Webcam play-by-play as it was being Slashdotted on Sunday, October 17th, 2004

Slashdot hit the halloween webcam at 1739 on Sunday, October 17th - I wasn't on the computer at the time, but when I did get on an hour later, it was quite eveident! ;-) I wrote a complete Slashdot Effect Analys and here is the "play-by-play" as displayed on the webcam that night.

2004_10_17_18:55 - Holy Halloween Lights AGAIN Batman - we got Slashdotted - was FARK'ed just two days ago

2004_10_17_19:15 - Pulled "walking the dog graphic" to reduce load on web server. Also, the counters "blew up" ... so much for Perl Cookbook Recipe 7.11 about how to correctly/safely use file locking to increment a counter. I'm going to push the start-time back to sometime before 2100 (I hope!) to let the web server cool down a bit.

2004_10_17_19:37 - Looked at the raw Apache Logs - 8,511 Slashdotter's so far - YIKES!

2004_10_17_20:15 - Saw 22,405 hits on the halloween webcam - mostly in the the last two hours - web server is starting to behave a bit better, but I'm going to push the start time back to sometime between 2100-2200 MDT ... you guys gotta take a break and let it cool down - it will be up for another 2 weeks, so plenty of opportunity to cast your vote! ;-)

2004_10_17_21:51 - Webcam turned on - SHOWTIME!

2004_10_17_22:16 - currently showing 85 people in the last minute using the webcam (or at least that many making it through the web server). Everything is holding out well, the web server CGI (should used mod_perl! ;-) appears to be the bottleneck as it is displaying the page, but the image takes a while to load (it's typically between 10-20K, so not big). My wife is due home shortly - she is just going to shake her head when she drives into the garage and comes in the house ... BTW, 2220 web stats show 38,675 hits so far today - no doubt that Slashdot is stronger than FARK!!!

2004_10_17_22:31 - BTW, I turned down the number of lights/webcam actions you can do so others can have a chance. 1,545 images generated from 2200-2230 ... so with the 1 second throttle, this isn't far from the theoretical maximum of 1,800. My wife's comment - "I don't even want to know ..." ... but she REALLY does not like this whole thing and I mentioned casually about some guys from Slashdot driving out to the house tonight and she was NOT happy about that (we have two young kids, so late night knocks on our door would NOT be good) ... so I had to promise her I'd shut it down at 2300.

2004_10_17_23:05 - Coming up on 50,000 hits today - yea, Slashdot crushes FARK - come on by tomorrow night to see if the webcam is still working! ;-)

2004_10_18_00:15 - The webcam took 53,103 hits today - yea, no doubt that Slashdot is more powerful than FARK ... in the 79 minutes that the webcam was operational, it generated 3,501 images, so this is pretty close to the theoretical maximum with the one-second throttle ... it was pretty insane. Come on by tomorrow night to see if the webcam is still working! ;-)