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Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, February 15, 2013

The Red Queen's Race

Sometimes it takes all the running you can do just to stay in the same place. 

Last week I noticed that NetworkedBlogs had stopped autoposting my weekly blog entries to Facebook back in December. That explains the falloff from 30-40 readers per week to six or seven. Turns out that the app needs its permission to post renewed every 60 days. I don’t know why this never came up before in all the years I’ve been using it, but…OK, whatever. After much head-bashing I think I finally got it configured so that this post will show up on the Facebook. Guess I’ll find out in a few minutes if it works. If it doesn't, I'll give up.

I hadn’t intended to upgrade Sunshop version 4.x anymore because Sunshop 5 has been right around the corner for a year now. (Sunshop is my shopping cart program – what you perceive as my website.) Being a software industry refugee myself, I’m usually compulsive about keeping all of my programs updated. But I have to pay my contract developer to upgrade Sunshop and the cost is not trivial. Neither of the past two version upgrades added anything significant, so I passed them by.

Now my web host (MDD Hosting) announced that they’re upgrading all of their servers from PHP 5.2 to 5.3 because 5.2 is no longer supported. (PHP is the programming language that Sunshop runs under.) Programs that were developed for 5.2 won’t run under 5.3 and vice versa. Fortunately, Turnkey publishes Sunshop in both formats. Since I need to change the format that I’m running I might as well upgrade to the latest release at the same time. How much more expensive could that be?

Potentially a lot more. My developer freaked out when I first pitched the job to him. He subsequently calmed down some, but he still anticipates a huge, time-consuming job and, in fact, he can’t block off the time to do the work before MDD’s scheduled changeover next Friday. MDD figures that a month's notice ought to be plenty and won't extend their deadline. 
So unless my developer can make the time between now and next Friday, or MDD runs behind schedule, Curio City is going to go dark. Visiting my URL will show an error page. I’m financially paralyzed until I pay for this unwanted upgrade of unknown cost. Since disruption's inevitable, I'd like to move up to Sunshop 5, but alas, Turnkey's still being coy about their release date. So I’m going to pay big bucks to upgrade a program that’s supposed to become obsolete later this year anyway.

I haven’t paid my corporate registration or annual report fees or had my tax returns prepared yet and I’ve completely stopped buying merchandise, so I’m slowly building up cash despite lackluster sales. If my store doesn’t go dark and if the upgrade doesn’t bleed me dry, I’ll be able to make up lost time when I come through the other side.

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