About 2020 & The Future

I wanted to say something about what has happened over the last year and what happened to HGS as a result. It started with me having a heart attack in February after being ill for months without noticing how bad it actually was. I was very lucky to have been treated by the amazing people at the NHS who put a stent in within a couple of hours. It was a long physical recovery , it was like having someone else’s body, although in other ways I felt much better than I had beforehand.

Most importantly I want to thank everyone for their concern, and the donations I received last year was an amazing thing that really helped me out at a crunch point. Facing death really has caused a shift in how I see the world, I have had a lot of positive stuff to come from it, but there’s also been a subconscious reluctance to step back into the life I was leading. It’s felt like sinking sand and the website issue became the mountain I had to climb.

The Website

TLS 1.1 was retired by web browsers which is how the server deals with security certificates. My server was quite a few years old and was corrupting files and in the end had trouble remembering the date, resetting back to 1970 which is possibly down to the cmos battery in the machine. So I got a new server and then discovered that my website was not supported by PHP7… It was at this point that I realised what a mess I was in. The site uses a complex system to manage orders and downloads that I coded myself, it was essential that I kept the orders intact so that people could still access their downloads.

I’m not sure how many attempts I had at upgrading the existing site, but it was quite a few and it became a huge mountain to climb that I couldn’t face. Each time I tried to do it I would end up with a non functional site. So eventually I decided to build a brand new site and graft on the orders and products etc.. It’s worked and so I now FINALLY have the new server running the new site. I’ve rebuilt the downloads system which is hopefully issue free. It’s been great to get the new site going, I’ve kept it nice and clean for now, there’s still a few things to do (like the Group Buy Code), but it’s good enough for now.

If any of you are wondering why the upgrade coupons have gone for Kosmology etc… I have now written a discount system which allows me to apply upgrade discount automatically. There will be a message on the product page if this is the case and the discount will be applied at the checkout.

If you notice any problems with the site, please let me know.

The Future

I’ve now managed to get back into working on Kontakt instruments, and it’s great to back doing something productive. I’m quite excited about the Sample Manager and it opens up many possibilities for the future. I’m also formulating a bit of a roadmap now I’m easing back into things:

  • I want to continue Serenity Group Buy (don’t laugh). I know it’s probably the longest running group buy ever by now, it got off to 2 false starts due to health, but I’m determined to see it through. I need to rewrite the Group Buy Code as it isn’t working correctly right now. I’m thinking of getting onto it in a few weeks time. I will possibly do it as a slow burn thing though as opposed to full on intensity. I’m really looking forward to doing the
  • I want to do some maintenance releases, I’ve noticed a few minor issues are creeping up with the newer Kontakt versions so I want to check all the products.
  • the work will have to be balanced with stuff that earns in the immediate though, I’m in a dire financial situation and right now have to get some money coming in.
  • I want to make something for free as a Thankyou to everyone who donated last year, I’m still thinking about what I could do for that.

Well, if you’ve got this far, thanks for reading and I hope that you are all coping with the Covid nightmare and staying safe! It’s been quite a year.