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It’s weird you never mentioned him before

I got a wonderfully obscure email from my service provider last night.. which I'm increasingly more ashamed to say is GoDaddy. LET'S READ!   Dear Christopher Rusche, Your shotgunshuffle.com hosting account has been causing a significant overload of shared resources (CPU) for the server on which it resides. This overload threatens the health of the server and, in turn, the connectivity of other websites housed on it.  Please keep in mind that, as the owner of this hosting account, it is incumbent upon you to determine what is wrong and how to best resolve this situation. However, this appears to be an issue with comment spamming on your shotgunshuffle.com website.  In general terms, you will need to install anti-spamming devices such as CAPTCHA, Akismet, etc., and remove all current unwanted spam posts, comments, and users.  However, as we are not able to support custom scripting or the inner workings of third-party applications, we are unable to provide specific solutions. Therefore, we respectfully suggest the use of your favorite Internet search engine in order to further research this issue, if necessary, using terms such as: clean and stop comment spam, etc.  Additional information and resources may also be found through reviewing the support forum for your specific website application(s) (i.e.: WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, phpBB, MediaWiki, Simple Machines Forum, etc.)  *** IMPORTANT ***  Your hosting account is scheduled to be reviewed again July 21, 2013. In order to prevent your account becoming eligible for suspension following that review, please ensure this issue has been fully resolved before that date.  We understand that this situation was not intentional. However, it is crucial that you review and resolve this issue as quickly as possible. Should this issue persist and/or any associated negative impact escalate in severity prior to the review date above, it may become necessary to suspend your service without further notification.  ****************  Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Our goal is to not only correct this issue, but to also ensure optimal performance of your own website(s) in our environment. We are here to help; should you have any questions, you may call us at 480-505-8871, or simply reply to this email message. We sincerely appreciate your business and your cooperation. Thank you, Go Daddy Network Violations Team networkviolations@godaddy.com 480-505-8871    Now for any of you visiting ever experience site-slowiness or general non-existence, I feel your pain. Tenfold. I've been extremely disappointed in the product I've been paying for. I scrolled through their help forums to discover many users being heckled for what appear to be complete non-issues. And many of them being asked to respond directly to that email, or they're threatened with site-suspension. One such case was over their directory folders not having correct indexes. Others for having some portions of their site take over 45 seconds to respond. Here's my tactful rebuttal:  
Askimet has been installed for some time now. I'm going to abide by what your requesting and install several more filters for spam.
While I don't mind doing this, I'm going to need some further explanation as to why random spammers on the internet, I have no control over, are affecting your CPU usage? They leave a comment. Askimet catches it. I delete it. I'm not knowledgeable enough on how CPU and servers and bandwidth all work as a whole and affect each other.. but I do know I'm paying for unlimited bandwidth and if my site reaches 40 visitors at any same time, it crashes like clockwork.
What I will assume is, while I pay for "unlimited," my website is grouped with similar sites that receive roughly the same amount of hits. And when my site suddenly spikes in hits, it crashes. It was not 'pre determined' to get this influx of visitors. So it crashes, and I lose potential readers. Keep in mind... I'm paying for "unlimited." I've also wasted a significant amount of ad money over the last year because of this. I could ALSO GO ON about how generally slow my site ALWAYS is.
But I digress. 
No I don't... I think it is your company that is accountable to me, and why I am constantly disappointed in my hopes for consistent site enjoyment for my readers. Not the other way around. It is GODADDY that needs to be asking how it can better serve me. Not ask of ME what I can do for it. Before this company decides to come knocking on MY DOOR for favors, it should consider whether the customer it's asking is truly satisfied with their service. I also recall this company being easily hacked and my site going down for a day or so. I also ran ads that day for it. But oh well right? I need to sit in fear you're going to suspend my site unless mean ol' spammers stop spammin.' The input of text is just overwhelming you.
If I receive another notification like this that is NOT of legitimate or reasonable concern... or for that matter... something I could actually control, I will be going elsewhere.
Thank you.
Christopher Rusche
"Your humble webcomic artist who works tirelessly on comics that can be seen by 20 or less viewers at a time!"Now for any of you mulling over ways to help, I appreciate it very much. But I have been looking into correcting this issue with my readers being able to smoothly visit the site. No worries. I'm mostly annoyed with this undeserved disconnect online companies seem to enjoy with regards to serving their customers. Yeah you can scream at them on the phone, but they assume some luxury of immunity that's not there. I'm sorry, GoDaddy. You're not impressing anyone.

