You are here

Hurricane Sandy and (Updated Nov 15, 2012)

John T. Haller's picture
Submitted by John T. Haller on October 29, 2012 - 10:55pm

Greetings Portable-Appers,

I wanted to take a moment to update you all on the possible impact of hurricane Sandy on Firstly, our servers for our website and downloads are located outside of the affected areas, so we've got nothing to worry about there. One of our US mirrors for downloads of open source software hosted by SourceForge may be affected, but the system will automatically fail over to the other dozen plus mirrors, so users will likely not even notice. You can continue downloading the platform and apps and using the website.

That said, our shared office space and lead developer (Hi, that's me) are located in New York City right in the middle of the mess. We've lost primary internet and we may lose power. NYC is on lock-down at the moment with power loss in large parts of Manhattan and other boroughs; all subways, bridges and tunnels closed with some flooded; all trains shut down; wide-spread flooding in low-lying areas; 911 system overloaded; etc. (NY Times: Tracking Sandy: Live Updates)

We're not sure when things will be getting back to normal but will know more in the next 24 hours or so. Subways will likely be out for a few days. Internet could be as well considering the damage nearby. While this is going on, we'll be making a best-effort to keep releases flowing. That said, there may be a delay of a few days with updating some apps, so we may not be able to stick to our usual schedule of promptly updating all our apps and same-day releases for internet-connected apps.

We wanted to be sure you were aware of the situation so if an app takes an extra day or two to be updated in the ever-growing ecosystem, you'd know exactly what was going on and why. We'll be providing more information as soon as we have it. And we're still doing updates and new releases right now on our backup internet connections, so hopefully we won't be impacted much at all.

Our best wishes to everyone in the affected areas. Stay safe.


Update (Nov 1, 2012): Internet and phones out, power out in Manhattan. Read more

Update (Nov 5, 2012): Heat, internet, phone and mobile issues. Read more

Update (Nov 10, 2012): Primary and secondary mobile/wireless working, primary internet still down but progressing, heat to ESB restored. Read more

Update (Nov 11, 2012): Primary internet access restored. Read more

Update (Nov 13, 2012): All apps up to date, new releases continuing, full status update coming Thursday (Friday). Read more


I love but there are far more important things. Be safe; we'll be waiting patiently for life to get back to normal and you to be able to deliver the digital goodness to us.

I agree with crichton007's above statement. As the saying goes, "Things can be replaced, people can't!". Stay safe. Also, let me extend a big 'Thank you' for all that you give us.

I don't think anyone would be upset with you if you shut down for the duration! Smile

I love my PortableApps, but a day or ten on updates isn't going to cause my life to come to a halt.

To echo the others ... stay safe & thanks for all you have given us so far!

Peter Bellis
Sunny South Africa

Apps can wait and the safe of everyone must be priority. We hope you all can get well soon.

Some things are worth risking life and limb. PortableApps is one of those things. So is the pony express. Neither rain, sleet, nor dark of night...

William Berzoff's picture

Since I currently reside in a country of which more then 50 percent of the land is located below sea level, I can relate to the notion of a pending flood. Ofcourse there are ways to prepare yourself for these events, and after a disastrous flooding in the 50's (1,500+ dead) this country made it it's priority to build the appropriate defenses. No costs were spared to make sure the land could be kept dry. You would think that after hurricane Katrina (1,833+ dead) seven years ago (!) the US government would have taken action. Now it appears that they've rather put their own financial center at risk, then spend the money. Maybe when they start realizing that building dikes and other water-defenses create many jobs and are a great impulse to the economy, they may start to reconsider this poor decision.

And ofcourse I hope you are all well in NYC. Smile

Gord Caswell's picture

Why would it be any better off in San Francisco? It's also on an ocean, and has just as much chance of being affected by bad weather as New York.

I thought California was subject to earthquakes.

Previously known as kAlug.

John T. Haller's picture

The local cell towers have been failing, so our backup wireless internet access is spotty. Wired internet and phone are still out with no ETA as many of the local streets are blocked with downed trees and power lines.

