To Find Out Version of LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) Via the Command Line

I am running a LAMP server on Slicehost. I always have to look up how to determine the version of each component of the LAMP server I am running. I am using Ubuntu Linux 8.04.4 (Hardy). In my case, here are the command-line instructions I use. I hope this helps you too. Btw, the command "whereis" is very helpful in locating programs (i.e. whereis apache2). Linux

> more /etc/issue

or

> lsb_release -a

Apache 2

> /usr/sbin/apache2 -V

Note: Apache 2 doesn't have "httpd" anymore. It was changed to "apache2" instead.

MySQL

First log into your MySQL database from the command line, using something to the effect of:

> mysql -u username -p

Then:

mysql> select version();

PHP

> php -v

or

> php5 -v

Note: This assumes you have PHP 5 installed and that you have installed the Command Line Interface (CLI) to PHP via "sudo aptitude install php5-cli". Alternatively, you can find out the version of PHP via instruction "< ? phpinfo() ?>" within a .php file.

Announcing the Launch of Programming Classroom


So, I finally did it. My company Twin Roots has launched an actual product. Well, not a product exactly; more like a service. Along with my outside partner in crime, Rex Jaeschke, we planned a website where we are providing a service geared towards programmers.

Programming Classroom is the result of this effort.

Rex is well known throughout the programming community, especially in the standards world. He is also highly regarded for his live programming seminars where he teaches classes in C, C++, C# and more.

We thought it would be a great service to offer the seminars that Rex uses in his live classroom teachings to the general public in electronic format. These are the exact same materials from documentation to example source code. It is just that it is at a much lower cost than a classroom setting because it is self-paced learning. You will find seminars on C#, C++, Java, Visual Basic, and C. You will also find some freebies like sample chapters and tips.

So check out ProgrammingClassroom.com and let us know what you think. Needless to say, I am very excited while very nervous at the same time.


My Communications Infrastructure is led by Google Voice (with teammates the iPhone and Ooma)

In the last month I have completely revamped my communications infrastructure, hopefully for the better.

Here are the before and after pictures.

Before


After


Yep. I am using Google Voice as a hub for phone communications. My Google Voice number will be a primary number for people to contact me. Depending on the person calling, Google Voice will forward to my iPhone, my home phone, my spouse's mobile phone or any combination of the three. (With Google Voice, you can actually get so granular that you can forward to different numbers based on the person calling, have a different greeting for any person, and a different voicemail message for any person or group of people). And I can add or remove phones from the forwarding mechanism at my leisure because my Google Voice number will shield anyone who calls from the black box that is now my web of communication facilities.

Sure people will still call my iPhone directly. And I expect some people to do that as it is my primary line for business discussions, etc. But for a majority of people, calling the Google Voice number will be all that is needed.

And, as what I am seeing as a huge money saver, I have left Vonage (where I was paying $20-25/mo) and came to Ooma. I paid $199+tax at Costco for free U.S. calls for life. Ooma has premium services that you can pay for, but at this point, since I have Google Voice, I don't see the need just yet. (Note: I had no real negative issues with Vonage. The service was actually very good for the time I had it. But, you can't blame someone for trying to save some money).

What if Ooma goes out of business? Well, that's the beauty of Google Voice. I can remove Ooma and add something else to the infrastructure and no one would be the wiser. People know the Google Voice number and don't really care how (and with what device) I answer the phone on the other side. I am actually considering adding a Skype phone number to my account to see if I can forward numbers to the Skype number for the times I am away from my home and online.

Here are my assumptions about using Google Voice as a communications hub:

  1. Google is not going out of business anytime soon. Thus, my Google Voice number can be my number for life.
  2. Google Voice will continue to be free (or ad supported), or some reasonable charge if it comes to that.
  3. Google Voice will keep my privacy just as well as the government does with respect to my phone calls ;-)

We'll see how this all plays out; but right now I feel excited with my new setup.

Google Voice is in beta right now, but you can sign up for an invitation and these invitations are going out daily.


Save 35% on an Apple iPhone Using Microsoft Bing??

[Note: This deal could stop working at anytime. But it was working as of June 10, 2009 2:50 PM]

Well, I would say this is quasi ironic.

Check out the results of the top of this link: http://www.bing.com/search?q=att

Notice how it has a "Bing Cashback" logo at the very top result which is the AT&T Official Wireless Site.

