A couple of years ago I did a website
for a friend's shop. (Which at the moment is not up again.) It was pretty basic, and I did the whole site with notepad. It wasn't bad, just basic information about his shop. A few tweaks here and there and it was up and running. And then came Katrina. This was the downfall of many things, my friend's website included.
All the account information was sent to my home email address. It was due for renewal in February 2006. Unfortunately, we moved to Houston, and I no longer had access to my old home email address. So when they sent the renewal notice, I didn't get it. It hadn't crossed my mind again until around April of 2006 when I got the phone call saying the website was no longer there.
I went back to check, and sure enough, the domain registration had expired. In comes some 3rd party get rich quick Jerk Faces! They paid the $15-$30 and took the domain. This is how these assholes work. They get lists of domain names that expire, buy them at a low price, then when you contact them to get your domain name back, they charge you hundreds of dollars. Big companies can sue them, little people like us, well, we're just screwed.
Luckily the shoe was on the other foot this time. From time to time I would check back and see that they still had the domain name. Fast forward to last weekend. We made our trip to NOLA. Friday night we went by a friends house and another friend happened to be there. He worked at the shop that the website was for. He mentioned that the guy would like me to contact these people, and see how much it would cost to get his domain name back. I told him when we returned to Houston I would look into it. Well, I guess the earlier mentioned Jerk Faces paid for the domain for 2 years. After blowing (presumably) $70 or so, and never being contacted by us, they decided it was a waste of money to retain (and pay for) that domain any longer. Due to this, I was able to buy the domain name again for the next 10 years (that's the longest I could get) for $150.
This brings me to technology. Being the pack rat that I am, I still had a copy of the original website on my hard drive. So it's just a matter of uploading it again, and doing a few tweaks to it. (Removing pictures of mechanics that no longer work there, etc...) But of course, technology has to screw ya! When I originally created the website, I was playing around with "Flash" to make the buttons animated when you pass the mouse over them. Then, when the button is clicked, it loads a different page in the frame. Due to hackers and other such bad people taking advantage of security flaws, all the latest browsers do not allow this. When you click a button you bet an error message is your browser that says it blocked an "ActiveX" control. So, basically, we're back to square one when it comes to the website design. There are 3 positive notes though. #1. I already have the "skeleton" to work with, so it will be easier than starting from scratch. #2. It will once again force me to educate myself on the latest website software and coding. #3. I was able to handle the hosting (4 years) and domain registration (10 years) for less than it would have cost to buy the name back from the Jerk Faces who took it.
So things aren't all bad. As far as regular work goes, the last I heard I will be moving to the new lab in the beginning of May. That is all.