A Brief History of my Blogs (3)

This is the third issue of this series of articles. [anime_rvws] has been my little child always, a child that I neglected and left alone a thousand times because of more important stuff. It got sick, died and now I’m trying to revive it. When I launched it for the first time I had to face lots of problems. I’ll tell you about that.

The birth of a child: [anime_rvws]

There I was, in such a important moment, my love for anime and Japanese music was overflowing and I had the need to recommend all the nice shows I had seen on the first half of 2010 to everyone who could access the web. It was July 2010 and summer in Japan was starting. I had to start at once.

Then I had the idea to create yet another blog, this case with an special focus. Without a doubt, there was lots of blog publishing platforms in the moment: LiveJournal, WordPress, Office Live Spaces, Pixie, Blogspot, but I wanted to customize my blog with my taste. It was going to be a faithful reflection of a huge part of what I am today.

Blogspot was out of discussion from the beginning, as only until recently they’re working on dynamic sites and a new template system. Also, after the loss of so many posts in 2007, my opinion of Blogspot was on the floor (even if Google is the owner now). I’ve always seen LiveJournal as a very informal platform, used for, if some of my friends could excuse me, ridiculous sites. It is not sufficiently apt for something I wanted to show openly.

I’ve worked with WordPress previously, it was a very interesting and solid platform, and I had worked on the conversion of HTML and CSS tamplates to use it with this software. With the trust that I had because of working for other people and not myself, I used it for that blog. But before… I had to find a good hosting for it. Then I had the first difficulty.

I, a full-time university student, without a pay check or any source of income, wasn’t in the ability to buy a domain, or a hosting. Even if I had worked on several small projects, I didn’t save a single penny, mainly because some years ago I had several other commitments that I thought were really important. So, I searched for a free hosting, with a short, easy-to-remember subdomain.

I found lots of different services, but I focused on three such ones: 0000Host, X10Hosting and ATBHost. I started with 0000Host, they offered a really easy registration system, but the activation process was fully manual. This process took two weeks. It took them so long just to to tell me that because half of my site would be in Spanish, they couldn’t approve my application. Damn!

Next one on the list was X10Hosting, a service provider with a long history and lots of additional features. Due to the problems with the previous hosting, I decided to completely read the Terms of Service. There wasn’t any indication of problems with non-English sites, thus I registered and started [anime_rvws] (at http://tam.pcriot.com/). I installed WordPress, a temporal theme, some of the most useful plugins (including WPML) and I started posting. My first post in that blog happened on July 28, 2010. It was a post speaking of the beauties of one of the most perfect anime in latest years: Angel Beats!

Following that post, I wrote more posts. If my memory doesn’t fail me, the second post was about B Gata H Kei. However, some days later I started noticing a lot of problems with the site. I had to wait two or three hours until I could access the server, do changes to the template, edit and post new articles, and when I was able to access I had lots of issues, like errors on database or on server, the style sheet was missing from the template, and so on. With lots of doubts I wrote to tech support, but they kept on saying that everything was OK by their side. Several days went by with the same problem, and without knowing what was happening, I decided to move out of X10Hosting.

I decided to use up my third choice, ATBHost. Registration was easy, and activation was really fast. I checked out the Terms of Service and they were sufficiently permissive. I restored all my data, and the site was up once and again. Besides [anime_rvws], I created this blog, Randomness, Tech & Thoughts (which I, out of love, abbreviate as RT&T), in a separate installation of WordPress, as a kind of personal blog.

I’m always busy: A new hiatus because of the graduation

In those nstallations of WordPress I was able to write out more and more articles (and even publish Win US Intl for Linux), until real life tapped me in the shoulder. I was in the most important and decisive phase of my life as an university student, I had to build and develop my graduation project, so I decided to have yet another hiatus for a greater good, a time-out from anime and writing. It has been several months that I haven’t seen a single chapter of any series, and abstinence hurts. I’ll solve that situation later.

So, the site was stranded for a long time, but I accessed the administrative section of the site from time to time to update WordPress and make small adjustments. That was fine, until a disaster occurred. Some few days before the first birthday of the blog, an ill-intentioned user was able to access my database login and password and damage completely all the information regarding [anime_rvws] (RT&T wasn’t affected by that). Unfortunately, I hadn’t done a backup for months, thus I lost all the information, even if I knew that I could recover it from Google’s cache or with other tools.

When that happened, I was severely demoralized with my blog. I thought about deleting it, destroying it. But the courage to do it was never there. Thanks to Google’s cache I was able to recover one lone post, the one about Angel Beats!, and I wrote another post regarding the future of the blog. However, I never recovered my information, as I was really busy with my graduation project. As a result, Google’s cache was erased, it got overwritten with the new, incomplete, version of the site. Added to that, Internet WaybackMachine never indexed my site, so, there’s no way to recover what I lost.

To make things even worst, ATBHost changed management, which helped my previous URL, http://tam.abth.us/, get totally lost in limbo. Now they have another server, with another name, which I don’t like. I don’t like a such unstable service, because this situation could happen in the future, once and again, and as fast as it happened this time.

Nevertheless, among all the options I had before, X10Hosting never moved, it was always there, even getting better. I gave it my trust, and with a tiny bit of fear, I decided to move back again. So far, one and a half week later, everything is going really smooth (that and I ditched the WPML plugin). This experience has shown me that among all the problems, there’s always a solution: Rebuilding everything again.

Be tuned for the next and last part of this series of posts, where I’ll talk about the rebirth of my blog, [anime|rvws].

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