Home Office Monday

Lunch break happens here today, thanks to #HomeOfficeMonday at @nimius Smells like a pine forest in southern France


No more ads & Comments with Disqus

As you might have noticed I have quit my Google AdSense experiment. It’s ugly as hell and doesn’t earn me anything but pennies, so I just dumped it.

While being at it I also got rid of Drupal’s own comment system and quickly plugged in Diqus, installed the latest security updates and made the articles’ publishing dates visible.

Wie der 1&1 Support funktioniert

  1. Pl繹tzliches Problem mit Website auf 1&1 Managed Server, nur noch die Startseite erreichbar (ohne jegliche nderungen an CMS/Server/sonstwas)
  2. Ursache suchen, feststellen, dass die .htaccess Datei in einen Urzustand zur羹ckgesetzt wird und somit s瓣mtliche RewriteRules sowie sicherheitsrelevante Einstellungen einfach ins Nirwana geschickt wurden
  3. Eine gestern noch funktionierende .htaccess aus einem Backup einspielen, damit dann alles noch schlimmer machen, nichtmal die Startseite funktioniert
  4. Es verdichtet sich der Verdacht, dass PHP 5.3 einfach pl繹tzlich nicht mehr angeboten wird, denn im Control Center l瓣sst sich nur noch 5.4, 5.5 und dev ausw瓣hlen.. und in der .htaccess, die fleiig automatisiert (?) 羹berschrieben wird, steht steht der MimeType-Handler auf PHP 5.4 f羹r die entsprechenden Dateiendungen
  5. Anruf beim Support. Man hat, nach R羹cksprache mit der Technik (1), auch keine Ahnung, was das Problem ist. Eigentlich sieht alles gut aus. Es wird an die Technik (2) weitergegeben
  6. Mit dem Support explizit ausgemacht, dass bei L繹sung oder weiteren Hinweisen zum Problem ich kontaktiert werden soll, und nicht der Endkunde, E-Mail-Adresse mitgeteilt
  7. Lange Zeit sp瓣ter wird mir vom Endkunden eine E-Mail weitergeleitet, die er von 1&1 erhalten hat
  8. In der E-Mail steht, dass jetzt alles in Ordnung sei und nur ein Berechtigungsproblem an der htaccess bestand, das jetzt behoben sei
  9. Auer der Startseite funktioniert wieder nichts
  10. Die .htaccess geh繹rt jetzt User und Gruppe Root und ist f羹r mich nicht mehr bearbeitbar
  11. S瓣mtlicher Inhalt der .htaccess ist wieder entfernt (auer dem Mimetype Handler)
  12. Erneuter Anruf. Nach knapp 15 Minuten Wartezeit wird mir gesagt, dass der zust瓣ndige Mitarbeiter im Gespr瓣ch sei
  13. R羹ckrufnummer hinterlegt, der zust瓣ndige Mitarbeiter melde sich ASAP
  14. Das war vor ca. 3 Stunden, Website weiterhin nicht erreichbar, kein R羹ckruf
  15. Auch nach rund 4 Stunden kein R羹ckruf, erneuter Anruf meinerseits, 15 Minuten Wartezeit
  16. Es tut alles sehr leid, der Fall werde jetzt “mit erh繹hter Priorit瓣t behandelt”
  17. Leider aber keine Techniker mehr im Haus (ca. 17:30 Uhr!)
  18. Am n瓣chsten Morgen ist die betreffende .htaccess-Datei wieder bearbeitbar. Das muss ich selbst herausfinden, keinerlei Benachrichtigung von 1&1 hat mich erreicht
  19. Ich korrigiere die .htaccess, Website funktioniert wieder
  20. Bekomme E-Mail von Kunde weitergeleitet (also wieder nicht mich kontaktiert, obwohl zum zweiten Mal versprochen)
  21. 1&1 erkl瓣rt, sie h瓣tten eine .htaccess-Datei (die sich nicht im Document Root der betroffenen Website befindet) einfach umbenannt und damit das Problem behoben
  22. Die umbenannte .htaccess-Datei hatte nichts mit der Website zu tun (sonst w羹rde diese auch 羹berhaupt nicht wieder funktionieren)

Ich hatte noch nie gute Erfahrungen mit dem Support bei 1&1, aber in den letzten beiden Tagen haben sie es geschafft, die niedrigen Erwartungen 200% zu unterbieten. Sprach- und fassungslos.



English short version: Don’t ever try to host anything on servers by 1and1 if you’re minimally interested in reliability and decent support.

