Friday, September 03, 2021

Some sun did shine

Three months ago, I lost ownership* of the Internet domain that Nigel and I had used for our emails for around a decade. When I lost the domain, and so, the email addresses. It felt, as I said at the time, “a bit like losing our family yet again”. There's a positive development in this story.

Yesterday evening I received an email from the company Nigel and I both used for some of our domain registrations: I had successfully obtained the domain again. I was really happy about that, and that someone else wouldn’t be taking over “what had been part of the life Nigel and I had for so many years,” as I said on my personal Facebook, before adding, “something I still want.” I was talking about the domain specifically, but it occurred to me later that it was equally true about the life Nigel and I had. I can’t have that back, but I do have the domain again.

Last night, after sharing the good news on my Facebook, I logged into my account and immediately set the domain to auto-renew. That means that I won’t have to remember to do it next year, which is always a good thing. The next thing I did was to buy email hosting from the company, and I chose a medium-priced plan and for two years. There are backstories to both of those two things.

Back in June, when I was still trying to work out what went wrong with the email accounts, I logged into Nigel’s account with the email host company to see if it would tell me anything. I really struggled with their site, which I thought was far more labyrinthine and opaque than it should’ve been (I’m being kind). There’s something else: When I accidentally broke my email account not long after Nigel died, I contacted that same company for help. They were, shall we say, extremely grumpy. I got it fixed in the end, but the person made me feel like a huge burden on their time, and like I was an idiot for not knowing how to fix the problem myself. In sum, I wasn’t exactly a fan of the company.

Last night, I tried to log in again, and the log-ins didn’t work (I originally planned on trying to update the settings so I could use the emails again). I presume that they cancelled the account for some reason, but I have no idea what happened. I wasn’t exactly upset by that development.

After checking the email hosting prices from that company’s services, anyway, I checked the prices with the company I got the domain from, and they were reasonably comparable when considering what my needs actually are. Also, I’ve had a different email address with the Internet domain company for years, and found it easy to use. More importantly, whenever I’ve had a problem, they've been friendly and awesome to deal with, and solve any technical problem that's popped up. I need good—and friendly—customer service because the fact is, I’m just not as good at such things as Nigel was, and there are times I need professionals to sort stuff out for me.

Once I got the confirmation email from them, I started setting up the email addresses (one for me and for “for” Nigel). Then I set up my email client, and tried to send an email to the "new" email address from one of my gmail accounts. Nothing worked. By that time, it was after midnight and I called it a night.

This morning they still didn’t work, so I used the domain company’s chat feature to sort it out and the friendly and helpful person found the problem and set the wheels in motion to fix it (it takes 24 hours for the changes to “populate” over the Internet). I haven’t used those email accounts in months, though, so what’s another day?

What all of this means is that what was a very distressing thing for me is being righted. Obviously, it would’ve been better all around if it had never happened at all, but getting something I’d lost restored to me is still important, especially in September, less than three weeks from the second “horrible anniversary”.

There’s one more things about this. Last night, I said on my personal Facebook, “This is actually part of my gradual process of changing what Nigel set up for us to things that work better for me (mainly because I'm a not as bright about such things as he was…). He'd actually be pretty proud of me for doing that.” I know that with absolute certainty.

*I think it’s odd how people talk about “owning” a domain—even though I do it, too. The fact is, we actually only rent them. It’s a bit like having a house on leased land: We control the house built on it (websites, email) and can do anything we like with the house, including selling it to someone else. But the land underneath it (the domain) is owned by someone else, and we have to pay rent (annual registration fees) to keep the right to use the land (domain). If we don’t pay every year, the owner can take it away from us. The only real difference is that with leased land there are legal procedures that must be followed and laws that must be obeyed, along with plenty of opportunities to avoid eviction. None of that is true for domains.

Update – September 4: My old email address is restored and working, just under three months after it stopped. Today I got an email from a mailing list I was subscribed to with the old address, which I thought was a bit odd. I would've thought their servers would have deleted the address when emails were bounced, but apparently not.

The title of this post is a reference to my post back in June (link above).


Roger Owen Green said...

Labyrinthine for $2000, Mayim!

Arthur Schenck said...

It turns out that was only the second time I've ever used that word in this blog. In this particular post, that was the kindest word available.