Your skyscraper killed my Internet

Progress has killed my Internet connection.

One of the new high-rises in the area is now partially blocking my line-of-sight, microwave Telesurf connection, and connectivity over the last few days has become painfully slow, although not completely severed. It would probably be better if it was. That would at least be less frustrating.

The good news is that Telesurf will upgrade my 9-year-old Chinese “speedbox” to Wimax today. The technician assures me this is much better than the ancient Chinese oracle that provides access and boils coffee now. We will see.

I first got Telesurf in 2002, when the number of ISPs was still in the single digits. The modem and antennae are holdovers from those early days. While there are many more providers today, my experience with a few of the others — Online, Camnet, Mekong — has been subpar. And nearly all of them would be more expensive than what I pay at Telesurf — about $55 per month for a 128k connection with a 1000mb data allowance.

After working out a few early bugs, Telesurf has been solid over the years. It almost never goes out, dropped connections — the bane of anyone who uses FTP –are rare, and customer service continues to improve. Their policy seems to be that a second complaint to customer service triggers a house call, sometimes in as little as 30 minutes.

So I complained on Saturday. And today, Monday, they will do something about the high-rise problem. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Domain name equity

How much is your domain name worth? Ask Stimator to find out. You will probably be knocked off your chair. I certainly was.

  • = $9,004
  • =$12,883
  • = $51,269
  • = $1,479,328

And what about heavies from the West:

  • = $48,991
  • = $354,262
  • = $369,937
  • =$371,083

To think, the FCC domain is worth more than the New York Times. It kind of makes sense when you think about it. Business is good for the FCC. The New York Times, like newspapers all over, is struggling.

Does’s valuing of domains actually mean anything? Probably not.

More useful is Website grader, a site that offers critical analysis and concrete advice on how to better position your Web site on the Internet.

Plug-in drama

I am just in the process of trying to install a few nifty plugins. Neither Search Everything nor Cforms wants to work. Bugger.

I’ve used Cforms many times in the past and it has always worked without flaw. Except when the permissions were not set correctly…

… the problem with Cforms hanging on “one moment please” took a bit of sleuthing, but it was extremely easy to fix. I had originally installed the plugin on my local development server. That process hard-coded in js/cforms.js the local install path, for some strange reason. The original block of javascript looks like this:

// ONLY in case AJAX DOESN’T work you may want to double-check this path:
// If you do change this setting: CLEAR your BROWSER CACHE & RESTART you BROWSER!
var sajax_uri = ‘/wp-content/plugins/cforms/lib_ajax.php’;

The local install had changed that last line to “,” which of course would not work in the live environment.

So the contact form works now. Go ahead, say something!