30 Aug 2012
This is a “life” day here on Life of an Architect.
I just got off the phone with someone whose name had a vowel to consonant ratio of at least 5:1 … and my entire head is throbbing (can you have two headaches at the same time?)
I am about to start the process of relocating my website from the people who currently host it to a new provider. Why you ask? Because my site takes for-ever to load. You might not care, maybe you haven’t even noticed (unlikely) but it drives me crazy and all I can think about is how many people type in www.lifeofanarchitect.com only to have to sit …
and wait … < < loading > >
and wait … < < loading > >
until the page finally loads and by that time they’ve forgotten why they were here and that’s only if for some inexplicable reason they’ve hung around enough to actually have the page load.
Welcome to “Life of
an Architect Rip van Winkle”
So I spent the longest hour of my life on the phone working out the details with 5:1 ratio man, and that was just the beginning of my hell. As is true with most things, I know enough to ask good questions but that doesn’t mean that I understand the answers.
5:1 Ratio Man – Welcome to technical support .. How may I help you today?
Me: I think I need to change where my web pages are at on the internets.
5:1 Ratio Man – Begging your pardon, I am not quite sure that I understand your query.
Me: My Website. Slow. Need Change. Go Faster.
5:1 Ratio Man – Alright. I believe I understand now what you are trying to ask. You would like to relocate your website from your current web host provider to us. Am I correct? Great, I can assuredly help you with this endeavor. What is your name?
Me: It’s Bob. That’s B. O. B.
5:1 Ratio Man – Yes, thank you Mr. Bob, that is most excellent. What kind of service would you want today?
Me: What kind of service?? I want good service. And I want my website to be faster. [ defeatedly ] My website runs so slowly it makes me want to stab myself in the face with a laptop.
5:1 Ratio Man – Oh no, let us see if we can do something where you do not need to damage yourself with computer hardware. What type of web hosting would you like? Grid Service? Dedicated Virtual Servers? How about the Cloud?
Me: Mah ha wahnee nah?
5:1 Ratio Man – What?
Me: What what?
5:1 Ratio Man – Alright. In order for me to make a recommendation, I will need to know a few things about your current level of service.
Bob: It’s bad.
5:1 Ratio Man – What is bad?
Bob: My current level of service.
5:1 Ratio Man – Yes, of course, I understand. Exactly how much bandwidth do you currently use per month?
Bob: … sandwich?
5:1 Ratio Man – Bandwidth. How much do you use?
Bob: This conversation is so boring.
5:1 Ratio Man – Alright. I am in your control panel now and in looking at the data, things like traffic records and page views, and also taking into consideration the service level you have with your existing provider, your site is getting [ air quote fingers ] throttled [ air quote fingers ] an astounding 44,646.61 seconds in the last 24 hours alone!
Bob: Oh … Well, that explains why I have gained so much weight this last year.
5:1 Ratio Man – No it does not, that does not explain that at all. Those two items are unrelated.
Bob: Are they?
5:1 Ratio Man – Most definitely.
Bob: Ahhh … My hair turned white and isn’t as shiny as it used to be.
5:1 Ratio Man – No, also unrelated. Mr. Bob, please try to focus sir. I am explaining to you that you are on a shared server and because of the volume of your traffic, your web host provider has determined that you are using more than your fair share of available bandwidth and is intentionally restricting visitor access to your site.
Bob: [ inserting entire piece of cake into mouth ] Welmpf, thas imfin’t merrvy mumps fa mumf
5:1 Ratio Man – Begging your pardon?
Bob: [swallowing] Well, that isn’t very nice of them, therefore they don’t get any of this cake that there isn’t any more of …
5:1 Ratio Man – Of course, you are most correct in your decision. However, based on the data, including 211,347 monthly visitors and 961,858 page views, I have determined that you need to be on your own dedicated server.
Bob: [ brushing cake crumbs off shirt ] Damn right I need to be on my own server! … So, seriously – what does that mean and how do I do that?
5:1 Ratio Man – Oh, it is super-easy. All you have to do is transfer your web site via [ blahbipty blah words I don't know ] onto our servers – or we can do it for you for an additional fee of $150. You will then need to reconfigure your site and verify that [ I wonder if that really was the last piece of cake? ] are all functioning. Then, once you are ready to make the switch and go live, you will simply need to [ do we have milk? I need a glass of milk ] in your wp-config.php file and point the DNS for the domain to your dedicated virtual server IP address. The easiest method to point DNS to [ hmmm .... why isn't my hair as shiny anymore? I use Pert! ] change your name servers on your domain via your registrar … and then to pay us an additional $500 a year.
Bob: $500 a year!? What the fu[ falling onto floor, cake crumbs softening the landing ] ……….. Why am I doing this again?
Look, I just wanted to be creative and have some fun with this website, maybe learn a thing or two along the way. I certainly didn’t expect to be here 415 posts later and I really didn’t think I would be sitting on the couch with a new laptop, gaining weight, losing the luster of my now non-shiny white hair AND getting to pay for the privilege to what amounts as homework for a 44-year-old grown ass man. So why am I doing this again?
Getting exposed to new things – new things are good, it’s important to continue to learn new things and seek out new challenges.
Meeting new people – despite this being a digital medium, I have met hundreds of new people (in real life!!) as a result of creating and writing for this site.
Making the practice a bit more transparent and accessible to people – since most people don’t really understand what architects do, how they work, or think about the inherent value in what we do, if I can shed the smallest amount of light onto the process, I think the architectural community on the whole benefits.
Increasing my visibility in the creative community – what was once my biggest fear (coming across as a fool) is no longer a concern of mine – that ship has left the harbor. As a result of my efforts, I get to interface with my peers in the design community in a way that would otherwise have been impossible.
Proving to people that not all architects are elitist snobs with no sense of humor – believe it or not, most architects have a pretty good sense of humor, it just doesn’t come out very often because we are generally sleep-deprived. Get a few drinks in us and change the subject from architecture and you will have a very lively group on your hands.
Improve my communication [and grammar skills] – you should have seen them before I started.
Helping the community - I have been able to broaden my reach and ability to help the charitable organizations I support – either through the flow of information or through the playhouse competition I now run.
Finding my voice - something that I never thought of when I started Life of an Architect. Knowing that there are people out there that think like I do and support the same ideals that I have has gone a long way to helping feel like I’m not just “some guy in the next cubicle” … I’m “that stupid guy in the next cubicle.”
… and last but not least
Groupies – yeah! If they only knew …
I would like to thank everyone who takes time out of their day to be a part of mine. I appreciate the tolerance and patience you’ve shown me over the last 958 days since I started figuring things out as I went. I am eternally grateful for your support and that’s why I am spending a small portion of my daughter’s college education fund (she’ll just need to get a scholarship) to upgrade the servers here at Life of an Architect.
I hope it makes a difference … or I’m gonna be pissed.