Hello Again! I’ve Been Missing You Too….

thumbnail of The A&T aesthetics committee
Click the image to make it bigger, please. (It’s a rare picture of the Articles and Texticles aesthetics committee, scrutinising a submission from an artist hoping to have his work hung on this site…)

Articles and Texticles is now functioning (almost) normally after changing web hosting company. Yippee, I say.

It was a somewhat fraught process though, and I nearly lost ownership of a domain name I’d owned and used for 10 years, which was a bit of a skidmark moment.

In short, the message is: Don’t move a domain name if it is within 10 days of renewal.

Even as I write, I’m still waiting for signs of life from a web domain that should have fully migrated to the new host by now. All very nailbiting stuff, I can tell you!

Coming next:

  • The Millennium Seedbank
  • Colin Stimpson’s, new book “Witch Wars”
  • Humphry Repton.
  • A brilliant watercolourist.
  • A scintillating oil painter
  • More British Art Directors
  • …and many more random dips into the artistic and cultural well….


I offer my apologies to the people who kindly left comments just before the site moved house. I don’t think I used the very latest backup when I restored the whole shebang. Whoops!


Moving Day for Articles & Texticles

thumbnail of ere we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go!

Articles & Texticles is powered by WordPress publishing software.

I like the way that WordPress   works and the direction that its open source developers are taking it.

From a webmaster’s point of view, WordPress is so much easier to administer when you compare it to the standard HTML based static website, especially when it comes to updating information and links.   There are many other benefits beside these two, obviously, such as thousands of themes (templates) and zillions of plugins that add an amazing variety of functions to the core product, but effortless updating and creating new pages is one of WordPress’s killer features.

I thought it would be good to run my other websites using this versatile platform, revive them from their torpid state, and lay the ground for some new publishing ventures.

The trouble is that WordPress runs on a   server database called MySQL, and the hosting package I’ve had with 1&1 hosting allowed me a generous   1 (yes: One) MySQL database in my Business hosting package. (You get 2 – count them! – MySQL databases nowadays, but I wasn’t allowed to upgrade to the new package without cancelling my contract and starting a new contract   from scratch.)

Even more galling was the discovery that the Business contract that 1&1 offers in the USA was not only cheaper but also offered FIFTY MySQL engines.   When I asked them to explain the disparity,   the salesperson I talked to explained that it was “the nature of the market”, and No, I couldn’t have a second database for free because they had burned the server and blacked out my sites for several hours.

So:   After 10 years, it’s time to move.   To move to a host that is available on the phone without queueing for ages.   A host that has a public user forum that shows the customers’ complaints and enquiries, warts and all, for everyone to see and doesn’t try to hide its shortcomings or failings.   A company that’s honest, in short.

Best of all, the contract has “unlimited” MySQL databases included.

Moving hosts can be fraught with problems, and halfway through the process last week, I had to put everything back in place very rapidly when I realised that one of my domain names was just about to be renewed, as it must be every two years.

The risk was that the domain name might be half way between companies and   be lost altogether if it were not registered with a hosting company at the moment of renewal.

Fortunately that moment of risk has just passed, and I can start the move all over again.

If you find this blog has temporarily vanished (you wouldn’t be reading this anyway!) fear not.   It will be back in a day or two when the domain name servers that keep the web from descending into unimaginable chaos have put the word out about Articles & Texticles’ new home.

I look forward to seeing you on the “other side”, and if you’re curious about the new hosting company’s name, you’ll have to email me in the “About” page.
I don’t want to trumpet their name just yet, not until they’ve proved themselves to be as reliable, supportive and honest as they purport to be.

Unintended Consequences: ID Cards’ Contribution To Domestic Violence

There’s an interesting interplay of various brands of fear at work in this video. Would it work better without the sinister background drone? Will life be better for women with vindictive ex-partners?

Link to NO2ID
Link to Women’s Aid

(Via The Daily Irrelevant)


Database Server Falls Over – Not Many Hurt

Apologies for the absence of Articles & Texticles yesterday, my web hosting company (1and1.co.uk) were doing something unspeakable to the MySQL database servers and it took this site down for a few hours.

I’m always a bit suspicious when I see the visitor stats crash down to almost nothing…

thumbnail of Server Stats
(Click to enlarge)

Fortunately there is a real time information feed to the server data centre, that shows exactly what’s going on at the web hosting company.
Click the image below…

thumbnail of Hosting datacentre

“The Register” Readers respond to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs

For those of you living outside the UK who might not have heard this dismal story, a hapless functionary at the HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs) sent 2 CDs containing the personal details of all families in the United Kingdom claiming child benefit to a firm of accountants who were contracted to audit the accounts of HMRC.

On the 20th of November, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (equivalent to a Minister of Finance) announced that the 2 CDs had gone missing.
This is thought to affect approximately 25 million individuals and 7.5 million families in the UK. The discs which have gone missing include such personal details as:
* Name
* Date of birth
* National insurance number (Social Security Number)
* Bank details, where relevant

Obviously, this incredible lapse of security generated a vast amount of news coverage here in the UK, and a huge outpouring of spin, flannel and bullshit from our government. As the days went by since this fiasco was unveiled, there has been a growing sense of public disbelief in the sheer ineptitude and massively stupid behaviour of the ministry. Continue reading “The Register” Readers respond to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs