I don’t normally report on the technical trials and tribulations of running Planet Vending, writes Publisher and MD Yvonne Reynolds-Young, but on this occasion…
Planet Vending has turned into a monster-sized web site. With more than 1,600 feature articles, which record the history of vending over the past 9 years, it’s become about as manoeuverable as an oil tanker! We like to be seen as the proverbial swan; appearing to glide effortlessly along its course, whilst paddling away like billy-o beneath the surface. This week though, our beautiful bird morphed – temporarily – into an ugly duckling.
Just days after me telling you that we are always here and always will be, the dreaded finger of fate pointed at us in a rather menacing fashion. Technical issues with the server over the weekend took Planet Vending off line for four whole days. This was an unwelcome ‘first’ for us. Sure, we’ve suffered the odd blackout over the last 9 years – like most sites – but we’ve always been back on line within an hour or so. Not this time. And to make matters worse, our ability to send and receive email went down with the site. Talk about having your wings clipped…
We decided enough was enough and we took a scalpel to our anaesthetised patient. We switched servers – performed a heart transplant, if you like – and we now have a new home that is more robust, gives us more control; is faster and – touch wood – will keep on ticking for years to come.
So we’re back, including emails. Nothing has been lost from the site, thank goodness, but frustratingly, much of my email history has vanished into cyberspace. (Ian R-Y seems to have escaped this particular ignominy). Hopefully, the missing mail will be restored in the coming days; but if you’ve sent me anything over the last week, please resend it.
I know I needed a clear-out but, I didn’t order an email enema!
A big shout-out to the Planet Vending Technical Director, Ian Maguire. Many of the snack suppliers among you will know him as our ‘Samples King’, but in his day-job he is single-handedly responsible for keeping us afloat and set fair. He certainly earned his Captain’s stripes (again) this week, working through to the wee small hours every day to dodge the looming icebergs that might have sunk us for good. Thanks mate.
Today Planet Vending is playing catch-up, so although our traditional Friday e-mail might be a bit skinny, at least there will be an e-mail.
Next week, I’ll mostly be braving the skies, the airports, the buses and the trains so that I can visit my nonagenarian mum in North Berwick for a few days, just in case we’re to be held in limbo again over the winter. Quarantine means that it’ll be no holiday. My laptop will be on as per, so it’ll be business as usual, just a tad cooler.
In case you missed our lead features last week, you can find a story on Jamie Oliver’s complaint about vending here, news of an exciting new bean to cup solution from Lavazza Professional here and word of a change at the top at Burt’s Snacks here.
Finally, thanks so much to those of you who were kind enough to alert us to our problems. We value all our many Planet Vending readers, but you guys go to the top of the class. We’re back: anchors aweigh!