Dominic is no longer a geek
For as long as I've run a web site at www.dominic.cronin.nl, I've run the server at home, and used the free services of DynDns to take care of the fact that my Internet Service provider assigns my IP address dynamically.The way this works is that DynDns have a list of domains that they will let you use for free by assigning you a sub-domain. One of these domains (perhaps the most famous) is "is-a-geek.org". For the last several years, I have had the use of "dominic.is-a-geek.org". For free. So thanks DynDns. There's a protocol for automatically updating the IP address associated with this name, so should I ever get assigned a different IP, the dynamic DNS name would stay pointing to the right place. When you type in "www.dominic.cronin.nl" into your browser, it actually goes to the DNS services at Qweb somewhere near Rotterdam, who host the records for my "real" domain name. The response you get from there includes a CNAME record pointing at dominic.is-a-geek.org (or at least it did), and for all practical purposes, you end up at the right place.
Of course, it's great that DynDns offer these free services, but sooner or later they want people to upgrade to their paid services, so for the last few years they've made it so that you have to "refresh" your free name every month. They send an email, you click on a link, and all is good. At least until today, when i realised that not only had my free name expired, they also wouldn't give it back to me if I wanted to stay a cheapskate. They had obviously cottoned on to the fact that the is-a-geek names are desirable (to some people). So there it is. My long-standing use of dominic.is-a-geek.org is over. The end of an era, I suppose.
For what it's worth, I'm still using a free DynDns account, but now it's "dominic.dyndns-home.com". Doesn't have the same ring about it, though. :-(
Fortunately - these days, QWeb have an excellent web administration interface, and within half an hour of realising the problem, I had it all joined up and working again. So I might be QWeb's most insignificant customer - it's hard to imagine anyone buying smaller amounts of service from them - but I'm definitely a happy customer.
As for DynDns - sure, I'm crying inside, but really - you can't accept free service for years and then whinge about it. It wouldn't be right, especially as they are still keeping my site running.