Over the past few days a lot of twitter updates flew by warning people of downtime on the side and services that could become unreliable or go offline.
Here’s the story on what’s causing them:
The hosting of our sites hur.lu and phixsoft.com/phoenxsoftware.com is in the hands of a Belgium firm. They recently updated their product line and upgraded to more modern servers. So we send them a mail asking if they could transfer our hosting to a new server with more capacity. About 3 months later (2 weeks ago) we got a mail back that they could transfer the site. We were informed by colleagues that this would only take a few hours. In the end it took 2 weeks and about 20 emails to get them to transfer everything. But that’s not all.
All passwords and logins of our databases, the place where we keep our hur.lu links and your iPhix Cloud images, were all changed. So we had to change the service to use the new passwords a few hours ago. After those changes hur.lu worked again, but we noticed the hur.lu dependent iPhix Cloud upload service didn’t work at all. We believe they didn’t activate certain features we demanded that iPhix Cloud needs to store your images to a remote cloud server.
Another issue is that anything uploaded or changed after 04/25 has gone lost because they used a backup dating from 04/19 and we luckily made another backup of the old site a few days ago and manually restored some of the data.
This is all a horrible mess which also caused a 2 week delay in the release of iPhix 1.1, and we’d like to apologize for all possible damage that has been done and for the downtime of all services. All we can do is wait and hope that our web host will fix the issues. We hope to get iPhix Cloud back online by tomorrow.
Today we proudly announce our first web service, hur.lu (Hurl u). hur.lu is an URL Shortener that puts the focus on ease of use, simplicity and to some degree design. For people who don’t know what URL Shorteners are, it are small webservices that allow you to create a short URL for all your long URL’s and links to post them to eg. twitter where only 140 characters are allowed. But the short URL service can also be used as a small analytics service to check the amount of hits your link gets.
The hur.lu service was started last week on the 12th of March and in those 7 days we transformed a short URL we acquired into an almost fully functioning URL Shortener. The current set of features includes the basic URL shortener, an info bar with a most popular link and a last added links section, and a small but functional PHP API which allows most web apps and client apps to easily integrate the URL Shortening service. Within the next few says the amount of code examples for the API will be expanded and the support will be increased with eventually a “developers”-page, a bookmarklet to easily hurl links from within your browser, an info page and a simple section to retrieve data and statistics about a certain short-url like eg. amount of hits, visitor return rate, rank, date added, description and channel (web/API/app).
The service isn’t quite stable yet and hence has a beta tag, but it provides shorter URL’s than most services which on average means two extra characters you can use to tweet and it’s faster than most other services. You can find hur.lu at http://hur.lu/ of course.
As you all know, the development of 36-image converter is almost at end with the Beta coming at the beginning of November. But that’s not the only thing that’s coming. We have started development for 36-image converter 5.0, which comes with a new engine, a new interface and a completely new set of features.
We are also going to renew all our iPhone apps. GrayPhix, FlashPhix and MonoPhix are getting an engine update to support all image formats, iPhix will hit version 2.0 with support for large resolution images, transformations, more effects and a new interface. iDuelpro and iDuelpro Lite will hit version 4.0. And iDuelpro for Mac OSX will hit iDuelpro 2010 and will be a direct port from the iPhone.
Maybe the biggest change will be that our site will be completely revamped and pushed to the edge of design and browser standards. Remember the old 3 year old site and its ads, frames and flaws as it will disappear somewhere next month. If you want to see how progress is coming along with the new site you can go to http://www.phoenxsoftware.com/mainsite_new/
After this everything will be as it should have been from the beginning, a 36-image converter with no flaws (except for flaws people are creating of course), a whole bunch of worthy iPhone apps, a Duelpro on each platform which takes a huge leap forward from many other yugioh LPC’s and a site which has the design our users are used to.
After this, the road is open for completely new apps and features.
We are updating our site (new theme, new layout, MySQL update, dynamic content, new parts,…) and this may cause certain services or parts of the site to be unavailable. Starting tomorrow we will begin by making a full backup of the current site in case anything goes wrong.
So tomorrow in the morning (GMT+1) you can experience downtime of the server for several minutes to an hour.
In the days following we will update the site’s theme and layout. Keep in mind that we will not take our site down for these and you will see it all happening in real life. So it could be possible the starting tomorrow in the afternoon several pages are unavailable or look weird, since we will handle the update frame by frame starting with the menu-frame.
When the MySQL and dynamic functions of our site will be updated users of the DashBoard 1.2, LockPhix registration tool or ROC can experience problems. This will also be the case when the backup is made.
This site update is a result of the problems at Download.com, which cause Download.com to release descriptions of older version of our software, post wrong download links and freeze the download counters. Download.com downloaders do not have to worry, we take the full blow of all problems and you will be redirected to the application on our server.