App went bust -- I lost my data -- does this really happen?

The “Evernote is dying – get out now” meme is popular these days. Sort of a typical internet urban legend (“x is dead; I lost my data”).

When was the last time an app “died”, “went bust” and you suddenly, without warning lost access to all of your data? Not a case where the developer gave up (like the CircusPonies situation), but the case where one day there was an app and you could use your data, the next day pffft :sob:

I buy a lot of software – but I can’t think of when in 20 years this has ever happened to me.

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The developer of the 1980s Acta outliner (which amazingly remains free today for Motorola 68K machines!) sold the app, which later became known as Dyno Notepad as as well as Day-to-Day Notepad. As the app developed it gained the ability to embed pictures and audio. (IIRC there was no [easy?] way to export those embeds, but the details are fuzzy, because this was a long time ago, with software that was only running on 68K machines.)

At any rate, the app apparently sold poorly under the new devs and it was returned to the original developer, David Dunham, who made a new act-alike modern Mac OSX app called Opal which could import Acta/DynoNotepad/DayToDay outliner files… but only the text. Any attachments were permanently lost.

Anyway, I had a lot of outlines I’dcreated in the 80s and 90s that had images and audio embedded in them, and while I was ultimately able to get the meat of the old outlines when Opal came out, the attachments were lost forever.

I think you’d be hard pressed to think of anything post 1990s – everyone is aware of the problem and any responsible developer provides some export capabilities. The closest thing for me was Corel InfoCentral which was replaced by a mediocre PIM in WordPerfect Office 8 – I still keep a Win98 VM with it installed but migrated my data to FileMaker ca. 2009.

Cardscan software that locked you in using their software with the dedicated card scanners then ceased working on Mac with some S/N licensing issue that never could be resovled. All this happened after Dymo purchased them. They have discontinued all products software and hardware. I was never able to read all my scanned card databases from them ever.

The poor CS person tried to help my situtation out but had her hands tied with not being able to make any decisions or provide solutions to the problem she was as frustrated as me with the situation.

I can think of many more situtations where old proprietory data formats are inaccessible any more or that they do not work on new OS upgrades and the developer does/is not around to support updating it to work with the new OS versions

But specifically for Evernote I am exporting each folder in ENEX format and directly importing into KeepIt. It is not always working and takes a couple of times and is painfully slow hence doing it folder by folder I have just over 8000 notes

I can’t speak to your question but it’s an interesting subject to think about.

As for Evernote, I just can’t find it in myself to give too much credence to the scare stories. I mean, imagine the scenario where they go bust: they have a load of paying customers - I cannot imagine another company not picking up those accounts and that data as part of liquidation.


I think about this too, in that the likelihood that EN just goes POOF and disappears is very low in probability, if anything they would be purchased by another company of similar fashion, and existing customers would be provided some sort of offloading ability to whatever service(s) they provide.

Brought my Evernote recipe files into Ulysses using ENEX transfer got enough transfer to easily cook the dishes. No claims of perfection…

I wasn’t personally impacted by it, but it has happened

Within the span of 12 hours, the service experienced the permanent destruction of most Apache Subversion repositories and Elastic Block Store volumes and all of the service’s virtual machines. With no way to restore the data, Code Spaces officials said they were winding down the operation and helping customers migrate any remaining data to other services.

Anyone who had a local copy of their data still had it as of that point in time, but lost history or anything that they had only been keeping on the Code Spaces service with no other copies.

It just happened to me last week. I went to access the source for an application I wrote in the early 2000’s built using Borland JBuilder. JBuilder was installed in a Windows XP virtual machine. Unfortunately it seems to have un-licensed itself and I can’t relicense it because the license server is long gone. By the way, their motto was “Borland – Excellence Endures” but it didn’t endure long enough.

While I can’t easily edit the application’s GUI, which was defined in proprietary format files, all the actual Java source code was there, allowing me to rebuild the application.

Hmm I had also forgotten about ma.gnolia’s total loss of user data.