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"And sometimes, when I forget, I call for you. And I wonder." 
I Wonder

The Latest From The Webb

What you will find here is more opinion than fact. I'll make note of the facts but the emphasis will be on commentary. Be sure to check out the other great News Network sites for other perspectives.

 99 April 27 
Site Overhaul

There's been very little added or changed to this site over the last six months or so, with the exception of the weekly "Song Of The Week", which has proved to be quite popular and is a lot of fun to do.

The simple fact of the matter is that I just don't have enough time to continue to do all the things I was doing with this site. The focus has shifted to multimedia (ie: song clips and whatnot) as well.

So, over the next while, I'm going to reorganize the site a bit, finish some cleaning up that's been long postponed, and FINALLY fill up the Listening Booth with more and more tracks!

I will, most likely, discontinue several sections, such as "Fan Poetry" and "Critics" - anything that takes a lot of work to maintain will likely get the boot. WHERE POSSIBLE, I plan to stick all those features into a "historical" section, so the material will still be available, it just won't get updated any more. Once that section goes online, I'll invite any other site authors (or would-be site authors) to pick up these particular balls and run with them. More details later.

 99 January 25 
The Move-In Is Complete

Well, after a lot of hiccups and stumbles, this site (and a few others) are now online at the Gary Numan Fan Server. I should be getting some updates to the site done over the next while, but bear with me - I've gotta ride herd over the server and track down any remaining bugs before relaxing any.

For those of you who are interested in the story of why things got delayed so badly, here's what happened:

First off, I needed to move three separate domain names from their existing locations to the new server. This isn't something you can do arbitrarily: you have to first register the change with the Domain Naming Authority that is responsible for that domain name. If their DNS servers don't "point" to your DNS servers, then nobody can find your address on the web. Changing this registration is a simple process... he said ironically.

In my case, two Domain Naming Authorities were involved. The first is "InterNIC", who handles domains in the familiar .COM, .NET, .ORG, and .EDU domains. I had two domains to modify with them: PURVISION.COM and CALGARYWEB.NET.

The second Authority is NIC.NU, which are responsible for domains in the .NU domain, which we use for the Gary Numan Fan Server. Previously, the name GaryNumanFan.NU was hosted by their servers in San Francisco, so that's why you've been able to use it (partially) for the past several months. But now I needed to change this registration as well.

Unfortunately, there was a routing problem with my new ADSL hookup, caused by a replacement router at Cadvision's Calgary North Hill ADSL hub station. Without getting too much in detail, the upshot is that I could DOWNLOAD data but I could not UPLOAD data. Actually that's not entirely true: I could upload VERY SMALL AMOUNTS of data, which is why this problem went undetected initially. I could browse websites and even complete small forms, but I couldn't do much more than that.

First step: surf on down to NIC.NU and fill out the registration change form. They charge $10 for a change, so I dutifully filled out my credit card info, submitted it, they approved the charge and sent me the authorization info, and then forwarded me to the form to fill out. I filled out the form and clicked on SUBMIT, and.... nothing happened. Repeatedly. Over and over for about two hours, with no response. Later, after Cadvision rectified the routing problem, I tried again - and was told I'd have to pay $10 again! I sent them email, and after about three days they finally authorized my account for a free registration change. The change was made and here we are about three days later, with everything working.

Things haven't gone so well with InterNIC, however - in fact, neither of the two domain names mentioned have been switched as of this writing.

As it happens, I picked exactly the wrong time to make these changes. Apparently some people have been attacking the InterNIC system with massive numbers of fraudulent domain name applications. Their response has been to go back to processing all applications by hand, after first investigating each one. This means that the process that used to take less than 24 hours now takes about five days. Even then, we should be online now... except that they rejected my first applications because of a very bizarre rule they have. Apparently, they will not accept a domain name application (or modification) if the DNS server that it references is in a domain other than COM, NET, ORG, or EDU. And as you know, mine is in the NU domain. I have since re-applied, after first reconfiguring my DNS servers so that they are legitimate in both the COM and NET domains, and expect this to go through sometime over the course of the next week. Stay tuned. :-)

This rule that I violated, by the way, makes no sense at all. Nor does it appear anywhere in their documentation, otherwise I'd have skirted around this particular minefield. When you submit the application, you need to provide both the machine name and IP addresses of two responsible DNS servers, which I did. The machine name, which they objected to, is in fact COMPLETELY IRRELEVENT. It's the IP addresses that really matter and are the ONLY thing that other DNS servers need to know about in order to make a connection to this server. The machine names are provided as a matter of convenience, for anyone who wishes to make a direct connection to my DNS servers in order to lookup detailed domain information, and even then there's no valid technical reason why they should require this name to be in the COM, NET, ORG, or EDU domains. It simply doesn't matter from any standpoint other than political, and that's the nub of the matter. InterNIC doesn't like competition, and they see the NU domain that I'm affiliated with as some sort of threat. Thus, the rejection of my application. Needless to say, I'll be recommending everyone use the NU domain from now on. :-)

 99 January 6 
The Gary Numan Fan Server Goes Online Soon!

As I announced previously, we're going ahead with the creation of a brand new internet site that will be dedicated to the hosting of Gary Numan websites and email addresses for fans.

Well, it's coming together. I don't have an exact timetable for when things will be ready, but I expect that by the end of January, our web server will be serving up pages just as fast as you can request 'em! The reason I don't have an exact date for you is that there are a lot of variables involved. Of most importance, I don't yet have a firm date on when the high-speed data connection will be hooked up, and there's other stuff as well in regards to domain name authorities and whatnot.

To stay in touch with all the latest developments, surf to:

Please be aware that this site is currently UNDER DEVELOPMENT. Some of the details that you find on this page are subject to change without notice: it's a work in progress.

Anyways, I'll be transfering my own site to this new server. There remains a lot of work to be done in that respect, notably updating all the RealAudio links and doing a bit of redesign to fit into the new scheme. As a result, there'll be no new additions to this site OTHER THAN the Song Of The Week and the Gary Numan Digest until after I've moved in to the new digs.