So apparently, if you use Microsoft Bing to buy a phone at AT&T, including the Apple iPhone 3GS, you will get 35% off your purchase!

Microsoft and Apple are "partners" here. Like I said, quasi-ironic.

There is a noted stipulation that this is for new subscribers; that could be true, but I can't verify it.

Check out these links for more info on this:

FatWallet Forums
MacRumors Forums

And as always, your mileage may vary (YMMV) :-)


Installing LAMP and Wordpress on Slicehost (or elsewhere) Redux

[Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any mishaps that may occur by following these steps or advice because you follow them out of your own free will.] — I figure I better put that up-front, again.
:)

My original post on installing a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) server with Wordpress seems to have helped at least a few people.

I have since come up with a few more random, but I think helpful, tidbits since writing that post. I will list them here.

Basic Commands

'ls -alR' for a recursive look at all owners and groups, etc.

Transferring your Blog to Wordpress.org

If you are importing your blog from somewhere else and the upload doesn't seem to be working (e.g., when you click the "Import" button you see no screen changes and/or you the browser is just "spinning"):

  • create uploads directory in wp-content
  • you may have to set wp-content to chmod 777 permissions for import
    - first try 755 on uploads. If it doesn't work, then
    - then try 777 on uploads. If it doesn't work, then
    - then try 777 on wp-content
  • revert everything back to 755, or what you had it before

If you are moving from wordpress.com to wordpress.org and you need your blogroll, you need to export this separately (it is not included as part of the normal export from wordpress.com). You go to http://your-wordpressDOTcom-domain.com/wp-links-opml.php and save the XML you see and then import via the blogroll/import capability (or you can just enter the link to the opml I mentioned before right in the blogroll import). Note the export only seems to work in Firefox and IE. Safari gave me a blank page.

SSL

If you want SSL for Apache - sudo a2enmod SSL (see article)

If you want SSL for your Wordpress administration areas, enable SSL for wp-admin (See documentation)

For SSL resolution -- if you are only using SSL on one site and you have other sites, see this forum post.

Final Setup Steps for Wordpress

Make sure www-data has write access to the following --- Do a 'chmod -R g+w' on wp-content/themes,wp-content/uploads

For final permissions:

  • find public -type d | xargs chmod 0755
  • find public -type f | xargs chmod 0644 (files)
  • find public -type d | xargs chown username:www-data
  • find public -type f | xargs chown username:www-data

If testing your wordpress.org somewhere besides the live domain, make sure to remember this article before going live.

If you find images to be funky after going live -- like still pointing to your old domain or testbed site, you can manually do a search and replace in the database or use a plug in from here.

If file types should be working that aren't working (xsl, html), maybe add to the sites-available vhost the allowed file types for the certain directory in question. For example, I added xsl because of Google Sitemaps and wanting to view my sitemaps in the browser.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics code goes above the tag in the footer file of your Wordpress theme (see article)

WP Super Cache

If you are looking for a plugin that might speed up your blog by serving static, cached HTML instead of processing PHP constantly, then look to WP Super Cache. If you set up your LAMP server with Worpdress like I explained in my original post, then instead of using .htaccess, you will be putting any rules in the vhost -- especially in steps 7 and 8 in the installation instructions.

Exim

Maybe replace exim with an external smtp server.

'sudo /usr/sbin/exim4' to get access to exim commands (like seeing message queue -- exim4 -bp)

If exim4 is not working for Google Apps for some reason, check this out.


Why Backblaze Is My Choice For Online Backup Provider

I chose Backblaze as my online backup service provider for one year (possibly, longer).

It was actually a tough choice. I was weighing many options. Do I just go with the well-known leaders (by customer base), such as Mozy or Carbonite? Do I go with a provider that offers me a finite quantity of backup space per subscription, but allows me to backup unlimited computers, such as SpiderOak?

