Stack Overflow – new king of humour

Funniest story from the development team over that partition.

The team was having issues with network settings on Windows Vista, so one developer asked a question on Stack Overflow regarding the problem. A day later the team lead after doing some Google research sent an internal emailed to the group, suggesting the Stack Overflow question with a note “look someone else is having our problem, and seems to have some leads…”

Oh the humour when it was pointed out that the question asker had a handle that was the same as the full name of a team member.

Also on a side note: I’ve been not been blogging much recently, mostly because I have been taking all those spare micro moments that previously I’d have bashed a post up, to read/answer Stack Overflow questions, it’s so addictive

Telstra now installed!

After lots of rubbish, we have finally returned to Telstra as our telephone and Internet provider. Take that Telecom! – Again!!

I have spent the evening making the file-server linux box now act as a firewall/router/NAT box as well as what it was previously doing.

Finished downloading some stuff, that had been started on the Xtra Broadband, oh my gosh Telstra is just faster, by lots!

Now I might even get back into FPS gaming….

Slow DNS on MacBook

We have been experiencing very slow web page loading times on the MacBook (via Firefox).  After reading lots on blogs and the like of people complaining, I found one note that struck a cord with me on talking about OpenDNS. The slowness was almost pin-able to DNS as all the waiting for data from x.com type stuff went by in a flash, after the huge pause was over.
Firefox waiting for data

So I did a side by side compare of loading a sub-page on Trade Me, on the old Window PC vs. the new MacBook. Using the same Wifi. The PC won hands down.  In fact it finished before the Mac had started.

With it in hand I decided to see how the networks were different.

Long story short-er-ish, The Mac was getting IP & DNS settings from the router, and the PC had them manually configured. Applying manual setting to the MacBook, and hay presto… fast page loads. Yay!

So this is a case of the ‘auto-magic just works’ causing problems, as it wasn’t the best solution, but it did work mostly.

Mintshot Auctions

Yesterday after spending time trying to win a $25 dollar cheese voucher and failing, I decided to investigate how the auctions work a little.

The first thing I noticed was that I was getting snipped by people in the last few seconds, yet it was hard to know when the last few seconds were.

So for the next cheese auction (item_id 145 unit_id 395) the URL of the closing time is:
http://www.mintshot.co.nz/components/com_cat/getBidTime.php?item_id[]=145&unit_id[]=395
this currently displays:
145x395-closes in 4 mins and 49 secs*
this can be hit every second, giving you quite good time count down.

the bidding history can be found at:
http://www.mintshot.co.nz/components/com_cat/getBidStatus.php?adv_id=145&unit_id=395
which returns this as html
Mintshot auction history

I’ve shown a picture here due to the actual result is 9kB (1.7kB html 7.3kB inline styles).

Also of interest is that the winners time is shown 30 minutes before the previous bid. WTF!

I had planned to pull the past cheese auctions and show the history of the winning prices. But my own Internet went funny last night, and Mintshot is down this morning, sighting heavy traffic.
Mintshot down… again

Other issues:

  • When watching an auction, only the time left refreshes. This means you have to reload the whole page to see if the current leader or auction history has changed.
  • There is a large amount of debugging code left in the live site, but commented out. You can almost see the developers figuring out how to get it working by what is left in there.
  • Explicit styles set on every element. Not only does it bloat the page, and makes more work for the servers, but horror if they decide to re-theme the site.

Mintshot

I’ve been watching mintshot.co.nz this morning, interesting idea. I have watched a lot of adds, and have ~3,000 mint dollars. Most thing seem to be selling for m$12,000, so I’m guessing I need to watch for a few weeks to get a little action. Only on the Internet can you be paid to watch adds.

There are a few guessing games, that look game-able, so I’ll have to read the code a little more to see… hmm cheating my way to prizes….