Telecom transforms downtown Los Angeles

Summary:As noted last week, I'm in the midst of scrambling to complete work before I head across the Atlantic to London, and soon thereafter, Africa. That means I am having to do a few things I don't do in the normal course of a programming day.

As noted last week, I'm in the midst of scrambling to complete work before I head across the Atlantic to London, and soon thereafter, Africa. That means I am having to do a few things I don't do in the normal course of a programming day.

One of those things was find a colocation company for the new server we bought to host some of our services. I ended up picking Ubiquity Servers, a US-based colocation services company that did the craziest things: they actually posted their prices on their web site, and didn't force you to talk to a sales person whose sole job was to spin up your monthly cost as high as they can. Their sales people were notable for their lack of nonsense, just answering my questions and making it as easy as possible for me to figure out what I needed to do to get my server on one of their racks.

Anyway, with a Dell Poweredge 1950 sitting on the floorboards of my Honda Element (yes, I drive a wooden one), I headed to downtown Los Angeles so I could wander aimlessly in hopes of finding a non-existent parking space. Ubiquity's hosting center is near One Wilshire, the home of most of the major telecommunications carrier switches on the West Coast. Practically all the buildings near One Wilshire are packed to the gills with servers, which to my mind is a rather interesting way to use the older buildings in the area, even though it reminded me of Irish Travelers in Rathkeel (a town near Limerick) who filled their houses with their belongings while they opted to live in trailers out front (I am not kidding).

This also meant that I had to switch the name servers configured for one of our domains over to the new location. I had done this many times before, but not in several years, so it gave me the chance to check out Network Solutions' current admin pages.

Back in the day, Network Solutions' admin pages were "no nonsense." As the original registrar for domain names on the Internet, perhaps they didn't feel the need to market services excessively to customers, as people naturally gravitated towards them. At least, I don't remember them having done so.

That's no longer the case. Never mind the main page, which I can forgive for spending its time flashing "announcements" about important new services that I have to buy right now. What I didn't expect was that when I logged in, I would have to dig through marketing materials to find the place where I could do what I had come there to do, which was change the name servers on my domain.

The new name server change screen is funny, too. They really really really want you to use Network Solutions for your name server, and they have big buttons on EVERY page which would move your domains to a Network Solutions DNS server with one click.

I guess this is one of the downsides of capitalism. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan, and I sure as hell wouldn't be sitting in front of this computer writing my blog if not for the wonders of global capitalism. But, every time I have to wade through ads to get my work done, I can only blame the impulse to sell more product which typifies the capitalist mindset.

Beats poverty, though.

Topics: Telcos, Hardware, Servers

About

John Carroll has programmed in a wide variety of computing domains, including servers, client PCs, mobile phones and even mainframes. His current specialties are C#, .NET, Java, WIN32/COM and C++, and he has applied those skills in everything from distributed web-based systems to embedded devices. In his spare time, he enjoys the world... Full Bio

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