Friday, January 9, 2009

Invisible Webpage Redux

Okay -- website-wise we're still not back up. You're still going to pull up an annoying extinct domain advertising thing every time you try to reach Mel Keegan OnLine or DreamCraft itself ... and yes, it's already BEEN FIXED ... but there's a third-party registry agency which takes 48 hours to cycle its business. We won't reappear till something along the lines of the old monster, InterNic, finishes cycling.

Has anyone out there been on the Internet for long enough to have gone through the process of registering domains ten or twelve years ago? What a question. DreamCraft has been around that long, and when they registered the domain for the first time, it was done through the old monster which in those days ruled cyberspace with a rod of iron. In that far off era, there was ONE place you could go to buy a domain, and they were extremely expensive! These days we're spoiled: $5 domains, and you can buy them down at the magazine shop.

That's all well and good, but for domains which were registered back in the Paleolithic era, the rules turn out to be different. (You learn something new every day -- stay with me here, just a moment longer.) Those domains still fall under the influence of the creaking old registry agency which has been holding them, and their "parking pages," for longer than a decade. It's fine and dandy, if the domain never lapses (ie., you have the credit card number hiccup we experienced a few days ago). But if the domain has lapsed for some reason --

The fun begins. And you have to manually shift the domain and its parking page to a new, modern, up-to-date server. All this time, for registry purposes, DreamCraft has been "parked" in a Lower Jurassic formation, where the computers are fossilized and the dinosaurs are so sheeted in cobwebs, they can't see where they're going.

DreamCraft is now on its way to Tucows. But apparently the process can take 24 - 48 hours. The new system is automatic and instantaneous; the Lower Jurassic system functions at the pace of an arthritic, myopic, dyspeptic sauropod.

And the worst part of all this is, nobody -- either at DreamCraft or iPower -- can do anything to make it go faster. Running in circles, screaming and bashing your head against the walls doesn't help.

I know. I've tried.

So -- patience turns out to be even more of a virtue than we'd previously thought! In any case, we're still waiting on the proof copy of THE LORDS OF HARBENDANE ... if it doesn't get here next week, I shall need to be tranquilized. And the proof copy of DANGEROUS MOONLIGHT has only just begun its epic journey to Australia. Rats.

So, let's get off onto happier subjects.

A new blog is launching, and I'm playing tag-team with a group of people you've probably come to know from this blog and DreamCraft itself. This one is a photo blog, and for the first time in years I get to flex my muscles as a photographer rather than a writer:

It's been a long time since I was able to cut loose and think like a photographer -- which is to say, worry about the text later, or even leave that to someone else entirely. Digital Kosmos will be a lot of fun. We're still working on it, there will certainly be changes before it's "launched," but you can help yourself to the sneak preview here:

There's a dozen or so posts (images with 100-250 word captions) online at this point, and we'll launch it when we have thirty or forty "up." But it's already very nice ... and the novelty factor for Keegan is immense. (The Jade quoted in the blog's header-bar is my cover artist; you all know Dave -- as in Alaskan Dave Downunder, whose antics have become infamous). Doctor Mike, you'll be meeting for the first time at Digital Kosmos. The impending PhD is in archaeology. Indiana Jones territory.

Last note for today: folks don't seem to mind the inclusion of Infolinks; I managed to redesign them, so they don't jump out of the page so obnoxiously ... and for what it's worth, they actually get a heck of a lot more clicks than the Google ads. Please do let me know what you think of them! Trying to keep the bills paid is one thing -- getting right up readers' noses is something else!

Ciao for now,

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