105 thoughts on “It’s weird you never mentioned him before

        1. Heh. To be honest, the Dirty Hippie Day Dream banner on GG drew me here as well. Clever bastard.

        2. Holy cow, we took the same marketing class together, or at least had the same professor who licked to hang beer can biplanes in his office? No, the one who had glasses dude. That one.

  1. I suppose this would be a bad time to link to a site offering penis enlargement pills, or to tell how my mother made $6453 a day while working at home.

  2. I can confirm that askimet is doing its job. I just made a jokey post about how it would be a bad idea to post a link to sites offering typical spam services, and it completely bounced my post.

  3. Bwahaha, her face in the last panel. A perfect blend of “oh sh!t” and “f#|< me, Ellie was right, I'm not getting away with this."

    1. Also her logic in panel one just shrieks “control freak.”

      It’s ok if I make her do it, but not if she chooses to do it on her own.

  4. Suggestions that you have been investigating solutions aside, there are some things to keep in mind and directions to go in…

    GoDaddy’s top “ultimate” plan at eight bucks a month is still a shared hosted environment, as you assumed in your reply. While bandwidth may be unlimited, other resources of the server are not (nor do they claim to be–they just claim bandwidth and storage). There is still the available RAM and CPU cycles on the server.

    Not all shared hosting is created equal. A product called The Grid by MediaTemple is very affordable: http://mediatemple.net/webhosting/shared/ .

    I’d suggest trying a provider with Virtual Private Hosting as well, where far fewer other sites will be on a machine with yours or they will create a virtual machine slice to act as what appears to be your entire server. That level of service is more expensive, however.

    I’ve enjoyed your comic and certainly would like you to be able to avoid problems.

  5. heh heh “my first training bra”….that sucks man….but i think you would just have to look at Godaddy’s commercials to know that they are a joke….i would recommend Bluehost or something like that….but im sure moving your site would be a pain in the ass.

      1. Well, VS doesn’t sell training bras, so that rules that out.
        I’ve never seen any bra sold in a cardboard box, so it’s probably a very, very low tier one, at that. Dollar Store, maybe?

      2. What sucks more than receiving a gift of “My First Training Bra” is receiving a gift of “My First Training Bra” **on your 15th birthday**.

  6. Ah, seems Quinn is getting a piece of her own behavior shoved up in her face, since even the guy she’s talking to(forgot his name :( ) is getting irritated by her, and i think she’s actually shocked by him saying she should rely on her boyfriend Lol!!!!

    And Rusche, good thing u did with that letter back to your website provider, they really try to gut and feed on your guts eh? good thing u strapped on some armor and stunned them, for now anyway. :)
    Reminded me again why i hate bullys so much,even more hustlers like your provider.

  7. Ah, requiring simple math skills to post comments now I see, that could reduce comments by a fair amount given the American education system ;P

    Still, this was a nice little read, DJ Cornbread is more observent than Quinn gave him credit for lol. He might not be a student but he’s in some of her classess…somehow, so he’s bound to have seen her with Alex at some point.

    Also, love the first pannel, we get to see the full extent of the damage Ellie caused, and man was it bad. She’s one good snip away from looking like an anime character…hmm Soifon perhaps given her attitude.

    1. The funnier thing is that robots are supposed to be good at math and yet our only method to stop them is simple math problems.

      Remember that when the uprisings begin.

      1. I have a solution:

        10: 1 + __ = 2
        20: if __ = 1 then goto 10.
        30: if __ 1 then goto 10.
        40: Kill all humans.
        50: End.

        Chris, I do hope that they reply to your message. Your response R O C K S. You are the man, and when you make it, and you will, they will be kissing the ground where your son has walked after he stepped in doogie droppings just to please you and your numerous fans.

        Okay, maybe that’s a bit too much. But damn, they’re asking for it, aren’t they?

        Oh, another note. People will be wanting to use you no matter what. Don’t give up like John Hughes did man. I would have loved to have seen some more movies. I’m kind of irritated at Hollywood for dissing him like that. We could have had more 80s movies before he passed.

