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Archive for the ‘Synchronization’ Category

Laridian Website – Planned Outage

Posted on: August 4th, 2015 by Craig Rairdin 3 Comments

The server migration we did this morning (Tuesday, August 4) is complete as far as we can tell. The last phase of it is changing the various DNS records for our various sites so that they point to the new server. That has been done, but it takes time for the changes to DNS to propagate throughout the Internet.

Until that time, you’ll see a yellow marquee banner across the top of pages at www.laridian.com and you won’t be able to sync your user data. If you see the yellow banner, the site will be slow because it’s talking across the wire to the database server instead of having it located “right next door” on its own subnet in the same building. Once the DNS change finds its way to your machine, you’ll be back up to full speed at the new site.

I’ll write up a little post-mortem article for the techies among you just for fun.

If you have problems with our site that don’t fix themselves by Wednesday, August 5, drop us an email at support@laridian.com.

Reason for the Outage

Laridian operates services on a variety of servers located at more than one hosting company. From time to time we move these services to new locations either to enhance their capability or to save money or both. We are generally able to do this in a way that minimizes or eliminates downtime. In this case, we are moving our database server, which stores almost everything of importance at Laridian including your customer account, transaction history, user-created data (notes, highlights, and bookmarks), and all our books.

It wasn’t possible in this case to make this transition without actually stopping all updates to the database, copying the data to the new server, and restarting it at its new location. During this brief time, we couldn’t do any operations that cause the database to change, or we risked losing those changes (i.e. they would get written to the “old” location after the database has been moved to the “new” location).

Benefits

Once this whole process is complete, we expect enhanced performance of the website, sync service, downloads, and other related services. Security of all of these services will be increased. And despite the more powerful hardware on which this will all be running, our costs will be lower. This will allow us to continue to produce Bibles and reference materials at prices at or below what you’ll find elsewhere.


Updates

2:45PM Remaining DNS changes complete.

1:35PM Laridian Cloud sync services are back up. The IP address for synchronization has changed, so you may continue to get the “maintenance” message (or not be able to connect at all) until DNS changes propagate to your server. This could take up to 48 hours but in our experience most of you will see the change within a couple hours of it happening (which was actually a couple hours ago).

12:00PM Domain registrar is up and down. We have been able to make some DNS changes, but not all.

11:15AM Our domain registrar chose this time to go down. Of course. This isn’t a big deal, it just means that the sites will be slower. Once we can make DNS changes, the websites and the database server will be on the same subnet. Until then, the websites have to talk across the wire to the database, which means they’ll be slower. The worst part of this is that user data synchronization (Laridian Cloud) can’t be brought back up without changing DNS. We don’t anticipate this will take long.

10:45AM Commerce, product registration, account updates, and Apple App Store in-app purchase downloads are back online. The only thing currently offline is the Laridian Cloud (user data synchronization).

PocketBible 1.x.x for iOS users: If you got a message while trying to sync that said “You’re running a very old version of PocketBible“, it’s because you’re still using version 1.x and we’re currently on version 3. To upgrade, first sync (not just backup, but sync) your user data with the server after this maintenance is over. Then search the App Store for PocketBible. The program is free. Download and run it. Register using the same customer ID and password as you have been using, then turn on automatic synchronization under Manage My Data in the menu. The program will pick up your notes, highlights, and bookmarks and you’ll just have to download your Bibles and reference books.

8:30AM Migration officially started.

8:00AM Commerce, account update, PocketBible 2.x/3.x sync service, and other related services disabled.

7:30AM PocketBible for Windows and PocketBible 1.x sync services disabled.

App Store Updates: PocketBible 1.4.0 and RomansRoad 1.0.3

Posted on: June 24th, 2010 by Craig Rairdin 21 Comments

This posting has been edited to reflect the fact that PocketBible 1.4.0 and RomansRoad 1.0.3 are now available on the App Store. Comments prior to the afternoon of 24 June were posted before the apps became available for download.