Obviously, the answers to these questions were "No"; so here is why I went with Backblaze:

  • Good communication -- Backblaze communicated with me via Twitter and answered my pre-sales questions via email. SpiderOak was also very good in its email communication with me. Carbonite, iDrive, Mozy, Safecopy also communicated with me satisfactorily as well.
  • Let me into the Mac beta trial -- While very late into the party (they publicly released for the Mac a week later), Backblaze gave me an invitation to try their Mac service before it went public.
  • Ease of Use / Function Offering Ratio Balance -- It was very easy to set up the client on my MacBook Pro and get to backing up. An icon sits in my menu bar and allows me quick access to see what and how much is being backed up. But just because it is easy to use, doesn't mean they skimped on the functionality. I can throttle my backup bandwidth; choose file types and folders to exclude; set my own encryption key; and set basic scheduling options.
  • Price -- My choice came down to BackBlaze and SpiderOak. At retail, SpiderOak would have cost me $100/yr. Backblaze $50/yr. Like many people, I am doing my best to try to conserve some money, make appropriate purchase decisions. And while I really believe SpiderOak is a player in this space, a lot of my decision, maybe sadly, was based upon cost. Backblaze is a legitimate player and the cost was right -- especially after the 10% Chris Pirillo discount, which sealed the deal for me. (To be fair, you can find 10% discounts for SpiderOak and there are even some 20% discounts out there if you are resourceful)
  • Allows me to backup external drives -- As I write this, I am backing up content on an external firewire drive connected to my MacBook Pro. This drive is partitioned 3 ways, holding my Time Machine backups, SuperDuper backups and data that I just didn't want taking up space on my primary 120GB MacBook Pro drive (e.g., videos). Backblaze does not allow you to backup your Time Machine data (seems reasonable), but I am backing up about 42 GB of data. I am 7GB into that process, which, probably expectedly, is taking just a tad longer than the primary hard drive.
  • Backup speed -- The throttling mechanism is very useful and seems to work. With various degrees of throttling used in the 8 days, average 12 hours/day time it took me to backup 42.5 GB of data on my MacBook Pro, I average about 0.45 GB (450 MB) per hour. That seems pretty good to me.
  • Restore -- I tested restore just a little bit. Seemed straightforward and easy. You log into the website. Enter your private encryption key if you decided to use it. Choose what directories/files you want. Then click Restore. An email comes to you really quickly saying a zip file with all the files you chose is ready to be downloaded. If you need a bunch of your stuff urgently, and can't wait for download, you can also order, at extra cost, an overnight shipped DVD or USB drive of your data (see below why this could be an issue, though).

All that said, I do not believe Backblaze is perfect. Here are some items I think need improvement:

  • Multiple Computer Support -- Backblaze would be near perfect if it allowed multiple computer support on one subscription a la SpiderOak and others. While 95% of my time is spent on my MacBook Pro (because I can run both OS X and Windows), I do have another HP laptop. It would be nice if I could just add that computer to current subscription. But, while I can add the HP to my current Backblaze account, I would have to pay another $50/yr. So instead, if I want to backup items from that machine, I use an intermediary like DropBox or SpiderOak (which both offers 2GB of space free) and then access those items from my MacBook Pro to be backed up on BackBlaze.
  • Unencrypted Data on Their Media Restore -- Sort of a good cop, bad cop here. It is actually very cool that Backblaze offers the option to get your data on hard media, overnight. But the problem is that your data comes to you *unencrypted*. Me, I would be a little bit apprehensive of FedEx having a drive that has all my data readily accessible. I believe BackBlaze is working on a solution to alleviate this issue, but nothing has been announced publicly. That said, most providers don't offer this capability anyway, so it is a nice-to-have feature. And most people restore their data through download anyway.

So in summary, I believe Backblaze, while imperfect and a relatively new service (especially on the Mac support front) provides a great service. It offers great functionality at a very good price. And I have seen no major issues with the service thus far. And, they seem willing to communicate with you if needed. I have signed up for a year commitment. SpiderOak was a very close second, and, in the end, primarily came down to financials as to why I chose Backblaze over them. I think they are pretty even on all other aspects as for what I require in an online backup provider.

Now I just hope that I am a paid user and they have lured me in, they still won't mind the occasional Tweet every now and then :)


MacBook Pro Battery Health Waning Quickly - But Why?

I usually leave my MacBook Pro sitting on my desk connected to a power adapter. Since I had the battery replaced back in October 2008, my guess is that I may have cycled through a power charge at the most 10-15 times.

However, this past week I had my MacBook Pro out and about around the house way more than usual. I would use the computer on battery a bit, then recharge it when I was done. Stuff like that. But, most of the time, even this week, I would still use the MacBook Pro connected to a power adapter.

