Site now launched

Well, it was a hard slog, but I finally got the new site launched.

I’ve been working on the tune search on and off since last October and putting in most of my spare time since April. By early June I thought it was nearly ready and bought the domain name and a year’s hosting as a birthday present to myself. are my host company – and very responsive they are too. Highly recommended (especially if you want java servlet hosting)!

Of course, setting everything up wasn’t as straightforward as I’d imagined, though it was gratifying to see it working in just a couple of days. And then to spot repeated accesses by a IP address I tracked down as a Googlebot – they’d found me already (though since the site has Google ads, I guess that’s not surprising).

The site crashed soon after that – the server was at the limit of its memory and ran out. And that was with just me and Google using the site – it didn’t bode well for lots of users.

However, I managed to optimise the memory use (cut it by about a quarter) and so far, so good.

There were still loads of little jobs to do though and I wasn’t at all sure it would be ready for my intended launch date of 21st June – midsummer’s day.

And then, in one of those happy synchronicities, just five days short I got an email from Julian May of the BBC (I knew him when I played in Jean-Pierre Rasle’s show, Cornemusiques, on Radio 3). Anyway Julian said he was making a programme for Radio 4 about abc and the Village Music Project and could he and Tim Van Eyken come and interview me.

They arranged to visit on 23rd and so then I just had to get it done.

A few more days frantic work and it was ready, up and running, just waiting for me to tell an unsuspecting world about it. I launched it, sitting in bed with my laptop, replacing pages on the old website with redirects, changing the forwarding for and finally emailing the abcusers mailing list.

Julian and Tim turned up at the University two days later and it was gratifying to see that not only was the site still up, but the clustrmap already showed several hundred visits from around the world. In fact one of the things that impressed them most was the clustrmap from the old site showing visitors from pretty much every country on earth and including a big red dot on Timbuktu.

Anyway the interview went pretty well, I think, and the programme’s due to go out next month (BBC Radio 4 at 1.30pm on 21st July). I even got to play my pipes for them.

All in all then a bit of a roller-coaster ride in the last couple of months. And there still seems so much to do …


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