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Question   v3.10 October 2001
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v3.10 October 2001
0.  Introduction.
1.  Upcoming improvement to panel..
2.  .PCGI extensions for php!
3.  More disk space!
4.  HTML email autoresponders and announcements!
5.  DHSOTM!
6.  Random quotes from newdream.net.


#######################################################################
0.	Introduction.

It's been a while, and it's good to be back in front of you guys! We've
got a pretty big newsletter this month (admittedly, I just started
writing it.. but I've got a feeling..) and I thought I'd start it off
with the text of an interview recently conducted on ME by HostIndex.com

Here you go, *exactly as it appears on their site*:


HI: You have an ambitious goal - "to eventually create an environment
where any sort of web hosting need can be fulfilled immediately at the
best price possible within a helpful community of like-minded
individuals." How will you make it come true? 

JJ: How do you make any goal come true? Through wishful thinking! Every
time I see a shooting star, I wish to eventually create an environment
where any sort of web hosting need can be fulfilled immediately at the
best price possible within a helpful community of like-minded
individuals. Every time I throw a coin in a wishing well, I wish to
eventually create an environment where any sort of web hosting need can
be fulfilled immediately at the best price possible within a helpful
community of like-minded individuals. Every time I blow out the candles
on our birthday cake, I wish to eventually create an environment where
any sort of web hosting need can be fulfilled immediately at the best
price possible within a helpful community of like-minded individuals.
And every time I get the bigger half of the wishbone from a turkey with
my pinky, I wish to eventually create an environment where any sort of
web hosting need can be fulfilled immediately at the best price possible
within a helpful community of like-minded individuals.


HI: What is the philosophy that drives DreamHost?

JJ: Hmm.. I would probably have to describe it as part Legal Positivism
(http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/l/legalpos.htm) and part Hedonism
(http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/h/hedonism.htm) with a dash of Lemon
thrown in (http://www.colonialcrafts.com/fabric/nationalnon/Lemon.jpg).


HI: Do you target a specific segment of the hosting market?

JJ: Of course! No hosting company could survive without a specific
segment of the hosting market targeted! Our main target for the first
four years of our business has been Inuit Eskimos. They seem to really
like our site's blue color scheme. In fact, a lot of them have commented
to me personally, "The blue was what drew me to DreamHost, and it is the
blue that keeps me here."


HI: Why do you believe DreamHost offers the best alternative to anyone
looking for a web hosting provider?

JJ: What's best for Eskimos is clearly best for anyone looking for a
web hosting provider. C'mon, I think that's a simple conclusion to draw.
You've really got to try harder with these questions!


HI: What are the benefits of DreamHost 2.0?

JJ: Just that you can now unsubscribe from the newsletter via:
https://id.newdream.net/?tab=contact


HI: What does your reseller program offer?

JJ: Unlimited power to they that can tame it. To they that cannot,
also unlimited power, but not as much.


HI: What does the future hold for DreamHost, and what do you see in the
future for the web hosting industry? 

JJ: I see the entire web hosting industry moving in the direction of
becoming more of a web BOASTING industry. DreamHost itself plans to
move more towards a metallic greenish-blue neck and breast, purplish-
blue underparts, and a long train of greenish feathers brilliantly
marked with bold spots that look like eyes. During courtship, DreamHost
will spread the train into a gorgeous fan as we slowly parade in front
of a female Web Boast. I imagine other web boasts will have a hard time
keeping up.


HI: Thanks, Josh, for taking some time to speak with us today here at
HostIndex.com!

ME: No problem, and you can read the whole thing online at their site:
http://www.hostindex.com/interviews/10_16_01_DreamHost_Interview.shtm



#######################################################################
1.	Upcoming improvement to panel..

In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have agreed to do the interview so
soon after my surgery.

Moving right along, Happy DreamHost Customer Mr. Rogers writes:

"I did not like the previous layout for managing Domains (I forget what
snazzy name it had), but this Web Admin Panel is worse! It is slow. And
by hiding the sub-tabs (Overview, Account Summary, etc.) under the Tabs
(Home, Billing, etc) I am forced to wander aimlessly through an
indecipherable maze of tediously slow pages to TRY to find what I need.
USE FRAMES dammit! If your cgi is gonna be this slow,... USE FRAMES! Or
(here's a thought!) utilize the mouseover command to list the contents
of subtabs under the tabs. 

Also, I HATE that you dictate what form my user's passwords can take.
Changing passwords is also a very slow, tedious process due to the Web
Admin Panel, and to have to spend so much time waiting only to have my
password rejected is infuriating! If I want to make everybodies password
"pword", what do you care? My users do not have Admin privledges on your
servers! 

If you put this in the newsletter, I'll eat my server, and post photos
of it."

Ha! Did you wonder where that was going? Come back next month for the
pictures he promised us!


#######################################################################
2.  .PCGI extensions for php!


Hey, here's something nobody was really asking for but we felt we
needed to do anyway! In case you missed the original announcement about
it... we've finally gotten our last piece of the PHP security puzzle
snuggled in!

You can now run any PHP script through the external PHP-CGI processor.
This means that all PHP scripts will run as your user and group! This
is good! 

A quick recap of how PHP-CGI works: Usually PHP scripts are run by a
copy of PHP compiled into the webserver. This is good because they are
fast. However, because it's run inside Apache, it has to run as Apache's
user and group. This is bad because it's not secure. However, we've now
got a PHP setup that allows you to run PHP scripts outside Apache
(this is PHP-CGI).