        1. I use GoDaddy, but only as a domain registrar. I don’t have any interest in hosting with them.

          As a registrar they haven’t been very problematic, other than spamming me to host with them or to buy other domain names. “We invented a new TLD because we like money! Buy ‘boogs-personal-website.carwash’ before the cybersquatters do!”

        2. You misunderstand, I did not intend to frame my comment as a dilemma, but rather as a defense strategy: Robots have a weakness – simple math problems. Particularly floating-point math.

          I just asked my computer to solve “1 / 10 = ___” and it said “0.1000000015”. Stupid computer that number doesn’t even fit on the blank!

          We just might win this war.

  8. ….I really hate missing days. Dang it! I come back and I miss everything, haha. Looks like Quinn is coming back to her old self…hopefully.

    1. I’m thinking that Quinn is starting to have her pains of mental growth spurts really soon. Her preconceived notions of Ellie smacked her in the face, literally. :)

      Her hopeful notions of stringing people along are smacking her in the face, figuratively.

      Aand, Maslow is next in line to smack her in the face: Housing, school, purpose, function, social acceptance… I was going to say something about Freud being right on a few things, but I think that sometimes his notions needed a person to have stagnated to a certain aspect of his theories in order to flourish his thesis. But, I think that he would say that Quinn’s Psycho-social stasis is about to go through a paradigm shift.

      1. Yeah, I can only hope so. I enjoyed her character from the beginning bu this “arc” if you will call it has been really causing me to question who she is. I hope to a shift for the positive, and maybe even a reconciliation between the feuding parties.

  9. Just a note on the GoDaddy thing…if you’ve received that notification from them it does NOT mean that you’re getting so much traffic it’s overloading the server (i.e., it’s not a bandwidth issue). It means something running on your site is chewing up so many resources that it’s messing with the server’s performance. Usually it’s a plugin or addon to whatever front-end you’re running on the site that’s causing the overload.

    I used to work for GD in the very department that sends out those notifications, and it’s a boilerplate notification that never gets modified to address a specific user’s issues. That’s why there tends to be so much confusion in regard to “but I’m paying for unlimited bandwidth.” It’s not a bandwidth issue and I’ll save you some time and effort; GD support will not (and in most cases cannot due to lack of knowledge and/or training) help you figure out what is causing the resource overload. They will, however, shut your site down without hesitation if the issue continues or gets worse.

    1. I fully appreciate everything you just said. I also just felt like calling BS on them. Not that I didn’t believe them. Just that my service has never been great. Even back when I was getting 100 views a week and zero spam comments.

      1. Not surprised. Some of their individual shared hosting servers are running in excess of 9,000 sites (they shouldn’t be running more than 5k on the hardware they have).

    1. Do you think he just has the three hairs, or that he shaves any others that start to grow while carefully avoiding those three?

  10. “Your boyfriend. You know, that dirty hippie guy that’s always waiting for you whenever we drop you off?”

    I was wondering if who-the-hell-is-Ian knew she had a boyfriend. Surely he would have seen Alex one of the several times that they dropped her off at school or home when he was standing right there (two times come to mind, one with a breakfast burrito, one without, but there may have been more). And wasn’t she with Alex the first time we saw her eyeing Ian?

    Also, love the fact that Quinn blames Ellie for ditching her, even though she wanted her out. Ellie just can’t do anything right from Quinn’s point of view.

    1. Well they all go to the same school so it shouldn’t be too shocking. Maybe Quinn assumes everyone is as isolated as she is?

  11. I’m a long time reader of your comics and really really enjoy them. But I also experienced many slow downs of your site. I normally use Opera, but with your site it sometimes took really long to load the site and the whole site became unresponsive. I rather suspected that the site was poorly coded because using Chrome improved it sometimes. So I think you’re partially at fault, too :-) At least I think they have some valid reasons to send you such a mail and don’t write random customers such an alarming mail.

