Telecom transforms downtown Los Angeles

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.

TOPICS: Telcos, Hardware, Servers

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

John Carroll

About John Carroll

John Carroll has delivered his opinion on ZDNet since the last millennium. Since May 2008, he is no longer a Microsoft employee. He is currently working at a unified messaging-related startup.

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  • Thanks for feedback


    I work for Network Solutions and wanted to let you know that I will take this feedback on our admin pages and make sure it gets heard.


    shashi b
  • Noise reduction

    I shouldn't be, but I'm surprised each time I read or hear about someone not using software like Flash and Pics Control to avoid having to deal with obtrusive advertising.
    (FireFox is said to have one game contender against the thousands of effective programs for IE.)

    The revenue from ads provides substantial profit. One large company is said to be offering over $30 billion for a less successful outfit in order to obtain the content that draws people to the ads and the experts in content management.

    Substantial profits fund employment. And software employment has the salutary effect of outraging Mr. Stallman, who is reminded by each paycheck brought home to an appreciative family that his campaign is not yet successful.

    Companies making the software which renders web pages unendurable should be proud.
    Anton Philidor
    • I'm a fan of substantial employment

      ...and few would call me an enemy of free market capitalism.

      I'm also an advocate of ad-supported software. It serves as the basis for why Microsoft wants to merge with Yahoo, even if I question whether its such a great idea at this particular point in time.

      That doesn't mean, though, that I don't think that the drive for profits doesn't make the collar a bit too tight sometimes. Bad design is bad design. Have ads. Don't make me swim in them. It's like the difference between a movie that has reasonable numbers of ads, and saturday night live where I get five minutes of content and five minutes of advertisements.

      Granted, markets punish the bad usage of advertisements, but even so, it does frustrate when one finds a perfectly good site spoiled by badly used advertisements.
      John Carroll
      • A problem with the free market...

        ... is that an experience people endure can produce more profit than an experience people enjoy.

        Is there any reason to think that other people appreciate multitudes of ads flashing and looping, even making sounds without asking permission?

        In fact, annoyance is attention, and if the ad's purpose is to increase recognition, then any publicity is good publicity.

        Because the manipulation is so blatant and so heedless, I think there should be a rule that all sites accepting advertising should include links like:

        ... except I also think that there are too many rules.

        When principles collide...
        Anton Philidor
  • Do people really co-locate servers these days?

    This surprises me, why not get yourself a virtual server?

    Sure in the past we used co-location but for a fraction of the
    cost, much less hassle, increased reliability with fail-over, etc
    I can't see why anyone would today.
    Richard Flude