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mjda
12-31-2007, 04:39 AM
I'm new here, but I just thought I would recommend that you guys make some gamer cards like those found at mygamercard.net. It should be relatively easy for you guys to implement something like this, and it would draw attention and back links to this site from people using the gamer cards on other forums all around the internet. It would be a great source of traffic in my opinion. Best of all, it would be completely free other than the cost of extra bandwidth. If you cache the gamer cards, though, it will cut down on that a lot too.</twocents>

Ingles
12-31-2007, 05:24 AM
I'm new here, but I just thought I would recommend that you guys make some gamer cards like those found at mygamercard.net. It should be relatively easy for you guys to implement something like this, and it would draw attention and back links to this site from people using the gamer cards on other forums all around the internet. It would be a great source of traffic in my opinion. Best of all, it would be completely free other than the cost of extra bandwidth. If you cache the gamer cards, though, it will cut down on that a lot too.</twocents>

I want to say that this has already been mentioned. As a matter of fact, I'm positive that it's already been mentioned because I remember reading it in one of the forums. When I find that forum, I'll edit this post and update with the link to that.

Edit: Here is the link. http://www.xbox360achievements.org/forum/showthread.php?t=49024

But I do completely agree with you! It would help bring a lot more traffic to the website! Perhaps this would be something, a task or challenge, to complete the best custom x360a gamercard for mygamercard.net, by our members who are significantly talented with graphics. What do the mods think of this? ;) It's a good idea. I think this would be a great challenge for those members.

Each member could create so many custom tags and then submit their best. The x360a community could then vote on their top 10 or so tags perhaps and then have our fearless admins and mods have the final vote on the one they feel will best serve our great community! I think I see a few eyesbrows being raised... ahhh... ahhh... you thinking what I'm thinking? :)

Anyone else have an input on this? Ideas perhaps? I was just thinking off the top of my head but it could be easily done if enough members were interested.

mjda
12-31-2007, 05:34 AM
Sorry, I didn't know it was previously mentioned. I just found this site a few days ago. My son recently just got an xbox 360 for Christmas. I used this site to find maps to the wheels in Cars: Mater National. I was really surprised to see that these gamer cards weren't implemented yet, so I figured I'd make the suggestion.

Ingles
12-31-2007, 05:57 AM
Sorry, I didn't know it was previously mentioned. I just found this site a few days ago. My son recently just got an xbox 360 for Christmas. I used this site to find maps to the wheels in Cars: Mater National. I was really surprised to see that these gamer cards weren't implemented yet, so I figured I'd make the suggestion.

Well let me be among the first to welcome you to the website! If you don't mind me asking, how old is your son? Do you play many games yourself? And if so, what types of game typically? I hope you enjoy the website and again welcome to our community! I'm sure that you'll find all your gaming needs right here at x360a.org. :) If you have any questions, feel free to ask or just stroll by our FAQ (http://www.xbox360achievements.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=229) section of the forums.

Edit: Whenever you get a chance, you can feel free to click here (http://www.xbox360achievements.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=151) to start a new thread with your own introduction. And yes, the mods would definitely appreciate you doing so in the correct thread. That's always a safe bet.

mjda
12-31-2007, 06:12 AM
My son is 6 years old. I used to own a 360 when they first came out, but decided to sell it. I wasn't playing it nearly as often as I wanted to, and needed the money. I do, however, plan on buying the Elite system with my income taxes in a few weeks. Thanks the Lord for having 2 kids at tax time. ;) The games I enjoyed back then were Counter Strike on Xbox, and Perfect Dark Zero on the 360. Those are the ones I played online, and I'm sure I'll play online again. I had 7000+ GS on my old name, but I've registered a new one now. I'm sure it will only take me a few weeks to get that score back with all the games out now. Especially considering my son wants all the "kiddy" games. I won't be able to resist popping it in my own and taking the points. We got the full 1000 on Cars in 2 days. Anyways, I don't want to tell my entire life story, simply because I doubt the mods will appreciate me doing so in this thread. By the way, congrats on your score. That's rockin'!

mjda
12-31-2007, 09:01 AM
After reading through some of the posts here, and looking at signatures, I've noticed that X360A does, in fact, already have custom gamer cards. This leads me to my next question. Is it ok for anyone, like myself, to plug in my gamertag and use it too? Or is this something that's reserved for "special" people?

