Welcome to the Autobahn Access Users Group

Updated: Jan. 16/2012

Well, if you've been wondering why you now get a broken link to web sites that had been hosted on the Autobahn Access member's server this site will fill you in on why.

Autobahn Access E-mail addresses

As of sometime today (Jan. 16/2012) the MX records for autobahn.mb.ca have been repointed at prairie.ca following through on what Les over at les.net had said in an E-mail to me earlier today.

The "black hole" period between when the old server was turned off and when the MX records had been repointed was only about a day. Test E-mails sent to my Autobahn address from both Hotmail and Easymail are currently arriving promptly at prairie.ca For the record test E-mails sent from Easymail during the "black hole" period did arrive today after the MX records were updated while the test sent from Hotmail during that period bounced. Apparently Easymail doesn't give up attempting as fast as Hotmail does.

It still would have been nice if the old server had stayed on at least until the MX records were changed avoiding the "blackhole period". -_-

So for those of us that signed up at prairie.ca this half of out legacy services are now functioning.

If you are an Autobahn user that has not yet signed up at prairie.ca, they do offer the option of an E-mail box only service for those that don't need their dial up. ($60./Yr. plus taxes) They said they don't offer forwarding because they've had support issues with it in the past with it being harder to troubleshoot. A stand alone E-mail box is available though.

There remains a concern I have about the E-mail service in the longer term though. In a contact with My Net Mojo they wrote:

>I have been informed that prairie.ca has offered to host email address for 
>convince sake for autobahn users who are still using that email account... 
>we will point mx records to their email servers for now. We cannot guarantee 
>how long that this service will continue for, thus users should find a 
>permanent solution for their email needs.
I am unclear on why they can't guarantee this for as long as they own the domain name. In my response I begged them to keep the MX record pointed for as long as they own the domain name. With other ISPs that prairie.ca had bought out in their entirity and got the domain name (sorry I don't remember the names of those legacy ISPs off the top of my head) they are still keeping the old E-mail addresses of any customers they assumed in those take overs active to this day. So the ball is entirely in My Net Mojo's court on this one as they own the domain name and as indicated below plan to keep it.

Hopefully everyone was able to get their E-mail off the old server in time.

Idealy the best long term solution is to have your own domain name to eliminate further provider dependancy for your E-mail/web presence, you can then change where that E-mail is forwarded to and where those web URLs point on the fly. Of course this doesn't really do anything about already established web links or E-mails people have for you where their may not be a mechanism to get the new information out everywhere that has old information. (Web sites that link to you and haven't been maintained in years./People that might have an E-mail on a piece of paper they dig up years from now.) I knew not to establish any more of these dependancies when I signed up for Shaw in 1999 but did not know this when I signed up at Autobahn in 1997. Also in 1997 getting your own domain name was more expensive because Network Solutions had a monopoly on .com and the .ca rules were much more convoluted in those days prior to CIRA. (moonie.winnipeg.mb.ca would have been a bit clunky, though I suppose it's better than ima.dildo.nf.ca, yes there really is a town by that name in Newfoundland, no I don't think anyone ever had that domain name, it's just an example of what someone named Ima in an inconvienient location could have ended up with. ^_-)

Since we were lured into being dependant on these provider domain dependant services in the early years by them being included in the dial up packages we were buying anyways, their continued operation now remains important even if the dial up access they were packaged with is easily replacable. ISP domain names that date back to that era are in terms of their impact as important as area codes or NNXs are to the Public Switched Telephone System.

The future of the autobahn.mb.ca domain name

I had gotten a reply from the original owners of Autobahn Access and it is:
Sorry, we are keeping the domain...

MyNetMojo Hosting Solutions - http://MyNetMojo.ca 
PO Box 50037
Unit 17  2595 Main Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R2V 4W0 
This rules out anyone else (me/prairie.ca/whoever) buying it and providing a longer term solution to those reliant on Autobahn Access E-mail and web URLs.

The role of les.net

les.net has operated the dial up pool, E-mail server, and handled customer service for about the last 2 years of Autobahn Access's operation.

However the domain name, DNS servers and operation of the members.autobahn.mb.ca web server remained with the original owners who still operate My Net Mojo a web hosting service. This has complicated matters.

les.net had sent out the message informing members that the Autobahn Access dial up and E-mail would shut down effective Jan. 9/2012.

