It may have taken me a full day but The Digital Reader is finally back online.
In a strange way I was one of the victims of Hurricane Sandy, though not quite in the way you might expect. My site went down early Tuesday because of a billing error, not the storm. According to my webhost, 1And1, I was in arrears in payment for my account. Why they could not have billed the valid credit card number they had on file, I do not know.
What I do know was that when I learned my site was returning a 404 error Tuesday morning, I contacted tech support and told that only the billing dept could disable the block. Unfortunately for me, these folks only work from 9 to 5, weekdays. What was even worse for me was that these folks worked in Westchester, PA, and thanks to Sandy they did not go in to the 0ffice on Tuesday.
And no, there was no one else who could have restored my account. It had to be the billings people. And no, they couldn't remote in from home and fix it. And no, it does not make any sense that a hosting company which is supposed to provide 24 hours a day support would create a point-failure source like this.
What, did they think the internet turned itself off after 5pm? (Thank goodness my issue didn't happen on a Friday before a 3-day weekend; I would have been screwed.) I do wonder if that is what they were thinking, but it doesn't matter because I am back on line.
Guess what? It turns out that if I kick and scream loud enough on Twitter and Facebook someone can actually remotely log in at 1am and fix the problem. That's something I will remember in the future.
P.S. And for the record, I am giving a negative recommendation concerning 1And1. They apparently think it is okay to create a situation where they cannot correct their own mistake for a day and a half. That is clearly not a good idea.