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The Crash or Was It? June 28, 2003

The Crash or Was It?

First we apologize for any inconvenience to you our viewers.

Latest From The Hosting World

We have two web sites: and Both crashed on June 13th. This was a Friday. I didn't immediately contact the support group at the hosting service, HostingCP, because we presumed, wrongly, that they would fix the problem.

It wasn't just our web sites that were down. We figured this from the fact that you couldn't get access to the web server at all. If we couldn't then there had to others. If so then there was already a slew of emails flying around complaining to HostingCP about crashed sites.

We were busy all weekend and didn't check back at the web sites until Monday mourning. Everything was still down. Now we started writing emails. By weeks end we probably sent over hundred. Repetition brings attention. It didn't matter.

We heard nothing Monday and Tuesday. We then made the decision to point the URLs to the Tripod sites. This was only a temporary fix because is currently over 30MBytes in size and Tripod only gives you 20MBytes. So we created two more sites at Tripod: one for Canam-at-Laguna Seca and another for Another Vietnam Story. This wasn't a very good thing because the search engines had specific pages it pointed to and you wouldn'd find them at Tripod's Photoessayist.

Wednesday morning we received an email from HostingCP requesting the web address, username, and creation date of the web sites. This was not good. If they needed this info then they didn't have it on a backup. Maybe no backup?

Now we know we have morons running HostingCP because only morons would not have any backups. We then sent them the information they requested even though it was already in the emails we had been sending them. Dumb morons.

We have been working in the computer industry since 1973 and have seen businesses go bankrupt because they didn't keep backups or did their backups were on tape and they were careless in handling the tapes.

On Thursday we heard nothing from HostingCP.

Friday they ask for the web site data again! We are losing faith very quickly. Even though we sent the requested information again we weren't having much faith in ever seeing our webs sites on HostingCP computers.

Nothing Saturday.

Sunday morning we receive an email from HostingCP that we can proceed.

This is the quote from that email:

'Your account has been restored and the domain name placed on a list to your web files uploaded to your account.'

The first part makes some sense but the rest is total muss.

So Sunday morning we have to change the URLs to use the HostingCP Name Servers again and then log-on to our account at HostingCP and see what's what.

Turns out we had accounts but nothing else. We had to completely load both web sites and initialize the email accounts. In short do everything as if we were a new account.

When we did log-on to the web servers we realized what had happened. HostingCP had attempted to upgrade the web servers. And when they did it crashed. We believe it also took down all the web sites as well as the database HostingCP uses for the accounts data. We also surmise that they didn't have backups so they had to do a paper search for each account. Like we said - MORONS.

We can only surmise this because HostingCP has given it's customers no information about what happened. They haven't even apologized for the mess. Not just morons but rude morons.

Apparently they didn't do a practice upgrade on a unused web server. Real lazy morons.

We are writing this sad account on Monday afternoon, June 23, 2003. Some of you may already have access to the web sites. We know Earthlink has updated their name servers. Thank-you Earthlink. It will take four or five days for everyone to get access.

Some of you may never have viewed the Tripod sites because of the time it takes for a change to be made to the Name Servers. So by the time I made the change from the Tripod sites back to the HostingCP servers you would only have seen the sites magically reappear.

PS: When this mess started we tried to find out who runs HostingCP. Turns out there is no information posted at HostingCP that tells it's customers who they're dealing with. We had to do a whois search on the name '' and this is all we have:

Jeff Thomas
2600 southwest Freeway
Houston, Texas 77098
United States

The phone number, 888-510-7899, was dead. Typical.

There should be law that makes it a requirement that businesses on the web post data about themselves. Including ways to contact them other than email.

Also at the end of every email HostingCP sends is this little tidbit:

The 'Acceptable Use Policy' is viewable at:

There should be a an 'Acceptable Company Practices Policy.'

Again we apologize for the disturbance. We hope it doesn't happen again but it probably will.

Update: June 28, 2003

We have been complaining to the hosting service since Tuesday, June 24, that the statistics for both web sites were not working properly. WindowsAssistance gets none and Photoessayist reports information about another site. Finially on Friday, June 27, we recieved this message from the hosting service:

Dear Server '' Client,

Due to a massive hardware/system failure resulting from the
upgrade to the new Plesk 5.0 system we are having to recreate the
accounts individually in chronological order. Once all of the servers
accounts are re-created the domain files for each account will be
uploaded off our most recent backup prior to the hardware/system
failure. If there are any changes that you would like made to the
account (e.g. change domain name, change user name, etc.) please provide
us with the new information after your account has been re-created
complete with domain files.

Due to the hardware/system failure we will be offering an
additional months web hosting free of charge to your existing
account(s). Unfortunately our AUP does not allow refunds due to
hardware or system failures or loss of business or any other services
due to hardware or system failures.

Please allow for the accounts to be re-created prior to sending
any questions or comments as all emails other than new account creations
will go unanswered until the massive task is completed by our small
support staff.

Thank you,
HostingCP Inc.

The 'Acceptable Use Policy' is viewable at:

This information arrived 2 WEEKS AFTER the crash. What is irritating about this message is that they re-created the sites on Saturday, June 21. Now almost a week later we still have to wait for something that has already happened before anything else can be done. Not logical. But then again this company has never been logical or concerned for it's customers.

Also they are giving us a month of free service. WOW! We want a year of additional service at no charge.

Now we know why they keep referring to the Acceptable Use Policy. It states that the hosting service is not responsible for anything. What a cop-out.

Lastly they comment about the massive task is completed by our small suppport staff. We bet that the support staff numbers one. We repeat one!

They have this massive task because they didn't do backups. Their incompetance is only felt by their customers. We feel no sympathy for this lazy and incompetant group.

John Krill -