Jan 172017
 

What is New? – January 17, 2017

It is really tough to explain what has been going on in the last year or so, but I will try to identify the major points as much as possible:

California To Missouri or Bust!

  • After an extended session of unemployment, I got a job offer in the Kansas City, MO (KCMO) area and had to move halfway across the country in Mid 2015. This also clashed with the general release of Windows 10 and Microsoft “pushing” everyone to upgrade.
    • Due to money flying out the window (pun intended) related to moving, I could not afford the old domain server (VPS) anymore, so I had to migrate to “a cheaper VPS” solution “in the cloud” that looked like it would do just fine.
    • Meanwhile, I basically “devolved” everything to do with hosting friends domains for free (while costing me money), and asked them to get off my server as I was about ready to pull the plug.
    • The bare bones plan I selected didn’t have enough power to keep up with processing heavy WordPress requests with the traffic I get.
    • I spent way too much time disabling things and optimizing items just to keep the domain up.
    • My time started getting thin while I got up to speed with the new career path.

You Must Be A Millionaire!

  • Late 2015, I was getting email feedback stating that I had not updated the Windows 10 services information with “major” content patches from Microsoft and that I should not be asking for money via PayPal as I had ads on the site and that I “must” be getting thousands of dollars every month.
    • Uh, no… Since my site is frequented by “Power Users“, people almost universally have ads disabled. As such, it was more like fifty cents to a dollar a day, if anything, from the ads displayed.
    • To curb the thought I was becoming a millionaire due to the ads, I disabled the ads around January 2016.
    • Oddly enough, money sent via PayPal to me went up, which turned into a problem of its own.
    • Rarely, I received enough to even pay for the checking account that I used to receive PayPal money to begin with (see next point), let alone the amount of money I was spending on the server hosting the domain and the insane amount of time in the background ensuring that some update or plugin or anything else was not causing problems (and they did, a lot).

PayPal… Really?

  • In October 2016, I was trying hard to shed costs anywhere I could, so…
  • I closed a checking account associated with my PayPal account that I had since around 2003, costing $15 a month.
    • PayPal refused to adjust my PayPal Business account to a personal account while changing my name from “Black Viper” to my real name… even though I jumped through all the hoops they asked me to do. (Send copy of ID, verify with this or that) and I was not getting any “the verification of your identity has failed” or any response back while weeks went by.
    • Since “Black Viper” is in no way associated with my personal checking account, I could not verify it, but I was still getting money sent to me.
    • Since the PayPal account no longer had a verified checking account associated with it, I could not accept any money, and in turn, just send it to a different account.
    • I was told (via another call to PayPal phone support) that if I close my old account, open a new one and add my old email addresses, I would get the money still unclaimed and in limbo. However, since the account was not “verified” (as they would not change the name), I could not close it and the money was automatically returned after a 30ish day period.
  • Needless to say, I was pretty angry and ignored the website for a month or two more (No Ads, No PayPal, Zero Motivation).

Cut One Tie, Cut Them All!

  • Since I already jumped ship from the “old VPS hosting provider”, I decided to completely cut ties with them and transfer my domain registration as well. This resulted in redoing way too much behind the scenes, so I delayed it as much as I could.
  • In January 2017, the domain registration was set to expire.

Here Comes Early December 2016!

  • I made a final backup of my server and got ready to transfer to a lighter hosting solution, stopped paying for CPanel (that alone was $20 a month) and pulled the plug on December 5th.
  • Unfortunately, I had no idea that all of the backups that I had been running did not have my WordPress database information in full, as MySQL was restarting during the backup process; but the backup process claimed it completed successfully.
    • I did have some alerts disabled telling me when certain problems happened because as problems happened all the time for one reason or another; DDOS issues (some people don’t like me), hacking attempts (Apache, PHP and WordPress), security patches (Linux and CentOS), etc.
  • My earliest backup I had readily available was March 2016 and that was still junk.
    • I never verified the backups I was running as in order to actually do that, I would need to bring up another server costing more money.
  • These past few weeks, I had to rebuild the site from scratch with what information I had backed up in various locations and in random ways…
  • Meanwhile, since I already pulled the plug on the server (I was only expecting three days down, max) the websire was completely down and during this time, I had folks via email and Twitter asking what was going on.
    • I really didn’t want to explain what was going on using Twitter (140 characters? LOL!) as my only form of communication to the outside world as Black Viper.
  • I finally said that I will come up with something by February 13th, 2017 when the domain clocks in at 18 years of service.

Finally!

  • On January 13th, 2017, I got the site back online to a semi-usable state and have been adjusting the live version for the last few days and finding all kinds of problems I have ignored for a long time.
  • Ads have returned, just to get a bit of immediate income running while people figure out that I have not disappeared completely.
  • I plan on updating and posting a bunch of Windows 10 guides, just because I no longer have to deal with server issues… I can actually concentrate on making content.

Support BV!

Now, with all of this in mind, I respectfully request that you consider supporting my efforts to keep this domain running and to help justify using my limited time to fulfill your numerous Windows 10 guide requests.

I wish to thank you, kind reader, in advance for your generosity.

-BV