Background info - was Hosting again

Lyle - perl at
Wed Oct 31 02:02:44 GMT 2007

Hi All,
  I feel I have to give a little background info on myself as 
suggestions like this keep cropping up. Here goes...

I make a living from selling off the shelf software packages coded in Perl.
Sometimes I take on custom work, but only usually where I retain the 
rights with a view to resell.
I've had hundreds of different customers, from all different countries, 
from a huge variety of hosting companies, from winnt, win2000, winxp, 
win2003, Linux (all flavours), BSD, Mac, running Apache, IIS or god 
knows what... from good, to crap, to very crap, to ohh my god how do you 
ever think you are capable of running a hosting company with Linux 
servers when you don't even know how to use SSH!!!!!
What I have become good at over the years is making Perl software that 
works on as many different servers and hosting companies as possible.
Would I like to use all the latest shiny CPAN modules: YES!
Is it feasible with my business: NO!
Why not just offer all my stuff hosted: I DO! But most of my customers 
come to me because they want to run the software on their own servers.
Can I stop my customers from being on crappy hosts? NO!
Do I tell them to change hosts: YES!
Do they? Mostly NO.
So what can I use? CPAN core, or CPAN modules that are pure perl and I 
can just include with my scripts whether they are installed on the 
server or not.
What about DBI? I have a hell of a time getting them to have DBI and 
DBD::mysql, let alone GD, ImageMagik, Imager... Hence my Image::Mate module.
What about my own servers? They have any CPAN modules I need or my 
hosting customers need, or for that matter, and software, configuration, 
or modules my customers need. It's that flexibility that allows me to 
charge so much extra for hosting. I've got a dedicated box in America, 
and a co-lo dual opteron supermicro I built my self hosted in a 
datacentre here in Bristol.
Am I fed up of getting posts of people telling me to change host: YES!!!!!!

I'm sorry all, after getting this the N'th time I really felt I needed 
to get it off my chest. Hopefully enough people read this to understand 
where I'm coming from.


Joel Bernstein wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 30, 2007 at 11:33:58PM +0000, Lyle - wrote:
>> paddy at wrote:
>>> no worries, I appreciate the reply, thanks.
>>> I wish you well with your project.  You are certainly getting some very
>>> good advice on the list here.
>> Thanks Paddy, the advise I've got here has been more than valuable. I'd 
>> wish I'd been a bit more active on this list the last 3 years I've been 
>> lurking...
> You definitely have received a fine set of advice here. I hope you're
> able to digest from it the topics you ought to be reading up on, at
> least in terms of identifying holes in your knowledge. You seem
> generally to have expressed a lot of resistance to some of the advice
> you've received, particularly about using modern tech (cpan, for a
> start) and sharing the work you can't do with people who can. 
>> I've actually been down to FastHosts in gloucester and had a meeting 
>> with them when they were looking at my software (although to be honest 
>> it seemed they just wanted a copy of the source to rip it off). They'd 
>> spent millions on a fancy new office and crap, WHY WEREN'T THEY SPENDING 
>> THIS ON TECH STAFF AND STAFF TRAINING!!! To many salesmen, to little 
>> techs (and techs that are totally bullshitting them).
> I think you may be somewhat blinkered in your view - the more
> professional hosting companies I've dealt with (from bare rackspace to
> full-service facilities with remote hands and provided net connectivity,
> where you rent by the 'cage') have generally exhibited fair clue in
> their networking and 'professional services' (consultancy, rather than
> whoring .. OK, not such a huge difference). They don't knock you on
> quality at all, they just tend to charge quite a bit. 
> If you deal with tinpot webhosts specialising in php/perl cgi support,
> I'm not surprised you experience a low level of clue and support. You
> get what you pay for. Have you considered taking on virtual servers or
> real physical boxes, on which you have root and can do the admin
> yourself? If the hosts' techs aren't up to it, surely it's a better plan
> to do it yourself? 
> /joel
joel, please don't think this post is anything against you. I've been 
getting this a lot. Believe me, I do do it myself. Unfortunately I do it 
for a lot of hosting companies I come across as well. At least some of 
them say thank you for the help, others make up excuses and don't admit 
that I had to tell them exactly what they were doing wrong. Aghhh, my 
hair line! My hair line! Better grab the lazer comb again :'(


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