WordPress.com 404 With Blogger Permalinks

Part of the research I did before migrating from Blogger to WordPress.com, was to make sure that current Blogger permalinks will resolve correctly once the old posts were imported into WordPress.com. At the time all seemed fine, but soon after migrating, I received alerts from Google Webmaster Tools that there is an increase in site errors, specifically 404 errors.

Some background: Permalinks are the URL’s that point directly to specific posts on the blog. These URL’s are known by search engines, are shared on forums, and are basically the static address of posts. Blogger and WordPress.com use different styles of permalinks. WordPress.com allows some customization of permalinks, but unlike WordPress.org, there is no support for custom plugins to handle rewrites for permalinks, 302’s or 404’s.

Although not documented anywhere, WordPress.com does support Blogger style permalinks, and will correctly redirect the Blogger style link to the WordPress.com style page. As an example, see the links below, one for Blogger and one for WordPress.com:

http://blogdotinsanegenius.blogspot.com/2012/06/looks-can-be-deceiving.html
https://blogdotinsanegenius.wordpress.com/2012/06/looks-can-be-deceiving

Search engines will know the link using the old blogger style URL, and both styles of links will correctly resolve to the current page:

https://blog.insanegenius.com/2012/06/19/looks-can-be-deceiving
https://blog.insanegenius.com/2012/06/looks-can-be-deceiving.html

So why is it that Google Webmaster Tools reported a suddenly spike in 404’s?

Google.404.1

By reviewing the links that report 404, I noticed that the permalink format of certain posts on WordPress.com was slightly different to the Blogger permalinks.

http://blogdotinsanegenius.blogspot.com/2009/10/hitachi-a7k2000-and-seagate-barracude.html
http://blogdotinsanegenius.blogspot.com/2010/05/zotac-xboxhd-id11-mkv-h264-video.html
http://blogdotinsanegenius.blogspot.com/2008/03/printing-from-network.html

https://blogdotinsanegenius.wordpress.com/2009/10/11/hitachi-ultrastar-and-seagate-barracude-lp-2tb-drives/
https://blogdotinsanegenius.wordpress.com/2010/05/28/zotac-xboxhd-id11-mkv-h-264-video-playback-performance/
https://blogdotinsanegenius.wordpress.com/2008/03/30/printing-from-the-network/

Notice the difference? Blogger appears to keep links short, and remove words like “the” and “and”.

I contacted WordPress.com support, and they provided a manual solution. They suggested that I modify the “slug” of each 404 post to match the Blogger style permalink.

Slug

This resolved the problem with the top 404’s, but I would have expected the Blogger import plugin to take care of this for me.

But, I soon received another alert email from Google Webmaster Tools, and this time the 404 posts looked a bit different.

Google.404.2

Notice that all the links contain parameters in the URL (I think these are old style Google Analytics parameters), and without the parameter the redirect works, but with any parameters the redirect fails.

https://blog.insanegenius.com/2009/09/western-digital-re4-gp-2tb-drive.html
https://blog.insanegenius.com/2009/09/western-digital-re4-gp-2tb-drive.html?m=1

I again contacted WordPress.com support, and I am still awaiting a resolution.

[Update: 9 August 2012]
Just got an email from WordPress.com support, the problem with parameters is fixed, thank you.

CrashPlan Memory Utilization

I’ve been using CrashPlan as an online backup solution for quite some time, and it works really well.

I like the fact that I can subscribe to the consumer plan, with almost 3.5TB of data backed up, and that the backup client installs on a server OS. Many of the other “unlimited” backup providers I tested have restrictions in place that makes such a setup impossible.

CrashPlan sends email notifications about backup status, and I noticed that something was wrong with the backup:
CrashPlan.Email

I logged onto the machine, opened the main UI, and after a few seconds the UI just closed. opened it again, same thing, after about 15s the UI closed.

My initial thoughts were that it is a crash, but on attaching a debugger, the exit call stack showed that the process was cleanly terminated after receiving a signal.

