Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

** System Upgrade Wednesday December 18, 2013 **

Alright. The new system is built and, I believe, ready for primetime. So this Wednesday between 8P and 12A America/Chicago time I'm going to transition SpotWalla.com to the new system. I don't anticipate this take the entire 4 hours, but it will likely take at least one and possibly two hours.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Upgrade Complete... Kind Of

Tonight's upgrade was modified a bit. The new system never responded after the last reboot. Rackspace could not determine the source of the issue so I had to destroy it. I'll have to rebuild a new system and that's going to take a day or two. So we only performed the software upgrade tonight. More later. Y'all have fun.

Friday, December 6, 2013

** Upgrade Sunday, December 15th **

SpotWalla.com will be upgraded on Sunday, December 15th between 9PM and 12AM America/Chicago. This will not be a trivial upgrade. Here's what we're going to do...

  • An updated look and feel. I don't think the changes are that dramatic, but some updates were needed to the old interface.
  • We're going to restructure the database to ensure it's able to perform optimally.
  • Even though SpotWalla.com doesn't suffer from performance or availability issues, we're moving to a new, next generation system that will provide better performance and availability into the future.

With the new system comes a new IP address and that means DNS changes. Some folks may experience a longer perceived downtime until the DNS changes propagate throughout the internet.

While the system is being upgraded, none of the message interfaces will be active. All SPOT, InReach, Bubbler GPS, Email and Inmarsat interfaces should fully recover when the new system comes online. The other message interfaces (e.g. APRS) will not recover lost messages since that interface doesn't maintain history.

As always, we'll do our best to keep the downtime to a minimum, but I suspect we'll need a good portion of the downtime period to complete the upgrade.

Thanks!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Upgrade is Complete

Tonight's upgrade is complete. It took a little longer to restart the system that I had hoped but everything is operational. Enjoy.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

*** System Update Monday, September 16 2013 ***

SpotWalla will be updated Monday, September 16 2013 at 10:00PM America/Chicago time. The update should only take about ten minutes, but if issues exist it could take longer.

This update includes security and look-n-feel enhancements along with the official retirement of the Google Latitude interface. The latter will not affect Google Latitude devices that exist today or the messages these devices have accumulated.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

*** Upgrade Tuesday, May 21 2013 ***

SpotWalla.com will be upgraded Tuesday, May 21 2013 between the hours of 10:00PM and 11:00PM America/Chicago time. This should be a relatively quick and simple upgrade. Best case, the system will only be down for about five minutes. Worst case... well... worst case is it won't come back up at all, but that's not going to happen. ;)

Here's what's new in this release...

DeLorme InReach Interface

Recently DeLorme released a new KML feed for InReach users. This feed allows third-party applications like SpotWalla.com to automatically and periodically poll InReach devices for new messages.

With the help of a few SpotWalla users, this interface has been tested over the past several weeks. We've tweaked a few things and believe it's ready for primetime. So if you're an InReach user or have been hesitant to purchase an InReach because it wasn't fully supported in SpotWalla, you no longer have an excuse.

I'm very excited about this new interface.

jQuery & jQuery UI Upgrade

SpotWalla uses a lot of functionality in jQuery and jQuery UI. In order to keep up with bug fixes and new functionality this upgrade will contain the latest stable releases of jQuery and jQuery UI. A few users have had some issue navigating SpotWalla on iPads. My hope is this release will help address some of those issues.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Upgrade Monday February 11, 2013

SpotWalla.com will be upgraded on Monday February 11, 2013 between 10PM and 12AM America/Chicago time. I don't anticipate this upgrade will take the full two hours, but it will likely take an hour.

All message interfaces will not be available during the upgrade. However, SPOT and Bubbler GPS devices should recover any missing messages. Google Latitude and APRS devices, because of the nature of their interfaces, will not recover missing messages.

Here's what's in store for this upgrade...

  1. Links to a user's active public trips have been added to the popup window that appears when clicking an icon on a location page.
  2. Trip profiles determine the icon used to mark your last known location on a map. A new directional trip profile will display an icon with an internal arrow indicating your last known bearing/direction.
  3. Support for a new Android app, Bubbler GPS, will be available. Bubbler GPS utilizes the new SpotWalla Web API (SWAPI) to interact directly with SpotWalla. While Bubbler GPS is only in alpha testing right now and not generally available to the public, early versions that I've tested look very promising.
  4. Message categories allow third-party applications that use the SWAPI (e.g. Bubbler GPS) to further refine the meaning/reason of a message. For instance, categories will exist for hotel, gas, food, etc. Eventually, SpotWalla will display the appropriate icon for these stops instead of the typical green/yellow marker.
  5. I'm going to take this opportunity to restructure the database in order to optimize and ensure SpotWalla remains quick and responsive into the future.
That's about it. Y'all have fun.