What's New On These Pages: September 1999
Next month: October 1999
- Wednesday 29th September
The chat room was moderately busy during the live draw (surprising
considering the inevitable ITV live European soccer - Manchester United
scraping a win - that the lottery show had to compete with) and the
live TV show commentary and draw went fine.
Unfortunately, the intranet filestore server was sluggish because we
were upgrading multiple workstations to HP-UX 11.00 this evening
(generating a lot of network traffic) and it took about 3 times as
long to generate the pages containing the full results,
during which time ITV teletext sneaked in and did a full update - most
annoying ! I was still the fastest on the Net to update of course.
- Saturday 25th September
The chat room was fairly quiet during the TV show, but at least the live
commentary and draw went fine. I was the first to put up the full results,
which surprisingly arrived only 40 minutes after the draw (though the
Thunderball followed some 10 minutes after the main lottery results).
I had intranet problems prior to the draw this evening, which luckily didn't
show up too much on the live lottery site, but there were problems trying
to generate the pages (fileserver not talking to workstations intermittently).
To cap it off, I discovered that the lottery cron jobs hadn't been enabled
after yesterday's OS upgrade, so I've enabled them now.
- Friday 24th September
My office workstation
has been upgraded to HP-UX 11.00, so the lottery CGIs will run
"natively" on the 11.00 server holding this site for the first time.
- Wednesday 22nd September
The chat room was moderately busy for tonight's live
draw (yet again competing against European soccer on ITV !)
and the live TV show commentary and draw went fine. I was
the first to update the full results, even if they took almost
an hour to turn up.
I've registered a new top-level domain for this site, which
could be contentious with Camelot (but they've had 5 years to
register it and haven't done so, plus it's a non-commercial
domain anyway). It's aliased to this site at the moment,
but if no-one objects, I'll make it the main domain in
a few months' time and announce it formally then (but
the cleverer folks amongst you should be able to work out
what it is).
- Tuesday 21st September
Switched the software build for the CGIs on these pages
to use 64-bit code (PA-RISC 2.0 for the techies out there),
instead of the previous 32-bit code. This is because my
office workstation and the test and live servers holding
these pages are all on 64-bit machines now.
- Sunday 19th September
I've been having problems processing the last week's lottery
access stats - one of the workstations doing it was running
out of memory - so I switched it to another machine and it
It also revealed what was causing the problem - the infamous
Lycos Spider has been "attacking" my site since 13th September -
over 500,000 hits from it spread across 5 days. Basically,
Lycos stupidly follow CGIs down several levels and my site
is full of such CGI links of course. Lycos programmers are
fools - they should get their act together and stop hammering
my site. At this rate, I'll be forced to put a robots.txt in,
which I really don't want to have to do.
Needless to say, all sorts of access records got pointlessly
smashed - 157,310 page requests in a single
day [15th September], 9,226 page requests between 9.00pm and
10.00pm on that day and a crazy total of 683,414 page requests
(3 times the usual figure) for the week beginning 12th
- Saturday 18th September
ITV aired a "Britain's Richest Lottery Winners" just as
the £10m Super Draw was taking place on BBC 1 as a
"spoiler", but the chat room was still fairly busy with
people watching the exclusively live (on the Net) TV
show commentary and draw, which went fine.
Yet again, the BBC 1 lottery update beat Camelot to
announcing the jackpot tier info, but I still put the
full results up before anyone else, albeit a full
hour after the draw. Had a delay getting the
Thunderball ticket sales (Camelot surprisingly didn't
initially have them), but got those about 45 minutes
- Wednesday 15th September
The chat room was moderately busy this evening (I did have live
European soccer on ITV to contend with, as ever on a Wednesday)
and the live TV show commentary and draw went fine. I was the
first to put up the full results, despite the BBC 1 lottery
update beating Camelot to announcing the jackpot info.
- Saturday 11th September
The chat room was reasonably busy during the tortuous 30 minute TV show
and two draws and the live commentary and draw went fine. The TV show
was padded with music rubbish at the end, which allowed Camelot to make
one of their rare "number of jackpot winner announcements" just before the
TV show went off the air. I put the full results up faster than anyone else
- Thursday 9th September
Finally found the time to scan in the £10 cheque that Camelot sent me the
- Wednesday 8th September
There were a reasonable number of people in the chat room for tonight's
live Net TV show commentary and draw, which had to compete against
Channel 5's live showing of Poland vs. England (a goalless draw).
The live updates went fine and I was first to put up the full results.
- Saturday 4th September
The chat room was a little quiet until about 10 minutes into the
lottery TV show and then people started to trickle in. The
live TV show commentary and two draws went fine, though it was
annoying that Camelot used the excuse of the Super Draw
and the Thunderball draw to fall back to their hour-long delay
before announcing the full results.
- Friday 3rd September
The RAM on this server has now been upgraded (more than 1GB in total)
and our commercial Telewest Internet line now has quadruple the bandwidth
(now at 8Mbit/s).
- Thursday 2nd September
Received the Camelot Annual Report through the post today - it's bizarrely
spiral-bound for the first time, with awkward pages that fold out. I really
don't like the new format at all.
- Wednesday 1st September
Due to, let's just say, "technical problems" during a Telewest line upgrade
today, we lost the external Net connection for this Web server for several
hours until, remarkably, only 10 minutes before the lottery TV show
started (no, I didn't plan it that way - it was a fluke it was back in time).
The line upgrade (to be completed on Friday)
should bring 8Mbit/s on stream for this server - 4 times
more capacity that the previous line and hopefully resulting in a faster
As for the live TV show and draw commentary, they went fine, even if only
two other people were in the room at the time (the downtime of the line
obviously scared people away). I was the first to put up the full results
of course. Bought 8 more tickets (four sets of two tickets for each of the
next four Saturdays) for this month's £10m Saturday Super Draws.
Previous month: August 1999