This is a story of greed, grief and stupidity. And yes, the story is all mine. It all started with the usual story, a quest to save a few dollars. Obviously, the Internet can be a pretty good place for that, so good that you stumble upon the holy grail of savings, totally free services. Yep I know, you must be saying already Heh! What a looser. Trust me, its one of those very obvious pitfalls that you know will obviously end up in tragedy and you still go ahead (obviously!) knowing the obvious. I guess the major factor here would be greed; something extremely difficult to beat. After all, the whole world is built on it, isn’t it? In my case, it was free web hosting.
Pweb.info (TM), that’s what I came across. Formed by a bunch of folks who shares a common love of Macs, Pweb (TM) was offering an unbelievable deal, unlimited space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited everything. And guess what? Everthing at no cost. Nada, Kaput, Zero. Too good to be true I told myself, someone from deep down inside told me yep! But then again, someone else from a bit shallower end said, Hey guv! Why not try it out? After all, its free…
The signup was a breeze. Those enticing words on the Pweb (TM) homepage like, “We’ll remain free forever” yada yada only hastening my otherwise slow typing. The confirmation email followed soon after and so was my first login to the control panel. Setting up WordPress was the first thing I did, and with all the zeal of a first time blogger, set about customizing it. Damn it looked good.
Friends started visiting my site, I started writing proper entries, and everything was fine and dandy. It was two weeks already and no glitch, no hiccups. I was truly impressed. So impressed that I tagged along the “please donate to keep this service free” line and donated some money too (just a couple of bucks short of the amount now I’m spending on DreamHost lol).
And then, the inevitable happened. Pweb (TM) went down. No warning, no nothing. Just went down. Remember I was taking about the stupidity bit? In all this time, I never bothered to back anything up. I was devastated, In my haste to setup my website, I even forgot to take down any Pweb (TM) contact information. After much Googling, I came across some obscure blog posting, where a Pweb (TM) user was describing a previous round of DDos attacks on Pweb (TM), on the very same page, a comment mentioned the IRC server which hosts the Pweb (TM) channel, which eventually led me to the people who ran PWeb (TM). A consolation prize, I guess, but too late anyway.
As I write this entry, there’s talk that PWeb (TM) will be up very soon. I hope that the case, because after talking to the people behind it, it does seem to be a sincere effort. But then again, remember, its free service and free is bad. I’ll wait and see how far it goes. In the meantime, I’m sticking with professional web hosting.
Free, ah… how I despise thee.
And another thing: BACKUP YOUR F%^&*() DATA REGULARLY
Update 11 Jun 2006
Looks like PWeb (TM) is up. I received the following yesterday:
YOU are infringeing PWEB’s US and UK Copyrights and PWEB is backup meaning your statments are false PLEASE remove the PWEB name or add a copyright symbol next to all pweb name statements or we will contact your webhost or ISP
The first thing I did after receiving the email was to visit the PWeb (TM) website, looks like it still doesn’t have a proper index page! I wonder what their game plan is…