Archive for the ‘/etc’ Category
Been away in the hills breathing in the fresh mountain air and hanging out with my lads on a long-promised break. Blog-neglect is a universal phenomenon that I won’t write about. There are posts lined up, but they need a bit of cleaning up and clarity. As soon as I am done with that normal services should resume.
It’s with a great amount of reluctance and sadness that after five years of providing high quality, advertisement free hosting to thousands of
people around the world, I’m announcing the end of freedom2operate. – Daniel J. Cody
F2o was one of those last free hosting service providers to outlast the recent post-boom years on the internet. They were different in the sense that it was a nicely supported and awesomely-featured hosting service (Chillisoft ASP too!) providers who did not take on anybody and everybody onboard. The idea was to have a community on the platform, consisting of tinkerers and web developers, who were provided with features that most paid hosting accounts would hesitate to provide. And as it came to be, the show could not go on forever, even with the addition of the paid hosting accounts.
I used to have an account on F2o, but I did not bother to ping DJC when they did a server migration that required existing users to opt to migrate to the new boxes. I think I was among the unfortunate few who did have problems with the migration, that needed to be manually fixed, but I decided to not opt for it and let the account die, mostly because I’d come to the conclusion that quality services need to be supported with money and bandwidth, rack space and the effort that goes into keeping something like this running is never free and should never be free.
I do not know who else is left in the space now. Evolt used to provide such a service, but I am no longer sure what exactly is going on there. I think most of this type of free hosting will remain a faint memory, other than fly-by-night operators who are looking to make a quick buck by injected all hosted pages with pop up and Google Ads.
playing Chinese whispers over a public address system.
One of the toughest decisions any company has to revisit time and again is whether it should build a product internally or if it should buy out/from a vendor who has already done the same thing. In simple, practical terms, the choice is between buying a pre-built wheel and building one from scratch all by yourself.
The greatest example of a botched opportunity on the same lines is the story of Yahoo! and Google. Long time ago, Yahoo! had actually funded the growth of a little-known company called Google — a decision that they must regret every day now. They could, probably, have bought out the company then (and could have done a huge favour to Microsoft by doing that and effectively killing it) and never looked back. They did not, and are now struggling to catch up with them in both search and advertising, which are Google’s core competencies.
It is very easy to kick Yahoo!’s ass for not having bought Google, but the fact of the matter is that it is a very tough decision to make when you are dealing with wheels. There is not much else than instinct to guide you in making that decision and sometimes it works out well, other times it just does not. But in general, it is not the best of ideas to be dependent on an external vendor on whom your business’s core value proposition has a critical dependency.
There are workarounds to the problem, like investing in the long term in developing the technical expertise in-house and contractual clauses that protect you against sometimes unavoidable circumstances, but there is no real proven method to pull this off each and every time. That, of course, is the reason why there are only a limited and small number of smart people in the world who can get it right. You just have to make sure that you are either one of them or, for lesser mortals like us, you work for one of them.