Thought I’d give an update a couple of days ago, but then Pocketables got into sudden and unexpected maintenance. I guess I could have written it up and posted it when Pocketables came back online, but yesterday was my wife’s birthday and after spelling her middle name wrong due to autofill on an airline ticket, I wasn’t particularly interested in splitting my concentration any more.

Over the weekend I again offered to purchase Pocketables to get it off of the death spiral server it’s on. I was told they’re not looking to sell as they believe it can turn around once it’s off of the server of death. I do too, which is why I want to get it off of the server of death.

The transfer off of the server of death started on the weekend. In general a site the size of Pocketables that’s able to push 7MB a second on the web side should have taken no more than about 26 minutes. Two days later I was told it was still chugging. That’s really not good.

The server itself is probably a fine piece of equipment, but something’s messed up. As a tech I’m itching to go and yank the hard drive, copy the database off, and start anew… but I have no idea where the servers are… I’m assuming California based on IP.

Then came whatever hit this week. Database connection failed, I got a message from our contact that it was being worked on and we weren’t the only affected. Pocketables was down for about a day all told.

BrooklynSo it looks like there was at least the attempt to get us moved. Maybe we’re even on the new server now but the wordpress install won’t let me modify anything. I think the people who are doing all of this are probably sleeping as that was a long downtime and you generally don’t sleep until Brooklyn, where Brooklyn is a state of the majority of problems being mitigated. Hopefully we’ll hear soon. Hopefully we’re at least standing on the arms of the Williamsburg Bridge shouting “hey man, this is babylon“.

I’m not sure where we stand in the whole scheme of things. The companies that own the site (Crowdgather and Playor) seem to be betting it all (or at least a lot,) on legal weed forums, sites, and apps. No, I’m not joking (click the CG link or check out the Crowdgather Google Play apps.)

Maggie in the SWAT van

Like babies in a SWAT van, you’ve got to cover your bases, and make sure the parking brake can’t be disengaged

 

Had a talk with my lawyer (I owe him a selection of fine beers for the conversation,) about it and the potential implications working in a no-MJ state and being paid via sources that might be from schedule 1 sales. Evidently it’s not an issue, which is somewhat comforting.

I was worried if the federal government decided to go after them Pocketables might get seized and employees thereof might get drug into it, but unlikely unless I am given a wad of cash, told it’s money obtained through the sale of schedule 1 drugs in a state that doesn’t honor the federal government’s laws.

I mean, I really doubt the tide will turn, but having a couple of crib wigglers in my house and being quite old and fat now, I’m not particularly inclined to have all my assets seized, which is why I now owe my lawyer a sixer.

On top of all of this I will put it that there were other issues that seem a bit suspect on the corporate side. When those are worked out we might get John back writing. At least I hope we do. Maybe we’ll be able to get some other writers too. Who knows.

I’m sure people are getting tired of my three product reviews, a piece of news, and a root app schedule of posting, but the product reviews generally have Amazon link tags, clicking them and purchasing anything (even unrelated,) gets the site money, which keeps the site floating, which was daycare money for my criblets up until two months ago.

Also since I’ve been to so many CES events, I have a lot of companies wanting to send me stuff for reviews, so it generally works out. They want publicity, I want to keep the site alive, I can write whatever I want that’s true about the product, the dirty cycle continues.

BatmanAlso product reviews are easier generally than trying to type up my now 3000 word opus on what’s needed to have your own theme music playing as you walk through your front door or step into the office. Did I mention I’m Batman?

I’ve got a stack at the moment of another charger/flashlight/jumpstarter, a Jabra headset, a Nest thermostat (I purchased, trying to save some dough on electricity,) a flashy light speaker thingie, a battery pack, and an Amazon Fire Kids tablet and some webcams (also my purchase,) a couple of WiFi access points that do neat things, but I’ve stopped having companies send stuff for the moment as if Pocketables goes down, I’m not going to screw the media relations people who send me the stuff.

This gives us about two weeks of gadget content (maybe more, the Nest is going to be an interesting write up,) and then I’ll probably be several weeks out on the next product (it takes a while, you squirrel these things away for runs). Maybe we’ll get on a server where I can make it so Google will reference us again and we’ll get our 75% SEO traffic back. Who knows.

Also, read The Martian. This has nothing to do with Pocketables, but I have a feeling as a reader of the site you’ll sit there and think “wait… this is what I’d do… hey now…” The movie was fun, but the character is more of a tech in the book and more of a bystander in the movie. Other than that the Martian atmosphere is too thin to have been rocking the MAV like that it worked out pretty well.

In the meantime, fresh content is a problem. I type slowly (unless I’m typing stuff like this oddly,) more so now that any keyboard I plug into this machine drops keystrokes since my Windows 10 upgrade (any USB port.)

Lack of content adds to the incredible death spiral that Pocketables is in. I’m working on it. I don’t know that anything I can do can turn the tide of a mobile site failing Google’s mobile friendliness test, being de indexed due to scraper sites, losing 80% of the content per day, losing all indexed search records for goodandevo.com, or being outclassed by some very good Android sites with budgets, or younger, slimmer IT people.

I accidentally shrank a shirt that I left the house in, it’s kind of embarrassing. I don’t know how I left the house without noticing this was now form fitting.

Anyway, that’s where Pocketables is.

On the assumption that we’ll still be around writing, we’re tentatively making plans for CES. This may not happen this year as the flight (for me, not sure about John,) is about $400 and hotel for four days is about $300 and leaving my wife alone with a 2-year-old and a 5-month old may cost about a quarter million and have the same effects as a federal asset seizure worried about above. Even if Pocketables isn’t contributing you know I’ve got a side project that I really would want to go for. Not that either of these is going to pay for anything.

I realized I just wrote over a thousand words while on a conference call. Sigh.

Anyway, Pocketables is hopefully poised for a rebound or at least a proper funeral, and The Martian is actually a really enjoyable read. I finished it in two days, would have on one night but man, you get a newborn sleeping and dangle the possibility of sleep in my face and even a great book can’t hold me long.

Here’s a picture of my newborn dressed as a mummy