Table of Contents
1. DHSOTM Round-up.
2. Suggestion Round-up.
3. Auto-responder improvement!
4. Contest winners!
6. New "About Us"!
7. Random Quotes(s) From newdream.net
THIS IS February! (said to the pace and tone of "THIS IS Jeopardy!")
Hey, I was about to write some stuff about February and how short it is, but
then I got this weird feeling of deja vu. And.. yup, it turns out I was about
to say exactly the same thing (about how short it will be until the next newsletter)
that I did LAST February! Of course this year that wouldn't be such a great thing
to say because this year is a leap year. That's right it IS. Of course you all
already knew that.. but did you know why it IS?
Of course you do, but in a cheap (possibly illegal) attempt to stretch out the
introduction, here is a quote from the "Norman Rockwell Appointment Calendar
for the year 2000" copyright 1999 Almanac Publishing Company, Lewiston, ME 04241
explaining the whole thing in historic detail:
"Happy Leap Day!
Because this year is a leap year, you'll be enjoying one extra day this month.
Yes, February 29th is an actual day this year. But did you ever wonder why we
have leap years?
The "why" has to do with trying to get the calendar year to equal the
astronomical year. Leap days and years date back to Julius Caesar in 46 BC. At
that time, Caesar ordered the calendar be 365 days in length and that it contain
12 months. A few days were added to various months to bring the total from 354
to 365. Considering the fact that the seasons do not repeat every 365 days, but
actually 365.2422, the calendar ended about one-quarter day early. After every
fourth year, it would be one full day in error.
To make up for this error, every fourth year an extra day was to be added to
February. According to this calendar change, any year evenly divisible by four
was a leap year, which meant that the average length of the calendar was 365.25
days. however, this correction made the year 11 minutes and 14 seconds too long;
after 128 years, the calendar was ending a full day later than the astronomical
In 1582 Pope Gregory XII stepped in and ordered yet another correction to the
calendar. This change produced the Gregorian Calendar, which we use today. The
reform stated that century years not evenly divisible by 400 would not be leap
years. Thus 1900 was not a leap year, but 2000 is. This made the average length
of the calendar 365.244 days and reduced the calendar error to only 1 day in 3322
Our modern calendar is based on this Gregorian calendar. However, a slight
modification makes years evenly divisible by 4000 regular years rather than leap
years. This reduces the error to less than 1 day in 20,000 years.
And that's why you have an extra day this year and month to do as you please!
And I please to use that extra day writing the March newsletter, sure to be chock
full of wonderful announcements about Dreamhost 2000.0!
Some other little interesting introductory tidbits about _this_ February:
Groundhog's day was yesterday. (I think we have more winter, at least in the U.S.)
Artist/Illustrator Norman Rockwell was born today in this February, 1894.
This is the longest National Black History month EVER!
Two days before this February began my favorite NFL team the St. Louis Rams won
Superbowl XXXIV in a very exciting game.
(St. Louis is my favorite team because their mascot is such a refreshing change
from the typical NFL choices of tough animals or Native American slurs.
What other team would name themselves after a computer component?
Still, I must say I don't understand what the design on their helmets has to do
with random access memory.)
1. DHSOTM Round-up.
This month we've switched the judging process for the winner to go to whoever
has the highest average vote (after a minimum number of votes that is) rather
than whoever has the most points. That's because everybody seems to be so critical
of each other's sites and therefore, no sites apart from ones JUST posted have
positive scores! Anyway, this month's winner based on average score (and I think
they might have had the most points anyway) is http://www.vegasthecat.com/ !
That's right, a web site dedicated to a pet won the coveted DreamHost Site of the
Month award (notice that it's always the "coveted" DHSOTM award? Just like it's
always the "tech-laden" NASDAQ.) for February! Well, hey, at least it's a short
month, right? But don't feel bad Vegas The Cat, at least it's a leap year, right?
But seriously, the site ain't half bad, especially considering the intrinsic dullness
of its chosen subject, so if you're already bored of this newsletter, click on over!