On looking at the NT eventlog I could see that the service was restarting about every 15s:

The CrashPlan Backup Service service entered the stopped state.
The CrashPlan Backup Service service entered the running state.
The CrashPlan Backup Service service entered the stopped state.
The CrashPlan Backup Service service entered the running state.
The CrashPlan Backup Service service entered the stopped state.
The CrashPlan Backup Service service entered the running state.

The service wasn’t crashing, it was externally being stopped and restarted. I looked in the CrashPlan directory, and I found several log files with a naming like restart_1342296082496.log. The contents of these files looked like this:

Sat 07/14/2012 13:01:22.53 : "C:\Program Files\CrashPlan\bin\restart.bat"
ECHO is off.
Sat 07/14/2012 13:01:22.53 : APP_BASE_NAME=CrashPlan
Sat 07/14/2012 13:01:22.53 : APP_DIR=C:\Program Files\CrashPlan
ECHO is off.
Sat 07/14/2012 13:01:22.53 : Stopping CrashPlanService
The CrashPlan Backup Service service is stopping.
The CrashPlan Backup Service service was stopped successfully.

Sat 07/14/2012 13:01:25.05 : Sleeing 15 seconds...

Pinging 127.0.0.1 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 127.0.0.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 127.0.0.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 127.0.0.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 127.0.0.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128

Ping statistics for 127.0.0.1:
Packets: Sent = 15, Received = 15, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms
Sat 07/14/2012 13:01:39.08 : Starting CrashPlanService

The CrashPlan Backup Service service was started successfully.

ECHO is off.
Sat 07/14/2012 13:01:39.13 : Exiting...

I looked for a newer version, but 3.2.1 was the latest version. I logged a support ticket with CrashPlan, but I continued my investigation. I found a log file service.log.0, several MB in size, and inside it I found this:

[07.14.12 12:32:39.480 ERROR   QPub-BackupMgr       backup42.service.backup.BackupController] OutOfMemoryError occurred...RESTARTING! message=OutOfMemoryError in BackupQueue!

So it seems that the service is running out of memory. I now had a few good keywords to search on, and I found this post of a user with the same problem. At about the same time I received a reply from CrashPlan support, not bad for weekend service, with the same solution.

The CrashPlan backup service and desktop applications are Java apps, and as such the maximum amount of memory they use are capped by configuration. I have had similar problems with other memory hungry Java apps, like Jaikoz, that simply fail unless you increase the memory limit.

To fix the problem, shutdown the service, open the CrashPlanService.ini file in the program directory, and increase the maximum memory utilization parameter to 2GB, the default is 512MB, and restart the service:

Virtual Machine Parameters=-Xrs -Xms15M –Xmx2048M

After upping the memory all seemed well, and the service has been running for more than a day. But, I wanted to know just how much memory is CrashPlan using, and it turns out to be insane.

Here are the current stats for the amount of data I backup, as well as the resource utilization by the backup service and desktop app:

CrashPlan.Size
CrashPlan.Memory.Desktop
CrashPlan.Memory.Service

As you can see, the desktop app’s peak private bytes exceed 250MB, and the service exceeds 1.3GB, that’s right 1.3GB of memory!

Those numbers are simply outrageous.

From Blogger to WordPress

I outlined my concerns with Blogger in my last post, and after much deliberation, I decided to move my blog from Blogger to WordPress.

There are two main choices; use WordPress.com for full service blog hosting, or use WordPress.org and host the WordPress application at a hosting provider. Here is a summary describing the differences.

I decided to try both options; I created a blog a WordPress.com, and I created a self-hosted blog using WordPress.org.

Creating the blog at WordPress.com was very quick and easy.

As with Blogger, you can pick any sub-domain name for the hosted blog, as long as it is unique. On Blogger my site is blogdotinsanegenius.blogspot.com, and on WordPress.com my site is blogdotinsanegenius.wordpress.com, not very imaginative, but descriptive and unique.

