These last few weeks have been really, really bad for the internet. I mean, in general. What with Media Temple going down due to their nameservers, Amazon EC2 going down, and also the Playstation Network refusing to let me log in… You’d think there was a cyberattack going on or something.
My websites did not manage to dodge all of the bullets either. A few sites were down from the Media Temple thing. I also inadvertently broke a few sites here and there. After the Media Temple downtime, I wanted to try updating a few Ruby Gems to get Passenger Phusion working. Unfortunately my rails apps hadn’t been updated in forever, so updating things broke backwards compatibility. I’ve been working on getting Anime Nano back to full capacity on the newest version of Rails. I think the whole experience was a bit stressful, but probably ended up being good in the long run.
I was also surprised to see Mapskrieg going down late last week. Apparently I hadn’t verified the domain for Google Apps and Google decided to close my account. The one that was serving Mapskrieg via App Engine. This was really annoying since all of the “act now or we’ll delete your account” emails were classified as spam in gmail and I am pretty sure I had verified the account previously. If Google doesn’t want my money then screw them. I figure I can actually serve the site for cheaper than App Engine since a few other apps live on the same server. The App Engine thing was a fun experiment but there are still too many limitations in the datastore to base a real app on it. Specifically, datastore writes cost way too much and indexes take way too much overhead in disk space (which you eventually need to pay for).
So now I’m back to running most sites on Media Temple, though I may diversify in case Media Temple continues to have downtime issues. It was a stressful few days, but at least I got to practice my sysadmin skills a bit and update my server in the process.
My Anime Nano iPhone app was just approved again for the app store. “Approved again?” you ask? Yes. Here’s the story.
I had a mobile startup a while back called Troubadour Mobile. While the company hasn’t been operating for a while, I was using its iPhone developer account to mess around with submitting stuff to the app store. I wrote my Anime Nano app and it was pretty cool.
I wanted to start getting into other kinds of apps, and I wanted to integrate iAd with Anime Nano. To do this, I needed to make my own iPhone dev account because I didn’t want to set up the taxes for a defunct company. I figured it would be a simple process to move an app from one owner to another, because it must happen all the time, right?
I sent in a request to move Anime Nano from Troubadour’s account to my own personal dev account. That was around the beginning of July. I didn’t get a reply until the beginning of August, more than a month later. Unfortunately, between the time I requested the move, my company’s account expired (I wasn’t going to keep paying $100 a year for an account we wouldn’t use).
When the account expired, my original app was taken off of the iTunes App Store. After that happened I just submitted the application again under my own account with a slightly different name (Anime Nano!). Apparently, the “application transfer” doesn’t really even transfer anything. Apple just asked me to remove one of my apps from sale and re-upload the binary. So I waited a month for nothing. This was pretty annoying, because if I had known earlier, I would’ve just done so myself. I don’t know why I needed to wait a month to get those instructions.
Anyway, I submitted the app about a week ago and it was finally approved this afternoon. I’m happy to say that the iAds work and they look pretty neat.
Anyway, if you haven’t gotten it yet (and actually, if you downloaded it before), go get Anime Nano! If you have the old version, iTunes won’t know when it’s updated unless you get the new version.
My first iPhone application has been approved and is “ready for sale” in the Apple App Store! I decided to do a native version of Anime Nano, which already has a mobile site. This native one loads faster and also doesn’t have ads (yet). Get Anime Nano for iPhone!
If you install it and play around, you’ll notice it’s really simple and lacks features. This is on purpose. Instead of spending a lot of time getting it perfect and including all features of the full website, I figured that I would release the most simple functioning app first. I read a bunch of Rework before having to return it (I borrowed a digital copy from a library). Rework basically suggested that software be light and easy to use, and I think Anime Nano for iPhone fits well within that mentality.
I plan on iterating on Anime Nano to improve it. I think enabling an iPad version would be the next logical step, as well as including things like the personalized blog list and series, and search.
Anyway, if you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, please download Anime Nano (for free) and let me know what you think!