good by the way, had a reasonable package. The total cost of Paco’s mistake is probably about £200, give or take a bit, for a little cyber piracy and reclaiming the site. Fortunately, Paco had access to backup the files and database for me; the server was still there, even if the domain name lapsed.

So, as I have paid for the damn thing, I thought I better learn how to set everything up, and actually use it! And here we are. Learning PHP, WordPress, SQL and even Drupal! And, hopefully, you as well as I will reap the benefits 😀


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