News Archive
Last Loaded: 2017-04-30
49978/50k records

News:
April 1, 2017
12:25 AM Eastern
Optimizing tables...
I'm currently (at 11:30PM local time) running an optimization on the rank tables. This can take up to an hour to run, and the response of the system may be pretty slow during this time.

Please bear with us while this goes on, as it should speed up the system overall.
March 24, 2017
11:51 AM Eastern
Outage on March 23rd
I have no idea why, but we had an outage on March 23rd that lasted nearly 2 hours. This was eventually solved by rebooting the router, but unfortunately, it chose to happen immediately after everyone had left the house. That was the largest reason that the outage lasted so long.

Sorry for any inconvenience, and, yes, I'm looking for ways to stop using that particular router. Unfortunately, that costs money, and time, and I don't have an excess amount of either of those things at the moment.

Enjoy!
March 13, 2017
09:41 AM Eastern
A little bit of security upgrades...
This morning we had a little bit of downtime as I patched all the boxes to the latest security patches for the components.

Sorry for any inconvenience.
January 26, 2017
05:33 PM Eastern
Outage
We had an Internet outage here this afternoon and were down for about three hours.

Sorry for the inconvenience.
January 13, 2017
10:32 PM Eastern
Why does nobody tell me these things!
So, today I noticed that if you did "Year to Date" on the graph, with average values set, you got an error message. Oops.

This is because it's very difficult to draw a line diagram with only one point. So, the graphing library complained about it.

This is now fixed.

I wish someone had told me sooner. That's a perfect thing to use the "Feedback" button for!

December 22, 2016
09:09 AM Eastern
Database backups
As of this morning, there are 29,869,094 rank records in the database. Nothing particularly auspicious, except that I noticed the backup process hasn't been running in the last two months. Apparently the free utility I had been using wasn't capable of handling more than 25 million records.

Oops.

So, as of this morning there will be a new backup process running each night at midnight GMT, which I think is about 7PM eastern time this time of year. It takes about 5 minutes to run, and responses might be a little bit slow during that period, so this is just a little FYI so you know ahead of time.

Because, you know, I'd hate to lose all 29,869,094 records. Of course tomorrow that will be about 29,919,050 records, and then 29,969,000 records, etc., etc.

Enjoy!
October 24, 2016
03:04 PM Eastern
Thanks a lot, CenturyLink
So, if you hadn't noticed, we had several hours of downtime from last night until this morning. An amazing coincidence after I emailed CenturyLink asking them why their modem ports were opening a known attack port which was part of the denial of service attack on Dyn last Friday.

In any case, I had to walk my wife through resetting everything remotely, as I was 80 miles away from home when this happened.

Thanks a bunch, CenturyLink.

Update: From piecing together the logs, whatever CenturyLink did, they did it at 8:15 this morning (Mountain time zone.) We came back up pretty much exactly at noon, so we were down for 3 hours, and 45 minutes. Sorry again for the inconvenience.
October 4, 2016
03:24 PM Eastern
Time for some fall cleaning
I noticed that the response time on the ranks was getting pretty long (7+ seconds to pull back this year's records) and realized I hadn't "freshened up" the indexes in quite a while, so I kicked off an update of the indexes.

Problem is, it's going to take an hour or so to optimize all 20 million rows of data. During that time, the response will likely be even worse as the server chunks through all the data.

Sorry for any inconvenience.
September 21, 2016
12:47 AM Eastern
Hooray! Things are moving again!
It would appear the TpT has taken heed of the multitude of voices crying out in anguish and has repaired their ranking system.

Early this morning (East Coast Time at least) the system downloaded rankings from the site, and we once again have movement among the ranks.

Thanks to all of you who helped raise the awareness of the issue, we are back in the ranking business!

Thank you all!
September 13, 2016
07:22 AM Eastern
Something is rotten in Denmark... or New York, one of the two.
So, it appears that TpT is having problems with updating its rankings. We have not had anyone move since September 10th. (Okay, to be totally accurate a tiny handful of people moved one spot on the the 10th, but what I'm saying is generally true.)

This is not a problem on our end. The rankings we have exactly match the rankings on the TpT website. So, if you want to get this resolved, please post on the TpT Forum or contact the people at TpT to get them to fix their "Top Sellers" list as soon as possible.

Thanks!
September 12, 2016
06:57 PM Eastern
I love upgrades...
So, that explains why I wasn't getting any feedback on the new features. Turns out that when I upgraded the server and it also upgraded all the back-end software, it would no longer talk to the mail server to send the email I get when someone leaves feedback.

Don't fret, however. Being a paranoid coder, I also saved the feedback to the database, so I can still get it from there. In any case, the feedback is working again, so it shouldn't be a problem any more.

And this is why I love upgrading. All the little surprises that keep on giving.
September 12, 2016
11:01 AM Eastern
New News is New!
This morning I found out that, apparently, there are people out there that have never noticed the "News" items at the bottom of the page.

Well... really?

So, now when you first come on the page, if there's been a new news item since the last time you visited, you'll get a big red button that you can click on to find out the latest news prominently displayed at the top of the page.



Let's see you ignore that one.

Also, for those who never scroll down, you can also send me feedback at the bottom of the page, including suggestions for new features you'd like to see.

Enjoy!
September 9, 2016
09:38 PM Eastern
Did you know you could request new features?
How many of you knew you could ask for new features? Apparently Lisa King and Amy (no last name given) did!

That's why you can now change the graph on the rank page from the full-sized, all-the-data-ever view down to a year, year-to-date, and monthly views. And you can see the year plus data averaged or in "raw data" form. That was Amy's suggestion, and I hope you like it.

Lisa King, however, asked for a way to download a month of ranks at once. Well, instead I added a "Download" button on the rank page that will give you back the exact same data that was used to generate the chart. So if you're looking at averaged data, you'll get a CSV file of averaged data. But, if you're looking at a month or a year of raw data, you'll get a CSV file with every single day of data back instead.

Hopefully this helps people out, and I'm always happy to try to help people out.

So toss a little love at Amy and Lisa, and enjoy the new features!

Also, since this is an all-new feature, let me know if there's anything wrong.

Enjoy!
September 6, 2016
05:24 PM Eastern
Upgrade Time
Ubuntu 14.04.4 has gone out of support, and I need to upgrade the servers to 16.04 LTS.

What that means is, the servers will be getting upgraded. There may be some period of time where the server becomes non-responsive or acts a bit weird. Hopefully this won't be for a long period, but it's hard to say out of the box.

This will keep the servers up to date with security items, so it's very important that I do it as soon as possible to ensure that the system remains secure.

Sorry for any inconvenience while this happens.
August 16, 2016
02:18 PM Eastern
Half a million thanks!
Sometime late today (Friday, 8/12) or early tomorrow (Saturday, 8/13) we will serve out the half-millionth page from this site.

Half a million!

Thanks everyone!

Edit after the fact: We actually hit half a million visits late on 8/13/2016. Total visits by the end of the day were 500,087.

Thanks again!
August 10, 2016
08:07 PM Eastern
Yeah, down again... I'll let you guess why
If your guess was anything but, "Lightning," you need to go read the prior news items.
August 9, 2016
11:59 PM Eastern
Colorado Springs is not the lightning capital of the US
No, that dubious honor goes to Tampa, Florida. We are, however, in second place.

Once again, tonight, we had another lightning strike take out the power, and some glitches in coming back up. (And if you think that's bad, you should deal with my daughter when the Olympic Gymnastics get cut off in mid-stream.)

Anyway, I once again had to run the rank update manually, but everything should be back to normal again.

Now, if I could just get the lightning to stop.
August 8, 2016
01:01 AM Eastern
Neither rain, nor... oh wait, never mind.
So, we had a very large thunderstorm come through, which resulted in a very long period of going back to living like the pioneers. Yes, that's right, we had no access to Facebook.

Worse, we had no power, so the servers shut down. When the power did come back, they didn't quite all start back up the way they're supposed to, so it took a little work to get everything going again. Unfortunately it happened about 5 minutes before the data load should have run, so I'm having to kick it off a bit late this morning, manually.

Also, we were off-line for about 3 hours. So that whole "rain, nor sleet, nor snow" thing? Well, so far we're good on sleet. Sigh.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
July 27, 2016
06:21 PM Eastern
Oh, one more thing...
You can now search for countries from the main search page. Because, hey, why not?

Enjoy!
July 27, 2016
04:11 PM Eastern
City, State, and Country lists are now... prettier
I added the "Next" and "Previous" to the city and state pages, and those pages now automatically highlight your position in green.

