About the website and its webmaster
ABOUT THIS PAGE
On this page, you'll find more information about myself (and my IT interests) and some technical data about the website itself (web hosting, domain names, statistics, news...).
MORE INFO ABOUT ME, WEBMASTER OF ARACHNOSOFT...
As you may already know, my name is Maxime Abbey. I was born on October 28th 1985 in Reims, in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France.
I made my first steps with IT when I was only 5 or 6. At this time - in the early 90s - PC games were running under MS-DOS, while Windows was just released in its 3.1 version. This version came with limited support for power-hungry games made for the MS-DOS environment: to work properly, they needed to be run from a "real" DOS mode. That's why I learnt, starting at the age of 6, to run my games from the DOS command-line environment, discovering, without being aware of it, the structure of a computer, consisting of folders and files we had to open and call to run a game or application.
Then, at the age of 11, tired of being a simple software user, wishing to be involved in their conception, I made my first steps in software programming. First, by learning the QuickBasic language, which was close of the Amstrad CPC's Basic Locomotiv integrated language I already experienced before. But, although being one of the easiest-to-learn IT programming languages to date, I had some difficulties to build my first fully functional projects.
It wasn't until two years later, aged 13, that I started to feel restricted by QuickBasic's narrow set of features. It led me to discover Klik & Play, and its attractive selling point: with it, anyone was able to create games without any required knowledge in IT development. At least, although being less rewarding than learning a language, I had a nice tool to create little projects with appealing graphics. As a result, I created new versions of two previous projects I made with QuickBasic: "Savoir son Age Précis" and "Calories et Menus".
Then arrived the 2000s, bringing a new revolutionary technology named Internet, which spread quickly all around the globe. With it, free web hosting offers arised lightning fast, allowing anybody interested by IT to create its own website, to share hobbies with a large audience. Back then, such websites weren't called blogs but personal webpages. This is how I created, aged 15, on December 4th 2000, my "personal webpage" which then hosted the five software projects I created using Klik & Play: "Savoir son Age Précis" (Precise Age Calculator), "Bill Kong King", "Calories & Menus", "Voit'Casse" and "Le Voleur, les Bourses et le Policier" (The Thief). It was a tiny website which had nothing common with the one you're browsing today...
A few months later, Achraf Cherti, a friend I met through e-mail a short time before, announced that he had developed a little software project to compose music with ease: FM-Song. Interested by the concept, and willing to fulfill a long-time desire to create my own music pieces, I tested this little piece of software, which, despite of its technical limitations, introduced me in the process of music creation. A dream I had since I played my first video game, something called Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System, which had a soundtrack I kept deeply in my memory... Progressively, following new version releases of the software, I composed some music pieces, thirteen exactly, between May 2001 and August 2002.
Meanwhile, I also discovered the Delphi development environment, which combined the ease-of-use of programming languages such as Basic, with the power of languages like C++. With it, I developed some other software between February 2001 (Rapid'Autorun) and May 2002 (Gloups 1.1) before coming back to Web development.
Effectively, in the end of year 2002, wanting my "personal webpage" to become a full-featured website, I discovered the PHP language. And, despite of an initial dislike for this language's syntax, I quickly took advantage of its benefits: in December of the same year, two years after its first release, the first PHP version of this website was online.
Since then, I had the opportunity to discover many other languages during my studies, which slowed down my own personal learning rhythm. And, since the beginning of my working life, starting in August 2006 as a Java/.NET/ASP/PHP developer, I keep using my growing experience to improve, slowly but surely, my own personal creations.
In the meantime, I keep working on music from time to time, with my set of faithful synthesizers... and I hope that I'll find the time, in the future, to work on new versions of my software.
Now that you have more information on my IT experience, you can also read the articles below, which will inform you about some technical aspects of this website. I also invite you to discover my other websites at http://maxime.abbey.free.fr, including FufuWorld, my website dedicated to French actor Louis de Funès.
As a conclusion, I'd like to remind you that your support is essential so I can continue to work on my free time. As a result, don't hesitate to contact me by e-mail, for any reason, by going to this page; any feedback is always appreciated!
Since December 2004: Celeonet
Since December 2004: Celeonet
Following the bankruptcy of my previous web hoster, FranceOnLine, I needed a new hosting provider able to support the features of the fifth major version of the website, on which I was working at the time. In the meantime, my father also needed a paid web hosting service to suit the new technical requirements of his E@sy Cook website, which was experiencing an impressive and sudden popularity growth at this time.
After having compared a good number of web hosters, we chose to share a single web hosting plan, which brought us more features for a much lesser price than an individual web hosting plan per site.
Our choice, after some reflexion, has been Celeonet and its CeleoTurbo plan, for its interesting price/features ratio. At this time, it was a plan to host a maximum of 4 websites (domain names) with a total webspace of 200 MB and a maximum total traffic volume of 20 GB per month. Of course, it had PHP support with unlimited MySQL databases and FTP accounts. With this plan, we also had 100 e-mail accounts and 50 subdomains, as well as a weekly backup of our webspace (websites + databases), plus some other options.
Why am I using past here? Simply because Celeonet updates its web hosting plans on a regular basis, offering more storage space, more bandwidth or features without raising the price, it has to be noted!