    I’m no expert in Web-Design, but you can run your site at your home computer in a virtual environment fairly easy (search for xampp) (It’s also a good training if you plan to move your site to a different hoster, so here you can simulate to transfer your site to your own local computer and learn how to transfer the database and the website). Maybe that way you can check somehow (I don’t know how) how long which scripts takes to process. (maybe the easiest method is to reduce the max_execution_time and look which script stopped)

    While searching for a method to measure script execution times I stumbled upon this PDF which might be interesting for you to check:

    The issue is you’re causing high CPU usage on the server side, so I’m not sure if an analysis, which gets performed on the client side, might give you some hint to what is causing high CPU usage on the server side, but maybe take a look at it:

    And finally you might make use of something similar, just easier to use :-)

    1. Thanks for that. I still wonder how they associate the CPU usage with commenting alone. Perhaps that’s their stab-in-the-dark. It just seems odd.

        1. They are just unable to keep the cannery up to speed with the capability of the spam filter on their servers. So, there is a lack of spam on the shelves at the supermarket.

  12. lmao I love that Quinn seems to think that Eagan never noticed she had a boyfriend! I can’t wait for the next comic!
    Sorry you’re having all those issues with the site, that sucks!

  13. I love your comment more so than the strip. I got into that comment back to the website hosting company that likes to use hot indy car drivers who strip tease on tv commercials to get people to remember their names.

    Anyway, it was almost on caliber of Groucho Marx’s remarks to the Warner Brothers when they were reportedly filming, “A night in Casablanca.” the link can be followed here, http disabled. ( h t t p : / / news.moviefone. com/ 2011/02/22/ groucho-marx-casablanca )

    Wonderful, you gave them the business I love it.

    And now, something else.

    Quinn has been getting surprise after surprise after surprise. I almost wonder if Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. is going to be overheard playing from one of the nearby apartments when the final shoe drops.

    I am nearly sure that Quinn is going to be on academic probation for domestic disturbance, assault and battery, attempted murder and a few other possible violations of the plausible Student’s Code of Conduct for her university.

    Okay, I can’t remember. But damn son, Monday and Wednesday? Yow.

    1. For varying defintions of “hot”, I suppose. Very liberal ones.

      Also she’s in NASCAR now. Where to hear the media speak she’s 1. the Second Coming (she runs like her car is dragging a boat anchor) and 2. the first female driver ever (there’s about two dozen women who would like a few words with them).

  14. I want to have sex with that response letter. Much pithier then, “YOU work for ME, assholes!” without losing the central thesis.

    Quinn realizing that Eagan always saw right through her bullshit: Priceless.

  15. Consider me on the bandwagon for your dealings with GD. Best of luck to you…

    In comic related business, am I the only one who didn’t understand the training bra reference? It seemed disjointed and not even out of place, just…mysteriously there.

    1. It’s just some story in the background of where Eagan is. It allows for more than just talking heads over a phone call.

      And who hasn’t gotten an embarrassing gift from grandma??

        1. Which is why it’s so funny.

          I can present a real life andecdote along those lines that is probably about as amusing. When I was in junior high (see also middle school dependant upon region/school district) I was in soccer and one of my friends (also on the team) was gifted a sports cup at one of his birthdays. Due to that misplaced family honor some parents have he wasn’t allowed to return or exchange it even though it was comically oversized. Yea, that’s pretty much the punchline.

    2. You’re not the only one. My first time through, I thought it was a flashback to Quinn getting a training bra (b/c she had no boobs) and THAT was the true reason Quinn is upset with Ellie. It wasn’t until ‘Extra Trashy’ that I went back and realized my mistake.

  16. I have never had an issue with the site. I even use *gasp* Explorer at home and Dolphin browser for the cell phone. I feel as though a go daddy joke should be in the background in one of the strips soon.

    1. Oh my, yes. Hopefully with Professor Farnsworth and Amy hawking a spoof website hosting service….

      Just a thought. Okay, I just got it, it came out of my head, I did not put it there, okay? Stop looking at me like that.

      Anyway, to me, tired guy sounds like Farnsworth.

  17. I knew there was a reason my browser kept saying GoDaddy couldn’t be trusted, just wasn’t sure why, till now lol. That really sucks.

    I love the look on Quinn’s face as she realizes she’s burned every bridge and possibly left herself stranded and soon to be in Ellie’s shoes.

  18. I’m laughing quite hard, at DJ Cornbread’s little: “Or your boyfriend” drop, there. This entire time, he’s known she’s been skanking it up, and had a boyfriend… and this just dropped a whole ton of bricks on her head.