WordPress, like Blogger, allows you to point your own domain name to your hosted site using a CNAME record. But, unlike Blogger where it is free, WordPress.com charges $13 per year for this feature. WordPress.com offers additional paid domain services, including domain registration and DNS management.

WordPress supports importing from a variety of sites and formats, including Blogger, and my posts, settings, and comments were all imported in a few minutes.

Here is the screenshot of the various import options offered:
Tools.Import

There are certain restrictions in using WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org, and to a lesser degree Blogger, most notably no advertising of your own. WordPress.com will show their own ads, as that is their revenue model, similar to Blogger showing Google ads. But Blogger, as far as I know, does not restrict the use of other ads such as Amazon, nor do they restrict the use of affiliate links. WordPress.com specifically calls out that Amazon affiliate links are ok, as long as it is not the primary purpose of the site. WordPress.com offers a $30 option to remove all of their ads from your blog.

For self-hosted WordPress I needed a hosting provider, and WordPress.org offers some suggestions, probably with a revenue partnership. The world of low cost hosting is like the wild west; many brands owned by the same company, review sites owned by the hosting companies, referral programs leading to biased third party reviews, low cost signup high cost renewal, etc. I decided to try BlueHost and DreamHost, and I will give a brief review and overview of my signup and WordPress setup experience.

If you enter the BlueHost using http://www.bluehost.com/wordpress_hosting, the link from the WordPress.org hosting provider site, you are offered hosting at $3.95 a month, if you enter BlueHost using http://www.bluehost.com/ you are offered the same hosting at $4.95 a month.

BlueHost does not offer a trial, but they do offer a 30 day money back guarantee. Do read the terms, full refund less non-refundable fees, if cancelled within 3 days of signup.

When you go to the signup page, you have to enter a domain name, either a domain you own, or a domain you intend to buy. As I did not want restrict myself to a particular domain, I used the embedded support chat to contact support. After typing my question, and hitting the live chat button, I was redirected to a new page, where I had to select my contact option again, and then enter my question again. So basically the embedded support chat is bogus, whatever you type is thrown away, and you are directed to an outsourced chat provider.

When I finally managed to chat to an agent, they had to ask me what site I came from, another indication of the poor chat integration implementation. The agent assured me that I can change the domain any time, and their system just requires me to pick something. But, it turns out that this is not entirely true, once you remove the primary domain, you can never add it back again. I cannot imagine a technical reason for this restriction, so it may be related to avoiding a user creating a new hosting account vs. renewing an existing account at a much higher cost. To avoid any problems, I just used a domain I own but do not actively use.

The account creation and setup flow was optimized around taking my credit card information, once the account was created, it was rather confusing, starting with my login name being the domain name I selected in step one.

The first email I received, “Welcome to Bluehost! (redacted) – configure your account.”, told me that the fist step is to transfer my domain or to point my domain the the BlueHost DNS server, I did not want to do either of these. The email included links to the FTP server hosting the account, FTP username, and a link to change the password, but the change password link pointed to the main BlueHost site.

The second email I received, “Welcome to Bluehost! (redacted) – Get started now!”, included links to getting started tutorials.

The third email I received, “Welcome to Bluehost! (redacted)”, included a change your password link, and this URL was personalized, and let me create a new cPanel login password.

I proceeded to login to cPanel using my new password, and I was redirected to what I assume is the machine hosting the account, https://box835.bluehost.com:2083/frontend/bluehost/index.html. Notice that the port number is 2083, and this failed, as the network I was working on does not allow anything other that port 80 HTTP and port 443 HTTPS outbound traffic. I contacted support, who indicated I need to open port 2082 and 2083 outbound, no, I can’t do that. My own research into their own KB system gave this link, instructing me to use a different admin URL, and this worked, using standard SSL, and no host or port specific redirects.

I wanted to map a temporary domain name to the hosting account, so that I can install, configure, and test WordPress, before committing to point my blog’s DNS entry to BlueHost. There was no convenient way to do this, I either had to use the http://%5BIP%5D/%5Baccount%5D/ path format, or I had to map one of my own domain names to the hosting IP address, or I had to point one of my domains to use their DNS server. And, this other domain had to be an unused domain, as I don’t want to transfer a live site before having the destination ready.

