Hidden Information Strikes Again

Without bothering to ask us, our hosting company decided to move us to a new hosting center. Since my wife and I use a reseller package (for zenhaiku and a number of other sites), we have our own DNS servers. OK, they just point to someone else's but close enough.

(Crib sheet for non-techies: DNS means Domain Name System. It's the system that takes a name like www.yahoo.com and turns into an IP Address, which is the unique number used to send anything on the Internet. Oh, and nameservers are the computers that hand out the numbers).

Regular visitors or RSS subscribers may have noticed the site was down for a week. This was due to a comedy of errors that kept on piling up, since some DNS changes take 2-3 days to go through. Things started to turn around when I work up at 5 am two days ago determined to double check everything.

The first problem had been solved: all the websites were talking to the right nameservers. However, the IP addresses for those nameserver themselves were wrong. So I went back to the domain name site and looked at it again, and pretty much clicked on everything. I looked at the right sidebar.

hidden information

Which is when I noticed these little boxes, which I had thought were decorations. The incredibly low color contrast of dark blue on black obscures the plusses and minuses they have.

So I clicked on the plus and lo and behold, the wrong IP addresses showed up, complete with a link to modify, which I did immediately.

Here's what the expanded version looked like.

shown information

But wait, there's more! I got a call from my brother, who said, there's something wrong with your site. I said, I know, I've been working on it for nearly a week now, and he said, no, it's not down now, it's just weird.

Turns out the wrong site was being served. Logging into the reseller control panel revealed that the IP address all the sites were listed as using were different than the ones we set up, on the instructions of the web hosting people. So I changed it to what looked like the correct IP address, and called my wife at work, and she saw the correct site.

So some people are now (August 18, 2004) seeing some random fan chat site about musical group Matchbox 20 instead of this site. Eventually, things should straighten out. I would still be seeing that apalling site myself, except that I made my computer use the right IP address, which is how I'm posting this in the first place.

I'm still not convinced it will stay working. It's week's like this where I'm totally frustrated with the Internet.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 (Link)