Subject: Welcome to the Modem-Help Site Info + Diary
From: Alex Kemp
Date: Wednesday, 30 June 2004 13:59:23 +0100
To: All

Note before: This is an old “Diary Entry” from the Modem-Help site, re-jigged into the etmg format. The original site is now long gone.

This forum is used exclusively by the site Administrators to post snippets of info related to the site, to the Company and to the people that put it all together, as it happens. Because of this, the content can be a pot-pourri of anything and everything.

Added Dec 2006:
Only Modem-Help staff can post new topics; any registered member can reply to a post, and you are encouraged to do so, since we want to know what you think. Be polite, please!

Old diary entries may be viewed at (url no longer available).

Added 17 Feb 2016:
Above is the first post by me into the Site Info + Diary forum in the new database-driven section of the Modem-Help site.

Essentially, the fact that it appeared was triggered by my Mother’s death on 10 January 2003 (bottom of page), and the fact that it appeared was me reaching for life in the face of a tide of death that had started to wash over me at that time.

Modem-Help started on free pages as in January 1999. I was providing Technical Support for Freeserve (a UK ISP). Freeserve was immensely popular and many, many people had problems getting connected. It seemed that the biggest difficulty was down to V.90 modem drivers (V.90 was a dialup protocol which had been recently upgraded from the earlier V.34; effective drivers were almost non-existent; my own Motorola modem got them only in March 99). I was using the website as a storehouse for information that our customers needed.

The website became immensely popular. It was also therapy for me. I suffered a fibrillation episode on 23 February 1999 that almost killed me. I was off work for about 3 months and was therefore able to work full-time on something that I enjoyed.

In March 2000 I registered the domain-name + started a website hosted with UKLinux under that name (I'm uncertain as to the precise dates). The Freeserve site continued with little input now. By August 2001 the Modem-Help site was receiving 100,000s of page-impressions each month (1m in 3 months). It was probably all bots & scrapers, but I was very impressed.

In May 2000 a banner for (a Domain names provider) was added to the site pages. After some months I realised that they had received more than 4 million page-views yet had paid me nothing. That sort of thing was to become a common refrain.

UKLinux made 20MB of webspace available (Altervista provides 30GB in 2016) + MySQL + PHP. In August 2001 I decided to learn to use PHP + MySQL by building a DB-driven website.

In January 2002 I had a premonition of my mother’s death, and a year later to the day she died. I was executor to her estate & it took a number of months to get it all sorted out. Then, sometime in May 2003 (if I recall correctly) I had gone to the back of the Mastercare building to have a smoke and, as I leant back against the concrete whilst rolling my cigarette, I realised that for the very first time in a very long time I had a small lump of money in the bank and zero responsibilities that could claim it. I also realised that this was probably my last opportunity to have a chance of building a business (I was 53). In that 5 minutes I decided my life for the next 12 years or so.

Shortly afterwards I handed in my notice at work & ordered a server from UKLinux. That last decision was a big mistake. Lance Davis & his partner Brian Teeman were not people that I could trust to deal decently with me (it was a horror story from start to finish).

A man called Jason Clifford wrote his own Linux distribution based on Debian, and called it “UKLinux”. My instinct said that Jason could be trusted; I liked his attitude. Unfortunately, Jason was not a director of Definite Software, but an employee. Definite Software took over Jason's distribution and, indeed, gave their site it's name. Jason was also taken on to give much-needed technical support. It was Jason and his open-attitude that caused me to use UKLinux as my host. Unfortunately, by the time that I decided to purchase an Internet server, Jason was no longer working there.

These many years later, it is clear that Brian Guy Joseph Teeman is using European data protection law to remove his name from any connection with UKLinux (or whatever - since I cannot see it I do not know what he is trying to hide), but I do know that the man is a complete prat. However, that will have to wait until my next post. In the meantime, it seems that UKLinux may have become defunct in 2010.

Alex Kemp