On the Move… (editorial note #E1)

Hey, just some announcements and technical details for people out there that think about WordPress hosting.

I switched hosting providers this weekend, moving away from do.de (Domain-Offensive) to Uberspace. I’d still recommend DO for registering domains and very basic web hosting, yet their proclaimed WordPress (and other CMS) support doesn’t really cut the mustard. They do have proper support with people that are helpful and skilled, but they won’t change a crucial detail – so I’ve got to leave. A friend of mine introduced me to Uberspace, which looks very promising. So I joined the church of the Ubernauts and I think I might stay there for quite some time.
Why the change? I had troubles generating the thumbnail images for un-cropped images straight from my Canon S100 camera, which are 4000×3000 pixel in size. The D-O PHP memory_limit is 64M, but an uncompressed 12MP image has only 36MB @ 24 bit color or 48 MB in 24 bit color plus 8 bit alpha channel. WordPress does need some additional RAM as well, and also the thumbnail size might be another megabyte. I don’t know how much the library (GD graphics?) itself needs, but it wont’ be much. There are hosting providers out there that set a 8 MB limit.

Well, it didn’t work in general, only with a downgrade to PHP 5.4, which is EOL for half a year now. Not an option. I even tested the working-not-working transition region down to 4000x2032px vs 4000x2036px – the next day, images up to almost 4000x2250px worked fine. The support set my memory_limit to 128 MB for a few days, but that didn’t change a thing. Setting the limits during runtime (ini_set(‘memory_limit’, ‘1337M’);) confirmed that this wasn’t a problem of the global PHP memory limit beyond a certain, reasonable amount. Besides, D-O charges a whopping 2€ per month for additional 32 MB (total memory_limit of 96 MB) or 4€ for additional 64 MB (total of 128 MB). My full hosting package at the moment including 750 MB webspace, two SQL databases and 64 MB memory is 1,49€ per month to put that into perspective. The more expensive hosting packages are also only 64 MB, so that’s not a bad side effect of my penny-pinching, but rather plain company policy.

The guys over at Uberspace offer 128 MB by default. And they don’t have tight limits on processes behind that, so that even when limited down to my previous 64 MB, thumbnail generation works fine. Very nice! Moreover, they offer up to 10 GB of space and the user decides what he’s (she’s) paying for it. Right now, I set it to measly 2€ per month, but that will increase with more space used and higher server load and traffic.

Mail configuration took a while, as I wanted a catch-all for the domain, instant redirect to my main mail address, but also a copy on the local server (just in case). I ended up removing all .qmail files, all additional mail accounts (like the legal@ ), and setting the .qmail-default file to

|/usr/bin/vdeliver
my@otheradress.com

If I do otherwise, I get some duplicate mails if the catchall is used. As I’m keen on using this for spam tracking (each service gets a unique mail address) in the future, that wasn’t really an option. But now it works fine as far as I can tell, and the web server configuration is no big deal at all after the A/AAAA/MX records are set in the D-O domain configuration. So now I’m an Ubernaut ;)

While that move is done, I will do another one in March. This time physical relocation, as my student dorm (well, private housing) is bursting at the seams because of all the Wan Hung Lo goodness :roll: Well, not only because of that. But having too much stuff packed into 26 m² is one major reason to move. And, as I’m no longer a student and my daily routes have changed, I can afford a place that is farther away from university, which I still visit about once per week to get some papers ready for publication. I did gather quite a lot of data during my Masters thesis, and it would be a shame to not publish the results in a proper science journal. The amount of time for commuting to work will stay the same – my rent just gets up by a third, but I will more than double the space to 55m² plus mini-patio. Uuuh, I’m excited :yahoo:

Anyways, that will take place in March for about 2-3 weeks, moving bit by bit every second day. I cannot really tell if that will prevent me from writing stuff as everything will be chaotic, or if I get stuff done because Deutsche Telekom will f :D ck up setting up the internet connection at the desired date, they didn’t even manage to confirm my VDSL order until now. No surprises here, but we’ll see. And what else would I do if I get offlined 2-3 days per week when staying overnight at the new place…

Today’s side note: I hadn’t had much time doing electronics stuff at home in the past two weeks as I have some legal troubles with the folks at GEZ, now rebranded to “ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio Beitragsservice” – the encashment company for the bloated German state television (oh sorry, they are said to be independent) that charges 17,50€ per month at the moment. You know, for television (which I don’t have), radio (which I don’t listen to) and online services (which are crippled for linux users and partially censored and time-limited for licensing reasons). If any of my German readers wants to join legal actions against these bloodsuckers:

10.000 Kläger gegen den verfassungswidrigen Rundfunkbeitrag gesucht!

If people join as fast as they do now, that thing will lift off in about two months. Can’t wait to flood the courts and to force media to report on that. Right now, there is very very little coverage as they pretend everybody is a happy bill payer who enjoys 210€ per year going down the drain for nothing… (I could finally buy a TV from that money…ah, well, won’t use it anyway)

That’s it for now, I think next week will be…organic. Stay tuned, and don’t let the magic smoke escape!


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