Some of you may have noticed that I was having some pretty major problems with the blog over the weekend. The problems coincided not just with my WP 2.8 upgrade, but also a server crash on my host site. So I originally thought it was a server issue. But when it didn’t resolve after a few days I realized there was an issue with the blog, something preventing me from making new posts.
After some discussion with the ever-helpful Bree (half of Moira Rogers–they have a new release from Samhain this week, Sanctuary Lost. I’ve read it! They and their editor did a great job. Check it out). Ahem, anyway, with her help and after some discussion, I went ahead and deactivated all of my plugins. Sure enough, that solved the problem.
So I reactivated the plugins one by one. The one plugin that caused issues? Tweet This. When I reactivated Tweet This, the bad lag/posting problems appeared again. And in a twist of irony, when I tried to visit the Tweet This plugin site, their website wouldn’t even come up.
So if you’ve upgraded to WordPress 2.8 or are thinking of it, and are running Tweet This, try deactivating that plugin to see if it solves your issues. Hopefully they can upgrade the plugin to be compatible with WordPress 2.8 because it’s a nifty little plugin that I’d like to be able to use again.
Look what I found last night that’s now available online! It’s the video of my presentation with Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Malle Vallik of Harlequin and Kassia Krozser of Booksquare, Smart Bitches Women Read Ebooks. I’ve only watched the first few minutes, but I do plan on watching it again, to agonize over what I wish I’d said differently, how I looked and how awesomely smart and savvy my panel-mates sound. I was so impressed with how polished they sounded!
You can watch it here if the embedded video below doesn’t work. Oh, and I love how the video is frozen with me in the midst of drinking from the bottle. Lovely.
ETA: After setting up this post last night, I ended up watching the entire 45 minute video because it was like hearing the conversation for the first time, and it was quite interesting. We’re smart women! I think the presentation goes much like a blog post on the topic might, very conversational, with some disagreement, but lots of information. Not too boring at all 😛
File this under conversations from Twitter, since I’m writing this post after a convo started there about hosting, and several people asked why I don’t recommend 1&1 for hosting. Let me be clear: I emphatically do not recommend them for hosting and I can’t emphatically not recommend them enough. I do continue to register my domain names through them and will continue to do so. They’re cheap, they provide the privacy of your personal information for free, when most domain places charge extra for that, and I have no problems with them continuing to renew my domain name.
But when it comes to hosting, 1&1 should be at the bottom of your list. I came to learn this in an almost painful way after 3 years of hosting with them this past January.
Some of you who’ve read my blog might recall a few months ago, around the beginning of January, I was starting to have a lot of problems with my WordPress install. I made several posts wondering if anyone had any ideas about what might be causing the errors that were being thrown. I was unable to use a number of plugins, any type of auto-upgrading was out of the question and things were just becoming increasingly…wonky (yes, that’s a technical term). I posted help questions on WP but didn’t get any reply that helped my situation.
A few weeks after my issues started, I was in my 1&1 control panel doing…something. And I happened to notice that the database for this blog was nearing capacity. Not understanding these things at the time, I didn’t realize that 1&1’s 100mb database capacity is not only alarmingly low, it’s appallingly low. I emailed 1&1 customer support to find out what would happen once I reached my 100mb capacity and received an email in return that was not reassuring.
Thank you for contacting us.
If your WordPress blog reaches 100mb the tendency is your blog site will be lock or typically will be down and you can no longer access it.
So the best thing is to put it as much as possible below 100mb.
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
I panicked. Wouldn’t anyone? So I wrote back. I’d been a customer for 3 years, don’t use excessive bandwidth, and pay my bills on time. Surely they’d work with me and do…something?
That means I can never add content to my blog again unless I delete old content. Is there any way to get a database with more than 100mb of storage space? I’m not using my package for anything except blogging, so my usage stats aren’t extreme, and I’ve been with 1&1 long enough that I’d hate to have to move hosts because you can’t accommodate a blog on a database.
The answer, as it turns out, is no they wouldn’t.