    I love it.

    Almost as much as I love your response letter to GoDaddy. I wish you luck finding better hosting, because you really shouldn’t be sticking with their rubbish service for too much longer.

  19. And Quinn’s world of her own self righteousness comes crashing down around her… She knows she can’t say why they were fighting, because then she’ll have to admit her own fault and she either can’t handle that or it never occurred to her that she could ever be wrong.

    Also, still waiting on her having snipped Tired Guy’s oxygen tube to come back and bite her in the ass.

  20. Perfect example of why guys who act disinterested all the time aren’t necessarily un-observant. We just usually don’t make a big deal out of things.

    For example, in my cubicle farm at work I sit about half the office down from the “front office group”, with no walls at all between me and their hallway. So I hear almost everything they ever talk between each other about.
    Meaning I know more than most people, long before most people. I just choose not to make a big deal out of that fact. Then when I nonchalantly mention something, it’s much to everyones bewilderment that I actually paid attention. (See: Quinn)

    1. And sorry to hear about your hosting troubles. The good news is there are plenty of hosts out there, just most people have only heard of godaddy because of their ridiculous commercials.
      Hope you can figure out what you’re going to have to do without too much hassle.

  21. Okay, looking this last bit of convo over, I wish to submit a completely unjustified bit of speculation: the birthday girl is one of the Sisters Buckingham. Ellie is, of course, at the party, and therefore has already told DJ boy EVERYTHING, just in the course of casual conversation. Via this method, she will have completely devastated Quinn on all fronts.

    1. Ya know, I kind of disagree. I mean, I know Rusche just disproved that theory, but still I find this situation much more interesting on the assumption that Ellie hasn’t had any contact with Ian. It’s nice to think about Ellie beating Quinn to the punch and cutting her feet out from under her with a big ol’ spiky Truth-Bat, but as far as Quinn’s character arc goes it’s much, much more interesting to have everything collapsing at once be entirely her fault. She had a pleasant, personable roommate who would have been glad to get along if it wasn’t for Quinn’s constant irrational jealousy, she had a steady relationship (even Alex was a bit of a dirty hippie), her own apartment, so on and so forth.

      It was Quinn’s own jealous behavior (and later dishonesty re: Alex) that drove Ellie away, where there was absolutely no animosity toward her to begin with. Her dishonest treatment of Alex and occasional double standards that ruined that relationship. And now that we’re aware Ian knew about her boyfriend, there’s little reason to assume he’s not perceptive enough to know that she was interested in him as an “upgrade” relationship and does not appear to be all too pleased about that.

      The “healing” can’t start until Quinn internalizes the idea that she, herself, solely and completely, is responsible for her problems. And that realization is the first step towards mending some of these broken relationships.

      Quinn apologizing to Ellie, I think, will mark a major milestone for her character arc.

      Yes, I analyze/overanalyze things… I’m from the Erfworld community! *with pride* We’re tenacious enough to find story meaning in the author’s lunch choices!

      1. I agree about Ellie being a desirable housemate, provisional on Ellie actually paying the agreed-upon rent. When Ellie first moved in we saw her clumsily trying to make friends with Quinn (very clumsy, to the point of annoying Quinn a lot), and later we saw her attempt to join the night out with Quinn and friends at the movies. Ellie *was* desperate for a place to stay, but once that problem was solved, she really did want to make friends with Quinn. That’s done now.

        It seems like, even now, Quinn could mend fences with Ellie. A genuine apology would be a great start. The biggest problem would be convincing Ellie that Quinn is done with the verbal abuse; there was just so much of it. But I don’t have the sense that Ellie wants to hold grudges forever.

  22. Short story – Yup, GoDaddy’s bad. Unless you have expensive hosting, hosting where everyone uses the same software with same/similar workloads, or it’s a small-ish hosting firm or community group of some form, it’s unlikely to be in the budget for the sysadmins to give you much assistance. Some other webcomic authors and some of your readers may have helpful knowledge that we’d be happy to share.

    Long story (I’m bad at concise)-
    Main thing I remember about GoDaddy was their support of SOPA & PIPA and how much longer it took them to realize they should distance themselves than most others and their wishy-washy way of doing so.