So, yesterday (4 April 2009), I used iStatPro (highly recommended widget) to check the health of my battery. It was at around 96% after about 20 cycles. I didn't think this was too bad. Before I went to bed, I noticed my batter was down to about 35% as I had been using it untethered to my power adapter. So I shutdown the computer, plug it into the power adapter and then went to bed.

This morning (5 April 2009) I woke up to the strangest thing. I noticed the light to my power adapter was *off*. No green light to mean the battery was charged. No red (or is it orange?) light to mean that the battery was charging. Nothing. So I removed the adapter from the MacBook Pro and plugged it back in; then the light went on as to indicate it was charging.

When I booted the computer up, I noticed the battery still had only 35% charge. What the heck? I had it plugged in all night. So I brought up iStatPro again, and here is what I found :-( (except replace the 100% with a 35% because I just took this snapshot right now)


69% health after only 21 cycles!!!!! No way that is normal.

Then I opened up System Profiler and found corroborating evidence.


I tried resetting the SMC, but that didn't help.

So what is going on here? I must be doing something wrong, right?

Will calibrating the battery help me or am I just screwed and going to have to bring the battery back to the Apple Store again for replacement?


OnLive - Intel, AMD, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo Had Better Be On High Alert

I was listening to Windows Weekly the other day, and the topic of OnLive came up. Maybe I live under a rock, but I had never heard of OnLive. Well, I have now. And if their vision comes to fruition, there better be some companies that better get in gear or start to s#%t in their pants.

OnLive, in a nutshell, is a "cloud" video game service. In other words, all video games live on their servers and you subscribe to the ones that you want to play. But you don't download the games to your machine and play them locally. You play them on *their* servers, and they push content back and forth to you through your web browser via your broadband connection. In other words, your computer now becomes a glorified dumb internet terminal that receives the images of the actions you perform in the video game; the OnLive servers do all of the heavy lifting of graphics processing.

So, the theory is that you can have a NetBook or an old Centrino laptop and you can play Crysis!! Crysis on a NetBook?!? I don't effing believe it. But that is their vision, and with the way the video game companies are signing up in droves to be a part of this service (can you say EA?), this vision may actually have legs.

And if it has legs, oh my, how that changes things for companies like:

Intel, AMD: Video games are the most processor intensive applications in the world. If OnLive is successful, that opens the flood gates for more processor-intensive subscription-type markets. People can buy less powerful machines, but still get top quality functionality. That could eat heavily into the Intel and AMD profit margins -- although, Intel and AMD should hope that OnLive buys their processors for the OnLive servers.

Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo: Well, this is simple. The video game console becomes obsolete. As Paul Thurrott alluded to in Windows Weekly - 'Microsoft just wasted $5 billion in their XBox investment'

Now, of course, broadband would need to be plentiful. Quality of Service would need to be guaranteed. As they alluded in the Windows Weekly show - hey, Comcast, are you listening? And, there are other hurdles to overcome. They were talking about Amazon buying this service being a good play. I am not 100% convinced right now of that being a smart move; but if this does what I think it might do, then yes, any company should buy OnLive if they had the resources.

This is definitely something I will be keeping tabs on because this could be a "game changer" (pun absolutely intended). And I don't say that often.


Choosing an Online Backup Service - Revisited

[Update 3: After tweeting Backblaze about me not being able to use their service because of no Mac support -- I get a reply inviting me to their private beta. Thanks Backblaze! But now my decision is that much harder :-)]

[Update 2: I just realized that Backblaze does not currently have a publicly available Mac version. That rules them out, for now]

[Update: I have received two more candidate possibilities from Twitter of all places. ScottBourne of Mac fame recommended BackJack which looks interesting, but maybe a bit overkill for me. SpiderOak_Inc must have seen my posts and recommended SpiderOak, and, while I was wary and had never heard of them, their service is quite compelling, especially the zero knowledge policy. And here I thought I had almost made my decision].

Back in December, I wrote about my desire to choose an online backup service. Since then, I am still without a true service (I am doing some hodgepodge things right now to give me some semblance of offsite backup; but nothing very formal).

The desire to choose one is still there; and for whatever reason, I really wanting to choose one like right now.

