The end of the road for TextDrive has been on the cards for a number of months. Tickets have gone unanswered, Dean Allen, the saviour of all things TD has been AWOL since the split from Joyent and the entire infrastructure was bravely supported by Jacques Marneweck, a single engineer in South Africa who as it turned out, wasn’t getting paid.
It was a fairly sad demise for a community project that was created with the best intentions over a decade ago, offering a lifetime of hosting to small time venture capitalists attracted to the fairly unorthodox start up mentality. I was into it from the start, I loved the chat on the forums and being part of something different than what I was used to with traditional hosting. We all felt a bit special, part of a larger picture, kind of a digital community for free thinking developers.
The beginning of the end started when TextDrive became Joyent, we kind of knew that the lifetime hosting would come to an end at some point and to be honest I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did. When TextDrive re-emerged (spat out) from Joyent late in 2012 in a brave move to support the lifetime hosting accounts everyone was happy, although there was a sense of something fighting a brave retreat with no direction.
And so it ended. Many are still bitter at Joyent turning its back on its initial investors, but in reality USD 200 for ten years hosting represents astonishing value for money at USD 1.5 per month. Technology continues to move at a blistering pace and is incredibly fickle, so with that in mind we’d have been fools to think that TextDrive could have lasted forever.
Dean Allen resurfaced after a year AWOL to post a message about the end of service in March 2014. TextDrive legend Jacques Marneweck @txdjm started a new hosting company called Kaizen Garden, which already looks like being a huge success.