Aug 2001                                                                                                     

Web Master Wanderings
By Curt Potsic, Space Coast PC Users Group

Home Page

Current Issue

The Space Coast PC Journal 

SCPCUG Web Master Curt Potsic

The Internet is a wonderful resource for knowledge. We now have immediate access to all kinds of information. The Space Coast PC Users Group endeavors to be part of this technological revolution through it's web site. The SCPCUG web site's mission is to be a prime source for members on club activities while offering a variety of links to Internet sites that will help with their computing experience. As Web Master I am charged with the design and maintenance of this site. Along with my assistant George Leventen I attempt to keep the site up-to-date and available for anyone with access to the Internet. This responsibility came in for a serious test recently.

If you attempted to access The Space Coast PC Users Group web site ( between June 11th and 18th you found that our web site had disappeared from the Internet. In its place Server Notice from EarthLinkwas a "Server Notice" message from the EarthLink Integration Team which stated in part "The web servers hosting this site have been turned down in accordance with earlier communications..." This action was part of a series of events precipitated by the integration of OneMain (formerly PalmNet) into EarthLink. I have spoken with several PalmNet customers and they, as well as I, were never informed of the EarthLink integration plans either via e-mail or the US Postal Service. Consequently, it came as a great shock when I tried to access the Users Group site on the evening of June 11th for updating and found it missing in my Netscape browser window, replaced by a "Server Notice." The files were still available via FTP (File Transfer Protocol) on the server but no longer available for display on the World Wide Web. A phone call to Tech Support referred me to a OneMain Integration to EarthLink page ( There I found a link for a April 26th message to "Former PalmNet Web Hosting Customers" ( informing former PalmNet Business customers that the Domain Servers would be turned down on June 11th.

Further complicating the situation was the fact that the SCPCUG had enjoyed complimentary web hosting for several years by PalmNet and subsequently OneMain. Our domain registration,, is in fact a gift from the original owner of PalmNet, John Trudeau. John is now in the Digital Photography business. Checkout John's latest adventures at or

EarthLink does not offer complimentary web hosting. Their minimum charge is $14.95 per month for 75 MB of web space. We would never use that much web space. Our current site size is 5.65 MB. And so the hunt was on to find a new host for the SCPCUG web site at minimal cost.

After several days of searching I tried K2 Internet Services ( located in Altamonte Springs, just north of Orlando. K2 was recommended by Steve Rosenthal, a former SCPCUG Officer. K2 has graciously agreed to provide the SCPCUG with complimentary web hosting. Their slogan is "Your Complete Internet Solution Provider." In addition to web hosting they provide a variety of Internet access options ranging from 56K Dialup to Fractional T1 lines.

According to the Customer Service people I spoke with at EarthLink, former PalmNet customers will find their monthly 56K Dialup fees rising to $19.95 per month if they continue with EarthLink as their ISP (Internet Service Provider). K2 Internet Services will provide unlimited 56K Dialup for a very reasonable $9.99 per month with 7 e-mail addresses and 5 MB of personal storage. A toll free 1-888 number is available with 24 hr/7 day Tech Support as well as a local Brevard County (Cocoa exchange) number for Internet Dialup access on a rotary line.

For further information on the Earthlink/OneMain integration checkout the following news stories published in the Florida Today Newspaper:

Customers of old PalmNet find Web sites dead under new owner EarthLink, by Chris Kridler FLORIDA TODAY, 20 June 2001 at

EarthLink says PalmNet customers notified before sites were shut down, by Chris Kridler FLORIDA TODAY, 22 June 2001 at

It seems the SCPCUG web site was not alone in being shutdown and receiving no advanced warning from EarthLink.

For a listing of the e-mail messages PalmNet customers should have received go to OneMain Integration Email at It is interesting to note that as of this writing (June 27th) there are 8 messages dated June 7th to 19th under "Information Concerning Dial Up Customers." I never received any of these messages via e-mail or the US Postal Service.

Among my many phone calls to EarthLink trying to resolve the situation for both the SCPCUG web site and personally as an original PalmNet customer, I asked why was I not getting these messages about the EarthLink/OneMain integration. The Customer Service representative confirmed that they had my correct postal and e-mail addresses. He then went off to check. After several minutes on hold, he returned to say I should now be getting these type messages. He even sent me an e-mail with EarthLink's Dialup rate plans. That was on June 12th. When I asked why I had not been getting the e-mails dealing with EarthLink/OneMain integration he said "It's too difficult to explain." Well it must have been difficult to fix also as I subsequently never received an e-mail from EarthLink. And now I never will. I have terminated my EarthLink account and am now a K2 Internet Services customer.

In retrospect, it seems to me the EarthLink Integration Team made a major mistake in not recognizing the key to any relationship is communication. It would have been a simple matter to send the e-mails with return receipts or requesting a confirmation. Then again if they never had a correct database listing of PalmNet customers they might not know we exist. Funny though how my credit card kept getting charged each month. Apparently the money guys know I exist.

Note: Web Master Wanderings articles contain links to external web sites. Web addresses are constantly changing. There is no guarantee that the information links provided in this article will remain unbroken or up-to-date beyond the date that this article is originally published.