At this point I decided to try DreamHost. The main DreamHost page lists the shared hosting as $8.95 a month, if you click on the WordPress link, you are offered the same hosting at $6.95 a month.

DreamHost offers a 2 week trial, you basically always sign up for the trial, and will only be charged if you do not cancel within 2 weeks.

The signup process is straightforward, the first thing you are asked is to create an account using your email address and select a password. After providing your credit card information, you are asked to provide a FTP username.

The first email I received, “[redacted] DreamHost Account Approval Notification!”, included the login information to the FTP server hosting the account, and indicated that the account is being created. The FTP password was system generated, and is different to the account password I already selected.

The second email I received, “[redacted] DreamHost FTP-only User Activated”, indicated that the FTP account had been successfully created.

Logging in to cPanel ran over standard HTTPS and I had no problems accessing the management portal.

The domain management portal allows you to create any number of domain to site mappings, and does not require the domain names to be mapped to or registered with DreamHost’s DNS. In order to create a sub-domain, you must first add the main-domain, even if you don’t intend to use or map it. DreamHost supports mirror domains, that allows you to use a dreamhosters.com sub-domain to point to your site. This was very convenient as it allowed me to register blogdotinsanegenius.dreamhosters.com, and use this domain for testing and configuration, and later I can use it as a CNAME for the blog’s DNS entry.

Installing WordPress was easy, DreamHost supports automatic deployment of a large number of popular applications.

Here is a screenshot of the available blogging applications:
DreamHost.Applications

I cannot speak to long term stability or performance, but judging based on the setup and administration process and experience, I think the $3 per month extra for DreamHost over BlueHost is well worth it.

As part of the blog migration I have to maintain existing permalinks, else search engines and users with links to content will not find the information.

As an example, consider the following permalinks:
Blogger: http://blogdotinsanegenius.blogspot.com/2012/06/looks-can-be-deceiving.html
WordPress.com: https://blogdotinsanegenius.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/looks-can-be-deceiving/

Blogger and WordPress.com uses different permalink formats. Blogger uses a yyyy/mm/title.html format, where WordPress.com uses a yyyy/mm/dd/title format. WordPress.org allows the permalink format to be changed, and also allows plugins to be used to convert between incoming and hosted formats.

I found many articles explaining the process of migrating from Blogger to hosted WordPress.org, but I could not find anything on similar functionality at WordPress.com. I asked about this on the WordPress user forum, and a forum user claimed that Blogger style permalinks are supported, yet I could find no information about it on WordPress site. I tested it, and it did indeed work. I contacted WordPress support to get an official answer, and they claimed it is not supported, and recommended that I use WordPress.org. The forum users’ comment was very insightful; “Most of the staff have less experience at WP.com than I do, but you can ask them.”

Another difference between Blogger and WordPress is the use of labels vs. tags and categories. On Importing the site from Blogger, all the labels were converted to categories. Most of the labels really needed to be tags, and fortunately WordPress offers a bulk tag to category, and category to tag converter.

Below are screenshots from Windows Live Writer showing Blogger style labels (categories) and WordPress style categories and tags:
WLW.Blogger
WLW.WordPress

 

WordPress.com supports all the features I need, and at $45 per year for no ads and a custom domain, it is cheaper than the cheapest self-hosting, and more importantly, maintenance free.

I am posting this directly to the WordPress.com sub-domain, next I will change the blog’s DNS CNAME to point to the WordPress.com sub-domain, and if all goes well, you are reading this post on blog.insanegenius.com.

Unlimited online backup providers becoming extinct

I just received an email from ElephantDrive informing me that my legacy unlimited storage account will be terminated in 30 days, and that I must select a new plan.

