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News: As of 2002/09/24 the site Zyra.org.uk is no longer hosted at Freenetname. I'm writing this page to explain this and tell you what happened.
Firstly, a special THANKS to Freenetname for hosting my website for over two years, getting me a free domain name, and being generally very friendly and helpful. I am well chuffed with Freenetname, and I would recommend you to apply for an account there if they were still accepting any new accounts!
Also, a brief note to anyone wondering if the change of hosting will make any difference to the running of the website, ie "Are we still in business?" etc, I am expecting our new hosts to be just as good. Yes, we're still in business, and yes, the site will be running just about the same as it has always done.
So, why have I moved? Well, there was a mysterious fault which started to occur. No-one really knows why. It started some time in July/August 2002, and was manifested in the form of intermittent disappearance of the site! What happened was, if you tried to load any page of Zyra.org.uk , there would be a 50:50 chance it would load or not. This was also the case with images too, so pages such as some of those off the Shopping Portal would have half the pictures missing if the page loaded at all. Pages failing to load would appear as a "404 not found" error, except for the front page. If this failed to load it would be replaced by the Freenetname tutorial page! (This would be what you'd see if the site had not been uploaded).
This embarrassing error did not occur on other sites in general. In fact, out of 120,000 websites hosted at Freenetname, I thought I was only ONE out of 120,000 to have the problem. At first there were some engineers who put the estimate at even lower than that! ie, ZERO out of 120,000 as I was estimated to have imagined it! It was hard to prove, as it was "intermittent", which is a classic difficulty in fault reporting. In the end it was found that there were "a handful" of sites which had the problem.
If you've got a website hosted at Freenetname, DO NOT WORRY. Your chance of having the same problem I did is about 10,000 to one.
So, what makes Zyra.org.uk different from average? Loads of things, but from a server point of view, it's a large number of small files. Could this have been the problem? Fragmentation? Block-size overhead? Or, what about it being the "Zyra bug" where it might have been the last name on the list and therefore did something odd? Also, having a lot of popularity, could it be that the bandwidth played up the new thttpd server? There was even a suggestion by someone being cynical that Freenetname had deliberately introduced the error in order to lose Zyra.org.uk as it was costing them money to keep hosting the site there! No! I don't believe that! Quite laughable really. In fact, someone at Freenetname said how ironical it was that of all the people whose bad luck it could have been to have this fault, it was Zyra, the customer who had written such a nice review about Freenetname and had been so positive in helping to promote the company in the first place!
It was a shame to have to leave Freenetname, but in the end the mysterious problem was costing me money in lost business and I had to move. The problem was very rare, and no-one knew why just a few sites were affected. It was an entirely amicable agreement, and I continue to speak well of Freenetname.
Zyra.org.uk was at Freenetname for two years and then moved to Web Impact, as did Xyroth-Enterprises.co.uk, and then after another two years Zyra.org.uk moved to Vivostar. There was another incident in 2010 when Vivostar's supplier Xcalibre was taken over by WebFusion and so Vivostar moved again. It was going to be to Rackspace, but there were Problems with Rackspace
2005/08 update: It is currently believed that the problem was "throttling" which is where the bandwidth from all the requests coming in exceeds that allocated for the site at the server. This has since happened at number of other servers and is a known situation which only occurs if a site is very popular! At Vivostar the bandwidth situation is easily monitored so this is no longer a problem.
These sites at Freenetname continue to run perfectly ok. Try a few and see what I mean...
These seem to have disappeared (as things do with time on the internet):
Geraint Davies MP - www.geraintdaviesmp.org.uk
Nick Regan / nregan.co.uk