A Milestone

Milestone - covers 500, 250, and 001.

We are publishing issue 500 this Saturday, May 25, a big milestone for us. Back in 2014, the world of printed magazines came screeching to an end. We had to stop publishing our beloved monthly magazine, Handjobs. We almost folded completely. But a handful of readers begged us to keep writing stories. And so we started our weekly publication, Dad’s Bedtime Tales Newsletter, which we emailed to a small group of dedicated readers.

There are large tech-heavy metropolises 75 miles to the north and to the south of us, Still, where we live there is no regular internet. At the time we were paying over $2,000 a month for a measly 3 Mbps up and down internet connection. And we were hosting our website in house on that service. Hard to believe now.

So when our contract for that service ended at the end of 2014, so did our old hjmag.com website. For those of you who need to know the tech details we ran that site on WebSTAR. And when 4D purchased WebSTAR and incorporated the WebSTAR software into their database, it made it easier for us because we used 4D to run our business.

HJMag.com Comes Back to Life

We managed to cobble together enough internet service by using various MiFi devices over the years. And by 2019 web hosting services had progressed to the point that we revived our hjmag.com website, achieving another milestone. Even so, we’d loose internet service for days at a time without notice. So we never knew from Saturday to Saturday if we would be able to email that Saturday’s newsletter.

Our luck changed when in February 2021 we got StarLink service. Finally we had decent, reliable internet service. At last we could count on being online 24/7 at a decent clip and work on our website.

Still, it’s been a wild ride learning the ins and outs of using various hosting companies. Since we accept credit card purchases on our site, we must meet strict security standards. Our site is rigorously tested on a regular basis to ensure it isn’t vulnerable to a host of issues.

And we have to give a shoutout to ChatGPT. Before it came along, getting answers and explanations for various technical matters was difficult. Since then, we have been able to work on our website’s code and eliminate many plugins we used to rely on. We had to jimmy those plugins to meet our needs. With ChatGPT’s help, we can create compact, efficient code that runs much better than the third-party plugins. For example we used one plugin that controlled the dollar volume of orders and the allowable quantity of items ordered. But it consists of 47 files and tens of thousands of lines of code. We were able to accomplish the same thing with 100 lines of code.

The Future?

No one knows what the future will bring. But many thanks to our many readers, we are still here. Really, we can’t thank you enough. And hopefully, come December 24, 2033, we will reach another milestone by issuing Dad’s Bedtime Tales Newsletter 1,000.