Saturday, January 06, 2007

Web hosts, past and present


Cheap website sites come and go in New Zealand, and of course the same thing applies overseas. We began life on the Net with a tiny company called earthlight.co.nz which was run from a shoebox in those days (a small room under a restaurant which was called, in those days, Ruby in the Dust. Like most current restaurants/bars it’s changed its name at least once since then). earthlight had a competitor called es.co.nz (could you get a domain name much smaller than that?) which was run by a Dutchman, as I recall. earthlight and es combined or ate each other up or something, and we had an es address for some time until it, in turn, got eaten up by ihug. earthlight still exists, but the American/New Zealand family that made it have gone their separate ways. In the early days we could call them up if we ran out of time on our account, and they’d fix it over the phone. We’d then go into the shoebox and pay in hard cash the next day.

At a later point the shop I worked in had a hyper.net.nz address. hyper.net.nz was run from a bedroom – in fact, a bedroom in the flat my son was living in at the time, which is how I got to hear about it. hyper.net.nz eventually got eaten up by orcon, but again in the early days we had real hands-on support. If I had a problem, the host himself would drop everything, zip around to the shop (all of two minutes travel) and fix it on the spot.

Ah, the joys of really little hosts.

What brings all this to mind is a site I came across for cheap ecommerce hosting where you will find ‘web hosting provider companies that offer great services with budget & affordable prices, as well as Daily & Weekly expiring domain name lists that have traffic." And the prices, compared even to the best of NZ prices are pretty good: $6.95US a month and similar. That equates, at the moment, in NZ dollars to about ten dollars a month. Even with the best of companies in NZ I don’t think anyone’s quite got it down that far.

Back in the earthlight days we use to pay by the hour, believe it or not. It was a dollar an hour, if I recall. It didn’t take long to use the hour up either. The very first time we tried to go on the Net we couldn’t even get on for an hour, which was frustrating, to say the least.

I’m intrigued by the expired domain names. I guess someone has set up in great enthusiasm, and then life has gone off somewhere else, and they’ve followed, and that’s been that; one forgotten domain name. But then perhaps some people’s enthusiasms are stronger than their endurance. Here are some (sadly) forgotten domain names. Don’t they inspire?

knowyourcocktails.com
galleryofgreats.com
redveterinaria.com
flirtnet24.com

Could I really make use of any of these, especially the first and the last (although both might draw more people to my blog than my current title does!) And there were some rather more explicit ones listed as well, which might no doubt draw the crowds but might disappoint the same crowds when they arrived! LOL
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