Enjoy!
July 25, 2016
09:42 AM Eastern
Runaway! (Let me know if there's any problems today)
Last night I had a run-away process use up all the disk space on the server that pulls all the ranks. I don't think this affected the pull of the data (there are 49,999 records today) and it shouldn't have broken anything, but please let me know if you have any problems with the website today.

The file system has been cleaned up and this shouldn't happen again (hopefully.)
July 22, 2016
02:07 AM Eastern
So, while I was stuck at work after hours...
Tonight, well, last night, actually at this point, I got stuck at work. I could have driven home -- an hour drive -- just barely, but then I would have had to get back on-line to work from home because we had a software load tonight. (If you're really interested, I'll explain more below.)

But, I had an hour or so to kill, so it occurred to me, I could use that to do something.

And, what came to mind was a question Brittany was asked on TpT the other day. Basically, a lady asked her how to find her rank by country on the web site.

Now, as I'm sure a lot of you know, it's already visible on the rank page, but unlike the state or city ranks, you can't click on it to see a list of the whole country.

Well, now you can.

And, as an added bonus, you can now scroll through the country list using the "Previous" and "Next" items at the bottom of the list.

You'll automatically be placed on the page where you show up for the country. I imagine that when I have another opportunity like this, I'll do the same thing for the City and State lists.

Enjoy!

For the curious:

I work as a software architect and development manager for a software company in Denver, but live in Colorado Springs. About once a month we load the new version of the software to servers in Denver and Phoenix and North Carolina. These loads typically start late at night, and I work on them remotely by logging in from home.

Tonight, there was a "crisis" at 5PM, and I got stuck at work until nearly 9PM. The load starts at 10PM, and while I could have gotten home (barely) in time to work there, I figured I'd just stay. Ahh, the glamorous life of the software engineer.

Still, I added this, so at least some good came out of it.

Cheers!
Jeff
June 29, 2016
09:43 AM Eastern
Somebody moved...
So, I got this bit of feedback this morning:

"All the ranks I looked at today have stayed the same except all have a +1 USA rank." - PrintPath

"Oh no," I thought, "there's another problem."

So I checked, and it does seem like a lot of people have a rank of +1 in the U.S. And why did this happen?

Well, the simple answer is that, now that I'm going a lot slower pulling the ranks, I'm a lot more vulnerable to people "moving" while I'm grabbing pages. TpT is a real-time system, meaning even as I'm grabbing the ranks at 1:30AM Eastern Daylight Time (5:30 AM GMT) there are still sales going on. And since a sale affects someone's rank, they can move within the ranking list. That happened last night, when whoever was at rank 851 (I went back and checked, it was "The 3am Teacher") made a sale sometime between 1:30:10.802 AM, and 1:30:11.732 AM. This caused them to pass the person at spot 850 between when I loaded page 20 and when I loaded page 21 of the ranks.

Here's what that looks like in the logs.

2016-06-29 05:30:10,802 INFO  [WorkerThread.run() 81] WorkerThread - Loading: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Seller/Order:Best-Seller-All-Time/Page:20
2016-06-29 05:30:11,732 INFO  [WorkerThread.run() 81] WorkerThread - Loading: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Seller/Order:Best-Seller-All-Time/Page:21
2016-06-29 05:30:12,045 ERROR [WorkerThread.run() 147] WorkerThread - Found an existing seller for seller_id=717532 -- Sailing into Second at rank 850 -- new rank: 851


So, the upshot of all this, is that "Sailing into Second" moved from 850 to 851, and we skipped over "The 3am Teacher", who moved up to spot 850. This means the records in the system now look like:

seller_idseller_nameranklocation
490230Adaptive Tasks by Dianne Matthews848United States - Missouri - Ozark
1360103Bond with James849United States - Texas
717532Sailing into Second851United States - California
1156646Teaching With Balls852United States - Oklahoma


As you can see, there is no entry for "The 3am Teacher" today (850 is missing) -- this is one of the disadvantages of the slower loading speed. People move.

Since the US, state, and city ranks are based on literally counting the people ahead of you in that location, that means everyone bumps up a spot today.

In fact, if you look up "The 3am Teacher" today, you will see that she is ranked at 851. This is because I cleverly coded around this problem, and pick up her rank from yesterday, rather than from today. (Okay, "clever" is a computer programming term for, "I cheated and solved an easy problem rather than solving the hard one."). If you look up "Sailing into Second" they are also at rank 851 today. That's because their ranking is today's, which is what you'd expect.

In reality, this happens a lot during the load. Last night, in the 458.3 seconds it took to load all 1000 pages, there were 41 people who moved during the load, meaning there are 41 missing entries. That's why, up in the top corner, there's a counter that shows how many entries were actually retrieved of the 50,000 possible. Today, it's 49,959 entries, because of those 41 people who moved around.

Anyway, that's why everyone is one spot higher in the U.S. today, if your rank is over 850, even if you didn't move in the world rankings.

In fact there's another gap at 3350, and another one at 4651, and another one at 9701, and so on...

I'm doing the best I can here, people. You'd all make it a whole lot easier if you'd just stop moving around! :-)

Thanks for the feedback, and thanks for using the website!
June 28, 2016
09:55 AM Eastern
Tuning time...
It looks like I can now only run 4 simultaneous skimmers before I start getting errors from TpT, so I'll be reducing to that number.

I'm not sure if this was an intentional change made by TpT or not, but it's definitely a lot slower than I used to be able to grab pages. This means that the load times will now be in about the 10 minute range every morning.

Please let me know if there's any more problems tomorrow (the 29th) or afterward.

I'm not sure what I can do about the somewhat "wonky" data left over from the 27th. Hopefully I can do something about it to patch the 4000 or so missing records, but I'm not sure if the better choice is to just do nothing, as the bad city/state/country rank movements will clear themselves up tomorrow when the new data loads.

Again, sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks to those that alerted me to this problem!
June 28, 2016
09:24 AM Eastern
Root causes
So, it looks like TpT has put some pretty heavy throttling on how fast I'm allowed to load the pages. Before I was getting them as fast as possible because the shorter the period of time, the less people would "move around" within the rankings.

So, I would grab all 1000 pages in about 3-5 minutes, using 100 separate page-loading threads.

This appears, now, to be a big no-no with TpT, as when I start the loader, it almost immediately starts getting clamped down for excessive speed. Running it single-threaded means I can get all the pages (and it's currently re-loading all of the data for today) but it's not exactly screaming fast, doing about 1 page every 1.4 seconds, meaning the 1000 page update is going to take nearly half an hour.

I'm going to play around with the algorithm a bit to see if I can get it to go any faster, but for now, I'm going to leave it at "slow" and make sure the loads work, rather than get the speed back up.

Sorry for the inconvenience that this has caused for anyone.
June 28, 2016
09:13 AM Eastern
See if you can tell when something changed
-rw-rw-r--  1 jnaujok jnaujok    163503 Jun 12 05:30 FindPeople.log.2016-06-12
-rw-rw-r--  1 jnaujok jnaujok    164862 Jun 13 05:30 FindPeople.log.2016-06-13
-rw-rw-r--  1 jnaujok jnaujok    164008 Jun 14 05:30 FindPeople.log.2016-06-14
-rw-rw-r--  1 jnaujok jnaujok    163687 Jun 15 05:30 FindPeople.log.2016-06-15
-rw-rw-r--  1 jnaujok jnaujok    163672 Jun 16 05:30 FindPeople.log.2016-06-16
-rw-rw-r--  1 jnaujok jnaujok    163503 Jun 17 05:30 FindPeople.log.2016-06-17
-rw-rw-r--  1 jnaujok jnaujok 329979844 Jun 18 06:47 FindPeople.log.2016-06-18
-rw-rw-r--  1 jnaujok jnaujok 296816808 Jun 19 06:21 FindPeople.log.2016-06-19
-rw-rw-r--  1 jnaujok jnaujok 289385348 Jun 20 06:18 FindPeople.log.2016-06-20
-rw-rw-r--  1 jnaujok jnaujok 275255482 Jun 21 06:38 FindPeople.log.2016-06-21
-rw-rw-r--  1 jnaujok jnaujok 255476868 Jun 22 06:16 FindPeople.log.2016-06-22
-rw-rw-r--  1 jnaujok jnaujok 315458390 Jun 23 06:28 FindPeople.log.2016-06-23
-rw-rw-r--  1 jnaujok jnaujok 237089036 Jun 24 06:14 FindPeople.log.2016-06-24
-rw-rw-r--  1 jnaujok jnaujok 696975560 Jun 25 09:01 FindPeople.log.2016-06-25
-rw-rw-r--  1 jnaujok jnaujok 545256492 Jun 26 07:27 FindPeople.log.2016-06-26
-rw-rw-r--  1 jnaujok jnaujok 317478444 Jun 27 06:22 FindPeople.log.2016-06-27
June 28, 2016
08:25 AM Eastern
So, there's a bit of an issue...
Teacher's Pay Teachers' rank site apparently was offline, and that resulted in the "skimmer" for ranks failing to work for the last two days.