Thank you for contacting us.
If you will delete some files on the data base and replace with new on, will it is possible.
But to exceed it more than 100mb then it will no longer be use.
The data base is not expandable nor can be added a memory since it is the only given capacity.
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
Did I mention I panicked? I was getting dangerously close to that 100mb limit. Like…I only had maybe 1.2 mb or something ridiculous left. I didn’t know what I could delete and really, how could I continue to blog for any period of time and not keep adding content? Obviously, I couldn’t.
So the first thing I did was research some ways to try and bring my database size down to give myself some time and did a few of those things. Second thing I did was put out a call: who do you use for hosting? I got several great responses and though I eventually went with jaguarpc because it suited my needs better and had some options that were attractive to me, for a more reasonable price, I highly recommend Esosoft as well for their exceptional customer service and would not have regretted going with them either. One thing that’s important to note that I discovered is that you have to research what the database size is for each hosting site. 100mb is obscenly low when compared to the several gigabyte or even unlimited databases many hosts offer. When you’re researching a host, please be sure this is one of the questions you get an answer to: what is the database size maximum?
Here’s where I say: Thank God for the Bree half of the Moira Rogers writing duo. She’s a bit of a tech whiz and when I ran to her for help, she attempted to walk me through getting my site transferred to the new host. But unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy. See, with the database almost maxed out, the host wouldn’t download my site. In fact, when I looked back at the past several months’ of my backups, I discovered the same thing. The host had been downloading an empty file and I hadn’t realized it. It never occurred to me that could happen. My backups weren’t backups at all. (which is even scarier in retrospect, when you think that my site could have been “locked” by a maxed database, and I wouldn’t have had even a backup available to recreate it with elsewhere).
Bree was able to extract my site by tearing it out in pieces and then reconstructing it. We did discover that my stats plugin was using a good bit of that database but in the end, that shouldn’t have mattered because the host shouldn’t have such an artificially low database size. It’s my fault for not realizing sooner but that’s why I’m telling my story here. Because if you host with 1&1, or another host that has a low database size, and you continue to add content to your blog or website, the potential for this happening to you is very real.
The end result of all this is that once I got my WordPress moved to a new hosting site, all (and I mean every single one) of the problems I had with my WP install and plugins disappeared. My issues weren’t WP related at all, the database was causing all of them.
Sorry I’ve been silent for a few days. There’s some stuff going on here, but I’ll get to that later in the post. First, let’s close the contest. Thanks to everyone who suggested songs for my workout playlist. There were a lot of songs I never would have thought of and am going to add to my list!
I chose the winners using random.org. Of course, the first two #s it chose were me. Duh!
The winner of the Australia Bronzed Boys calendar is…Mad! Congratulations, Mad, please email me or use the contact form here on the website and let me know your mailing address.
The winner of the Australia Bronzed Girls calendar is…Albert. Same goes, Albert. Please contact me using the form here on the site and give me your mailing address so I can get your calendar in the mail.
On the good news front, Sony sent me a 700 to try out (because they rock like that) and I got it Friday. I’m going to use it for a few days over this weekend and will try to post my thoughts on it next week.
Other good news: My dad was in the area for a business meeting and decided to extend his trip and come visit us. He got here yesterday afternoon and will be here just for the weekend. Since they live in North Dakota, we usually only get to see them once a year because it’s expensive, and time intensive, to fly in and out of there. So we’re all glad to see him, but Brianna is especially thrilled. She loves it when she gets to see family and she’s seen a lot of them lately!
On the bad news front: Ugh, I don’t even like to type this but we’ve joined the ranks of Americans affected by the economy and the “reduction in workforce” as of yesterday morning. Josh was laid off yesterday morning when he went into work. It was a complete shock to us and not expected at all. Obviously we’re still processing this, since we only just found out. But I just keep telling myself it could be worse and that we’re certainly not a unique situation.