In July 2009 ElephantDrive announced that they are no longer offering their $100 per year unlimited storage plan. ElephantDrive is now offering a $200 per year for 500GB plan.
In February 2011 Mozy announced that they are no longer offering their $55 per year unlimited storage plan. Mozy is now offering a $120 per year for 125GB plan.
In February 2011 Trend Micro SafeSync announced that they are bandwidth throttling large accounts. In March 2011 they announced that they are no longer offering their $35 per year unlimited storage plan. SafeSync is now offering a $150 per year for 150GB plan.
Carbonite offers a $55 per year for unlimited storage plan, but they are bandwidth throttling accounts over 35GB to 512Kbps and accounts over 200GB to 100Kbps access speeds.
AVG LiveKive offers a $80 per year for unlimited storage plan, but the terms of service defines unlimited as 500GB.
BackBlaze offers a $60 per year for unlimited storage plan.
CrashPlan offers a $50 per year for unlimited storage plan.
Neither BackBlaze nor CrashPlan supports their unlimited plan on server class machines.

I currently have 2.1TB of data backed up online with ElephantDrive running on my Windows Server 2008 R2 machine. Needles to say, none of their new plans are affordable for that amount of storage. I either need to significantly trim down what I backup, or I need to find a new unlimited storage provider, that also allows installs on Windows Server.
For now, I’m uninstalling ElephantDrive.

[Update]
CrashPlan’s new v3 software installs and runs fine on Windows Server 2008 R2, and I have switched to using CrashPlan for my backup needs.

Here is an example snippet of the status emails I receive from CrashPlan:

Source → Target Selected Files Backed
Up %
Last
Connected
Last
Backup
VM-STORAGE → CrashPlan Central 2.1TB ↑1KB 423k 0 100.0% 2.5 hrs 4.3 hrs

Trend Micro SafeSync, neat, but unreliable

I wanted to write about Trend Micro SafeSync, but it reminded me of my Streamload experience, and I ended up writing this instead. This time I am really going to write about SafeSync.

SafeSync is another online backup and sync and share application. Actually, they offer both online storage through a mapped drive, and syncing folders online, this makes it unique compared to many existing offerings.

I have used almost all online backup and sync and share type applications out there, my favorite remains DropBox. SafeSync used to be Humyo, before being acquired by Trend. I have used Humyo when they were in Beta, it was just ok, but between then and now their product seem to have come a long way.

Of all the online backup and sync and share applications, a few things remain constant;
Free is unsustainable, somebody has to pay for the staff, the bandwidth, the disks, and the infrastructure. These vendors are running on venture capital, waiting for acquisition, for paid customers, for indirect monetization, or failure.
Unlimited storage is unfeasible, the increased home bandwidth capacity makes it easy to upload Terabytes of data, and we are back at the cost factor.
Usability and coolness is critical, especially usability on mobile devices, and coolness on web frontends.
Reliability is critical, and this brings me back to SafeSync.

SafeSync offers many things common to many other backup or sync and share providers, but three things stood out; they offer unlimited storage, they offer data access using WebDAV, and the web frontend allows convenient access to pictures and music.

The product is offered as a yearly service, listed as $59.99 on the Trend eStore, or $35.95 on the Trend US product page, weird. Regardless, when you add the product to the cart, the cost is $35.95.

I installed the software on three systems, two running Windows 7 Ultimate x64, and one running Windows Server 2008 R2. The install creates a new drive that is mapped to the online storage, and a user session application that can be used to sync a local folder to the online storage.

Here are some screenshots:
SafeSync.Config.Folders
SafeSync.Config.Connection
SafeSync.Status

The web frontend really reminds me of Streamload:
SafeSync.Online

A very neat feature is WebDAV access to the storage. This means that you can access the data using any WebDAV client, and there is no need to install the SafeSync client software. Here is a Trend KB for details, basically you connect to “dav.trendmicro.safesync.com” using your SafeSync credentials.

