Check out this gem of an email that I received the other morning from a high profile, and well funded, US based startup to whom’s software as a service I subscribe to:

Yesterday morning we had a major server outage affecting our 1.0 customers. We completely lost one of our database servers. The day was spent rebuilding and restoring everything we possibly could.

There were a handful of accounts that the restore completely failed on. Yours was one of those accounts. We have exhausted all available avenues for restoring the account data with no positive results.

Quite simply, I find this astounding! I would have thought that should have had a mirrored/clustered database server, and at the very least held an offline backup of my information. Obviously not.

In my previous life prior to YouDo, I spent countless hours with auditors going over BCP and DR plans, and countless hours making sure we’d avoid this kind of screw up ever happening to us. I used to hate it. Really hate it.

But now I’ve been on the receiving end of what seems like an inadequate disaster recovery plan, and can relate to the pain that our customers could feel – it’s going back near the top of my agenda.

Now that we’ve got our own offices, and I’m free of the super restricted corporate firewall we we’re previously (and kindly) bludgeoning off, I was really excited at the prospect of using GMail’s IMAP capabilities and finally being able to use Mail.app.

One word.  Disappointed.

Pluses for IMAP and using Mail.app:

  • I can work offline
  • Creating mail is faster
  • I can haz decent signatures
Pluses for staying with the GMail web browser:
  • it’s instant
  • I can easily tag (Google call this “label”) messages
  • no mucking about with syncing
  • it’s not restricted by IMAP locked down firewalls
  • great search functionality across my whole mailbox
I have tried and tried and tried and tried to persevere with Mail.app and IMAP, but no matter how hard I try I still gravitate back towards browser based Gmail.
Am I missing something here?
Are there some uber-tips and uber-features I just haven’t seen?
At this stage, Gmail through the web browser wins hands down.

Films now on iTunes!

June 5, 2008

iTUnes films!

Wow!  Imagine my excitement this morning when I opened my inbox and Apple told me I could now download films from iTunes.

Kiwis – don’t get too excited.  This was for my iTunes UK account.   Bah!

First impressions?   Well, there’s plenty of films in there to download, but they are priced pretty much the same as DVDs.   Add in the size of the downloads and the cost per GB for traffic on our fantastic broadband, and it weighs in slightly more expensive!  So why would you?   You can even rent movies too, but that again equates to a similar cost as popping down to your local Blockbuster

The saving grace is that there’s a good selection of TV shows, most of which you can download particular episodes.  And kind of like iTunes music, it’s great being able to pick and choose the odd gem you’re after without having to buy the whole boxset/album.

I’ll be buying the odd classic show and maybe the odd series you simply can’t get here.   But for other mainstream stuff I’ll just rent or buy it from the DVD store.

Call me an old fart, but if I like a movie or an album, I’ll go and buy it.  I like something I can touch and feel.  I like the cover.  I can rip it.  It’s not DRMed, and it’s automatically backed up.