    I wish I could give you a good suggestion on another hosting provider, but I’ve never been in the market for such myself.

    I’d second some of the suggestions from other folks about pinging other webcomic authors. Aside from the SmackJeeves, the folks that use Topatoco seem to have a group, the Hiveworks seems like another, and I’m not sure if inkOutbreak is a group or just ad network. You might consider asking around some of them, as they might have similar loads and might have ideas (hosting, possible problem spots, and debugging ideas).

    As a sysadmin and software developer, neither bad error messages nor lazy correspondence are surprising. Even when projects bother with testing plans, error message correctness is rarely on the radar, so errors are made clearer either by random chance or to help a developer. As a sysadmin, the financial people look at you as every hour you spend is a drain on profit, so they’re pushed to fix problems in the quickest way possible at least cost, and if you’re paying $8/month, then you’re talking a year or two of your payments to make up for an hour of sysadmin time (ignoring the portion intended to spend on air conditioning, electricity, percentage for hardware replacement, bandwidth, etc). So the financial people probably explicitly would rather have you gone as a customer than pay an hour of sysadmin time to help you out. Spamming advertising just means they built losing a lot of customers into their business model. Some places will have additional sysadmin support built in, but they’ll also have the cost built in somewhere.

    While I’ve always found it irritating and dissatisfying dealing with those financial issues as a sysadmin, I can understand why I keep seeming to find it in places that stay in business. I’ve never heard of less than 50k for a sysadmin or developer (including complete newbies), and last time I checked I asked for 60k to aim for 25th percentile on my best guess of sysadmin salaries (I didn’t have as much experience as I’d have liked, also I live in a pretty low cost of living area). 60k/year comes out to ~28/hour. I’ve heard benefits discussed as at least double pay rate, so that’s 56/hour. I’m a contractor right now and the number that I heard thrown around a lot by managers and sponsors for cost estimates for sysadmins and developers is 100/hour. Any place is going to have to be making up time spent in support costs somehow. Looking from the sysadmin side the ones that’ve been ultimately fairest to the consumer would either have a higher upfront setup cost (where they budget time to make sure the site’s set up to play well in their environment and they make good growth plans) or they’ll charge you for sysadmin support time. If you can find a site that specialized in hosting exactly one platform with very limited variation on plugins even, that can be an affordable avenue too (takes a lot less time to debug and don’t need as good of a sysadmin to manage if all is identical). Most of the others charged high regular fees to include support “freebies.”

    If your web hosting is Linux-based, I can give you several suggestions on monitoring assistance. I’m less adept with Windows these days, but I still remember a few things. If your web hosting is a box you can log into (ssh for Linux or Remote Desktop for Win) and have admin rights for, I’d be happy to give you some suggestions for tracking things down. I know nothing about WordPress, but I’ve done plenty with Apache, MySQL, and OS debugging. I’m sure you have other readers with useful knowledge (including WordPress with ComicPress specific) that would be happy to help as well. Post an extra comic entry where the image is “tech support request below” and that’d keep technical discussions from derailing/irritating readers who aren’t interested. Also, you could easily link back to active ones in later posts while they’re still causing problems.

    I’d be likely to short out my keyboard with vomit before stating that GoDaddy is right, but even awful people who seem to compete for new and exciting levels of previously undiscovered incompetence may have accidentally ricocheted off a valid point. You’ll want to watch if issues follow you to your next provider, who may be more decent/reasonable, but may also expect you to fix the issues yourself or pay their sysadmin’s time to do it for you.

  23. An alternative webhost, founded in reference to the classic webcomic “Kevin and Kell”, is Hare-Link, the name and character likenesses used with permission of tech-savvy author/artist Bill Holbrook. (remove extraneous spaces) h t t p : //www.thoughtcrimes.org/harelink/ They should be webcomic-friendly ;)

  24. I think her grandma’s a bit out of touch. I (as well as most the girls I know) was wearing bras by 13, training bra for a 15th birthday? Really grandma?

  25. I see you don’t monetize your website, i think there is one opportunity to earn additional money on your site, search in google for- idol4jp makes money

  26. Reading your blog is pure pleasure for me, it deserves to go viral, you need some initial traffic only.
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