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Life before discovering .htaccess

In late 2001 I thought I was going to be retrenched from my job as a Business Analyst at a dot-com that did not dot-bomb in March 2000.
I'd had various IT jobs over the previous 25 years ranging from COBOL programmer to DB2 DBA to "consultant" (whatever that means).
I was sick of working for large utilities etc so I started to look around at something different to do. I dreamt up (literally) the name of my business, found that the Australian website address was available, registered the business name and applied for the trademark ... and then I realised that I needed to work out what I actually wanted to do!
So I bought a chunk of web space (from a company with a very Australian name - which later turned out to sell cheap unreliable non-Australian hosting) and continued to wait to be retrenched. I put up a page saying "Under Construction" (which at the time was no mean feat) and got on with my day job.....

Rule 1: There's no such thing as a stupid question

The one useful webmasterish thing I did in that year was ask the web hosting company about their reseller / affiliate programs. I also did a little research (more of that on subsequent pages) and in the process I discovered that the company, despite its very Australian name, did not use any Australian based machines (although getting this information was like getting teeth out of a hen). I also found out that they were not very open to negotiation.
I have learnt that many people in this business will happily misinform you through omission, happily leading you to make incorrect assumptions.
The net is a lot more competetive these days and I've found that by spending the time to ask questions (and remember the answers), providers will either give up on you (in which case they're probably not too keen about providing service and I'm better off without them) or they will tolerate the odd question - asked in ignorance - in which case they are useful to be in business with.
That said, the margins these days are minimal and, as such, no-one who's seriously in business likes time wasters (hence - remember the answers).
My leasson in this area has been... investing time at this stage of the game saves many dollars in the long run.
[Content of this page last reviewed: 12-Jun-2004]
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