Now that we've caught up after the impact of Hurricane Sandy, we thought it would be a good time to do a 'PortableApps.com Status Update' to let everyone know what's going on. We've got new apps, an update on the first 12.0 platform beta, some more site tweaks, and more. Read on for the details
Hurricane Sandy Impact
As many of you are aware, New York City was impacted pretty badly by Hurricane Sandy, which caused widespread internet, phone, power and transportation issues throughout the city, in addition to some tragic loss of life. We were spared the worst of it, and our hearts go out to our friends and colleagues who lost homes, businesses and loved ones.
As for direct effects, we lost internet and phone for about 2 weeks. We were able to make do with some backup systems, some of which we purchased just for the occasion. We kept an updated status report on the hurricane's impact linked in the header from every page on the site so that everyone was aware of the situation and its impact. In the end, our backup systems allowed us to keep all our apps up to date and the site administered. It did impact the flow of new releases and the platform beta rollout, however.
We've been continuing the rollout of new apps, sticking to our 'new apps every week' pledge of launching at least one new app every week. In mid-October, we began releasing a new app every day without any major announcement to that effect, just because we could. We did 18 apps in 18 days until the hurricane disrupted things a bit. We resumed on Tuesday and have released 4 new apps in the last 4 days.
The range of apps covers the gamut with everything from games to benchmarking to firewalls to graphics to word processing. Friday's new app (released an hour early on Thursday) is Pencil Project Portable, a full-blown UI prototyping and diagramming tool based on the Mozilla XULRunner platform. See the full list of new apps to get a feel for what you may have missed.
Platform 12.0 Beta Schedule
We'd originally planned on launching the 12.0 Beta 1 release on October 31st as a Halloween treat. Sadly, that didn't happen as the hurricane impacted our internet access and development schedule as we prepared for it and were busy attending to other life-pressing issues. Now that things are mostly back to normal, all apps are caught up, business issues have been addressed and we have working phone lines, we'll be continuing with the 12.0 Beta 1 release
next week just before Thanksgiving (Thursday for the non-US folks) or, more likely, just after the long weekend (likely Tuesday the 27th) on Saturday, December 1st (made a personal appeal for donations to our users to help continue to support PortableApps.com. I'm happy to report that October and November were our first months ever of donations covering our hosting costs. The donations we raised exceeded our hosting fees and even allowed us to pay down some of the debt we've built over the years. So, a very big thank you to everyone who has donated and to everyone who continues to donate and to sponsor the PortableApps.com Platform. Your support is going to help us keep delivering new apps and features. And, honestly, the number of people who have shown support has been inspirational. So, we're better both finance-wise and drive-wise as a result!
Site Status and Spam
The hurricane did not impact our site or downloads at all as they are not located within New York City. We have, however, been experiencing a dramatic rise in spam. We're addressing it with a combination of methods. I've detailed the issue in an Update on Spam Levels and Mollom where forum members and commentors can learn more about the situation and ask any questions or make suggestions.
Until Next Week...
That's about it for this week. We'll be posting the 12.0 Beta 1 platform
next week just before Thanksgiving (Thursday November 22nd) or just after the long weekend (likely Tuesday the 27th) on Saturday, December 1st (donations and support!