Don’t Be Square

In the first part of my story on Austrian entrepreneur Alex Mark, I wrote about meeting the owner and chef from Moussandra some 15 years or longer ago. He has since settled in Langkawi and we lost contact.

Fast forward to 2017. I started the hotel booking portal. In the early part of this year I was researching unique and strange hotels and I came across Das Park Hotel in Austria. It is a collection of five freestanding cylindrical rooms made from re purposed metropolitan drainage pipes. I was wondering how Malaysians will take to sleeping in sewer drain pipes or longkang as they call it.

Incidentally, I have been to Austria only once because me and Malaysian student friend, George, drove from Chur in Switzerland to Austria to look for beers after midnight. The guard at the small border post had not even heard of Malaysia. He and his German Shehperd dog examined our passports hard.

Found out that, by coincidence, Alex is operating a similar concept hotel on Langkawi Island, Malaysia, where he and family settled. First thing I asked Austrian Alex Mark is whether it is connected to Das Park in Austria and he said no. He said he liked the idea and decided to tubocharged it. He gave it a less cryptic name – Tubotel Langkawi, The keyword being tube. It is affordable compared to many other hotels and resorts on the holiday island and has a great view of the ocean. Each pipe is air conditioned, has a double bed, TV but with external shared bathrooms.

Book Tubotel Langkawi here and see more pics:

Pics from Tubotel website at Their slogan is Don’t Be Square!

#tubotel #langkawi #nalaysia #island #tubehotel #beach #mycenhotels

Saying Goodbye To A Relic From Web 1.0.

Today is a sad day for bloggers and webmasters, especially many from the era of Web 1.0 or from the year around 2000. Emily Lowe, Shirl Leong, Simp Lee, Mazlan Abdul Malik, Tengku Mohd Ali Bustaman and more.

It is a free counter and statistics tracker. It was fashionable to place a meter in your site to show the number of visitors. Many website were hosted on free hosts such as Geocities, Angelfire and Tripod. Users soon realise the free servers were shared and cannot provide server traffic logs to generate stats. Sitemeter did more than provide a odometer. It used a few lines of javascript planted on your website to measure and analyse web traffic very comprehensively and in a simple and easy to understand manner.

It outlived all those free hosts except Blogger. A few weeks ago, it announced it Will Be Permanently Retired on July 1st, 2017. It is still humming at the time of writing, maybe, because of timezones. You can imagine the load on their servers when one of the billions of pages loads and pings sitemeter’s servers. It changed its design a few years ago and there was massive rejection. It reverted and maybe that killed the owner’s spirits. Surprisingly there is little outcry or buzz this time as will be a monumental task replacing the codes to a new service provider.

I understand it is a one man show like me and I respect his decision to close down. I must thank him for tracking many of my blogs and websites in the last ten tears or longer. I appreciate and thank him for the service and know it is tough providing a free service. It will be tough finding a replacement . Looking at the final stats today for my main site, it tracked over 46 million unique visitors and nearby 94 million page views. In spite of missing data from long periods of unexplained outages and me changing hosts with long gaps of downtime, it was still an epic journey.

All good things must come to an end. Goodbye, Sitemeter.

If you used it, share with me your experience and let me know your replacement plans.