Category Archives: Web Host Related

Chiriqui Chatter Outage

Some of you may have gone to CC today and found the following:


When I went to my host, the reason for CC being taken down was a 2006 post called VIAGRA SPAM. The web host must have some program it runs to scan for potential spammers and it detected this post.

Of course another possibility is that a hacker embedded code in that post and was actually issuing spam. I have removed the offending post and am now submitting another potential offender.

The contents of the 2006 post follow:

Viagra Spam

I get a ton of comment spam every day. I usually do a quick scan to make sure that a valid comment wasn’t picked up by mistake before deleting it. It is very rare that I spend any time on a particular comment because they are usually nonsense. They will be poorly written with misspelled words and bad grammar or just URLs to the offensive websites.

Today I was surprised with one of the Viagra spam comments. It actually started off with a well-written joke that was pertinent to Viagra before plugging its website. It was successful in getting me to read the joke, but not in preventing me from deleting the comment.

Here was the Viagra joke of the day:
A man walked into his doctor’s office, and asked him for 3 Viagra pills.
The doctor asked, “Why only 3?”
The man said, “Well, Friday my secretary is coming over, Saturday my girlfriend is coming over, and Sunday my wife is coming home from her vacation.
The doc said, “That’s more than I wanted to know, but here’s your 3 pills.”
A week later the doctor saw the man at the gas station, his arm in a cast, and sling.
The doctor said, “What happened to you? Did the women all find out about one another?”
The man said, “No, Nobody showed up…..”

Now lets see how long it takes for this post to get flagged. The joke wasn’t even that funny. If I get flagged again, you probably won’t see this joke again.

Major Outage

Chiriquí Chatter was down for approaching 36 hours. I was about to give up hope on the web host solving their problem and was not sure I was willing to go through the effort to restore the files from scratch.

However, it appears that the apparent death of CC was not to be and it has come back from the dead.

I should mention that any of you that still use any of the old email addresses related to the website, you should change them. When the site is down, then none of the addresses that end in will work either. Because of this, I created the address If you use any of the old addresses, I suggest that you change them to the new one.

I will leave donray@chiriquichatter as an active address, but it may or may not work. All other email addresses are now removed.

Let’s Try That Again

After a false start or two yesterday, I am hoping that Chiriquí Chatter is up and healthy.

On the left of the graph above is the first attempt to come up (9:00 AM – April 11). Around 5:30 PM yesterday, you can see that it came up again for a short period of time. Around 7:00 AM this morning, it came up again and appears to be fine at the moment.

I know it it frustrating if when the site is down. It is frustrating to me. I have to admit, it is less frustrating than it used to be. After 7 years in Panama, I know that there are more important things, than things I can’t control.

I have used the same Web Host for the last five years and I think that, for the price, they have done a very good job.

Chiriquí Chatter runs in a shared server environment. That means that the resources are not dedicated just to Chiriquí Chatter. This is obviously the cheapest way for a blogger to run. Dedicated resources are expensive and CC is a budget operation. Still, I feel that the service I receive from my Web Host has been good.

I keep CC backed up multiple ways. I have all photos and posts backed up on two hard drives in my PCs. My backups are down MWFSu to one file and TTS to another file. If one of my drives fail, or one of the backup files fails, I should be able to go to the previous days’ backup.

I also take a WordPress backup daily, so theoretically, I could restore with the last backup copy if the Web Host lost their files. Knock on wood, I have never had to try that and hope I don’t.

OK. Lets hope this is the end of this problem. CC is now officially back on the air.


After about an 18 hour outage, Chiriquí Chatter is back on the air. When the site is down, I try to let people know, that I know it is down, by updating the Chiriquí Chatter Status site.

UPDATE: About 30 minutes after I posted the message above, the site went back down. It has come back up. I hope the server can handle the load this time. If it stays up the outage will have been about 26 hours.

Researching Hosting Possibilities

The last two months of disruptions, culminated with the Web host shutting down Chiriquí Chatter for a period of time yesterday, has led me to believe I need to start researching other potential hosting options.

Currently, I use HostMDS and they have been reasonable for the price. I am in a shared environment, which means that my IP address is shared with other websites. When I started with VistaPages, now HostMDS, Chiriquí Chatter shared its IP address with less than 100 other domains. Today, using DNSQUIRES, to determine how many other domains shared my IP address, I found 294.

That appears to be a little excessive.

Panama Guide has 2.
Boquete Guide has 5
The Panama News has 96.

I use the Google Page Rank to monitor Chiriquí Chatter’s relevance on the Internet. This is one indicator of how popular a site is.

Chiriquí Chatter has its Google Page Rank on the right Sidebar and I included it in this post as well. Continue reading Researching Hosting Possibilities

So Far So Good

I received a call yesterday that Cable Onda would be out this afternoon to install my new service. I expected installation next week. Since I will still have Cable and Wireless until the end of the month, I will be able to compare the service.

On another note, Chiriquí Chatter was down when I got up this morning. In case you are interested, I have another site that I record my outages, if I am aware the site is down. It is called Chiriquí Chatter Status Site.

Growing Pains

For the last three days, I have had major outages from my web host HOSTMDS.

HOSTMDS is growing and acquiring other hosts. My previous web host, VistaPages, was one of those acquisitions. Acquisition of this sort dictates changes. Changes undoubtedly cause outages. I am telling you this, because of the major interruptions that Chiriquí Chatter has had recently. I think it is growing pains of my web host. If the pain gets to great for me, I will have to find some place less painful. As I write this, Chiriquí Chatter is currently down.

Like I told you the other day, living in Panama requires patience. However, I still have flashbacks of Type A personality disorder now and then and three days of web host disruption is causing me to have flashbacks.

So while I am down, let me spend a little time talking about web hosting and blogging. If you start a blog you have a couple of options. One is to use a free blogging service such as or There are others as well. There are also the social blogging capabilities, such as Facebook, MySpace, etc. which I personally don’t like. Here in Chiriquí, we have one such site which is valuable to people moving to this area and wanting to network with others doing the same. It is If you are thinking about moving to Chiriquí or specifically Boquete, you should check it out. Continue reading Growing Pains

Greetings Patient Readers

Well, I am sure that several of you tried to view Chiriquí Chatter during the last 17+ hours and were unsuccessful. As I write this, everything seems to be restored. Apparently my web host had to restore libraries. I know that libraries were restored, because the last photo I had uploaded was not there and I had to upload it again.

If you have problems reaching CC, remember that I set up a secondary site that I use to document any problems that are going on. It is frustrating for me when the site is down and it may be frustrating for others as well. Sometimes knowing that a problem exists and is being worked on helps. For that reason I set up the Chiriquí Chatter Status Site.

In it you should fine a notification of the site being down, provided I know about it. When it is back up, I will document the time I found it available.

Recently, I noticed that all of my Coppermine albums were down. This may have been from another move made by my web host and I just didn’t notice it at that time. I had submitted a trouble tick on it and received no help at that time. I see that with this current library restoration, that the Coppermine Albums are back as well. That makes ma happy, because those photo albums require a lot of work and time to rebuild.

Thanks for being patient. This is good training, if you are one of those people that are planning on moving to Panama.