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THE BRIDE OF THE DIARY OF THE MAD TECH-MAN


It's been a while since I wrote about the tech madness of trying to deliver a fully functioning internet radio station, but that's not to say it hasn't been driving us mad in the last year. But recent events have again compelled me to give you an insight into what we face!


To be fair, we also had a relative period of calm. Even the moving of Dee from Studio B to Studio A, and the subsequent rewriting of both studios, went smoothly.


But about 6 weeks ago, Microscrap decided to issue 4 major updates in about an 8 day period, and things started to go wrong from that point onwards. What's annoying is that the subsequent updates were obviously to fix the first update, but the damage was done. Drivers stopped working properly, especially on legacy network cards, and instabilities occurred that made us start to plan a spend on new equipment and dual boot situations- a Windows & Ubuntu hybrid now that, as Mixxx assure us, they have fixed the problems in Ubuntu Mixxx that led us to move back to Windows last year.


But then we have the whole cost of living to deal with, and on top of that, Wix decided to screw up massively the ability of our Forum to be used in a live context. They added feature after feature that no one wanted and in the doing, ended up introducing bug after bug that meant the kind of frustration levels for a DJ trying to do a live show and post and chat with our lovely listeners that we saw on Facebook and which led us to create the Forum in the first place.


There are currently six major bugs in the forum, a 7th for mobile users. Despite reporting these bugs, the new development team keep saying everything is fine, and then introduce new features aka bugs. I have lost patience. They have effective turned a raving fan into a... raving madman.


They are also constantly making changes to the way the basic site works and will just dump applets they pushed on us to use before without warning, meaning that we cannot use them on the site (wondered why the newsletter hasn't updated for an age? It's cos WIX dumped the applet, and put in a totally new one that had no migration path or anything!).


Furthermore, BT have started load switching two to three times a week in our local area again, meaning the internet goes off momentarily around 1am or so. This causes the server to go off. Now, luckily we have a back up server hosted by our friends at streamerr that kicks in. But that still means songs end abruptly during that switchover, and that someone has to sort out the main server.


So, we have problems on three fronts now. And to be honest, it's been a bit overwhelming, especially as I have some health issues to deal with that need a lot of focus and time.


So, we have made a decision to do the following:


  1. Switch off DeePlay and use the backup server for the foreseeable future. This will enable us to stop stressing about the internet switching, Windows driver problems, constant updates, and having to do the whole 3 day nightmare of moving the library to a dual boot system. Not to mention expense before Christmas we could well do without. Once things settle down in the new year, we will revisit, and of course, we will massively expand the music selection on the back up server so there's at least 7 days between rotation.

  2. We are going to move off WIX. This is a big one for me personally, but truthfully, as soon as WIX disbanded the specific Forum development team and handed it to the central team, the issues started. They are not particularly helpful either, not just on the Forum issues, but the website itself. So, over the next two months, we will be looking at competing platforms, and are considering just using a basic platform that will have players, news and hopefully a Forum replacement. The sad thing is, we will lose ALL these posts and Forum history, but we need to do something to reduce the stress.

Both these will remove three areas of stress, two of them immediately, and whilst the second point (moving from Wix) will lead to a lot of initial work, it will smooth out once done.


IN terms of the shows and the music, you should all notice no difference, and even the website won't change until May 2023 (maybe late April) but we'll keep you informed of all the things we are doing to reduce stress for your favourite DJ, as well as give you a better interactive experience.


Right, now can someone pass me a coffee please!

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