Archive for the ‘Technical’ Category

No duplicated messages

August 11, 2009

I have restricted the number of messages each user may send to others in a given time. This is to avoid mass spammers sending hundreds of messages before I can stop them. I have set up to a maximum of 5 messages in any given 5 minutes time span. I’ve noticed some users may send legitimate messages more often than that sometimes, but I’ll wait to see if they complain about the new limitation.
I have also blocked messages from being sent multiple times, as when you click twice on the ‘send’ button. It was quite annoying to see the same message repeated twice or three times in your list of messages.

Automatic deletion of bad users’ votes

August 8, 2009

I have set it up so that when a user gets removed because of Bad Trader Reports, or other violations of the Terms of Use, all votes they submitted with that account with an extreme value (minimum or maximum) get removed. This way we cancel one of the goals these user try to achieve (especially those with multiple accounts): to cheat the voting system. Hopefully this will increase fairness on the site and it also takes a tiresome task away from me! 🙂

A few restrictions on user names and passwords

July 30, 2009

In order to increase the security on the sites, I have added a few more restrictions to user names: they can not contain more than two digits, and passwords: they have to be at least four characters long, can not be identical to the user name, and can not have too many identical characters (‘0000’) or sequential numbers (‘12345’).

Automatic tweets!

July 22, 2009

Each time a new set is added to the site an update is posted now to my Twitter

Duplicating cards

May 9, 2009

I have added the option to the admins of the site when editing a card to duplicate it instead and insert it as a new card. This way we can create new cards that are very similar to previous ones in the same set, we just edit the similar card, change its number, which needs to be unique, and any other differences, and the card is created with the data provided.
I have just used it to add the Ultimate Rare and Ghost Rare versions of existing cards in the YuGiOh Crimson Crisis set.

Also, when uploading card images, I have added an appropriate error message when the zip file is too large (or corrupted).

Hotmail blocking all my messages!

May 7, 2009

One of the problems I encountered when moving to a new hosting company is that the IP addresses had to change, so I had to set up DNSs and stuff, but also, I found out that all my messages to hotmail addresses were been bounced! I had to set up special DNS records (SPF TXT records) but that was not enough. I had to answer a lot of questions from the guys at Microsoft and finally the lifted the block on my new IPs. It meant a lot of emails were lost (not redirected to spam folders, simply and directly deleted forever) and in the process I discovered that I’m sending around 3,000 email messages every day! Wow, that’s a lot of inter-user conversations, automatic reports on possible trades, and admin reports…! 🙂

I also need to implement a system that intercepts bouncing messages and cancels the responsible accounts.

Moved to new hosting company

May 7, 2009

I have been forced to move away from my hosting company, as they tried to charge me for services I did not receive and they were not willing to explain. It’s taking a lot of time and work but finally managed to do it with very little down time and without loosing any data.
And the servers now are more powerful and have all the latest software, so I’m running the whole site with just two machines (one of them for the online gaming), and it seems to go quite smoothly.

News admin

January 14, 2009

I have developed an admin system to manage the site’s news, so they are now stored in the database and inserted in the home page dinamically. So now I don’t have to manually edit the HTML in the four home pages every time I want to publish a new message about the site.

The first news I have published using this system is a call for help, asking users of the site to contribute to maintain the site and help it grow.

Improved performance

December 22, 2008

I’ll be trying to update this blog more often so that you are aware of all the work I put on the sites.

I have recently rented yet another server (and that makes it six of them!) and this one is much more powerful. It is allowing the site run much more smoothly and is also helping out the gaming server which was also overloaded.

I have also published our Official Trading Guidelines so as to make sure nobody gets cheated when trading through the site.

Earlier this year I have also improved the trade search engine that lets you now filter the matches with other people’s collections by multiple parameters, like a specific game or a single country or a minimum number of matches. This makes a Premium membership even more valuable and hopefully will encourage more people to buy one so that I can afford the new servers and continue serving this community.

We also generated the binder views for collections and for ‘haves’, which let you virtually have your trade binders online so that others can browse them, and also your collection binders for you to explore and organize any time you want.

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