2. Suggestion Round-up.
As usual we follow up the DHSOTM round-up with the suggestion round-up. This month,
the top suggestions were again ideas about what WE could give YOU for free, or at
least cheaper, or more of. WELL! How come we never see suggestions offering that
YOU be able to overpay US if you'd like? Or that WE should raise YOUR prices so all
those Happy DreamHost Employees can get those Happy DreamHost Ferraris they've
been lusting for? Just shows you what a self-centered, looking out for number 1,
me-me-me world we live in. Tsk, Tsk, Tsk.
You should all be ashamed.
But, we WILL be implementing close to all of those suggestions with our new system
anyway, because we here at DreamHost are others-centered, looking out for number
2, you-you-you people and we give until it hurts! But please, stop posting those
sort of suggestions.. at least for a few months... we get the hint already! This
month's winner (and the recipient of the $50 prize) is MrTom who suggested some auto-
3. Auto-responder improvement!
We warned you about these!
The improvement is simply that the auto-responders will now send the same message
to the same recipient as many times as they send a message. This is the behavior most
people expect and want from an auto-responder in the first place! The worry about two
auto-responders getting into an infinite loop with each other is eliminated by simply
keeping track of the last email address responded to, and not sending an auto-response
to the same address twice in a row.
Also, you can now choose to quote the senders email at the end of your auto-reply,
merely by checking the checkbox that is now there for that purpose in the auto-
responder management section of the web panel.
4. Contest winners!
Don't forget we're always giving away free stuff, whether people suggest to or not!
On January 31st the contest for the five free (slightly used by Happy DreamHost Prize-
Quality Inspection Team) DreamCasts (we're still debating as to whether or not we should
sue..) ended, and the winners were decided. We're going to announce them right here,
right now! Keep in mind we haven't already notified the winners through any other means,
so read this list because YOU might have won!
And the winners are (in no particular order):
Mary Lynn Coyle
Congratulations fellahs (and missus), you've _earned_ it! We'll contact you about
delivery within the next month. Hope you like video games! I know I do!
There will be a new contest soon.. the details haven't been worked out yet, so keep
checking http://www.dreamhost.com/ for updates!
What is Vibeflow?
It's a new site, just released by New Dream Network (you know.. DreamHost < NDN), and
according to the blurb on the main page "[Vibeflow's] dream is to unite independent
audio/video producers and give them an open resource for sharing their art."
So far there's not too much there; a mailing list, a featured artist, and a
guestbook, but that's just because nobody's heard about it yet! And now with this great
plug from Vibeflow's sister service DreamHost, I bet it'll take off immediately! And
YOU can be there on the ground floor and help shape it into a beautiful, special thing.
That is if you are an independent audio/video producer.
6. New "About Us"!
In the next few days we'll be putting a new "About Us" section up at our main site,
just so people who don't have access to the newsletter (i.e. potential customers!) can
get a little glimpse into what we're all about.
If it were up already, I'd just put a link to it, but since it's not, I'm going to just
have to quote the whole thing right here for everybody! If you're not interested, read
it anyway.. there's a secret message hidden inside!
We at DreamHost have been happily hosting our clients' dreams (and websites)
since April 1997, close to a century ago in Internet years! That was when we (four
Computer Science undergraduates at hmc.edu in Claremont, CA) launched this
company with no capital apart from a single Pentium 100 web server (Destro was
her name), using shared bandwidth on a T1 line a friend gave us at no cost.
By necessity we had to be frugal, but even with our less than ample resources we
always did our best to provide a quality service at a reasonable price. Those early
days quickly taught us the technical expertise and market savvy necessary to
survive in our industry, as well as teaching us to respect each and every
customer's wishes, dealing with them as though they were our friend. Hey, most of
It's hard to believe that in less than three years we've grown to over 30 servers
(each with over 20 times the processing power of Destro), seven T3 connections
and a full time staff of 20. Even though we now average more new customers per
day than signed up total in our first three months of business, we've always made it
our number one priority to deal with every client as a human being and as a friend.
We like to think that that, more than anything else, is the real reason for our
Now hosting over 10,000 web sites, we've definitely come a long way since 1997.
But, we can see there's still a long road in front of us. We don't know exactly where
it will lead; all we know is that the trip will be fun, and we wish you'd come with us!
As with all companies, there are some things we do the same as our competitors
and there are some things we do differently. We try and imitate whenever we feel
imitation is deserved, and we deviate whenever we feel deviation is a must.
