History of the tyoma.com web site.

Website tyoma.com was originally created at the end of 1995 as a part of the home pages of faculty and students of the Illinois Institute of Technology:
To my big surprise the page is still there. It is a very simple, script generated page with the contact information; all of it is obviously incorrect. But I am glad to have some memory for myself:
“Last update: Mon Jan 29 13:05:52 CST 1996 by sokirko@charlie.acc.iit.edu”

Noting was done in 1996 after my departure from academia in February ‘96, not much in ‘97 either. The management of the company I had been working for had prohibited any WAN services but e-mail, often requiring us to fly four time zones to type several lines on the SCO UNIX console. I bought the “1996 WebMaster Tolls” CD but could not do too much until October ‘97 (none of my computers had a CD-ROM).

The third immigration in February '98 faced me with the necessity to find a job quickly and made we do a weird thing – I bought a PC. In my 19 years as a programmer I worked on 28 various computers, but it had always been someone else's computers. I used to get a feeling that owning a computer is somehow not kosher. Anyway, it is another story.
I started to create the actual web site in August 98 – text only with a few slides scanned. It was hosted on my office desktop with the nice URL
running IIS on WinNT. The company’s security model disregarded the fact that all company’s PC had a static IP, nice computer names and direct access from the internet. On my last day with them I moved the website to
i.e. the place where you pay nothing for plenty of pop-ups in return. They are still around, but moved to http://www.geocities.com/sokirko.geo

The job for Time Inc. New Media brought new opportunities for my website in the spring of 1999. Everybody in Engineering was allowed to publish anything he or she liked using the whole power of the servers farm – 5 content servers, 8 image servers, 7 database servers, all rather powerful Suns running Open Market web servers: http://www.pathfinder.com/staff/artyom. I brought the slide scanner into the office and transferred the valuable part of my slide collection into the digital format. However, the free benefit of Open Market did not last long. The company was in the process of replacing Open Market with Netscape web server. While doing that, Time Inc. New Media lost its president, a half of its staff, its name and finally ceased to exist as a company, but my personal web page migrated to http://www.pathfinder.com/~artyom/.
The only apparent shortcoming of the migration is that Netscape web server is unable to show the Russian letter “˙” which happens to be ASCII(255). Whenever Netscape sees a “˙”, it immediately breaks the serving of the file. After spending many an evening choosing the least ugly scenario: replacing all “˙” with the caPital letter “ß”, or with the a’ostro’he “’”, I finally gave up and moved my web site to a friend’s dedicated server: http://freewarehome.com/Artyom.
That was an easy move and I really enjoyed Apache after all troubles with IIS, Open market and Netscape. It had one significant drawback, though – no Java support. Very soon the freewarehome.com itself moved to Sun Solaris and I lost my room in the main document structure: http://sun00656.dn.net/artyom/

At that point I was really fed up with changing platforms and URLs and I had to give up my principal idea: “Computers should be used only for making money, not for spending money” by buying domain name tyoma.com from register.com in August 2000. The idea of a single URL was destroyed immediately by the provider's opting me up with the artyomsokirko.com, artyomsokirko.net, artyomsokirko.org in the first week and tyoma.net, tyoma.org in the second. In a month I added sokirko.com and wound up with a nice eight-of-me family in the cyberspace.
Next I had to select the hosting. In the following month, after thoughtful research on the Internet, I selected one company, which could serve my needs. I was very happy to explore many additional services and opportunities that one gets from a co-location server, static IP and personal domain, until I ran into the configuration errors that had to be corrected by tech support. After three or four weeks of ever more insisting emails to the support which had been left unanswered, I dropped them and moved to WebOutlook.com.

WebOutlook has essentially the same configuration: Linux RedHat, Apache, PHP3, MySQL and JServ, but had a serious advantage – an engineer responsible for the tech support actually answering requests. The turnaround had never been really fast – between one and two weeks per request, but hey, who cares? At least you get more or less all the service that was advertised by the hosting company. I was so happy with the WebOutlook.com that after initial six months I extended my contract for another year. I have finally got what I needed from the very beginning – good commercial hosting. Now I can concentrate on development of all web site features that were planned for so long. The curved scrollbar was built at that time.

I think the reader has already got an idea of what happened next – WebOutlook went out of business in the second month of my prepaid year. Hostway.com took over WebOutlook, so that my web site was moved to the new location without my doing anything – how convenient, you can say. New server has a wrong version of PHP, standard troubles with MySQL configuration, but what it is most important, no server-side Java. I have to start from the scratch once again.

In November 2001 I selected Instantopen.com (subsidiary of Itrom.com), because they had a better than standard conditions, familiar CPanel as an administrative interface, good price and unbelievably quick customer service. You could actually go into a webchat with the personnel, or even call them by phone! The replies by e-mail flowed incredibly fast. I was the happiest man on Earth.

It did not take long to realize that extremely polite and fast responses from customer services led nowhere. Customer service reps were totally and absolutely computer illiterate and had one universal recipe for all problems “Please make sure that you type your password right”. After spending several days communicating with the “customer service”, you would get you case moved to tech support, who was computer literate, but still Internet illiterate. It took me 4 weeks and about 40 emails to fix the ODBC access to MySQL according to the company's published policy. It was tough, but I was extremely reluctant to move again. I was really tired of all of this, just wanted to move tyoma.com to some stable level and stop development on it, the goal I finally achieved by February 2002.
But it did not last long.

Instantopen fired somebody from its engineering, who was smart enough to erase the whole content from all servers. A week after this event in March’02, I got a very polite email suggesting that I login into my account using newly provided password and restore my website from my backups. Although I was able to restore most of the file system from backups on my PC, database scheme, data as well as configurations were lost. In addition, they added a paranoid level of security, making running of any applications on the server virtually impossible. After making a new round of heroic attempts to fix numerous problems, I finally dropped InstanOpen.com in May 2002.

After that I have decided to move to the dedicated web-server, but was not ready to take any additional expences, so I decided to keep the server at home:

This construction was quite sufficient for my private website, but actually too comlicated. I spend enormous time just to taking care of various network/hardware issues, which was quite in line with my primary work responsibilities as an ISP Architect. In May 2004, I finaly decided to spend my personal funds on my personal website and bought the dedicated

	Servernr:      20264
	CPU:           Pentium3 , 700MHz
	RAM:           SDRAM 256MB
	HDD:           ATA HDD 10GB

from ipx-server.de. Hope that hosting diary of the tyoma.com would have not many entries any more, because I am currently very happy with my:

Pinging tyoma.com [] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes=32 time=13ms TTL=49
Reply from bytes=32 time=13ms TTL=49
Reply from bytes=32 time=13ms TTL=49
Reply from bytes=32 time=13ms TTL=49

Ping statistics for
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 13ms, Maximum = 13ms, Average = 13ms

In May 2006, the old 10GB drive failed apart and was replaced with 40GB drive. Fortunately, most of the data was restored from the backup.