This is leaving the web page in a bad state. I'm working to find the root cause of the problem, and to code a fix around it. The rank pages are back up on TpT, but for some reason, the skimmer process is still getting "502 Errors".



Because the skimmer retries errors, the system hasn't actually gone into an "error state" and failed the load from yesterday morning. This blocked the load from this morning starting, and it's just kind of snowballing from there. That's been giving some rather odd results for some people, as the web pages sort of assume (yes, I know what that word means) that there's always at least some data for today.

I'll be working today to see what I can do to clean up this mess. In the meantime, it looks like the TpT rank pages are back on-line.

Please bear with me as I work on this problem.
June 19, 2016
06:51 PM Eastern
Sweatin' to the... no wait.
Thanks to the 100+ degree temperatures here today, the database server overheated. Following some hasty re-arrangement of cooling fans, the server should be back on-line now.

Sorry for any down-time.
May 20, 2016
03:56 PM Eastern
Call me Ishamael... The CenturyLink Saga is Finally Over.
After 8 months, the cable my neighbors cut while putting in a new fence has finally been replaced from end to end.

We were down for about two hours or so as two men literally hand-dug a trench for 150 feet to lay the new cable. Seriously. No trencher tool, no automatic anything, just two shovels.

Admittedly they only dug about four inches deep, and the whole place is beach sand, so it wasn't too challenging, but it still boggles the mind that they didn't have some little gas powered trencher to do this for them.

Anyway, this will hopefully end the saga of issues I've had chasing this cable cut for 8 months. At least it wasn't snowing today...
May 20, 2016
10:02 AM Eastern
In Theory, CenturyLink Will Fix the Phone Line Today...
Sometime today (gotta love contractors) CenturyLink will be showing up to fix the phone line that got cut 8 months ago.

Yes, 8 months.

So, when that happens there will be an outage for an indeterminate amount of time. Hopefully this will be short, as I will try to convince them to only cut the old line when the new one is ready to go in.

Crossed fingers...
May 10, 2016
07:44 AM Eastern
Network outage
Apparently we lost the network for almost 5 hours this morning (4 hours, 47 minutes). I have no idea why, as the incoming connection was good and solid, but it just wouldn't give me link-up for the actual Internet.

After rebooting the router, the network did come back on-line.

Sorry for the inconvenience.
May 9, 2016
01:46 AM Eastern
Over 360,000 Pages Served
I just happened to glance at the counters and caught us at exactly our 360,000th page visit.

Over 22,500 unique visitors have come to the page, and over 234,000 rank pages have been served.

Thanks again for everyone coming to visit!
April 29, 2016
11:00 AM Eastern
CenturyLink! From Hell's heart I stab at thee!
So, it's snowing...

Which means the guy took one look at the cable break and said, "Nah, we can't fix that today. Let me schedule a time a month from now..."

I'm starting to know how Captain Ahab felt...
April 28, 2016
09:19 PM Eastern
CenturyLink! You task me!
So, tonight we had a city-wide outage of Internet service on CenturyLink. We were down for about two and half hours. I think we're back up now.

But, tomorrow morning sometime between 8AM mountain time and 1PM mountain time, we'll be back down again.

"But why?" you may ask.

Well, because finally, 7 months after my fence-pole digging neighbor sliced the phone cable, and I went out and hand patched it, the CenturyLink technicians are finally going to show up to actually repair it.

Thus, the quote from Melville.
April 11, 2016
04:35 PM Eastern
Swedish... really?
For some reason when the database came back up, it was set to "Swedish" as its default.

Seriously... Swedish.

Anyway, I'm reconverting the tables to use UTF/Unicode (utf8_unicode_ci for the SQL savvy). That's going to take a few minutes, and you may get strange results while it's going on.

Update
It only took about 20 minutes, the conversion is done. Hopefully everything is back to normal-looking. Bork, bork, bork.
April 9, 2016
08:17 PM Eastern
Well, that took longer than I planned on...
First of all, I'm sorry for the downtime we had today. I did warn you it was coming, but I was planning on 2-3 hours, not 12.