Scotian Bred
12-31-2007, 09:57 AM
The x360a gamercards are for all members .. CLICK HERE (http://www.xbox360achievements.org/forum/showthread.php?t=46905&highlight=x360a+gamercards) to be whist away to a thread containing all the different styles of x360a gamercards and select one you wanna use .. read the instrutions on how to sig it up .. and your done !

mjda
01-06-2008, 11:49 PM
I read on another thread about ad replacement that you guys are needing an upgrade to keep up with the traffic. Does this mean a bandwidth upgrade? If so, why not try to think of ways to reduce traffic. One way, kinda follows this original thread. If you could somehow limit the use of these gamercards to subscribers, it would probably cut down on a little bit of bandwidth. I don't know your traffic details, but I've done a bit of research and here is what I came up with.

Your gamercards average 23kb or more. We'll use 23kb as a low end average.
This site has a steady 200+ users browsing all the time. Let's assume those people all get at least 1 page view every minute (another low end). We'll also asume there is at least 1 of your gamercards on 2/5th of those pages. So 80 times every minute that one of your gamercards is displayed. That comes out to 115,200 times a day that your gamercards are displayed. Multiply that by our low end average 23kb per card and you get 2.65Gb/day just in gamercard usage. That's around 80Gb/month in gamercard bandwidth alone. Now I'm sure this is just dirt compared to the amount of bandwidth that is used on the entire site, but keep in mind that I used a very, VERY low end on the calculations. More then likely, the real numbers are AT LEAST 2-3 times this amount. I've never actually seen only 200 people browsing. It's usually around 300-400 or more. I also seriously doubt if those people are only viewing 1 page a minute. Keep in mind, though, that some browsers do cache some images, depending on how it's set up. This is one reason why I used the low end on the numbers. My guess, still, is that you're using 200Gb+/month on gamercards. Allowing usage of these to only subscribed members will reduce probably 75% ore more of this bandwidth.

So yes, this post is completely contradictory of my original post in this thread, but hey, I'm allowed to change my mind. ;)

mjda
01-06-2008, 11:56 PM
Just another idea on cutting down on bandwidth usage. I've noticed that you guys allow people to upload their pictures for their signatures. This is a great idea, and I'm sure it's used quite a bit. But honestly, if bandwidth is a bit of an issue, there are too many free image uploading sites for you guys to need to do this. I'm sure you're using another 300Gb+ of bandwidth on signature images, avatars, and profile pictures. I'm sure I'll get lashed for suggesting this, but I'm almost certain this site will continue to grow and succeed with those features. As I've said, there are too many free image/file hosting sites to use. Those sites all actually make quite a bit of money from advertising. If you're not, let them handle that much of the load for you.

RoutineX
01-07-2008, 12:03 AM
I read on another thread about ad replacement that you guys are needing an upgrade to keep up with the traffic. Does this mean a bandwidth upgrade? If so, why not try to think of ways to reduce traffic.

The problem is not the BW. It's the server hardware which isn't anywhere near where it should be with all the users visiting the site. Thats why it has been extra slow lately. I sat up until 4am the other day to do some optimizations, and the server hasn't crashed since than *knocks on wood*. I can see from the load that it's still on the edge. I.eg now the server has currently 4 times the workload it can handle when working at 100%, so it has to queue up work and put things on hold which makes the site load slower for the ones in the queue.

Also with new features being developed constantly, it would just be a matter of time before it can't queue up jobs anymore and everything just falls apart.

Of course all the images stored on the server (avatars, attachments, gamercards etc etc) uses some I/O, but it's so minor it's not in the equation.

mjda
01-07-2008, 12:07 AM
The load could also be decreased using the suggestions above. Keep in mind that you're also getting external hits from people putting their gamercards in their signatures on other sites. If anyone has theirs shown on any large sites, that gamercard script could be getting constant repetitive hits. Cut down on the amount of data the server has to send out, and you cut down on the load.

RoutineX
01-07-2008, 12:14 AM
The gamercard script has been optimized a lot and I've implemented cache on it to avoid fetching all data and processing it every time the picture is shown.

I've been monitoring the server closely and the thing thats struggling is mainly the database server. It has also been looked on from an outside team and unfortunately it's nothing more to optimize. Also when the server is so close to the edge now, it would be a question of time before it goes over... Not to mention that with the new server we can add much more things for the front pages that has been in development for a while but not released because it will surely overload the server.

mjda
01-07-2008, 12:24 AM
Well, there's nothing you will be able to do about that then, but why only concentrate solely on the DB server? You already know the site can't do without that. It might be a good idea to start looking at lowering the load on other aspects on the site to help make up for the amount of resources the DB server is consuming. I mean, even if it's only temporarily until you guys get the new server up. Doing without a few features would be much better than having the server crash and the site go down completely.

Also, even if you cache those gamercards, the server is still processing the data to be sent to the client. It might not use as much resources, but it's still using some, and with that many hits coming in for signature pics, avatars, profile pics, and gamercards, it's most definitely using up some of the resources you might want allocated to helping the DB server, even if it is just temporary.

