A Blog About Vector The Robot
“Within This Week”

“Within This Week”

That’s what DDL representatives said about when the servers will come back up again. That was last week. Regardless of when you think the weeks ends, may it be the work week on fridays or or on sundays, that time is over and the servers are still offline with no indication they will come back soon. Or ever.

But why would we expect anything else? We all remember the constant stream of broken release and shipment date promises coming out of DDL regarding the release of Vector 2.0, where one unrealistic timeframe followed the other to lull customers. Or the release dates for Escape Pod or OSKR that were botched again and again, with OSKR in the way that was promised in the Kickstarter campaign not in existence until today, three years later.

Aside from that every new piece of information coming out of this company contradicts what they said earlier. Hanchar said he wants to go away from DDL to be no longer “fleeced” by Amazon for AWS services. In one email it was said they want to go to “own servers” and in the same mail they said they work with Amazon to solve this. So what is it? Own servers or working with Amazon?


There is a reason you run servers for a globally used service on Amazon AWS or something very similar. Performance, availability, redundancy, to name a few. If something goes wrong you usually can switch to a server clone and be online again in minutes. AWS allows you to react to load peaks by automatically adding more resources to the server to deal with it. Running such services is no small feat. With the knowledge how “well” DDL’s websites and own services performed in the past (poorly), there is no way in my opinion that they will pull off running that on own servers. Also: Why should possibly do that with all engineers gone and with no perspective to get new ones, because no one wants to work without being paid?

But now a little more information comes into the daylight:

So actually they are not “divorcing” from Amazon AWS and EC3 because of “fleecing” as Hanchar claimed, but instead they do the exact opposite, now they are “partners” and they work with them to replace old EC3 server instances with new ones? That is something completely different.

From the look of this I would guess that the OSes (or other software components) of the server instances run on AWS became too old and reached end of service so they would have to be updated. And of course DDL would overlook something like that (or maybe had no one to update them). Amazon does not just switch off your old servers (old server configs can pose security risks), they would warn you in advance about it, months, if not years before that happens (as I know from personal experience). So: were those warnings ignored? Missed?

Whatever it was, it again attests highly incompetent and unprofessional behavior at Digital Dream Labs. They should have had months advance warning to migrate the servers.

And I do not need to be Cassandra to prophesize what will happen, if DDL actually moves to “own servers” at any time in the future to save money on Amazon AWS services: Massive service quality degradation and frequent blackouts. I can see no way how they will be able to pull that off, especially not without staff.

Another part of the puzzle is the fact that they are no longer in their office building in Pittsburgh, since that is on lease. In 2023 a company does not need to have an office and it can be decentralized with working from home and with people all over the world. But you need good communication and project management for that and DDL lacks both.

And still another fine piece of information is that they want to give their customers free subscription time as a compensation for the prolonged server outage. From an email that arrived yesterday, users on a monthly or yearly subscription will get three months free time when the servers are back online, whenever that will be.

Customers that bought lifetime get nothing. That’s how DDL treats their customers.

And what may “future Vectors” be? I laughed a lot at that.


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