Bill's tech blog



GitHub: billturner

Twitter: @billturner

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What's happened to TextDrive?

Update March 31, 2014: The March 14th date came and went without much happening. The servers seemed to still be up, thanks to Jacques. But then sometime in the last few days (maybe the 28th), the remaining servers finally went dark. Throughout all that time, before and after the 14th, there was never a notice from Dean Allen about the pending shutdown. There were only two ways you could have found out about the shutdown: 1) you tried to visit the forums and saw the announcement, or 2) you happened to see it mentioned on Twitter.

Speaking of Twitter, there are now loads of messages from those just now finding out that their websites are gone and their email no longer works.

Throughout all of this, Jacques Marneweck has been a saint, and he's doing what he can to recover whatever data he can for those who hadn't migrated off in time (mainly because they had no idea). There's a quickly-growing list of folks hoping that their data can be recovered over on the Kaizen Garden forums.

What a mess.

Update March 3, 2014: Well, it looks like we have our answer. The TextDrive home page was wiped of any real content, and this message was posted to the domain (taking down the forums in the process):

As anyone looking for decent support or even useful information over the past few months can attest, the revival of TextDrive has not been a success.

What began in mid-2012 as an exciting challenge fuelled by good intentions and lean resources quickly turned into a cleanup project with almost no resources.

It is disappointing to report that after a year and a half of uphill battles and unimagined setbacks, after several costly efforts to regroup and find another way, options to keep TextDrive growing have run out, and we will cease operations on the 14th of March, 2014.

For those who wish to know, details of what went wrong will be made available once shutdown operations have completed.

Sorry to have let you down.


So, anyone with anything left on the TextDrive servers has less than two weeks to get their content off (and switch DNS, transfer email, etc.).

You can still read the details below, although any links to the forums are no longer working. For discussion, there's still a post at Hacker News open, and also the Ex-Joyeurs Google Group.

Also, for anyone looking to relocate from TextDrive (or just looking for a new web host) you could try out Kaizen Garden. They're a new host put together by Jacques (a.k.a. the reliable one) from TextDrive.

What started to seem like a promising rebirth of TextDrive, after the bungled jettison of customers from Joyent, has once again turned sour. Really sour. In fact, it appears that no one is minding the store anymore.

Here's what it looks like now:

  • Dean Allen, who agreed to take over the new incarnation of TextDrive, has more or less gone AWOL where it concerns the current customers of TextDrive.
  • The one employee that was actually doing any work, Jacques, is no longer being paid. I believe he's since taken a new job, but will occasionally pop in to try and help keep servers online.
  • Dean Allen hasn't posted to the official TextDrive forum since November of 2012.
  • The @txd Twitter handle hasn't been updated since August of last year.
  • The @TextDriveStatus Twitter handle has been a bit more active, but most recently from Jacques' attempts to revive servers. Again, without being paid.
  • At the moment, Dean Allen's own website seems to be down. I wonder if it happens to be on one of the TextDrive servers that can't seem to stay online.
  • His own Twitter handle, @textism, hasn't been updated since June of last year.
  • The TextDrive home page hasn't had an update since last August.
  • Added: On Feb. 12th, Jacques was removed as forum admin.
  • Added: Sometime around Feb. 16th, the TextDrive wiki became password protected.
  • Added: The forum banner text "Hey. Nothing will be deleted or shut down until migration is complete." was removed sometime around Feb. 17th.
  • At this point, it is safe to assume that no one is handling incoming support issues, and as of yet, there is no one else to take over keeping things running.

So as you can see, TextDrive is just kind of sitting there with seemingly no one in charge.

For some other news on TextDrive, try one of these:

The "Lifetime Hosting" deal I signed up for years ago looks like it is finally going belly up. I've moved anything hosted on TextDrive elsewhere. Right now, I'm more an observer of this mess than anything else.

A recent tweet from the last employee doesn't sound all that hopeful:

Feel free to discuss on Hacker News:

Posted 2014-02-28 09:33AM — #hosting

Ruby, Vim, and OS X: easier methods

An old post on my other weblog that explains how to compile Ruby support in Vim continues to get a lot of traffic. Now, compiling Ruby support into Vim in that manner works perfectly fine, but there are much easier ways to accomplish the same thing on a Mac.

I was all set to write out the examples here, but found that Derek Prior did a much better job listing the different ways in his blog post "Upgrading Vim on OS X".

Posted 2013-06-15 11:13PM — #mac #ruby #vim

APIs, Go, and RubyMotion

First, a few links I've picked up recently on API design and the Go language:

  • Best Practices for Designing a Pragmatic RESTful API

    "Now, the internet has no shortage on opinions on API design. But, since there's no one widely adopted standard that works in all cases, you're left with a bunch of choices: What formats should you accept? How should you authenticate? Should your API be versioned?"

  • How to learn Go

    "Trying to learn a new language is usually kind of confusing because you’re not really sure where to start so here’s my list of resources that helped me learn and deploy a production app in less than a week."

  • Learn Go the hard way

    "In this book, I'd like to show you how easy Go is to learn, how well it combines the strengths of both C and Python, and how it makes writing concurrency and parallelism much easier than in most other languages."

And since I've just bought a RubyMotion license in order to try and put together some kind of app as a summer project, I've collected quite a few links to catch up on RubyMotion:

Posted 2013-06-04 11:13PM — #api #golang #ruby #rubymotion

Tech blog introduction

This is mainly to test how the GitHub pages work, and to get an introductory post up on this weblog.

I've begun to focus on my creative endeavors, like sketching, over on my other weblog. So, any kind of technical post would now feel out of place over there. Now, I have a place for them.

Posted 2013-05-31 11:13PM — #administrivia