Web Hosting Canada

We had a good run. I signed up with Enginehosting about a week short of twelve years ago. Things went well for the most part, and I was happy with their service. Until now.

About a month ago, I couldn’t log into the server via SFTP. I contacted support, and with their guidance I found that while I could not log in using MacOS 10.13 High Sierra, I could get in with a virtualized copy of 10.8 Mountain Lion. With Christmas rapidly approaching, I downloaded my backup files with 10.8 and enjoyed the holidays.

Afterward, before I could get back to the SFTP problem, I found that I was unable to update the WordPress plugins or WordPress itself. When I tried, I was prompted for my FTPS hostname, username, and password. That’s never happened before, but I entered the required information and my credentials were not accepted. When I submitted a ticket regarding this latest problem, the answer came as quite a surprise.

Most likely your WordPress install needs to be running on new technology than what is on your Enginehosting account to successfully upgrade. We recommend moving the account to one of our Arcustech plans, as Enginehosting is a dead product line.

I know they started a new ‘brand’ more tailored to enterprise customers. It was difficult to not notice the prices were higher. I thought they’d continue to support their Enginehosting customers indefinitely, but it seems I was wrong. If they wanted to shut down Enginehosting, I expected they would act in a business-like manner and let their remaining customers know with enough notice to make alternate arrangements. They didn’t do this. Rather, they stopped updating the support software on the servers until their clients’ software broke. Not cool.

Given that my renewal date is later this week, I set out examining web hosting services based in Canada. Privacy laws are significantly different in the U.S. so I want to bring things back into the country. I finally settled on Web Hosting Canada. Not only is it significantly cheaper, but my SSL certificate is included. The price I used to pay yearly is now my price for three years. Score!

Now we’ll see how well their service and support performs.


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Iceland’s got it going on!

A tourist still in Iceland wanted to mail a letter, but he didn’t know the address. You’d think that would nix the concept of mailing the letter, but no!

The sender wrote the Country, the name of the village, added “A horse farm with an Icelandic/Danish couple and three kids and a lot of sheep,”1 and then drew a map on the front of the envelope.

The letter was delivered to the intended recipient. I especially like the note explaining that the wife works in a supermarket.


  1. Xeni Jardin, “Letter sent to Iceland farm with hand-drawn map instead of address gets there anyway,” Boing Boing, 2016-08-30
  • Photo by Skessuhornið/Steina Matt

Mom and the scammers

You’ll recall that earlier this year, I had the misfortune of receiving a call from people impersonating Canada Revenue.

Since that time, I’ve seen a number of news stories about this scam. One even detailed the case of a woman who they tricked into buying $12 000 worth of iTunes gift cards! They had her read the numbers on the cards to them over the phone. By the time she realized that she’d been had, the cards were redeemed.

The other day my mother received a call from these jokers. I was downstairs but I heard her side of it. She later filled me in on the other half of the conversation. The call went like this:

Mom: Hello?
Guy: This is Canada Revenue and you are under surveillance.
Mom: You’re bullshit.
Guy: Excuse me?
Mom: You’re a big bullshit, go away!

And then she hung up.

Mom makes me proud!

Food for thought

The success of the modern food industry lies in its ability not just to provide us with hitherto unimaginable quantities of food, but to deliver it in good, or at least edible, condition. Most of it doesn’t taste as nice as it might have done straight out of the ground, but since most of us rarely eat really fresh food, we’ve forgotten what it’s supposed to taste like anyway.

Carolyn Steel
Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives

Beware the scammers!

I just received a call from the 613 area code. I didn’t recognize the number so I let it go to voicemail. It was a message from the  Canada Revenue Agency asking for a call back from me or my lawyer. So I called! The guy just overwhelmed me with information, like his name, telling me that he was an officer with the CRA, his badge number (which almost made me laugh), and then all kinds of other stuff, none of which I can recall. He finally asked for my name. I asked what this was about. He said that once I gave my name, he’d pull up my file and we could get into it.

Given that I’ve never once had the Canada Revenue Agency call me to inform me of an issue, I told the guy that I was not comfortable giving him any information. The CRA always sends mail, whether postal mail or through their online service if you’ve signed up for online communications, so I was hesitant. He told me that I should have my attorney call him and he hung up.

Of course it wasn’t the Canada Revenue Agency. In fact, the CRA web site has a Fraud page, and among the examples of telephone fraud they provide, the first is the same person who called me! The script has different details but it’s definitely the same guy.

Think twice before you even give out your name over the telephone. Just because someone calls you doesn’t mean they know your personal information. Don’t help them gather information about you!