Most hosts offer a wide range of features bundled with various service plans, and
we are of course no exception. Canned CGI scripts, full CGI access, PHP3, ssh
and telnet, raw log files plus analyzed access statistics, unlimited email
forwarding, aliasing, auto-responding, vanity domain names, MySQL, e-commerce,
plenty of disk space and transfer allowance are available on our numerous service
plans (Prices range from $9.95 to $99.95/month).
Most hosts offer a web-based control panel to manage your account and its
features, and we do too. From there you can control all aspects of your account(s),
including any billing-related and customer support concerns you may have. But
wait. There is more...
Where you first start to notice the difference between DreamHost and all other
webhosts is the community feel of our web panel. Besides the standard links for
things like email and domain management, there are areas for customer
suggestions, DreamHost newsletters, the DreamHost Site of the Month, the
DreamHost WebRing, the unofficial DreamHost directory, the DreamHost Rewards
program, DreamHost resellers, as well as a customer discussion area. All of these
are a natural outcropping of our desire to stay in touch with our clients and to foster
a free flow of ideas between them and us. What better way to learn how to keep
our customers happy than to ask them, and then to act on what they say?
Another refreshing difference is how relaxed and customer-oriented our billing
practices are. There is an unconditional 30 day money back guarantee on all
accounts, we have no set up fees for any services, no hidden costs, no minimum
monthly contracts and a price freeze in effect guaranteeing that any price you sign
up for on a recurring plan will never, ever, increase! We accept payment via Visa,
MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diner's Club, and Carte Blanche, as well
as by personal check or money order. We can even handle purchase orders if
required by your Accounts Payable department.
The differences keep coming! Our choice to not provide the Microsoft NT operating
system for any of our hosting products is one that is a common subject of inquiry.
We feel strongly that the best products available for the job of serving Internet
content are those based on Unix, and that the efforts of the open source
community specifically (Linux, Apache, MySQL and so on) are best of breed. To
use any NT or NT-related products would be to us a vote of no confidence against
the very technology that made it possible for us to compete in this industry in the
first place! It turns out that once our customers give open source alternatives a
chance they are overjoyed with the performance and feature set available to them.
Of course, some will decide to go with someone else and use NT, and for those we
respect their decision. Our only request is that if in the future the need ever does
arise for a Unix-based solution they'll give us another shot!
But of course, the biggest difference, the one that keeps people singing our praises
and referring their friends, is our customer service. Every message is responded to
within 24 hours, with a friendly, helpful, and completely honest answer. Sometimes
a server does go down, and we let our customers know when it happens. We'll also
let them know if a cheaper plan better fits their needs, or what sort of software we
personally use for whatever they're trying to implement. We constantly try to treat
everyone as a friend in need (indeed!).
At DreamHost we have focused our attention on the virtual server webhosting
market. That was the only market we could afford to enter early on, and we felt it
was best to focus entirely on one area before pursuing others. Those who had
needs beyond the scope of shared servers unfortunately had to look elsewhere and
miss out on our unique brand of hosting service.
We are happy to announce that we will soon be bringing that brand to the entire
range of webhosting! We have grown such that we now feel confident in our ability
to provide our level of service to the dedicated machine market. Besides having
more physical resources for this endeavor, what has allowed this progression is our
recent development of an entirely new underlying hosting system. Dubbed
"DreamHost 2000", it completely automates all aspects of hosting, through an
SPR (simple, powerful, robust) web-based interface. Whether you just want to
register a domain or are the head administrator for an entire cluster of servers, all
your configuration duties will be easily handled through the new software. It's also
completely customizable for sub users and resellers of any of our services.
Also in the works with the release of DreamHost 2000 is a number of new
interactivity features to allow even smoother communication between our clients
and ourselves as well as amongst our clients themselves. Our goal is 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. We believe that with our new software and open-minded approach that
goal is not as far-fetched as it might sound!"
Did you find the hidden message? You missed it? Keep looking!
7. Random Quotes(s) From newdream.net
Since this has been such a long long newsletter, and yet somehow nearly 100% content-free,
there will just be one quote this time, but what a quote!
"Say something witty and you'll be remembered forever." --Anonymous.
Peace I'm out,
(How mysterious.. a letter from my last name!)
Last updated: Jan 27, 2001.