Both PocketBible and RomansRoad have been updated to account for new features in what Apple calls iOS 4 — version 4.0 of the iPhone OS.

What this boils down to is that the app saves its state when it is notified that the user wants to switch to another app, then restores its state when the OS notifies it that the user has switched back to it. These hoops would be completely unnecessary if Apple implemented “multitasking” the same way Windows, Windows Mobile, and even the Mac OS implements it. That is, your app doesn’t have to do anything special to run at the same time as other apps on those platforms. Leave it to Apple to reinvent the wheel — and the axle, differential, drive shaft, and engine. :-)

The new version of PocketBible also implements several changes related to notes, highlights, bookmarks, and synchronization with the server:

  • When saving notes we used to convert “special characters” like emdash, left- and right-double-quotes, bullets, etc. into HTML character entities. This is unnecessary and can be confusing the next time you open the note.
  • When synchronizing notes with the server, we’re doing a more consistent job of handling those special characters.
  • Previous versions made sure all the Toolbox panes were kept up-to-date even when they were not the active pane. As a result you could spend a lot of time waiting for a list that you never look at to be updated. The new version only updates panes when they are active or become active. This should speed up launching and updating the screen after synchronizing with the server.
  • We sped up synchronization of large data sets by making some changes on the server but also by changing the algorithm that iterates over the notes on your device. This also sped up searching of notes.
  • We gave you the ability to change the length of time the program will wait for a response from the server when synchronizing your data. This mostly affects users with a large number of notes, highlights and/or bookmarks (say, greater than 1000 of any of these).
  • We optimized the case where you’re not really searching your notes but just asking for a list of all the notes in a particular Bible. This affects how quickly the Find Notes pane in the Toolbox can be updated.
  • A previous version of PocketBible broke the rotation lock function on the iPhone. It is fixed in this version.

We still have a couple features we’re working on that take advantage of some iOS 4 features. If we can get those to work, they’ll be in 1.4.1.

Final Update on Synchronization Progress

Posted on: June 9th, 2010 by Craig Rairdin 22 Comments

Good JobToday we uploaded version 1.012 of PocketBible for Windows, and version 1.002 of the iPocketBible.com Server Synchronization Provider (formerly known as the iPhone Sync Provider). These updates address three issues:

  1. Notes containing certain special characters could become corrupted in the synchronization process as those special characters were passed from platform to platform, each of which may have treated them differently.
  2. Because of differences in the way the PC and our server implemented the synchronization algorithm, “old” data from the PC could be deleted when syncing with existing data from an iPhone.
  3. Since we were making changes, we also changed the way the PC keeps track of the date/time of the last sync. The new method eliminates rare problems caused by differences in the system time between the server and your PC.

To get the latest version of PocketBible for Windows, simply log into your download account, download it, and install it.

To get the latest iPocketBible.com Server Sync Provider to replace your old iPhone Sync Provider, go to the PocketBible for Windows site (http://www.laridian.com/pc) and select “Synchronization Providers” from the Products menu at the top of the page. Follow the instructions near the bottom of the page to download and install the iPocketBible.com Sync Provider.

The previous version of PocketBible should refuse to work with the new sync provider, and the new sync provider will refuse to work with the old version of PocketBible. So if you don’t get them installed correctly the program will tell you.

An important new feature added to PocketBible for Windows is the ability to reset your sync history. This forces PocketBible to treat the next sync as if it is the first. If you ever have to restore your PocketBible for Windows user data database, you’ll want to reset the sync history or you risk confusing the sync algorithm. When it sees that you have old data in your database that is no longer on the server, it will delete the data you just restored from your backup (thinking that you deleted it from the server). If you reset your sync history, it may find duplicates and ask you about them, but it won’t delete anything.

iPhone/iPad Users: There will be an update to the iPhone/iPad version of PocketBible to make some adjustments to the way certain special characters are handled. We currently are planning to roll this into our “iPhone 4” update, which will be uploaded to Apple just as soon as we can.

Thanks for your patience while we worked on these updates.


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