A couple of days ago, Voo2do was migrated to a new, faster server. While I hoped the new server would improve performance for everyone, it’s been a bumpier ride than I expected. Although the response to the speedup has been quite positive, a few users have sufferred because something is amiss in the handling of non-English characters in task names. I have had to spend way too much time responding to crises–the server has become unstable a few times, and yesterday it mysteriously lost about half of the outgoing emails required for users to confirm their accounts.
I am still working on these problems, but I’m becoming less and less optimistic. I may have to move back to the older server, which though slower has been very reliable. If you witness a slowdown in the next few days, please accept my apologies, and know that I’m determined to make voo2do faster and better. Thank you for bearing with me, and I’m sorry for the bumpy transition.
Update 2/7/06: I’ve taken care of the international characters issue, and the new server seems to be doing well. Please let me know if you experience any slow, unreliable, or buggy behavior.
Voo2do has been moved to a faster, more powerful server. I initially thought the transition was smooth but quickly discovered and fixed a couple of problems (details below). Everything should be running correctly now, so if you notice any possible problems, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at +1 857.928.3028.
Thank you all for making Voo2do a popular enough service to merit this upgrade, and special thanks to those who helped me find problems right after the move!
Update: Mikalai Beliashou reported that non-English characters in task names had been replaced with unreadable symbols. Unfortunately this indicated a problem in the backup/restore process that was used to move data from the old server to the new one, so I’ve had to re-do this move. Therefore, data changes — including edits, new tasks, and new user accounts — made between roughly 7:30 and 8:30pm EST have been undone.
I’m very sorry to have wiped out this data but it didn’t seem feasible to correct only the messed-up data. This meant I’d either have to restore again from the old server, wiping out an hour of usage, or leave many international users with useless task titles. Losing the hour seemed like the lesser of two evils. Apologies for the data loss.
Update 2: Email submission of tasks to voo2do was temporarily broken too; if you received a bounce notice, please try re-sending your task.
I’m speaking in a panel discussion on “Evolving Web Tools and Services” tomorrow morning in Boston.
Have you been hearing a lot about Wikis, RSS, Syndication and Aggregation, Blogs, Podcasts, and other recent web developments? Are you trying to figure out:
- What is the impact for my business?
- What old problems can be addressed with this new technology?
- What new business opportunities are now in reach?
The panel is organized by the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, and also includes Dan Bricklin, co-inventor of the spreadsheet; Pito Salas, creator of BlogBridge; Kathleen Gilroy of The Otter Group; and a lawyer and an analyst, neither of whom I know.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Silicon Valley Bank, 2221 Washington St. One Newton Executive Park, Newton
Cost: $60 for members or $100; I may have one free ticket to give out, so let me know if you want it
Update: Glen Mohr from the Otter Group has some pretty faithful notes on his blog.
A handful of users have reported problems staying logged into voo2do.com. They are prompted for the user name and password and enter those correctly, but then get this message:
- Cookies must be enabled in your browser
Strangely, this message comes up even when cookies are enabled. One user even confirmed that his browser had received and stored the cookie, but did not seem to be able to send it back to voo2do.com. The cookie contains a special code that voo2do uses to figure out who you are; so without it, you will be logged out.
But then he tried using voo2do outside the office– and it worked fine. Indeed, it seems all users experiencing these problems are coming from corporate networks. Something is getting blocked or lost somewhere, but I can’t figure out what, because I can’t figure anything out about these networks. I suspect there is a cookie blocker in some web filtering software, but I’m far from certain.
So I ask for your help: if you’ve seen this problem, and especially if you were able to fix or work around it somehow, please let me know. Just email email@example.com or comment on this post.
As an added incentive, I will immediately send $20 via PayPal to the first person who provides a critical insight I can use to eliminate this problem. But any insight, even “yeah that happened to me at my office”, is helpful to me and thousands of other voo2do users.
By the way, did I mention that there are over 10,000 of you guys now? OK, most of you just dropped in to kick the tires, but that’s still pretty amazing. Thanks!
Do you like Voo2do? Do you have too much money? Donate to Voo2do!
Voo2do has been growing fast lately, and more people are writing to me with suggestions and requests. One request is getting more and more common: could you make it faster?
In my personal use of voo2do, I haven’t found it too annoyingly slow, except when saving changes to a large list of tasks. But of course as many new people sign up, my simple, cheap server is getting more loaded. It has generally been fine, getting slower under load but not crashing and burning. Still, as several users have pointed out, speed makes a big difference in this kind of web app. It’s not just aesthetic; if it takes you 1 minute to figure out what you should do during a five minute break, voo2do is charging quite a premium for whatever benefits it offers. This might well push voo2do out of the zone of being worth your while.
So I’m wondering: do you want voo2do to be faster? And for the techies out there: can you recommend (or offer?) a dedicated server hosting plan that features a fast computer and Internet uplink at a reasonable price?
Voo2do user Robbie Coleman has created an updated Voo2do Windows tray application based on Girish Bharadwaj’s original voo2dotray. This version can save your login information, and includes some bugfixes, notably one addressing the issue where refreshes would crash the program if you have and projects that contain no tasks.
This application sits in your Windows tray (on the Start bar, near the clock) and lets you view and update your Voo2do tasks at a glance.
I like this app a lot. Thanks, Girish and Robbie… now who’s going to write the Linux/GNOME version?
Update 12/20/2005: Robbie has fixed a couple more bugs having to do with proxies and the login dialog. Use the links above to download the latest version.
Dion Hinchcliffe, Voo2do user and Web 2.0 blogger, has honored Voo2do as the best online todo list application:
Category: Online To Do Lists
Best Offering: Voo2do
Description: Ever more of the software we use on a daily basis is moving online, from e-mail to feed readers. To-do list managers are no exception. I’ve used a variety of them and so far the one that’s resonated with me most is Voo2do. A one person operation run by Shimon Rura, Voo2do uses Ajax sparingly but very effectively to let you create and manage multiple to do lists. With an API available for you to access or export your data with your own programs, support for Joel Spolsky’s Painless Software Scheduling method, Voo2do is the embodiment of simple, satisfying software.
Full article: The Best Web 2.0 Software of 2005
Thank you for the kind words, Dion, and a big welcome to new users heading our way thanks to the article!
Voo2do user Carlo Bonamico sent along some tips, which may be especially useful for programmers who use Visual Studio along with Voo2do.
I would like to point out a few tips that might be useful to you and other users:
To backup all tasks automatically with wget (available on linux, but also on windows either in cygwin or stand-alone – search wget windows on google) [ed: try here]:
wget.exe -O alltasks.xml http://voo2do.com/api/getAllTasks?userId=4..6&loginHash=e..1
Obviously userid and loginHash (obtained with getLoginHash) must be changed. [ed: see Voo2do API documentation]
The same could be achieved with the more flexible CURL tool, which even allows for doing POSTs and file uploads from the command line.
The same tool can be used to add tasks from a batch file or from the tools/external tools of Visual Studio 6
wget.exe” -O result.htm http://voo2do.com/api/saveTask?userId=4..6&loginHash=e..1&projName=PROJECT1&estOrig=1.5&elapsed=.5&taskdesc=%1
add a new tool
Command line: wget.exe with full path
Arguments: -O $(WkspName).htm http://voo2do.com/api/saveTask?userId=4..6&loginHash=e..1&projName=$(WkspName)&estOrig=1&taskdesc=$(CurText)
Use output window: true
So you will add the current txt selection to a V2D project named after your workspace…
You can also add a kb shortcut.