I do not at this time know the inside details of the arrangement between les.net and Autobahn Access Corporation (who continues to operate My Net Mojo).

As of Jan. 16/2012 Les has confirmed that he made the decision to shut down dialup/E-mail, though he did not elaborate on his reasons why. To his credit he did make arrangements with My Net Mojo and prairie.ca to at least establish our current E-mail arrangement and has said today (Jan. 16/2012):

I'll poke him about the URL forward stuff.
Which is about all he can do in that regard as Arif at My Net Mojo holds all the cards on anything dependent on the domain name and DNS.

Autobahn Access web URLs

Well the members.autobahn.mb.ca web server was already down before the Dec. 7/2011 E-mail about the shut down. I do not know how far before it shut down as I did not check frequently, I had always just assumed it would be up because my membership was paid up and the server should be online. The few times in the past when I had looked and it was offline it was usually back up by the next day.

The main web page of Autobahn Access is still online and has not yet had any changes to indicate that they have shut down dial up service. Not sure what's up with that?

As for a positive solution to fixing the broken links all over the web I got a sorta answer from Arif at My Net Mojo:

We may look into redirecting http://members.autobahn.mb.ca/~username to 
different URLs, however there would be monthly/annual costs associated with 
that service.
I have responded that I would be happy to buy that service for my web folder but I am currently waiting to find out when/if they actually do this and at what price. The use of the word may is not particularily reassuring. -_-

To address their responses to some of the other suggestions I had:

In regards to old web hosting under the autobahn.mb.ca domain, we will not be 
bringing up the server
So I'm a little unclear why they can't re-point the hostname at one of their other existing servers that handles multiple host/domain names for their various other hosting customers, configure it, and sell us web space in the appropriate folders. They seem happy to sell people hosting under new domain names, why not customers that they already have lock in on because they own the hostname that's in our old URLs? It can't be that hard to configure! -_-

nor can we allow those services to be hosted with other entities for legal reasons
I'm unclear what "legal reasons" would prevent them from renting out a singular host name under their domain since there are non-profit groups that offer hostnames under their domain name free such as these guys or companies who built their business specifically upon renting out hostnames such as Dyn DNS (who started out as a non-profit hobby group doing just that and latter made themselves into a business). It's clearly not illegal to rent out singular hostnames.

Hopefully they go ahead and offer redirecting http://members.autobahn.mb.ca/~username to different URLs as a service as soon as possible. (They should have had this ready to roll as soon as the original members server was taken offline though. -_-) It's the right thing to do and the profitable thing to do. I find it hard to fathom why someone wouldn't act when those 2 factors are in sync! ?_?

About me

My name is Glen A. Pearce, an Autobahn Access customer from Nov. 28/1997 (I still have the reciept ^_-) until it's final closure.

I was motivated to established this page because of my own web site on Autobahn (as well as wanting to still get E-mail from people that might only have my original one from 1997 ^_-)

Finding the new location of pages that moved!

If you've managed to get this far trying to hunt down a broken link that started with:

http://members.autobahn.mb.ca/~glenap/

You can find the correct re-director (or in a few cases legacy graphics that weren't included in the new site) by substituting that part of the URL with:

http://www.moonie.ca/autobahn/~glenap/

Below is a table of sites belonging to former Autobahn Access members with the old URL and the new URL to make them easier to find for anyone that makes it to this page. Please excuse the obvious bias of putting my own pages first. ^_- All pages other than my own were found by poking around Google for sites that links to still existed somewhere and I used the Internet Archive to see the old site and verify it was the same site. I seem to be the only one in this group that had a re-director up in my Autobahn space long enough for the Internet Archive to crawl and record it.

If you know of any other former Autobahn member web sites that should be added or even know where some of the ones I was not able to locate moved to drop me a note.

