Saturday, January 31, 2009

1&1 Hosting Sucks

Back in July of 2007 my site, went down due to a server issue with 1&1 Hosting. The site was down for about 12 hours that time when all was said and done. I lost a bunch of traffic and potential ad clicks/merchandise sales. Well, six months later it's happened again. Since that last outage our traffic has increased 50% meaning now this outage is costing me even more.

Once again a call to their technical support "team" lead me to someone with no information and an accent so thick I had to ask them to repeat everything they said, sometimes three times. In the end they had no information for me other than there's a problem and they're working on it. They will not let me know when it's back up just as they didn't let me know that it was down.

We've already contracted with another host and will be moving the site in a few months. Ultimately all I can do until then is warn anyone looking for a good Web host to stay away from 1&1. Their prices are great and they have some very attractive options, but don't get sucked in, just keep looking.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Taking Notes in the Shower

I've had a decade-long quest to find a good way to take notes in the shower. As I've searched for a solution over the years I've been amazed to find that no one has already come up with a great answer. The good news is I've made progress in my search, thanks to a comment from a Facebook friend.

Other things I've tried, like grease pencils (don't clean up well) and dry erase markers (the "dry" part is obviously a problem) have failed, the main problem being the actual writing tool. Obviously it has to write despite surface moisture and it has to clean up thoroughly. If it gets wet it can't get easily washed away but if it does it can't stain. A tall order I know.

So yesterday I made a Facebook status update regarding my fruitless search and my friend Meg suggested the Crayola® Floating Art Desk, which, while designed for creative toddlers in the tub, also has a "storage" feature that allows it to hang on a wall, giving non-toddlers an adjustable-height writing surface while standing. I found one at Toys R Us for about $10.

The included writing tool happens to be a specially-designed crayon, which while water-resistant, isn't a tremendously accurate writing utensil. However, it gets the job done since I'm not generally jotting down more than a few words at a time.

Oh, one more thing, the Crayola Floating Art Desk is clearly not designed to fit in with an adult bathroom and since we don't have any kids I suspect I'll be explaining things to a few curious guests. I'll be honest, it looks fairly ridiculous. I'm considering making some modifications to it, provided I can do so without completely destroying it. You'll see what I mean in the photos below:

Shower Notes
The unit comes with a crayon storage compartment on either side.
I tried it on the tile, but it fell so I moved it to the glass door. So far so good.
The crayons are retractable. I'm not sure why.
I'll give it a little while before I call this a complete success, but in the meantime I'm feeling better about saving those random brainstorms in the shower.