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Asda Website Down And For How Long?

 
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Posted 10/18/2021   12:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Turff49 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Is anyone else having problems getting on their site? I tried yestyfrom my phone and my laptop but kept getting a Server error message. Tried it today and the same thing.
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Posted 10/18/2021   1:19 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It appears that their server has run out of disk space; without disk space the website cannot run because it does things like constantly write to log files.
Don
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Posted 10/18/2021   1:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
One of their websites is OK. Maybe you can reach someone? https://www.americanstampdealer.com...px/Home.aspx


Peter
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Posted 10/18/2021   2:21 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Another organization in search of technical competence. Their back issues library for members has been broken for almost a year. It was based upon Adobe Flash, which sunset at the end of 2020. They started posting newer issues in PDF format but haven't bothered to go back and fix the older ones. Multiple email inquiries about it have garnered zero response, let alone action.

The aging demographic and inherent luddism associated with stamp collecting is causing some organizations major difficulty in adapting to the digital age.
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Posted 10/18/2021   2:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Turff49 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I sent them an email but haven't heard back yet. I didn't realize the back issues pages were broken. That's why I was trying to log in. That and see when my renewal is.
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Posted 10/18/2021   3:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
major difficulty in adapting to the digital age


The digital age is creating the issues, not Luddies and not older folks.

I can still take from my shelf one of my books from the late 19th Century and read it. This in spite of the fact paper manufacture, text fonts, printing methods and even binding methods have changed radically over the last 150 years.

With tech the churn of changes without easy data migration or storage of data for later retrieval is the main issue. Now I am not just speaking of the obsolesce of my rolls of paper tape programs ("Apps" to you lacking historic knowledge of terms). No even one of the least Luddite persons on this planet when alive, Steven Jobs, could not access his old desired information created and stored at his company, Pixar. At the time he wanted the information, he only had "idiots" to use your term from: http://goscf.com/t/78842 to assist him. Now those weren't just run of the mill "idiots" but the best his company, Apple, (look it up if that is an unknown company to you) as well as contact with the "idiots" of the old and new Pixar employees some of the best "idiots" in the world.

Today we can't even say how long good hardware can last in use, because it is never planned to use it that long, just made obsolete at will.

I will long be able, at least to death, be able to read my 19th Century books while using my sections punch and magnetic tape, punch cards, floppies, 3.5" hard floppies, CDs, DVDs, or cords with various connectors as bookmarks. I did not include thumb/mass storage drives as they are too thick for a book mark. Oh, I would never use a book mark of any kind in one of my 18Th Century books.

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Posted 10/18/2021   4:15 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm afraid I'm not understanding your point, unless it is "digital bad! paper good!"

It doesn't have to be an either-or proposition. PDF has been a digital document standard for distribution for almost 2 decades now. If constructed properly, PDFs can be made compatible with versions of Adobe Reader going back over a decade.

In the case of the ASDA, presumably even with their flash-based e-book interface the content is still PDF "under the hood" meaning that converting to a different online reading platform should NOT be a year-long task, even if the application development staff (or outsourced consultants) are not at the top of the rung.

Running out of server space, as Don alluded to, is more a matter of nobody monitoring the site infrastructure regularly, so its possible that ever-increasing unpruned logfiles expanded to fill space, people just kept uploading content without anyone monitoring capacity, or there was a runaway process.

Like it or not, there are people in positions of authority and responsibility in MANY philatelic organizations that willfully eschew anything and everything technology, seemingly in the same way that natives in some primitive cultures fear technology, that it might "steal their soul". This sort of luddism is NOT good for the hobby in any way. It just isn't. For a hobby to survive it must evolve, regardless of whether the people or the digital age is primarily at fault. It is what it is.
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Posted 10/18/2021   6:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mml1942 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The ASDA has been working the back issue problems for most of the year. I spoke with them about it back about May, and it was being worked on by volunteers (not sure what that means). I had checked their site just a week ago, and found they recently had uploaded most of their back issues from 2013 (the earliest they ever had posted, forward to 2019 in PDF format. There were 3 or 4 issues that had bad links. There were another 3 or 4 issues which were oversized (150MB) rather than 30MB in size. I suspect that they were converting the back issues to PDF, and then running a utility to reduce file size.

I just logged in and found the site up.

Mike
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Edited by mml1942 - 10/19/2021 03:53 am
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Posted 10/19/2021   6:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I'm afraid I'm not understanding your point


My point: Technology is itself responsible for the problem you mention.

Technology creators look forward as that is where they see the monetization of their product, if they can achieve it.