All of Manhattan south of 39th St is still without power due to the flooding-related explosion at the 14th street power substation. Wall St is open running on generators. Some transit lines to/from Queens are up but very slow. None in and out of Brooklyn are up due to power outtages and flooded subway tunnels. Colleagues who made the commute yesterday took about 4 hours to get from Queens to work in Manhattan.

I'll update as things progress and post a more detailed status update once things get a bit more back to normal.

We're all ok, though. Thank you for all who asked after us.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

you get back to a more "normal" scenario soon. I can only imagine what it is like, as I was in Florida with Red Cross back in 2004 for the hurricanes. I got off rather lucky only lost pwer and net for 3 days up here in Maine where there are more trees than people Smile

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” Dr. Seuss

Good luck everybody who lives in the eastern US Sad

If all truth does is make your heart ache, sometimes a lie is easier to take

Seeing this is making me wanna send you guys chocolate. Darn.

Anyway, here's hoping all you guys there stay safe and dry. :3

You know what, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life TAKE THE LEMONS BACK! Get mad!! I don't want your lemons; what am I supposed to do with THESE!?

John T. Haller's picture

We've been informed by ConEd that the Empire State Building (where our shared office space is) will not have heat until November 11th. Our Queens office space still has no internet or phone service and 2 of the 4 mobile networks (including our backup internet one) are mostly offline. We'll be purchasing a secondary backup mobile network hotspot today as neither Time Warner (wired primary internet) nor T-Mobile (backup mobile internet) have an ETA on when service might be restored. Wired phone is also out along with VoIP, so we aren't currently taking incoming calls to our 800 number. By purchasing a secondary backup mobile device, we'll be able to work at slower speeds without having to keep packaging up releases and then moving to where we can beg or borrow internet access to post them.

We're still happy we weren't hit as badly as other areas of the city with flooding, blackouts and looting. Thank you for your patience during the recovery process.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

for the update. We can wait a couple more days...
Stay safe!

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

John T. Haller's picture

We've been using our secondary backup wireless internet successfully to keep things updated. Our primary wireless internet and cell phones came back on Thursday the 8th. So, we began have limited access to phone service via our 800 number on our contact page.

Time Warner has been working the last few days on our internet access. 3 poles were replaced and rewired by 5 cabling trucks. Our internet router is now making connection to the local point a block away but it has not yet been hooked up to the main system, so no primary internet yet at our Queens office, but we're hoping it will be connected today or tomorrow. Heat was restored to the Empire State Building (our shared office space) via a steam-producing semi truck hooked into the system and the main stem system should be operational this weekend.

I'll be posting a status update on Monday or Tuesday detailing where we're at schedule and release-wise as a result of the past couple weeks as we get back into the swing of things, getting new releases flowing again and the first platform 12.0 beta out. Thanks again for your patience and support through this.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

John T. Haller's picture

Primary internet access has been restored, so we are no longer reliant on the less reliable pay-per-GB wireless solution we were using as a backup to keep the app updates flowing. This also means that calls to our office will be working during business hours tomorrow. We're catching up on the last of the app updates now and will be starting new app releases again shortly (likely tomorrow).

I'll be posting a status update tomorrow or Tuesday with an update on our overall status of apps and platform work and our schedule going forward now that services have finally been fully restored. Thank you for your support and patience during the past couple weeks.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Simeon's picture

for the update and for your extra effort to keep the site, releases and support online!

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

John T. Haller's picture

The remaining outdated apps have all been updated, so we should be good for same-day updates again going forward. New releases are again flowing starting with ControlPad Portable which was just posted. I'll post a more complete "Weekly Status Update" tomorrow or Thursday *Friday* with further details and a platform and app schedule. As, for now, I'm off to relax and head to bed. Goodnight all!

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

John T. Haller's picture

I'm going to do the weekly status update tomorrow and include a small sneak peak at what's coming in 12.0 for folks who can't wait until next week. I decided to push out another new - and pretty darn useful - app tonight: Pencil Project Portable. Good night all!

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!