4th of April, 2007

As there have been quite a few large changes recently then I thought that it would be a good time to do another News page update, where I will start with the latest news and work backwards.

To begin with then if you are reading this page between the 4th and 8th then you will soon notice my Easter theme that I assembled back during the Xmas holiday. Most importantly this theme switched itself on automatically and will turn itself off the same way early Monday morning.

Well I did the best that I could or this Easter theme, but I would still class this one in third place behind the Xmas and the yet to be seen Halloween theme. The Halloween theme I consider the best one where you can of course see that one at the expected date and time. As to this Easter theme then I skipped doing a computer calculation of the right changeable date and simply entered all the dates up to about 2020 into an array.

In all Easter is a very strange event here in the UK. This religious event did start out as a Pagan one before Christianity invaded and took over. Kind of like most of our events. More than a few people here do not see eggs as being exactly pro-Christian, but the Church sticks by the take-over excuse of the egg represents the resurrection of Christ. So this long standing eggs tradition is (also) Christian, even if many people do not understand the link.

More directly those people removing these older Pagan values, present in many of our religious holidays, only go and remove the "fun" aspects as well, resulting in a rather boring time.

As you can see from my site theme these events are not displayed as religious ones. Instead I simply stick to the "fun" aspect that indicates celebration no matter the religious view.

Speaking more about my web sites then I have now filled the hole that was left by my loss of the cardman.org domain. To sum up that event from October last year then lets just say that I will never accept a free domain name ever again. As when you move away from such a hosting provider then at best they can be slow handing over this domain, but in this case they can also be bitchy and very evil. So the control of that domain I will now obtain the hard way.

In any case within the past few hours I created a replacement third domain. So if you desire to give it a test run then www.cardman.hk is now on-line, where sure enough this web site is being hosted in Hong Kong. This then completes my long planned web site hosted somewhere in Asia, which should prove the closest site for all my Asian customers.

This is not to say that my customers actually make use of the closest web site hosting to them, when instead they simply seem to use the one they first found from a search engine. That still works fine of course but you would be suffering an extra loading delay by using a more distant site. My cardman.co.uk domain being hosted in London is good for Europe. The cardman.com domain being hosted in New York is for North America. And the new cardman.hk is to cover Asia.

Interestingly both of my cardman.com and cardman.hk domains currently provide fairly speedy transfers to Europe, but as I tend to move my sites about over time then this is not always the case. For example cardman.com is better off being hosted in Los Angeles, where from past L.A. hosting I know that the European loading delay is a lot higher.

To sum this up then for me in Maidstone the times to my three sites are as follows... cardman.co.uk is 91ms and 10 hops away, cardman.com is 123ms and 12 hops away, and cardman.hk is 315ms and 13 hops away. So as you can see all the pages on my site will load faster if you make use of your closest server. Not that the majority of my customers will actually do so mind you.

To explain why this domain name then since I wanted Asian hosting then it is fair enough to have it after the country that it is hosted within. The second reason is that there are not many cardman.* domain names left now. Not many years ago there were only three known cardman.* domain owners, where I soon bought the cardman.com one out. These days I can count 10 cardman.* domains owned by other people. The general names that are left are all sucky, where the best option of cardman.tv happens to be on the expensive side, which simply made the cardman.hk domain the better and cheaper option.

You can rest assured that those other cardman domain owners would love to own my cardman.com domain, but they certainly will be out of luck there, when this domain I have already registered up to 2016. In other words unlike what some people believe I have no plans to change business any time soon.

The other aspect of why I picked Hong Kong is because this city does have good network infrastructure. This being an ex-British colony does have a good link to the UK and Europe, even if it passes through North Carolina. Just across the city border into China provides a much poorer network infrastructure, even if they are currently making large improvements. And best of all since Hong Kong was handed back to China a few years ago then you could say that I now have a good base in China.

I have considered other locations like Singapore and Japan in the past but this Hong Kong hosting provided the ideal number of features. One of those reasons is that *.hk domains are open to all, while com.hk domains requires being a Hong Kong registered company, where other countries often have restricted domain names.

There are only a couple of concerning aspects from this new hosting. First is being regulated by China, but then they have allowed a lot of independence within Hong Kong. And the second matter I will have to sort out is that this hosting provider put his own details in the administrative contact of this domain. As the administrative contact controls the domain name then I will have to see about getting this switched over, when hosting providers controlling domain names is never a good idea. I will step softly sorting this one out (China...), but having them try to control my domain name is unacceptable in normal terms when after all... I paid 250 HK$ for it.

I can now confirm that this new Hong Kong site is fully functional concerning ordering and e-mail. So you are welcome to be the first customer to order from this Hong Kong server.

Moving on then the other interesting site change is that I have finally got my custom 404 error pages working. Just try to call a page that does not exist to see what I mean. Much better than the default server offering if you ask me.

There has of course been new special offers and new items added to this site over the past few months, like I just added the Zeta Blue CAM not too long ago.

Now during the second half of January I naturally had both my Income Tax and VAT returns to do, which goes a long way to explain my lack of news updates since.

Also I have been conducting large scale warfare with PayPal since January, where so far they have locked up my accounts twice over a period covering about six weeks. The first case was simply due to their security policy, where almost five weeks were lost waiting for their address confirmation letter to arrive. A total waste of time if you ask me, when they had already validated my address twice before. Not to forget that anyone doubting my address would be seriously dumb. This event I tackled by opening new accounts to collect customer payments.

The second more recent event involved their claim that some unstated item I sold violated their acceptable use policy. This was extra unhelpful when although I have considerable legal and technical knowledge then PayPal had close to none. So only once I went through their banned item list one by one pointing out that I do not sell such an item did they finally reopen my accounts, but from what I have seen a few customer payments were blocked by this.

So in the end PayPal fell into the same sort of trap that has put FACT in hot water, namely false assumptions and zero supporting facts. So that makes two out of two wins, or I guess two out of three, where the third case did not work out when the company behind an old payment gateway application refused to discuss it. In other words no possibility to prove them wrong.

The last thing that comes in mind is stock changes, like recently I got in more TOS6 cables and the UK2EU plugs. The TOS6 cables I ran out of back in December, where restocking proved a problem when my wholesaler was changing model at the time. The new version they had available in January, but since there was no rush for them I got them when I next needed to pick up something else. Oddly enough the new TOS6 cables look exactly the same as the old version.

The UK2EU plugs proved an interesting story when my stock database said that I had 11 plugs in stock, but following a long hard search this stock could not be located. In the end I came to the conclusion that there was no such stock where examination of my accounts supported the idea that this was simply a stock count error. Previously I had marked that my physical stock and database was out by plus 10, but no such missing invoice could be found. So my adjustment to put this error margin down to zero set my real stock level at one, where now only that one has wondered off somewhere.

So an outstanding customer order meant that these TOS6 cables and UK2EU plugs were soon here.

I intend to do a few more site changes soon so keep a look out.