Recent Pic-a-POD Changes

There have been several changes to Pic-a-POD over the past few months:

New POD sites:

Sadly Earth Shots had a server breakdown and after losing data decided not to continue to host a POD site, so that site had to be removed from Pic-a-POD.

The NASA sites and National Geographic have changed the way they serve POD data which makes it much easier to use, but it does change every now & then, so I am always grateful to people who let me know when their favourite sites are no longer working in Pic-a-POD.

Pic-a-POD caught in US Government Shutdown

Due to the current shutdown of the US government, the NASA web sites are completely offline. For Pic-a-POD, this means that the Astronomy and Earth Observatory PODs are unavailable.

Pic-a-POD for iOS will continue showing some info about the last pics available (1st October) but will be unable to download the images.

Pic-a-POD for Mac is in more trouble as it tries more actively to fill in the blanks. With  entire domain names off the net, this can take a very long time. So I suggest turning off Astronomy & Earth Observatory in the Sources menu until the government shutdown is over.

Pic-a-POD Offline

The Pic-a-POD web site and all associated files were transferred to a new server last night (December 3rd).

The site contains files & databases where Pic-a-POD gets it’s lists of sources, URL of pics, news etc.¬†It appears that these files did not survive the transfer!

So Pic-a-POD for Mac is currently incapable of getting any information or new pictures.
Pic-a-POD for iOS uses a different mechanism so it is still working but will not get any new pics.

Sorry for the inconvenience – I am working hard to get it restored as soon as possible.

UPDATE: Partial success – Pic-a-POD for Mac is now managing to get enough data so it can display the current pics (December 3rd). Changing the desktop will now also work. You may need to restart Pic-a-POD in order to see this.

However it is not yet capable of displaying any new pics – still working on it.

UPDATE 2 – 5th December: The server issues are gradually being resolved. Now it is reduced to a single problem – I cannot access the Pic-a-POD database on my server. Once that is fixed, Pic-a-POD for Mac & iOS should start functioning normally again.

UPDATE 3 – 6th December: Pic-a-POD for iOS is now working as expected. Pic-a-POD for Mac is still sometimes querying the wrong data (I think there is a caching problem caused by my multiple attempts to create a work-around), but some new pics are coming through now. The Lunar POD is causing some more problems, either by a massive coincidence or due to some incompatibility with my new server. Pic-a-POD is using computed addresses for the Lunar pics, but cannot get captions or text data. The computed addresses may be wrong sometimes, but I figured they were better than nothing!

UPDATE 4 – 8th December: Pic-a-POD should now be back online. There may be some issues with missing pics for 5th December but all new pics should now be coming in correctly. If there looks to be incorrect data for any day, refresh that pic and it might solve itself.

One star review on iTunes

A few days ago, Pic-a-POD for Mac received the following review on the Mac App Store:

Review

Separating this out, the reviewer has the following issues:

  1. Not enough info during downloads.
  2. Resets desktop change on download.
  3. Should be more controllable by the user.
  4. Could have a prettier interface.

Since Apple provides no way to communicate back to reviewers, I am posting my response here in the hope that the reviewer will read this and contact me.

Continue reading One star review on iTunes