Because it's a security risk, we're turning off the ability to execute
stuff in the PHP inside Apache. All system(), exec(), passthru(),
backticks (``), and any other function that executes external commands
were turned off on MONDAY, OCTOBER 22! 

Anyone using these functions should use the PHP-CGI solution, which is
very easy! 

Just rename your scripts to have a .pcgi extension!

We've tested this process and it seems to work well. Please be cautious
and test things out on copies of your scripts to make sure it works for
you though!

Now that PHP-CGI is out there, we can work on adding extra modules that
are too dangerous to run inside Apache (yes, including GD!). As we bring
modules online we'll make some level 2 announcements. Please don't write
tech support asking for GD! We're working on it! Still!

Thanks for your patience through all these PHP changes! By now we've
pretty much got rock-solid PHP security (something almost no hosting
company can say!) 


#######################################################################
3.  More disk space!


Okay, I admit it, that was pretty much a rehash of an announcement we
made a few weeks ago. And... if you're reading this, you probably read
the announcements too. But I've learned it's never too bad to repeat
repeat yourself.

We RAISED our disk space allotments on the extra disk space add-on
plans! Buying more disk space now comes at this rate:

50MB: $4.95/month
100MB: $6.95/month
500MB: $29.95/month

with 10% - 20% discounts for prepaying for 6 months or a year!

Ain't that the stuff? Here's a cute little poem about it from our
original announcement:

This announcement's main purpose 
is to let you know 
We've added a new feature 
to the DreamHost show! 

"DreamHost," you've said 
"Please give us more!" 
To which we replied 
"Certainly!...but what for?" 

"30 megs is great, 
but it's just not enough! 
We need some more disk space 
to hold all our stuff!" 

"It's also expensive 
and smells like my shoe! 
Isn't there something 
that you guys could do?" 

We looked at our add-ons 
and wondered (no jive) 
"30 megs extra for 4.95?" 

That's NOT enough space, 
and that's just too much money! 
Did someone around here 
think this was funny? 

Was this a joke? 
A ruse? 
A super bad dream? 
Who cares, said I! 
Let's huddle the team! 

So we all sat down and set 
new disk space sizing. 
We screamed and we yelled 
and we settled on pricing. 

"$3.96 when they pay for a year!" 
"We'll give them 50 MB and a beer!" 
"Lose the beer, that's just not right!" 
"Okay, okay, this disk thing sounds TIGHT!" 

"$5.56 for a hundred more megs!" 
"I like that idea, good thinking Peg!" 
"Hey guys, I don't think that Peg works here" 
"Eh. Who cares, Brett. Give me that beer!" 

"What about musicians and videophiles? 
500 MB is more their style." 
"Okay, okay, how about this- 
500 more megs for $23.96!" 

And then we chose 
to collapse on the lawn 
Those are the numbers 
we'd decided upon. 

To take advantage of 
this super great deal 
Click billing::services 
Do it now! With great zeal! 

Click on your plan by its own service name, 
Lucky you - you're almost done with this game! 

All you need do is 
'add an extra to this plan' 
And soon you'll be saying 
"Who's the (wo)man?" 

I hope you had breakfast 
and ate all your cereal 
Now you've got room 
for all your material! 

Or pictures of dogs 
or your cat if you like. 
We don't really mind 
'Cause it's not our website! 

If you have questions 
about this or your mom, 
feel free to write sales 
@dreamhost.com. 


#######################################################################
4.  HTML email autoresponders and announcements!


A little quick note about a little quick feature we threw in that there
hasn't been an announcement about (and there WON'T be)! So read this!

You can now HTML format the emails sent to your announcement list as
well as your auto-responders! Normally we wouldn't recommend doing
this, since a lot of people have email clients that don't read html.
However, since we are SO clever, we send the emails as "multi-part"
messages that include a plain-text version. People who can't read html
email will see the plain text version when you send them an html email!

It's pretty easy to use.. just check off the little checkbox when you
set up your auto-responder or send a message to your announcement list!

You guys would have figured this out even without this message!
Unlimited power!


#######################################################################
5.  DHSOTM

http://maestas.neuskool.net/ is the DHSOTM winner for October 2001!

What's it all about, this site? Well, it's a personal portfolio type of
site that's got a lot of photography mixed in with different digital
effects. I know that image you see on the first page has been there since
before this whole anthrax thing, but it definitely seems more relevant
with what's in the news these days. And spooky too.. just in time for
Halloween!

The only major problem I can see with maestas.neuskool.net is there
just isn't enough blue in it. And I don't really see the value in a
site without blue.

Hopefully next month's winner will be more representative of the likes
of our target market! All you eskimos should go vote at
https://panel.dreamhost.com/?tab=home&subtab=dhsotm !


#######################################################################
6.	Random quotes from newdream.net.


The sky is blue so we know where to stop mowing. -- Harold T. Stone

As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its
fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be
popular. -- Oscar Wilde, "Intentions" 

Some of the things that live the longest in peoples' memories never
really happened. 


#######################################################################

Thanks,
josh!

Last updated: Oct 30, 2001.

User Post (2001-11-02 07:51:55 by netmster)
OhMiGawd! Mildred,... get the salt! I'm cooking dinner tonight! Server Stew!