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The Black Hold Of Cyberspace

Extracted from tomorrow's reading in Our Daily Bread:

"The end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers." -- 1 Peter 4:7

"THERE IS A WEB SITE that claims to predict when you will die. After you answer a series of questions, your projected date of death appears along with a digital clock counting down the number of seconds you have left to live.

"It's all based on current life-expectancy charts, but seeing it on a computer screen makes it more vivid. As the site says, it's "the Internet's friendly reminder that life is slipping away." "

A HOLIDAY HAS JUST PASSED and i've got next to nothing done. Not much prayer, no marking, no teaching preparation, no gym exercise, no chit-chatting, and not a blog entry yet.

Spent almost the whole day on my new website (nope, not revealing here), experimenting with Fantastico and free php-based CMSs such as Xoops, Mambo and phpNuke. Yes, many insights gained. Yes, closer now to that 'Web haven' where one only has to fill up forms to update content. However, before more could be achieved in less time, so much more time has to be spent making the whole thing work first in the desired flow. And one problem followed another. Kept seeing "Internal Server" errors. Not so fantastico afterall.

At the end of the day, seemed to have just returned from a black hole which has sucked up all things and yielded very little in return. Another case of "more is less".

Deja vu huh? What's new after four years of working on the Net? For all the grandiose promises held out by cyberspace (a.k.a. elearning, web portals, open-source code), there are also many more 'black holes' into which time, money, information, dreams, credibility, and etcetera, have vanished.

Meanwhile, life is slipping away.

by tree#138680 on Thu Jun 03 04 2:48 pm | profile


This is quite a mystery to me: A support staff with my web host finally explained on June 03 that the 'Internal Server' errors were due to some PHPsuExec bug in their Cpanel servers. The bug report was posted on June 01, the same day that i reported those 'Internal Server' errors.

Yet, on June 02, another support staff told me that the problem at my new website was due to third-party scripts. He wrote, "To configure or troubleshoot the 3rd party scripts, we will charge you $30/hr. Please confirm before we proceed to troubleshoot your xoops or any other issues."

Granted that upon my query, he later described a probable scenario (e.g., a hacker attack through the third-party scripts on my site) which could lead to a similar problem. However, with a PHPsuExec bug in their servers, surely my website wasn't the only one with 'Internal Server' errors? What took them so long to realise that this is their server problem and not a third-party script problem? If i hadn't informed them on June 03 to check their PHPsuExec setting, would i still be stranded with those 'Internal Server' errors? btw, who in the world would want to hack a site that has not been publicized in any way?

Posted by: tree#138680 on Wed Jun 09 04 3:45 pm

Another mystery: Switched from 56kbps dialup to 256Mbps broadband last Friday. But believe it or not: It's only now that i finally manage to connect successfully.

Last Saturday and Sunday, wasted lots of time trying to solve the problem. Called Singnet's technical support staff almost 10 times! Upon their advice, unplugged and re-plugged my phone lines; removed the micro-filter, plugged back the micro-filter; uninstalled and re-installed the modem software several times; even moved my cordless phone set from the living room to the bedroom. Still, nothing seemed to work.

The problem was eventually escalated. A serviceman was supposed to check the phone lines inside and outside my home this morning. By afternoon, having heard nothing about the status, i called the support line. The serviceman had apparently found nothing wrong with the lines.

What kind of connectivity solution is this that has sucked away (again!) my precious time like a 'black hole'? It's quite incredible that a relatively IT-savvy person like me (who had dismantled and assembled entire PCs, as well as installed all kinds of computer devices) have to waste so much time, and pay for (1) five days of no broadband connectivity, (2) three days' dialup access, and (3) $20 for a serviceman to check my 'faultless' lines.

So, what went wrong? What finally went right? Did the ADSL line start working only a few hours ago, although according to support staff, it had been switched on since Friday?

Posted by: tree#138680 on Thu Jun 10 04 11:36 am

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