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Spook Central Soon To Lose Its Oldest URL

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Mar. 8, 2013 at 5:30 PM , Categories: Spook Central
In the late 1990s Spook Central moved around quite a bit from free webhost to free webhost. As a way to give the site some stability, and prevent my regular visitors from having the hassle of constantly updating their bookmarks, I signed up for a free URL Forwarding/Redirection service from CJB.net. Instead of wondering where the site is now, visitors could bookmark SpookCentral.cjb.net and always be taken to the site no matter where it technically was located.

Over the years there were many annoyances that came along with the CJB.net service, such as pop-up ads being forced upon my visitors, or an interstitial "waiting" screen before the redirect, but for the most part the service was good. It even allowed me to set up forwarding urls pointing to specific pages and files, such as spookcentral.cjb.net/website_archives_paul.htm.

Within the past year or two, the company who runs CJB.net started a new annoyance, but this one was for me alone. Every 90 days I would be required to log in to the site and "renew" my CJB.net subdomain name. Mind you, I've been a loyal user for OVER 13 YEARS, and thus shouldn't have to be bothered with this annoyance, but I was willing to do it in order to keep the spookcentral.cjb.net url active, especially since there are still a lot of old links out there pointing to it.

On March 1st I received the usual "Your CJB.NET account will expire in 30 days!" e-mail. In the past (such as with the last e-mail on December 1, 2012), I would click on the link provided in the e-mail, log in, and the url would be renewed for another 90 days. This time, however, when I clicked on the renew link in the e-mail, it took me to PayPal where I was asked to pay $19.99 for a one-year renewal!!!

In the 13+ years that I've been using the CJB.net *FREE* url forwarding service, not once was I ever asked to pay for the service. Up until a few years ago, I didn't even need to go through the annoying renewal procedure. I was never informed that the *FREE* url forwarding service would be discontinued in favor of a paid service. I don't even see a notice stating as such on the CJB.net website, though I also don't see the url forwarding service (free or paid) being offered anymore.

I e-mailed CJB management (cjb@cjb.net -and- cjb@cjbmanagement.com) a week ago, but have yet to hear back from them. Considering how hidden these e-mails were on their website, I probably won't hear back from them as they obviously don't want their users to ever contact them.

For what it's worth, it might be for the best that I'm losing the spookcentral.cjb.net url, as nearly every major site currently around blocks CJB.net urls. Facebook, Wikipedia, and Wikia are three examples off the top of my head; though it's blocked by many e-mail servers as well (including CJB's own e-mail spam filter!). If you came here through the spookcentral.cjb.net url, or you have it bookmarked, change your links or bookmarks to SpookCentral.tk ASAP as the spookcentral.cjb.net url will cease to exist come April 1st. Talk about an April Fools trick!

REST IN PEACE
http://spookcentral.cjb.net
Late 1990s - April 1, 2013
6 comments »

6 comments

Comment from: Greg [Visitor] Email
Thank you for posting this! I have been searching around, and can't find any other references to the fact that CJB is discontinuing the free URL redirection. I can't believe that they said *nothing* before dropping the free version and asking for $20! What's worse, they still haven't posted anything to their site.

And like you, I can't find any way to contact them. Their old URL for contacting them is no longer present (http://www.cjb.net/cgi-bin/contact.cgi?http://greg.cjb.net). I emailed an old support contact I had there (profit@cjb.net) and it bounced. I also tried, just guessing, support@cjb.net.

I have soo many email addresses based on my cjb.net mail forwarding that it will be painful to switch away. I haven't decided if I want my forwarding badly to pay yet...
Apr. 24, 2013 @ 06:03
Comment from: Crescenzo [Visitor] Email
Same thing here, I have a very old redirect with cjb.net which points to a discontinued personal webpage. I kept updating the thing every three months because it was free, but now I am giving up. I find it silly that no one fron cjb.net bothered to send even an email to inform us about the change. Also the fact that this is the only post talking about this problem avalaible on google search speaks a lot about the actual user base of cjb.net nowadadays. Thanks for posting, anyway!
Apr. 29, 2013 @ 05:20
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
Yeah, it *is* kinda odd, and really telling, how there isn't much about the CJB "closure" of the free service on the net. When I first got hit with this at the beginning of March, I searched around Google, and the only thing I could find was this one forum post from August of last year:

--------------------------------------------------
Subject: No More CJB Domain Name
Author: Kyo
Date: Aug 29 2012, 07:25 AM

This week, our CJB.NET domain name has expired (for reasons unknown). I noticed a few years back that new invisionfree forums were no longer compatible with CJB, but it didn't affect our forums because we signed up for it back during the stone ages :-)

However, all good things must come to an end. It looks like CJB is no longer providing this service, so we're back with our default URL of [...]