You can use the built in Windows WebDAV client to access the storage, but you have to make a registry change, else you will get a "the folder you entered does not appear to be be valid" error. After you make the change reboot, or just restart the WebClient service. See this Microsoft KB for details:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\WebClient\Parameters]
"BasicAuthLevel"=dword:00000002

Open explorer and map a network drive to “\\dav.trendmicro.safesync.com”:
WebDAV.Windows

Here are some explorer screenshots of a mapped drive using SafeSync, Windows, and WebDrive:
SafeSync.Cross
Windows.Cross
WebDrive.Cross

So this all sounds great, well, not so great, the client application has serious stability issues.

On two machines, every time I logout of Windows, Windows reports that SafeSync is not responding, after a minute or so, Windows eventually logs out.
On one machine, every time I logout, Windows paints the logging out screen, and never completes, requiring a power cycle.

SafeSync interferes with applications that are accessing files in a shared folder. It appears that SafeSync notices a file modification, then opens the file, and does not allow other applications access to the file. As an example, I create backups of my CD collection using dbPoweramp, and I shared the output folder in SafeSync. While dbPoweramp is still using the files, SafeSync opens the file and dbPoweramp fails. This is not a problem with dbPoweramp, and other sync applications, like DropBox, work just fine in the same situation.
dBPoweramp.Error.Writing

Adobe PhotoShop CS4 x64 crashes every time I open an image that is located in a shared folder. The crash is caused by the SafeSync explorer shell extension.
FAULTING_IP:
HrfsShellExtension!DllUnregisterServer+202ef

If a sync is in progress, and the machine goes to sleep, then later wakes up, SafeSync does not reconnect, instead it reports that the server is unavailable. In order to resolve this you have to logout and log back in.

I added a folder to sync, this folder was very large, the status window indicated it would take several days to complete, I wanted to remove the mapping. On clicking the remove button, I received this funny error message, “Unexpected and unknown error, it is possible a logical error”. The only way to stop the sync was to uninstall.
SafeSync.Logical.Error

SafeSync crashed while uninstalling.
SafeSync.Uninstall.Crash

Lastly, the website does not display any file extensions.

I have not quite given up on the service, just the client software, it is simply too buggy. I am still using the online storage through a WebDrive mapped drive.
But, I still do not believe that unlimited storage is a sustainable business practice, and I would not be surprised if SafeSync limits storage, dramatically increases pricing, or is terminated.

Will your online backup or sync and share provider survive?

I have been using online backup for many years. I won’t call myself an expert, experienced maybe, but I have tried almost all online backup and sync and share services. My biggest concern is still the longevity and trustworthiness of the provider.

My biggest disappointment is definitely Streamload. Streamload was a great service, they provided unlimited storage, had a client up-loader, supported FTP access, and had a great web frontend. And this was in 2005, long before many other online storage providers existed, and nobody else offered unlimited storage. The concept was great, take any of your online files, and present them in a web friendly way, e.g. play your backed up music collection from your browser, watch your backed up movies from your browser.

Unfortunately things did not go so well. Over time Streamload became MediaMax became TheLinkUp, none survived, but a spinoff Nirvanix did. Unlimited storage became limited storage, FTP access was revoked, free accounts became paid only accounts or loose your data. The final death-blow came when user account data was “accidentally” deleted, about the same time as MediaMax filed for bankruptcy, leaving thousands of angry users with no access to their data. Needless to say I was less than happy, but no point in reliving the past, you can read about the saga here, here, here, here, and here.

By the time MediaMax died, I had close to 1.3TB of data online. Yes, that’s a lot, but it was so easy to add without concern for size (MediaMax no longer offered unlimited storage, but unlimited accounts were grandfathered in), whenever I made a local backup, I just uploaded it online, and never deleted old backups.

My point is, a backup is only as good as its ability to restore, and what good is your backup, if you can’t access your data?

How difficult can it be to transfer a .name domain?

How difficult can it be to transfer a .name domain?

I was reading an article where it was noted that .name names can now be used for OpenID registrations.

With a little more research I found that the sites only supported new registrations, unfortunately they did not support transfers.

Several years ago when the .name domains were new and the in thing to do, I registered my pieter.viljoen.name domain and pieter@viljoen.name with Register.com.