Easier than expected: A Month without Social Media

Yesterday my 30 Days Without Social Media Challenge came to an end. Here are my experiences and the conclusions I made.

1. I didnt miss Facebook and Twitter half as much as I would have thought

While in the first week I caught myself quite often trying to open the app or website of either Facebook or Twitter it quickly slipped out of my mind in the second week. Instead of just browsing around, looking what everybody is doing and posting general stuff I started reaching out more to people directly via email, text, IM or phone, which is way more satisfying than just posting something and waiting for interaction. Thats definitely a habit worth keeping.

2. Twitter is more important to me than Facebook

As I know most of my Facebook friends in real life I usually have other and better ways of reaching out to them. That is, at least for the ones I care about most.

With Twitter though thats a whole different story. Its a nice mix of people I grew to knowing better just by reading their frequent tweets, eventually got to know some of them in real life, but mostly being in contact only via that platform. Its a source for local gossip as well as news and valuable information about the Webdesign industry. I cant say I felt lost without Twitter, but it really felt good coming back and again being in contact with some people I havent heard of for the last month. I simply didnt have that feeling with Facebook.

3. Conclusions

I decided to keep the Facebook app off my phone and check on updates only once or twice day on either a Computer or on the iPad. I realized how much time I wasted just browsing status updates of very little value and even reading comments that are even more disposable.

Twitter quickly found its way back on my home screen though and I dont feel bad about it. If theres one conclusion regarding my Twitter usage its: Think less about following and unfollowing people when they start to annoy you. Unfollowing is no offence, and we should do so when we feel bugged.

4. What’s up next

Im really hooked by the idea of trying something new for 30 days and then evaluating the impact it had on my everyday life. Deciding what was good about it, what wasn’t and which patterns could be transformed into a habits. So heres my next plan of things to try until April 21:

  • Reading in a book for a least 15 minutes a day
    Its not a lot of time, but its a start to bring back the habit of reading books on paper instead of using electronic devices to consume rather short articles.
  • No more screen light 30 minutes before going to sleep
    This goes hand in hand with reading books. Better to calm down and my eyes will be grateful. Exception: Good-night IM with my girlfriend.
  • Being mindful/doing absolutely nothing for 10 to 15 minutes a day
    A great TED talk by Andy Puddicombe called All it takes is 10 mindful minutes inspired me to try this. According to a research mentioned by Andy our minds are lost in thought 47% of the time. I found this quite disturbing and I think Andy’s right when he says we should try being more mindful and live more in the present.

A call for more secure instant messaging: Threema

Maybe now (as Facebook is on a shopping spree, buying Whatsapp for $ 19B) is a good time to try to convince some more people of a better instant messaging service. I’d really like to see Threema being adapted more wideley, but hardly anyone I know is using it right now.

Come on folks, paying 1,60 for a good, app that respects your privacy and a service without recurring costs is really not that bad of a deal. So go and grab it:

By the way: you don’t need to give Threema your number or email address, yet you can do it if you want your friends to find you conveniently.

Threema uses end-to-end encryption, meaning your conversations can’t even be read by Threema itself, as they only store your encrypted data and claim to not having access to your key. Of course, as with any proprietary software, there’s no way to be totally sure there are no backdoors involved. From what I read about Threema I decided it’s at least way more trustworthy than Whatsapp and/or Facebook.

30 days without Social Media

I got inspired to do this watching Matt Cutts: Try something new for 30 days. If I succeed you won’t see me around Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and the like until March 21st. My 8:36pm project, however, will continue as usual.

In case you feel like contacting me, why not take the old school approach and send me an email: hello at wentsch dot me.

Here’s some inspiration for more 30 days challenges. I’m wondering if I got the balls to do the the Talking-to-a-stranger-each-day challenge, though I must confess it would be a real tough task for me.

Let me know if there’s a thing you wanna try for 30 days!

I don’t want to…

  • go to a store when I don’t really need anything
  • check if I got a lighter, tobacco, papers & filters stuffing up my pockets upon leaving the house
  • waste money this useless when actually I’m about to try to live a bit more economically
  • wake up coughing
  • kiss stinking
  • sleep worse than necessary
  • have to go outside in any shitty weather, often alone

Let alone all the health impacts usually brought as scaring arguments. But kicking these points out of my life will just make it a whole lot better and easier, so it doesn’t feel like I’m giving up something.

So I simply quit.

There you have it. You now may officially slap me if you catch me with a cigarette.