And to end on a positive note, we visited the beach yesterday, even though it was windy and cold. But we walked the beach, collected seashells and I took some pictures. It was a good day. Mostly 😛
I wasn’t as excited about the imminent (and subsequent) arrival of my new Kindle as I should have been, mostly because I knew the file management system hadn’t changed and that meant that my use of the Sony 505 wouldn’t change either.
Initial impressions of the Amazon box are that it’s small, much smaller than the box the old Kindle came in. When I open the Amazon box, I realize that it’s packaging made especially for mailing the Kindle 2. It’s lined with the same type of paper that wraps the Kindle packaging. The Kindle packaging is not as fancy as the original Kindle 1 packaging, which was kind of nice and sturdy. This is very much a temporary-type of packaging. (nice pictures of unboxing the Kindle from Engadget here)
The Kindle itself is much sleeker and thinner. I think it’s ten times more attractive than the original Kindle, but still not as sleek and trim as the Sony. But definitely an improvement over its predecessor. I’m already glad of the smaller buttons, as I had a lot of problems with unintentional page turning before. The buttons on the bottom of the Kindle have lost some of that “chiclet gum” feel and are rounder and slightly more recessed into the device.
I’m not sure what to think about the “joystick” in my initial look. I’ll have to wait and see. I’m happy about the new design as far as the back goes, as well. As Smart Bitch Sarah said, on the Kindle 1, the back would come off “if you sneezed wrong”. They’ve removed the button for turning off the wireless and made it an option on the menu instead. I’m not sure how I feel about that yet either. The wireless does seem to be faster, which it was supposed to be, and it downloaded the content I had waiting (a free copy of Silent in the Sanctuary) immediately, along with my welcome message from Jeff Bezos and a guide about Upgrading Your Content to the new Kindle (which seems relatively easy). One thing I notice is that having the wireless be part of the system, if you try to do something that requires the wireless to be on, and you have it off, the device will ask you if you want to turn it on, then do so and continue with the task.
Several things I’m disappointed about: 1) the Kindle comes with no cover or protective sleeve. Which means an automatic outlay of more money if you have any interested in protecting it at all while in your purse/bag/pocket. 2) They switched from a micro USB to a mini USB, which is a less common USB. And this also means that the iGo tip I bought for the original Kindle is now obsolete and I’ll need to buy a new one. Bugger (on closer look there is no tip for the Kindle 2 at this time. Damnit). 3) No improved file management. And to this I say, WTF, Amazon? That was the ONE improvement I wanted in the Kindle 2. The one thing that might have enticed me over from the Sony and the one thing I point to as a serious drawback to people shopping for a dedicated reader. Well, also the fact that you don’t recognize any DRM formats, including the PRC format. WTF again?
Text-to-Speech. This isn’t really a function I think I’ll use, but I tried it out. One thing to know is that if you stop in the middle of a page, when you start again it will start reading from the top of the page, not from where you stopped. Also, it tends to run things together in an odd way.
The last thing that’s not immediately clear to me is whether the Kindle is charging while plugged into the computer via the USB cord. When plugged in, I see the “charge” symbol flash onto the battery indicator before the USB screen comes up. And the light on the bottom comes on, but a message on the screen states “USB Drive Mode: If you want to use your Kindle and continue charging, please eject your Kindle from the computer.” But the instructions say that if the yellow light is on, then it’s charging. So I’m not sure what the screen message indicates. Something to investigate.
Final first impressions: Being thinner and sleeker, it does fit in my smallish purse, though it’s about an inch longer than the Sony 505. However, that’s without a case, so it depends on whether I can find a case that doesn’t add a lot of extra bulk. If I were going to use this Kindle (I’m not except for demo purposes) I would invest in this M-edge case (along with the optional light) which I wish to the depths of my soul they would make for the Sony. And yes, I did say I won’t be using it. Why? No file management. I love Sony’s tagging system, which allows me to sort my books in a variety of ways, including personal and business use, and I hope that Amazon can fix their unusable (for me) system with a firmware upgrade, rather than waiting another couple years for a whole new device.