I have narrowed my choices down to 4:

  • Carbonite (they finally have a Mac client; plus I can support Leo Laporte and TWiT since Carbonite sponsors Leo's awesome and free podcasts)
  • Backblaze (they are less known, but get great reviews; plus their front page "ad" is kinda cool :-) ---- Mac version currently closed to public, but I have beta invite)
  • SafeCopy (I believe they are quite new, but people have given them thumbs up; but are they too new??)
  • DropBox (There free service is actually quite compelling; I use it....but I think they are the costliest of the bunch here when it comes to getting more storage)

[Mozy -- you are out because you still cannot handle encrypted files from what I understand -- prove me wrong!]

Let me give you my current thought process:

Use the free version of DropBox to share files between my Windows laptop and my MacBook Pro, and then use Carbonite to backup offsite. I would need DropBox because Carbonite and many others only allow you to register one computer for backup, so I would use DropBox to move files I want backed up from my Windows computer over to the Mac (which will be my primary, registered computer). But, something like a SafeCopy would allow me to have unlimited computers registered because their pricing is based on storage.

So help me out. I would appreciate it. I would especially appreciate any representatives from the above companies coming by and selling me on their service.

Thanks!


Choosing a Windows Web Host Is Difficult - It's A Jungle Out There

UPDATE: I added 2 more hosts to my short list

A friend of mine is looking for a host for his website. His website is old school, with a bit of original ASP and, now, SQL Server 2005 (it was....gasp....SQL 7 until I converted it).

Anyway, his requirements are light. Not a lot of traffic. Not a lot of size needs (e.g., the database is < 100 MB). But given there is a data need for inventory management and entry, I need to be diligent on helping him choosing the proper host.

I think for my friend, a shared host will work just fine. Other than the possible security benefits and control, I cannot justify the cost of going VPS (and certainly not dedicated).

But it is a jungle out there trying to choose the best web host. Trust me, I had a lot of heartache choosing my current host.

How do you know which one to choose? Reputation is actually my number one factor, even over cost (well, to be fair, I know when the cost is outrageous). The problem comes when there are multiple companies with good reputations. Then how do you pick?

Here is my short list of possible hosts:

I actually have put one of those ahead of the other 5, and am planning to try them out. I won't say yet who that is because I want to give them a whirl first.

But, I would appreciate any recommendations from you on who to choose or avoid, especially from my list above. Anecdotal evidence would be most welcomed. First hand accounts are the best aides to decision making.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance


The 100 Oldest Internet Domain Names -- Microsoft Not Included

I found this piece on the 100 oldest internet domain names very interesting. Symbolics.com is the oldest (Who?? ;-) )

You will see companies like Intel, AMD, AT&T, HP, Adobe on this list, but one company that was surprisingly missing was Microsoft. I would have figured that they would have been one of the first domain names. Back in the late 80s Microsoft was still finding its roots and wasn't the success it is today; but still, it was interesting to see this omission. They didn't buy their domain until 1991.

Octopus.com is on the list, but not microsoft.com :-)

MacBook Pro Slot Drive Is Finicky - It was the CD-R Brand After All

UPDATE: It ended not being the brand necessarily. I used a CD drive cleaner and all seems fixed: http://joelmarcey.com/2009/01/05/macbook-pro-superdrive-burn-problems-update-fixed-with-laser-lens-cleaner/ This weekend I went to the Apple Store Genius Bar to see if they could find a resolution to my slot drive problems.

Well, it was the CD-R brand after all! I showed the Genius Bar representative my problems with my Sony (Brand A - I don't need to protect the innocent anymore) and my Memorex (Brand B) CD-Rs. She popped in a Staples brand CD-R (Yes, a Staples Brand!!!), and it burnt an iTunes playlist flawlessly.

Thus it seems the MacBook Pro slot drive is finicky; but better than having it sent in for repairs. ;-)

I am heading to Staples soon. :-)

Possibility of Bringing Down the Internet via a DNS Flaw and Security Hole

I read a wonderful article in Wired last night. I guess I was out of touch because I didn't even know this happened. Check out this quote from the article:

Kaminsky froze. This was far more serious than anything he could have imagined. It was the ultimate hack. He was looking at an error coded into the heart of the Internet's infrastructure. This was not a security hole in Windows or a software bug in a Cisco router. This would allow him to reassign any Web address, reroute anyone's email, take over banking sites, or simply scramble the entire global system. The question was: Should he try it?