Ingles
01-07-2008, 12:36 AM
The problem is not the BW. It's the server hardware which isn't anywhere near where it should be with all the users visiting the site. Thats why it has been extra slow lately. I sat up until 4am the other day to do some optimizations, and the server hasn't crashed since than *knocks on wood*. I can see from the load that it's still on the edge. I.eg now the server has currently 4 times the workload it can handle when working at 100%, so it has to queue up work and put things on hold which makes the site load slower for the ones in the queue.

Also with new features being developed constantly, it would just be a matter of time before it can't queue up jobs anymore and everything just falls apart.

Of course all the images stored on the server (avatars, attachments, gamercards etc etc) uses some I/O, but it's so minor it's not in the equation.

Is there another way we could help promote the necessity for a new server? Could we have a bar diagram but with only one bar labeled "new bad@$$ server for x360a!". (feel free to edit server name ;), that's just the first thing that came to my mind) And we could have the maximum amount that we want to raise for the new server, and have tick marks like ($1,000, $2,000) or do increments of $500. With some color, green, maybe red show how much money we have saved/built up for the new server. I think that this would help promote the true necessity of a new server and encourage members and maybe even visitors to donate! I'll try and edit with an image of what I'm talking about for you guys to see.

What if... and this is just another idea (could be good or bad) that just popped into my mind, but what if... the site hosted exclusive tournaments that would be "buy in" tournaments only? Ahh after thinking... maybe not, but still... it's an idea that's better than nothing. This would be a good thread topic. Is it ok that I start one?

RoutineX
01-07-2008, 12:38 AM
The reason for concentrating on optimizing the DB server was because after monitoring all the processes for a while, The mysql daemon was the one that stood out and was using extremely much resources compared to simple HTTP requests with minor I/O operations.

All the avatars, attachements etc was originally stored in the DB, but has been moved to the filesystem to ease the load, as well as some new indexes has been added on some tables.

The new server will probably be up tomorrow night, and I'm sure that the server will cope until that time *knocks on wood*.

I do of course see your point.

mjda
01-07-2008, 12:42 AM
That leads me to another question. Are you guys doing a 1 time payment upgrade, or a monthly payment upgrade, or both? I've seen some servers before that let you upgrade your hardware for a 1 time payment then you just continue paying the same monthly payment. Others require your monthly fee to go up and free upgrade on the server. Others I've seen require both. I've never delt with theplanet so I have no idea how they operate. If it's a 1 time payment, Ingles55, that would be a good way to get the money needed. If it's a monthly increase, however, maybe not so good.

Ingles
01-07-2008, 01:13 AM
I think at some point that I was still under the impression that we had not yet purchased the new server and was still needing funding for it which is why I started gathering and throwing out ideas. It still would not be a bad idea to find a means of solid steady funding from month to month to help with things such as server upgrades as time goes on.

The reason for concentrating on optimizing the DB server was because after monitoring all the processes for a while, The mysql daemon was the one that stood out and was using extremely much resources compared to simple HTTP requests with minor I/O operations.

All the avatars, attachements etc was originally stored in the DB, but has been moved to the filesystem to ease the load, as well as some new indexes has been added on some tables.

The new server will probably be up tomorrow night, and I'm sure that the server will cope until that time *knocks on wood*.

I do of course see your point.

If you don't mind me asking Routine, is there a comparison spec sheet for the two servers so that we could better see the difference that we are looking at between the two servers. No doubt a great difference, I'm sure!

If it's a 1 time payment, Ingles55, that would be a good way to get the money needed. If it's a monthly increase, however, maybe not so good.

It would be a really good idea, but like you said providing that it's a 1 time payment and not the monthly increase. I'm going to head over to theplanet and do a bit of reading up on their services.

mjda
01-07-2008, 01:35 AM
With all the talk of raising income and blah, blah, it leads me to yet another question. Why don't you guys include Google Ads? By far, one of the best advertisement options to use on a forum. You can implement small text ads between posts. If properly inserted, and I'm sure there is a plugin/mod for Google Ads and vBulletin, these ads are very unobtrusive. You can use text ads which can be sized as a 1 line bar, probably only 20px in height. I'm a moderator on a phpBB forum, which doesn't have nearly the amount of traffic as this site, and it gets around $30/month in Google Ads alone, and this is with ads in only 1 location. You can have Google Ads in up to 3 locations on each page. I would suggest putting them at the very bottom of this page, and have them randomly inserted between posts here on the forums.</twocents>

PS-I'm confident that if I keep posting these ideas (they pop into my mind at an astronomical rate), YOU WILL listen at least once within the next 5 years.

EDIT: That large banner you have on the "Home" page. I would have google ads rotate in and out in that spot too.