Over the years the support for .name domains has declined, to the point where the Register.com domain control panel no longer exposed any controls for my pieter.viljoen.name domain.

Any changes, e.g. domain or email forwarding required a tech support contact.

I started looking for a new .name registrar, and to my surprise found very few, and even fewer that were accepting transfers.

I already have several domains registered with eNom, and fortunately eNom did offer .name transfers, and did actively support .name domains, or at least this is what they advertised.

I initiated an electronic domain transfer with eNom, but the transfer is denied with a message stating that the authorization code does not match.

I call Register.com support, and am told that .name transfers do not require an authorization code.

I call eNom support, and am told to just enter 00000.

I submit the order again using 00000 as the authorization code, and the same problem as before.

I call eNom support, explain the story, are transferred, and this time I am told that I really do require an authorization code.

I call Register.com support, explain the story, are transferred, and after authenticating myself I receive an email with the authorization code.

I submit the order again, this time using the authorization code.

I receive the email, using the whois information from my current registrar Register.com, asking for transfer permission, I approve.

Several days go by and the order status remains in a processing state.

I call eNum support, and are told to wait a few more days.

After a few more days I call eNom support, and I am told to open a trouble ticket using their online support system.

I open the ticket, and a few days later I get a reply email stating that the issue needs to be escalated to the developers.

Every few days I ask for a status update, and am told they are working on the problem.

After about two weeks the transfer completes.

For some reason eNom uses the whois email address I registered with them to contact me for support status updates.

It was by chance that I opened my hotmail account and noticed the support emails.

All previous eNom communications were done using my primary email address I registered with eNom.

Since eNom was not in my good books, I decided to open a support case with eNom complaining that they use the wrong email address for support emails.

After several exchanges, including them not believing me, and me having to show them screenshots of my hotmail account, and screenshots of Outlook with regular eNom email communications, they offer an excuse that the system uses whois emails because everybody must fill out a whois email address.

When reality is that the eNom account system uses your primary email address and the whois email address is inconsequential when using eNom identity protection plans.

I just gave up and closed the case.

I configure the domain forwarding of pieter.viljoen.name to www.insanegenius.com, and it seems to work fine.

Now I want to configure email forwarding, but unlike Register.com where email forwarding was part of the .name package, eNom wants an additional $21.95 per year for email forwarding.

I don’t use that email address, but I order the email forwarding anyway.

A few minutes later I get a confirmation email, but the order was cancelled, with a message stating that I must cancel my existing email forwarding.

I open a support ticket with eNom, and are told that the domain transfer is independent of the email forwarding, and that I must cancel the email forwarding with Register.com.

I login to my Register.com account, and I still see my pieter.viljoen.name listed as an active domain.

I start a support chat conversation Register.com, and I am told that they will open a support case and get back to me.

A day later I receive an email from Register.com, and they confirm that they have deleted my domain from the fronted and backed systems, I confirm that the domain is no longer listed on my account.

I order email forwarding with eNom again, and the same problem.

I call Register.com support, are transferred, and after some time while the agent conversed with technical support, am told that my new registrar, eNom, must contact the .name ICANN authority, and arrange for the transfer.

I am also told by the agent that .name registrations are problematic in that very few individuals or registrars really understand how it works.

On a whim I decide to see if email forwarding still works, and sure it does.

So given that neither Register.com nor eNom is capable of taking care of the problem, and that eNom wants to charge me $21.95 per year for forwarding, and that email forwarding is working, I decided to just do nothing.

I really cannot offer any advice for anybody with an existing .name domain, but what I would say is that if you decide to register a .name domain, make sure your registrar is really committed to supporting .name.

Getting my feet wet

Welcome to my new blog and my first post.

I really have little need for a blog, but I decided to switch to a hosted environment for my postings. This is a decision similar to when I decide to move my photo collection from my own server to a hosted solution.

I will be posting a few more product reviews, and eventually I may migrate all interesting topics from my server to this site.

Regards
Pieter