Shareware Beach

Thursday, 27 March 2008

.Asia Waking Up, But Still Dizzy

Filed under: Cyberspace — Jan @ 11:28

The .asia top-level domain went live yesterday. This morning I registered a few domains that I’d forgotten during the landrush. Lo and behold: the domains went live in about 15 minutes, just like .com domains do.

I previously wrote about the poor communication by the DotAsia Organisation. I’ve since received an email for all the domains I registered during the landrush for which I’m the sole applicant. But the domains aren’t live yet. I have no idea why it all has to take so long, as the TLD is obviously operational. No word on the landrush actions yet, except for a PDF saying they’ll start sometime in April.

I don’t really care how long it all takes. It’s the lack of communication that’s frustrating. And of course, a landrush isn’t really a landrush if the early birds have to wait until after “go live” to use their domains. It’s more like the turtle getting a head start over the hare.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Internet Time Runs a Little Slower in .Asia

Filed under: Cyberspace — Jan @ 7:48

The DotAsia Organization and Pool.com are working together to bring the world yet another top-level domain: .asia. However, the concepts of “internet time” and “information age” seem to be alien to these people.

Being in Asia, I applied for a bunch of .asia domains during the “landrush”, which ended March 12. Though many expect .asia to become a graveyard just like .eu, I’ve learned the hard way that it’s better to waste money buying domains you end up not using, than being unable to get the domains you want later.

The .asia landrush is different than the one for all previous top-level domains. Instead of being first-come first-served, domains with multiple applications will go into auction. I don’t know when. Pool.com still tells me the landrush is scheduled to start one month ago, even though it ended one week ago. It would be nice if they’d update the page to say when I can expect the emails confirming my domain registration or entry to the auction process.

I did find a link to a list of all domains with multiple applications on somebody else’s blog. So I already know that I’m the only applicant for all but on of the domains that I really want. Most of the domains I registered just for fun will go into auction. It is odd to see that of the 46,554 domains in that list, 16,866 domains or 36% are three-letter domains. Seems like more than one dude had the bright idea to try and squat on every three-letter combination. The longest domain with multiple registrations is themostperfectlycutdiamondsintheworld.asia. I wonder if this link will ever point to something meaningful. The .com version doesn’t when I write this.

I’m sure that the .asia landrush and auction will all go as planned. I just need to be patient. But I would have expected more timely updates from an organization that talks like they’re going to put Asia on the Internet map.

DotAsia.Pool.com screen shot on March 19th

Monday, 24 December 2007

Paris Hilton Loves RegexBuddy (and EditPad too!)

Filed under: Cyberspace,Just Great Software — Jan @ 16:06

At least, some guy who thinks he is a coding Paris Hilton does. Interestingly, out of the 15 tools he recommends, RegexBuddy and EditPad Pro are the only ones with a price tag (according to the article).

It always makes me happy when somebody likes my stuff well enough to confess to it in public. Not because of the extra sales it might bring. Those are usually minimal, as the exposure is very untargeted. I can trace only one RegexBuddy sale back to the Paris Hilton article. Joel Spolsky mentioning that he uses EditPad Pro resulted in three sales. And if anyone can claim to be the Paris Hilton of programmers, it’s Joel.

What makes me happy is that my work makes a difference in people’s lives. I came up with the name “Just Great Software” eight years ago because that’s what I wanted to focus on: making high quality software. I figured if I focused on making great products, which I love, I wouldn’t have to worry about too much about selling my stuff to make a nice living. And this has certainly proved to be true.

Normally I wouldn’t blog about somebody blogging about me. I’m not enough of a salesman to slap myself on the back in public. And I like my girls with a bit more dignity anyway.

What’s interesting about this article, to me, is not the article itself, but how I found out about it. But that’s a story for after Christmas.

Monday, 22 January 2007

The Fragile Internet

Filed under: Cyberspace — Jan @ 16:40

For nearly a month I’ve been experiencing just how fragile the modern, commercial Internet really is. The Internet grew out of a Cold War era US military network called ARPANET. This network was supposed to withstand a nuclear attack by quickly and automatically routing around destroyed network nodes. But today telecom companies compete to provide consumers with high bandwidth and low prices, with little attention to reliability and redundancy.

On December 26th, exactly two years after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, a major earthquake shook the seas off the coast Taiwan. While it did trigger a small tsunami, there was no significant loss of life.

But the earthquake did damage almost a dozen of undersea cables, which carry about 80% of East Asia’s voice and data communications with the rest of the world. As a result, my internet connection has been essentially reduced to dial-up speed, as my TCP/IP packets compete for the remaining bandwidth with the rest of East Asia. With a whole bunch of Windows Vista-releated product updates to go out the door this month, I haven’t been a happy camper. At least my connection is still working, and fortunately it doesn’t matter all that much if an upload takes 3 minutes or 30. It’s just inconvenient, particularly when I mess up and have to rebuild and re-upload.

It does show how fragile the Internet is. With more and more products and services running over the Internet, it’s really not very smart to rely on a bunch of cables all going through the same spot. It was less than a year ago that the Thai International Internet Gateway got its first European connections (to FT in Paris and TI in Rome). Previously, all traffic between Thailand and Europe went the long way around via the United States (traveling 3/4 of the globe instead of 1/4). There’s still only one such fully operational gateway in Thailand (a second is being built), so switching ISPs won’t help me. The January 2007 map shows just how many connections are down.

But if your area is serviced by ISPs with different backbone connections, it may not be luxury to get two high-speed internet accounts if you run an Internet-based business. When one backbone goes down, you just use the other ISP. And when everything’s fine, you can use both connections with a “bonding” router. Most home network devices don’t support bonding (yet), so you may need to invest in a more expensive model. I’ll certainly be monitoring my local situation and get a second Internet connection as soon as some of the local ISPs follow through on their plans to build their own international gateways.

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