The vulnerability gave him the power to transfer millions out of bank accounts worldwide. He lived in a barren one-bedroom apartment and owned almost nothing. He rented the bed he was lying on as well as the couch and table in the living room. The walls were bare. His refrigerator generally contained little more than a few forgotten slices of processed cheese and a couple of Rockstar energy drinks. Maybe it was time to upgrade his lifestyle.

Or, for the sheer geeky joy of it, he could reroute all of .com into his laptop, the digital equivalent of channeling the Mississippi into a bathtub. It was a moment hackers around the world dream of—a tool that could give them unimaginable power. But maybe it was best simply to close his laptop and forget it. He could pretend he hadn't just stumbled over a skeleton key to the Net. Life would certainly be less complicated. If he stole money, he'd risk prison. If he told the world, he'd be the messenger of doom, potentially triggering a collapse of Web-based commerce.

Can you imagine if he decided to actually go to the black market with this thing?!?! Unfathomable, really.

Luckily a patch was implemented, although not a foolproof one.

Though the Redmond group had agreed to act in concert, the patch—called the source port randomization solution—didn't satisfy everyone. It was only a short-term fix, turning what had been a 1-in-65,536 chance of success into a 1-in-4 billion shot.

Still, a hacker could use an automated system to flood a server with an endless stream of guesses. With a high-speed connection, a week of nonstop attacking would likely succeed. Observant network operators would see the spike in traffic and could easily block it. But, if overlooked, the attack could still work. The patch only papered over the fundamental flaw that Kaminsky had exposed.

I guess 1:4 billion is better than it was pre-patch ;-)

Google Chrome is "Officially" Released; and Gmail is still in Beta?

  imageimage

Well, talk about interesting. As seen in this article, Google has dropped the beta label from its web browser, called Chrome.

  Why do I find this interesting? Well, a product coming out of beta into release is actually kinda normal in software development. But, I have been using Gmail for over 4 years, and it is still in Beta!! I even wrote about this before.

  Something tells me that Gmail is a little more stable than Chrome at this point in time. Maybe I am wrong. Heck, though, there isn’t even a Mac version of Chrome yet! :-)

Go Daddy Discount Domain Club

I got an email from Go Daddy asking me if I wanted to join its discount domain club. I read the email trying to think if it is worth it and my initial impression is --- no, at least not for me. Here is the email:

Dear Joel Marcey,

How would you like an extra 15%, 30% or even 63% off new domains? Our Discount Domain Club is designed for customers like you who have multiple domains — and right now, you'll SAVE 20% on your membership, just $89.99/yr $71.99/yr! This offer expires December 24, 2008, so act today!

Your Discount Domain Club membership includes:

  • The best domain registration, transfer and renewal prices in the industry -- no minimum to buy ever!
  • FREE CashParking Premium (a $107 value)! Earn 80% of the revenue from ads placed on your parked domains.
  • FREE Go Daddy Auctions Membership! Take advantage of the Web's premier auction house, including 15% OFF premium listing fees.
  • Discounted Domain Buy Service! Let us help you negotiate a deal on the pre-owned domain you want and SAVE 33% off our standard rate.

  • Deep Domain Discounts! When we say the lowest-priced domains in the industry, we mean it. Here are just a few of the discounts you'll enjoy as a Discount Domain Club member:

  • .COM domains for 31% OFF — Just $7.29/yr*
  • .NET domains for 53% OFF — Just $5.99/yr*
  • .ORG domains for 51% OFF — Just $7.29/yr*
  • .US domains for 63% OFF — Just $7.29/yr
  • .INFO domains for 90% OFF — Just 99¢*
  • And MUCH MORE!

  • Don't pay full price for another domain! Join the Discount Domain Club now for just $89.99/yr $71.99/yr with your special 20% OFF discount. But hurry, this exclusive offer expires December 24, 2008, so sign up now!

    Thanks as always for being a Go Daddy customer.
    Sincerely,

    Bob Parsons
    CEO and Founder
    GoDaddy.com

    So, for $71.99, I get an automatic discount on domain names and some cash parking and auction stuff that I have yet to use and am not sure if I will.

    So let's just say, for simplicity, that I am paying $71.99 for 31% off of .COM domain names. I am sorry, but I just don't buy that many domain names -- and I can always use coupon codes when I do buy a domain name.

    Don't get me wrong, Go Daddy is a fine domain name registrar that I exclusively use, but I think something like Amazon Prime for free 2-day shipping is a better deal.