Backpack API Throttling

A few weeks ago Greg received an email from Jeremy over at 37signals asking us why we were hitting the Backpack API so frequently (we were hitting it every 10 seconds looking for reminders that were in need of attention). At that time he informed us that they would be implementing some API throttling in order to limit how many requests could come in from one IP. We were a little unsure what the actual throttling would be so we did what any great new two man company would do…we did nothing. The thought was that when 37signals finished up their API throttling implementation, our code would break and we’d fix it appropriately since then we’d know what 37signals was doing with their API. Well, it looks like that throttling was put in place because our code broke with the API returning this error. WebServiceRequesterError: Error occured (503): You have exceeded 10 calendar requests in a 5-second period. Please wait 5 seconds before retrying. We added some code to the begin rescue blocks that surround the API calls to sleep for 5 seconds when we get this error message. The end result is some uglier code and processing that’s a little sluggish but it works now. If you are a Reveille customer that was impacted by this issue, then please accept our apologies. If not then check out Reveille, it’s a sweet little app that automatically creates Backpack Reminders for your Backpack Calendar...

Create Reveille reminders in Backpack via SMS

Recently, 37signals rolled out an update to Backpack that allows calendar events to be created with an SMS message from your mobile device. This is a pretty cool new feature for Backpack users on the go, just like us. The great news is you can use Reveille via SMS too. How does it work? To create a Backpack event via SMS that includes Reveille reminders, simply add the reminder hash-tags to the event description as you would if you were logged into Backpack. Here’s what it looked like when I created a few: You can add as many reminder hash-tags to the description as you want, but be careful to not exceed your maximum SMS message length. Once the event is created, Reveille will do the rest to create the reminders for you. They will also show up in your schedule view in Reveille as you would expect. That’s it! SMS event creation in Backpack enhanced with the power of Reveille reminders. Thanks for using Reveille! Learn more about...

Reveille Product Update: Timezone issue has been fixed

What’s New? We recently deployed an update which addresses some issues with reminders getting created at the incorrect time. In order to completely fix your account, you will need to set your timezone in Reveille. Go to your Settings page, and choose the time zone that matches what your Backpack timezone is. The change is saved automatically. After your timezone is set in Reveille, any new calendar events that include reminder hash-tags will have reminders created at the correct times. Will My Existing Reminders Get Fixed? Yes! We automatically scanned your Backpack calendar for you when you set your time zone and recreated all of the reminders that were scheduled for the wrong times. What Happened? A bug in the software that connects Reveille with Backpack was causing reminders to be created at the wrong time, sometimes off by many hours. Or, to put it in simpler terms, we screwed up and we are really sorry it happened. To make it up to you, we are going to reset the 30-day trial period on all accounts starting today. Thank you for your patience while we worked to fix this...

Reveille: From Start to Finish in 85 Days

A few weeks back we introduced Reveille as a slick new way to tie your Backpack Calendar to Backpack Reminders.  Today we’re proud to say that Reveille is now available for anyone to check out. Only 85 Days…Part time mind you We built this fairly simplistic, but extremely useful application in 85 days while maintaining our current full time jobs, keeping our wives happy, spending time with our kids and helping with homework, serving at church, etc.  So, basically while we were living our normalish lives, we whipped this product out in our spare time. How we 4HWW’d and Got Real with Reveille As a “side” project, we had to make the most of our time and efforts.  We’re avid followers of 37signals and Tim Ferris so we applied many liberal doses of Getting Real and 4HWW to Reveille.  The end result of all the minimalist effort is that Reveille does basically one thing, it could do more, we’d like it to do much, much more, but for the time being it simply does this one thing:  Reveille automatically creates reminders for you based on your calendar items. We’re bootstrapping the project so we are very picky about what we actually spend money on. We actually developed Reveille on a PC turned server in DL’s basement. We purchased a slice from Slicehost to run our production site on.  We used Basecamp to help us manage the project so we could easily see what was left to do and make judgment calls as to the importance of those tasks.  We took advice from Guy Kawasaki and Dharmesh Shah and we...