Old URL New URL
http://members.autobahn.mb.ca/~glenap/ http://www.moonie.ca/autobahn/~glenap/
http://members.autobahn.mb.ca/~curling/ http://www.atkinscurling.com/
http://members.autobahn.mb.ca/~rossco/ http://www.rowdiesrugby.mb.ca/
http://members.autobahn.mb.ca/~map/ http://mbplays.ca/
http://members.autobahn.mb.ca/~mdsa/home.html Unknown
http://members.autobahn.mb.ca/~ib781/home.htm http://bolerodancetheatre.ca/
http://members.autobahn.mb.ca/~gnrcw/ http://www.gnrcw.com/
http://members.autobahn.mb.ca/~het/ http://www.hetaylor.ca/
http://members.autobahn.mb.ca/~trainer/ Unknown
http://members.autobahn.mb.ca/~dcarrier/ Unknown
http://www.autobahn.mb.ca/~theclyde/scm/ http://scmcanada.org/manitoba
http://www.autobahn.mb.ca/~geopiper/ http://www.anaf283.com/

If you are a former Autobahn Access member

Drop me a note so I can add you to a mailing list (at a non-autobahn E-mail address since the future of those seems tenuous at the moment) should I find out anything else. Any messages sent out will be Bcc to keep your E-mail addresses private and I'll keep messages to what's nesseccary. I won't flood you or sell/give your E-mail to anyone without your permission.

If you had a web site previously in Autobahn Acess member space that moved to a new URL be sure to also let me know so I can add it to the links chart above.

Link here!

If you have a web site/blog/message board/etc please put a link to this page at http://www.moonie.ca/autobahn/ to maximize the chances of people finding it in search engines or otherwise. I'd like to show up as high as possible in the rankings for terms like "Autobahn Access", "Autobahn Access broken links", "member.autobahn.mb.ca" as possible to maximize the chances of people looking for broken links finding their way here to find any links I put up to old Autobahn Access members web sites.

Examples of companies that do it right running infrastucture

Some companies out there do look out for their customers. Below are 2 examples, both in the DNS bussiness.

First is Easy DNS whom I have been using for the registration and DNS on my domain names since Nov. 10/2000. A good example is the transition to their new user interface back on May 10/2010, they made a policy of no "flash cuts" so that users were able to change over when it suited them and not forcing anyone to change over any sooner. They still support the old interface to this day! Annother example is their no front running policy on their free Easy WHOIS service. You can be assured that if you look up a name on there for availability that they will not scoop it up ahead of you in the hopes of being able to scalp it. This has been a problem with other free WHOIS providers on the net. I recommend looking around their blog as they have a lot of usefull information for anyone who has or is considering getting their own domain name.

Annother example of good practices is Dyn DNS who had started out as a non-profit/donation funded undertaking giving people free hostnames under their various domains to point at their IP address or forward to a web URL. They have since converted to a for profit business. However everybody who had a hostname from before the conversion has it grandfathered to this day with no set expiry date! This definately shows they care about what they are doing and would be a good company to do bussiness with!

I could recommend either of these organizations if you are thinking of getting your own domain name. Getting your own domain name can help you avoid a repeat of the Autobahn debacle. Had I know in 1997 what I know now I may have still signed up with Autobahn (some companies disappeared or got swallowed up by other companies like MTS even sooner than Autobahn shut down, Pangea and Escape.ca come to mind) but I sure as heck would have gotten my own domain name set up in the first month of being on the internet and used it for everything off the bat so nobody would have had a bunch of web URLs or an E-mail address where I am now dependant on somebody else co-operating to have them function.

What I know so far

Contact

AIM (AOL Instant messanger): ve4gap
Note if you plan to contact me by AIM leave your AIM window open and your computer on and connected to the internet so you'll actually be reachable at whatever time I next get to the computer. ^_- I always leave it running so if you for some reason do see me offline either my internet is temporarily out or I'm installing software or replacing something on the computer and I'll be back.

AIM is usually the absolute _best_ way to communicate with me. If you don't have AIM you can download a current version from the AOL website or if you perfer an older less fancy version you can download version 5.0.2938 from me. A third option is to use Pidgin which is a universal chat client compatable with AIM amoungst others.

At this time I do not use MSN Messanger, nor do I have any immediate plans to. ^_-

E-mail: glenap@moonie.ca

Although I've confirmed that I'll be able to retain the old autobahn.mb.ca E-mail address for however long the original owners of the domain name co-operate with prarie.ca I still perfer that everyone who is aware of it use the moonie.ca address as I OWN moonie.ca so I can keep control of it for life. (Either my lifetime or CIRA's, whichever is first. ^_-)

No, I'm not a cult member, "moonie" refers to my fandom of a certain Japanese Animation series. ^_-

Snail Mail

Glen A. Pearce
P.O. Box 2225
Station Main
Winnipeg, MB
R3C 3R5
Canada