A Victim Again

24 Aug 2004

I could swear this website is being dogged by a curse. I change hosts, but it finds me again. This is the third time.

Some time during the week I was in Hubei it began. At the time I thought it was just a Hubei thing, but I was wrong. Within China, it is now very dificult to access Sinosplice. The blog will usually load, but very slowly and sometimes incompletely. Getting into my webmail is difficult. If I can get in at all, I can expect to wait 1-2 minutes for an e-mail to open. Fortunately, POP access still works, although it’s way slower and much less reliable than it used to be. Movable Type is also being very difficult. I’m hoping to get this post online in this precious moment of connectivity. What’s most maddening, probably, is that MT Blacklist won’t work anymore. When I click on “DeSpam” the browser starts loading and never finishes. My comments are getting clogged with spam, and I’m powerless to stop it.

I’m not sure what to do. Changing hosts again isn’t really an option this time; there’s now no refund for unused service. Should I pay for a good proxy? I hate to have to do that, and I really want my site accessible in China.

Man, this is driving me crazy. I hate being a censorship casualty. Again. And again.

I’d appreciate any suggestions regarding hosting, MT, MT Blacklist, or reliable proxies. You should probably e-mail me. I’ll probably get it.

Also, I’d appreciate it if people in China could tell me if they’ve been having trouble accessing my site (along with their location).

I’m hanging in here.

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. chengdude Says: August 25, 2004 at 12:10 am

    No problems in Chengdu…popped right up.

  2. nathaniel Says: August 25, 2004 at 12:23 am

    OK here in Xiamen

  3. Anonymous Says: August 25, 2004 at 1:38 am

    No problem in Beijing. Very easy to access.

  4. I definitely think it’s a Shanghai based situation. I can recall that previous issues were experienced only in your locale as a few ZUCC teachers chimed in that they had no issues. Good luck, John.

    P.S. Which comments are getting spammed? It doesn’t seem like your front page gets spammed.

  5. In Changchun on my new DSL connection your site is slower than it was at ZUCC, but still accessible (especially in off-peak times). I doubt it’s censorship (your site just woulnd’t be accessible at all), it’s just a bad connection. There’s not much you can do about that, though. Some unblocked sites are just really slow.

    Hope things get better for you soon.

  6. In Shanghai on a trip; fine here.

  7. Very difficult to load in Guangxi – Nannning… HAve been reading your site for more than a year with no problems…

    But yeah.. there are huge problems accessing it now,,

  8. No problems for me in Beijing, either.

  9. It’s much slower than before, i mean when you first switched to this host. Different parts on a page come one after another, from left to right, up to down, and it takes a while to have the whole page.

    Rainbow in Jiaxing (in the middle of Hangzhou & Shanghai)

  10. John B,

    I don’t think the problem is China directly censoring my site. But it makes no sense that my site should be slower in Shanghai than elsewhere. This is the technological center of China!

    I think China is monitoring/filtering what comes in from abroad more heavily in Shanghai, and my site’s slowdown is a byproduct. Maybe if I changed ISPs? Hmmm…

  11. I actually have similar problems, but the other way round. I have problems accessing some China-based personal / group sites. This includes Leylop’s blog. It just takes ages to load and often I don’t get anything, not even an error page. Makes me wonder what’s going on in the servers in Shanghai.

    Perhaps you should turned off the comment function on MT and switch back to Halloscan instead?

  12. in chengdu and it loaded just fine. i’ll be in dalian on the weekend, will letyou know how it loads up there later…good luck!

  13. No problems through Unicom’s Beijing network.

  14. No problem at all here in Shenzhen

  15. Thanks, everyone, for the reports. I guess this makes it pretty definite that it’s a Shanghai network problem. The question is: is it specific to my ISP, or is it a problem that I’m going to have anywhere in Shanghai? I need more info before I can take steps to solve the problem…

  16. Strangely enough I find that it is much faster when I use a dial-up instead of the broadband and that is on the same computer in the same location.

    Hangzhou

  17. It loads up a little slow in Xi’an.

  18. Is it by any chance an infrastructural problem? Perhaps the servers or other bits and pieces in Shanghai and the few other places which are slow aren’t quite up to the task. My past experience of dial-ups in various parts of Beijing is that you get different speeds in different places, sometimes just going around the corner slows things down a lot. Although the slowest connection I’ve ever had was in Taiyuan, and the second slowest in Changsha. It was slow in Changsha because every computer in the whole school campus went through the same school server. It makes me wonder if different areas have more modern infrastructure, or something like that.

    I’ve also had problems with certain ISPs slowing things down or blocking them, when other ISPs work just fine.

    Just a couple of vague possibilities. It’s not always the Evil Cybernanny.

  19. Try going to web cafes in Shanghai, seeing if your site is still very slow, and if not finding out what company they get their internet connection through.

  20. Mei wenti here in Shenyang

  21. Chris,

    Good point. The connection is just as slow for me at work as it is for me at home. I don’t think the ISP is the same, but I should look into that. Most people around here don’t know anything about that, though; I need to find someone who knows.

    I might try some internet cafes in Shanghai, but in Hubei I went to all sorts of internet cafes and the connection was always just as slow. I sort of assumed it was because Hubei’s connection comes through Shanghai.

  22. John,

    Since we both use the same ISP, I can tell you that they have been having problems lately. There was a big storm in Florida where the data center is and everything has been a bit strange since then.

    However, I can reach your site fine (from Los Angeles) now, but sometimes even my site comes up slower than a dog with 2 legs.

    Have a happy,

    John

  23. I have no problems accessing your site from here in Haimen, Jiangsu (across the river from Shanghai), though I have problems with both site and other sites that apparently every and their brother in China can access (including Livejournal, which hurts the most).

  24. I’m in Huanshan village (an internet bar) and both your site and mine (which as you know are both on the same host) load freakishly slow..

    I’m not sure if it’s just this net cafe or anything though, but other sites and blogs seem to load pretty quickly.

    anyone kind enough to tell me how badly am I affected in Shanghai or anywhere else?

  25. Long wait in Xian. Strange.

  26. Hi John, your site is fine here in Dalian. No problems. But I had some difficulty accessing it a few months ago.
    I think your site is a shining example of commitment to the EFL industry in China. I’ll keep visiting it for more nuggets on living in China.

    JS in Dalian

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