They, the developers don't look backwards and then develop such that older information can be easily carried forward (migrated) to the new functionality. Thus a user's efforts to store information has to be repeated when there is no seamless transition to the new version, system or data storage, especially when created by a different company.

The book or journal which has been digitized must be continually updated to newer and newer systems or be lost to irretrievable obsolescence created by design or lack of caring by the designers. The analog version of the publications remain stable for years, decades and centuries in comparison with no more of an update than dust removal.

This is in addition to the huge number of failures in tech where ideas, companies, systems hard and soft, fall to the wayside or are purposely killed off or left to die.


Thus your cynical,
Quote:
"digital bad! paper good!"
should be corrected to "Books, long term stable! Tech likely unstable longer than a few months!"

The issue is not limited to just the various publication of philatelic interest:

I look on in interest as electric cars are developed due to the extensive use of soft and hard ware needed to create them (even standard ICEs have extensive soft and hard ware plus not even look at the big problems in court about modern computerized farm equipment). With the rule that the auto makers should have parts and equipment on hand to satisfy at least 10 years of routine maintenance and repair in will be interesting how that plays out. I challenge you to name a currently in wide us OS which has survived stable, meaning without massive hardware upgrades for over ten years. Rather, the cars are being pressured to be "willingly" out of service before that period.
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Posted 10/20/2021   08:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Unfortunately flash (.swf or .flv) to PDF is not easy nor direct. It's easy to go to Flash but a real pain to get data out. I would think they would have started with PDFs and converted to flash, having the original pdfs to fall back on, but if not. It would take a while and involve a lot of manual processing. Especially if really working with "volunteers", as chances are that they are not pros.

I've been in IT/Cyber professionally since 1985. As a contractor/consultant since 1998 working a variety of projects and problems for an array of clients. While I really do understand the sentiment, technology isn't the problem.

Technology is pretty straight forward. The problem is a people problem in an overwhelming majority of issues I have witnessed or been called in to clean up after over the years.

At the top of the list is mismanagement, followed by pushing systems to do more then designed for, not having adequate backup/redundancies, ad-hoc patching and making changes on a shoe sting budget (not reinvesting), and poorly trained people. Employers don't want to hear that employees need training to keep up with technology. They hire them when they are current and expect them to remain current by osmosis. Keeping systems and staff current with demands cost money... It's not like buying a set of wrenches that will work perfectly for decades and management being cost avoidant to begin with thinks everything is a wrench.

Having said all that... I personally have a great paper library as well.
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Edited by jconey - 10/20/2021 08:31 am
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Posted 10/20/2021   08:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The ASDA website in general has the feel of that house with the sagging porch, broken windows and peeling paint. I clicked on one link and it took me to a "null" message. I looked at another "click here" link that had no clickability. The issues seems larger than the original topic. I am not an IT dude but embrace technology for the most part. Everything needs to be taken care of. This I understand. And there is always the talent to do things if a) you are willing to pay and/or b) you give a hoot. Otherwise just let the engine run dry and park that rusted hulk in back of the barn.
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Posted 10/20/2021   09:17 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I could fix the site and fix the PDF issues in less then a week and while in dialysis. It is not rocket science.
Don
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Posted 10/20/2021   09:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Turff49 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Like others have said, the website is not laid out very well. They put out a good magazine but for those of us who travel for work all the time you can't take your library with you. I rely on the archives to look back for an article I might need for reference or information.
I think the Linns website is quirky too.
APS website is definitely better along with the APRL.
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Posted 10/20/2021   10:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jconey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Well Don, there are a lot of pro's who'd agree, but it doesn't seem like they are using any. That word 'volunteer' often means otherwise. So I doubt they know what they are doing which also means it'll take them a long time if ever. But I'm sure they'd welcome the help of a pro, even if retired (for free of course).
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Posted 10/20/2021   10:55 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My opinion is that one of philatelic organizations core competencies is the delivery of content. I question the wisdom of outsourcing a core competency to anyone except internal resources.

Early on, many organizations and companies approached websites as a marketing resource much like a flyer or business cards. They could be recognized by having what was called a 'web presence'; basically a glorified Yellow Pages ad. These sites typically only had a bit of promotional copy and contact info; suitable for volunteer work. But that was 2000 and this is 2021, plenty of time for internal resources to be either grown or hired.
Don
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Posted 10/20/2021   12:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don,

Thank you!


Quote:
I could fix the site and fix the PDF issues in less then a week and while in dialysis. It is not rocket science.


It is so much easier to criticize and point out the faults of others than to work toward solutions. Your post is such a breath of fresh air to take the positive approach!
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Edited by John Becker - 10/20/2021 12:29 pm
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