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What the Muses Deign: On unplanned outages

Porruka, porruka@macedition.com, March 4, 2002

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What can you say to the world when you’re an Internet publication and the Internet can’t get to you? Nothing, it turns out, unless you have a recovery plan in place. You may actually be reading this on one of our backup sites, MacEdition.net (or, Fates willing, you’re just reading about this fiasco on a newly restored MacEdition.com). Wherever you’re getting your fix from, rest assured we’re diligently putting procedures in place to avoid having this happen again.

It’s funny how things like this happen – just when you think you have everything under control, everything improving more or less according to plan – BOOM! the Fates intervene. It’s more than possible something at Apple gang aft agley when schedules were slated for iMac shipments at the end of January. There is still no clear explanation as to why the machines are slow to arrive to users, much less to non-Apple vendors; overwhelming demand (as is alluded to by some analysts) would only explain some of the delay.

It’s also funny that an outage like this should happen to us now; as it turns out, MacEdition has been around for two years now (it’s not a coincidence that the occasion of our second anniversary was the inception of all this trouble). Of course, we haven’t been live quite so long (there’s another couple of months left before that happens), but I guess it’s a fine “happy birthday to us,” huh?

And what’s all this about Photoshop? We’re still awaiting the completed version of that to hit the streets, finally allowing all those X adopters back into the native club. Photoshop World? Probably. Think they ran into any unexpected issues or roadblocks on the travels from Classic to current?

What lesson comes out of issues like this? What is it that each of us should think a little harder about? Like life in general, being in the Macintosh space brings us surprises, large and small, almost every day. Mac professionals get used to dealing with these surprises, but every so often, it’s refreshing to have something thrown at you from left field. Not necessarily nice, of course, but refreshing nonetheless. It reminds us that we do live and work in a world of change; mutations (be they in DNA or DNS) change the rules and we have to adapt. If you’re in the game to win, that’s refreshing. Only people who settle for the status quo are satisfied with an environment that doesn’t present a challenge or two along the way.

Take this attitude to your routine; what challenges does the evolution of the Mac OS give you? Are they challenges that will make you stronger as the result? Some might, some might not. What about the future direction of Apple? Surely that direction gives some pause; others, it opens a world of new possibilities.

As far as MacEdition, of course we’re going to learn from this, and do the “right” thing and try to avoid this sort of thing in the future. At the same time, it’s an opportunity for us to re-evaluate, to reflect, and to recognize that sometimes status quo happens even with the best intentions.

Look around and give your status quo an unplanned outage.

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