What's New On These Pages: May 2005
Next month: June 2005
- Saturday 28th May
Just had yet another (my 4th or 5th) long argument with the interactive phone
line people about the "missing' UK winners info from the official site's
Euro Millions Prize Breakdown page. Still got stonewalled, so I threw in the
complaint about the fact that they shut down the main Lotto online purchases
at 7.30pm on draw night (fair enough, since that's when the Lotto terminals
close their sales too), but then don't seem to open them up
again until the following morning !
Now, I know that the "real-life" terminals don't start selling until 6.00am,
but I'm confused as to why the online equivalent can't open up again at,
say, midnight. Yes, I know that the results are still "unofficial" at that
point, but the only time I think that an error in such results might matter
is if they announced the wrong number of jackpot winners (encouraging people
to buy a ticket for the rollover, who otherwise wouldn't), but that's never
happened yet in over a decade.
What really got my goat though, is the point at which they stop you playing
if their online main Lotto sales are closed. They shouldn't display a
playslip to put your numbers in (but they do) and they shouldn't accept the playslip
form and display the numbers/weeks/draw days and total cost after submitting
the playslip (but they do). Yes, you've guessed it, only when you click on the
final "Buy" button does it tell you the online sales are closed! Even worse than
that, they don't tell you when they'll be open either! Imagine if Amazon did that
when you go to buy something - there'd be rioting in the streets :-)
- Friday 27th May
The official Luxembourg Euro Millions site's results page shifted its full URL
this week (but remained at the same top-level Web address). It doesn't make
too much difference really, because the official Swiss site tends to get
the numbers first (unsurprising, because they currently host the draw).
Modified the "mini balls" code for the home page so that instead of using
only 10 image filenames (numbered 0 to 9) for each type of draw's mini balls
(meaning they'd be re-used every 5 weeks, possibly risking being cached from
a previous visit), I've now switched that to 100 images (so they will be
re-used every 100 draws...i.e. about once a year).
- Thursday 26th May
Bought two more tickets (online) for Saturday's single rollover draw, but
I was annoyed that the online purchases are closed after about 11.00pm BST
and I had to wait until today to buy them - why?! I'm also down to zero balance
in my online account, having spent my initial £6 I transferred in.
- Thursday 19th May
Switched my work build machine for lottery pages to a faster
HP-UX PA-RISC box, so this should mean that page generation
following any draw is now about 4 times faster (which should
stop people coming into the chat room and wondering if a
draw has actually taken place !).
I don't think I'll be able to get the HP-UX code any faster now,
so the next speed up will come from changing the hosting from
HP-UX to Linux, which I'm planning to do in the near future once
a couple of technical hurdles have been overcome (like ImageMagick
issues with its buggy montage command for one thing...).
- Saturday 7th May
Bought two additional tickets online (via the official site of
course) for next Wednesday's single rollover draw. It struck me
that the final page before I spent the £2 did not
tell me the dates of the draws it would be entered for (just
the days of the week and the number of weeks) and yet the page
after I spent the money did tell me the draw dates! Surely
it should tell you those dates before you purchase? Something
to notify Camelot about I reckon...
Previous month: April 2005