Posts Tagged ‘Zen Internet’

Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

The fotoLibra site was down from about noon on Sunday 17th January to this morning, Monday 18th. Apologies for that. The problem was down to domain name system renewal propagation, which has now been sorted out.

When we started fotoLibra back in 2004 we got the website, and we had to pay some company in America to point people towards it — to make sure that an IP address, a series of numbers, in our case, would resolve into We paid them for two years. Hey — we didn’t know if we’d still be around in 6 weeks, let alone two years.

Two years later we were pretty confident. Things were going well. So we renewed the DNS service for another ten years.

And promptly forgot all about it.

Yesterday, when we logged on to fotoLibra and saw a holding page offering the domain name for sale, our first reaction was outrage. The second was self-blame. We contacted Network Solutions to demand to know why we hadn’t been told. They assured us they had sent renewal notices on November 30th, December 11th, December 28th and January 11th.

They were not able to reveal the email address to which the renewal notices had been sent. I see all correspondence through the email box we registered with Network Solutions, and I saw nothing. Of course, it could have landed in Junk. I get about 600 junk emails every day and before deleting them I speed scan the senders to ensure I haven’t missed anything I recognise.

Which reminds me — if you contact fotoLibra and you haven’t had a reply within 24 hours (longer at weekends) please send your email again, because it may have fallen into the Junk folder.

Anyway, because they hadn’t heard from us, they cut us off. I was watching Harlequins vs the Cardiff Blues when our technical development manager rang. “The site’s down. DNS service not renewed.”

It was then we discovered that our broadband service was also down. I couldn’t get on line, I couldn’t see the site. I rang our ISP, the wonderful Zen Internet, to hear a recorded message to say the Crouch End district was suffering an outage. Outage? Outrage!

So the elderly 3G phone was pressed into service, and I finally, after long delays and several hours picking through a tiny keyboard, managed to renew our domain name system. User names, contact details and passwords all seem to have changed over the years, but we managed.

Then comes something called DNS Propagation. It takes time to circulate info across the world wide web, and as I write the fotoLibra site is up and running on my computer here in London, on Network Solutions’ computers in the States, but not on Yvonne’s computer across the room from me.

It will all have resolved itself by 9pm GMT at the very latest.

I’m very sorry about this. It’s not my fault but I feel I’m to blame. To stop this happening a second time, please could you all make a note in your diaries to email me in December 2025 to remind me to renew our DNS through Network Solutions?

Many thanks!

Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

In fotoLibra’s offices in London and Harlech we use Zen as our service provider, and we have no complaints about them at all. In fact we can heartily recommend them, having used them for the past five years.

They’ve just upgraded our broadband service from 8Mbps to “up to 20Mbps”, which is very exciting.

Before they upgraded us I tested our speeds. It averaged 4.79Mbps download, and 0.36Mbps upload. That’s ADSL for you; if we had straightforward Digital Subscriber Lines like they do in Germany instead of Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Lines,we’d be able to upload and download at the same speed.

That’s why downloading an image from fotoLibra is over 13 times faster than uploading an image to us. We’re sorry, but unless you’ve got DSL there’s not a lot we can do about it.

Back to our “up to 20Mbps” upgrade. It came on stream this morning, so I tested our speeds again.

6.23Mbps download, 0.67Mbps upload. Not as thrilling as I’d hoped. That’s 31% of the potential speed. We were getting 60% of our potential speed on the previous deal. Why should the percentage decrease so greatly?

Still, it’s a little faster, so that is a good thing.

But have you noticed that “UP TO” always actually means “LESS THAN”?