And, as of today, quality and reliability are here: we did not experience any long service interruptions, server resources seem to be correctly managed, and, if a crash arises, the technical support staff has always been reactive.
I can fully recommend this web hosting provider, as we are currently fully satisfied by the service offered.
January 2004 -> May 2004: FranceOnLine
From January 27th, 2004 to May 2004, the website has been hosted by FranceOnLine. After a long comparison between the different web hosting providers I found, I finally gave a chance to this web hoster I never heard of before.
The price/features ratio looked very interesting, for €15 per year (all charges included), I had a webspace of 100 MB, PHP4 without limitations, a MySQL database without storage limits, a limit of 100.000 hits per day (with unlimited volume data transfers), detailed statistics, and unlimited subdomains, POP & SMTP accounts, redirections, mailing lists... I did not find anything more complete for a similar price.
Everything was okay at the beginning: the service quality was here, with a very efficient technical support through e-mail or forum...
I started to regret my choice, when, two or three months after I subscribed, a lot of users started to complain about service quality: long account opening delays (the homepage guaranteed 10 minutes, many people said they had to wait several days), page display slowdowns, and increasing server crashes... all of that facing a suddenly quiet technical support, not to say disrespectful according to some user testimonials...
This huge lack of communication led them to bankruptcy, as the website closed several months after, with all hosted websites becoming unavailable... Back then, this website was difficult to update, because of some technical limitations inherited from previous versions. Being unable to transfer it to another web hosting provider without substantial modifications, I left it offline between May 2004 and December 2004, until the release of the brand new redesigned fifth version, hosted by a new provider...
November 2001 -> January 2004: Free, French internet service provider
From November 27, 2001 to January 27, 2004, my websites have been hosted by Free, who was the only French internet service provider, back then, to offer free hosting space (without ads) of 100 MB.
However, although it was a quality service when hosting "static" (HTML), using dynamic technologies (PHP/MySQL) led me to many problems. Since December 2002, when I uploaded the first PHP version of the website, I had to face many issues: database server crashes, random slowdowns...
The service being offered for free, I felt unable to ask for the same service quality than with a paid web host provider. As a result, I had to choose, once again, a new web hosting provider.
December 2000 -> November 2001: MultiMania
From December 4th, 2000 (its creation date) to November 27th, 2001, this website has been hosted by MultiMania, known as Lycos afterwards.
The service having been stopped without any further information, I never knew why my website had been deleted. I only remember that this provider deleted many accounts like mine back then, and once again, without really knowing why.
Since December 2003: a .com address managed by BookMyName
Since December 2003: a .com address managed by BookMyName
On December 10th, 2003, I transfered my domain name to BookMyName, who still manages it today.
This website remains one of the only French registrars available on the market (look at the list on ICANN's website), and, despite the lack of challengers, the services are here: domain names with .com, .net or .org extensions (and more), Web and e-mail redirection service, ability to order and manage several domain names using a single user account...
Even better, you can access and modify most data from the WHOIS base, including data about the owner - the domain name being registered with your name. As a result, you are defined as being the registrant contact, but you can also define yourself as billing or technical contactt.
And, of course, you are free to associate your domain name with the web hosting service of your choice, by modifying yourself the associated DNS addresses. That way, you can change your web hosting provider without having to transfer your domain name to another registrar. Being fully satisfied by this service as of today, I can't do nothing else but recommend it to you.
June 2002 -> December 2003: a .com address managed by 1&1
The current domain name of this website, Arachnosoft.com, has been managed from June 20th, 2002 to December 10th, 2003 by 1&1 Sites Web.
This website can register international domain names (.com, .net or .org) and offers several web hosting plans at interesting prices.
Despite being satisfied with this service, I had to find a new provider when I wanted to link my domain name with an external web hosting plan; 1&1 acting as a simple domain name reseller, it doesn't allow you to change the DNS addresses associated with domain names, a necessary step to link an address with a web hosting server. However, I have to say than the domain name transfer procedure from a provider to another completed flawlessly.
May 2001 -> June 2002: an address in .fr.st offered by Ulimit
Since May 1st, 2001, the website is available from the Arachnosoft.fr.st address, offered by Ulimit.com. This website has been extremely popular in early 2000s, because it allowed many websites to be known under an easier-to-learn web address, by offering services similar to those offered with real domain names like .com or .net.
Using Ulimit, a webmaster can choose to create a "virtual" domain name (such as .fr.st or zik.mu) and forward any request from the "virtual" address to the "real" website address.
But, with the rising popularity of the website, Ulimit chose to force the insertion of an advertising toolbar on the webpages displayed using a viertual address, which led many webmasters to other domain name providers, either paid or free.
That's why this website owns, since 2002, its own .com domain name. The old address ending with .fr.st remains active and can still be used to access the website, as well as all e-mail addresses related to it, but I strongly advise you to use the .com address to avoid the overuse of ads.
INFORMATION ABOUT WEBSITE'S COMPATIBILITY
This website has been designed for a minimal screen resolution of 800x600 pixels. However, higher resolution is recommended for improved browsing comfort; you can choose to view the website's pages with an automatic size, so they can suit your screen's display resolution.
It has been tested and optimized for Internet Explorer version 5.5 and higher, but also for Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Safari; the web pages being W3C-compliant, you should also be able to browse them with other web browsers, such as Konqueror or Google Chrome.