It's time for everyone to update your bookmarks if you haven't done so already already. In the meantime, feel free to suggest free url forwarding services and if they're any good, I might start using them again.

http://z3.invisionfree.com/Anime_Sekai/index.php?showtopic=6953
--------------------------------------------------

After re-reading it, I'm not entirely sure if it's about the free forwarding service itself, or the InvisionFree forum's support of CJB forwarding, or both.

A quick search right now also found me this forum post, but I think it's about CJB's defunct web hosting service, and not their forwarding service:

--------------------------------------------------
Subject: cjb.net redirect settings
Author: oldguy1956
Date: 09-Jun-2012, 06:31 PM

I recently got notice from cjb.net that the free web service is being discontinued. I have a new site, but don't know how to change the account settings to redirect. I am also unable to find out how to contact cjb.net to ask them. Any help at all would be appreciated.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Author: Elvandil
Date: 09-Jun-2012, 07:16 PM

Chances are you won't be able to redirect unless CJB decides to support it for a period of time since they own the domain name.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Author: oldguy1956
Date: 10-Jun-2012, 04:32 PM

They are still advertising free redirect, I just can't figure out how to get in touch with them. Seems they have circled the wagons and are making it difficult to contact.........

http://forums.techguy.org/web-design-development/1056458-cjb-net-redirect-settings.html
--------------------------------------------------

I guess CJB url redirection/forwarding is a dinosaur from the Web 1.0 days, the guys currently running the company know it, and felt that the cost of maintaining the service is no longer justified. Kinda like how Yahoo killed Geocities a few years back. The difference, of course, is that Yahoo made their plans well known in advance.
Apr. 29, 2013 @ 16:09
Comment from: Greg [Visitor]
Thanks for the updates! CJB has been around for forever. I guess we should be a little thankful it hasn't gone the way of Google Reader (just axed).

Well, I bit the bullet and paid them 20 bucks to keep all my random forwarding email addresses alive. My account instantly had a new expiration date 1 year further out. Let's cross our fingers that they don't just dump the service when they see that only a few people are willing to pay them...
May. 1, 2013 @ 03:20
Comment from: Greg [Visitor]
Just over a year later, they've decided to stop running the DNS and email redirect services. Here's the start of the email I got:

-------------------
Effective June 30, 2014, we will be discontinuing DNS and redirection services
for CJB.NET subdomains. If you would like to keep your CJB.NET address active
after this date, you must migrate it to a Tera-Byte hosting account as per the
instructions below before June 30, 2014. All CJB.NET subdomains that have not
migrated by June 30, 2014 will stop working and can not be reactivated.
-------------------

I decided to try out the Tera-Byte hosting. They are from Canada (and unexpectedly billed me in Canadian dollars). I got setup and working with my cjb.net subdomain pretty quickly. They still have blanket email redirection if you set up an alias called "catch-all". So, looks like I'll be able to pay to keep my email address around for awhile longer.
Jul. 9, 2014 @ 02:32
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
Thanks for keeping us updated, Greg.

It looks like the folks who own CJB.net are doing away with all of their CJB.net-related services. I went to their site now, and instead of the yellow page I saw last year advertising various paid services, there's now a blank blue page with two external links: "Domain Names" (points to cjbmanagement.com) and "Web Hosting" (points to tera-byte.com).

I suspect in a year or two there won't be a CJB.net anymore at all.
Jul. 9, 2014 @ 19:21

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Established August 1996
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In Loving Memory of Joel Richard Rudoff (July 28, 1944 - January 20, 2014)

In Loving Memory of Linda Joyce Rudoff (July 12, 1948 - November 29, 2015)

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