Everything should be working now and generally back to where it was. Hopefully the response times are a little bit quicker as well, as both the web server and the database server are now running on a clean install on SSD drives.

Please let me know if there's any issues in the feedback below.

By the way, if you left feedback between any time before about 6PM eastern, that feedback got lost when I had to restore the database to where it was this morning.

Once again, sorry for the inconvenience, but hopefully this is the groundwork for getting to a much more robust and better backed-up system.
April 9, 2016
06:52 PM Eastern
Almost done...
After quite a few headaches and missteps, the servers are almost done.

There will be a few more minutes of downtime when I shut them down and move them back to their server rack.
April 6, 2016
01:16 PM Eastern
Trying again... Downtime this Saturday, April 9th.
Now that I have the parts in hand, I'm hoping to do the updates and upgrades this Saturday, April 9th.

The site may be up and down during the day as I attempt to make the servers better, faster, stronger. Or maybe I'm thinking of the Olympics.

Sorry for any inconvenience this causes.
April 4, 2016
06:38 PM Eastern
The Graphs are Broken! The Graphs are Broken! No, wait, they're fixed.
So, I checked the site today and noticed that the graphs were suddenly very skewed for the April 2015 values.

Now, some of you have asked about the graph, so let me explain how it works, so I can explain why it was broken.

The graph shows the average rank you had for that month. There's two reasons I did this. Number one, plotting 350 data points takes a lot longer than plotting 11 or 12 data points, and I do need to keep the load on the server reasonable. Number two, back in October of 2015, TpT was having issues with its rankings pages, and this was introducing "random" values (+/-100 places) into the data. By using the average, the randomness vanishes into the whole and makes for a much better looking graph.

So, how did I do that? Well if you know SQL, I did "select average(rank) ... group by month(rank_date)".

For those of you who don't speak database-ese, that means, "give me the average rank for each bucket of values, where the buckets are grouped by month."

See the problem?

I forgot to include the year. Which worked fine through March. But the oldest data I have goes back to April of last year, which means, starting on Friday, I was averaging April of 2015 with April of 2016.

Oops.

That's been fixed, and the graphs are back to normal.

It also means that on April 20th, there will be a full year of data for every person in the top 50,000 sellers on TpT. For those of you doing the math, that's 18,300,000 records. (50,000 * 366) [366 because we had a February 29th in there.]

That's a whole lot of data. Believe it or not, I'm actually working on a way to collect even more data. Hopefully you'll all like it when I get it done.

Enjoy!
March 26, 2016
12:45 PM Eastern
No downtime today...
Apparently UPS decided that 50 degrees and sunny was too dangerous to ship my parts from Denver to Colorado Springs, so there will be no downtime today, as I won't get the parts until Monday now.

I will update when to expect downtime when I know.
March 23, 2016
02:08 PM Eastern
Planned Downtime on Saturday 3/26
On Saturday, I'm going to be adding some new parts to the hardware on the servers, namely some remote-administration cards. During this time, the servers will be down for about an hour.

Also, the web server has been sending warnings that one of the disks is in "pre-fail" status, so I will also be replacing one the hard drives with an SSD drive, which will also hopefully make the system a little bit faster.

Secondly, I'll be changing the database drive to an SSD drive as well, which should also give a much higher response rate, as well as providing a little more backup support for the data as well.

Sorry for any inconvenience this causes.
March 6, 2016
04:33 PM Eastern
Power failures, and bad updates, oh my!
Early this morning we had a power failure, which resulted in the servers exceeding the UPS' backup capability. Apparently when the power did come back on, it did it through a series of "flickers" that left the servers in an untenable state. That, and one of the servers had apparently been in the middle of an update when the power went out, so I had to back out those changes, and then restore them.

I believe that has now all been remedied, so the site should be back up and fully available.

Please let me know through the Feedback link if you encounter any other problems.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Thanks for your support.
February 27, 2016
09:13 PM Eastern
Who needs headaches... when you have servers?
So, today I did some database updates, which led me to install security updates, which led to the web server not restarting which led to me pulling the server rack out so I could connect testing equipment.

After I got everything all back together, I ran some tests, and the server was back up. However, I didn't realize I had accidentally pulled the database server's network cable loose.

Normally I would have caught that, but as a precaution, last week I added a second network to each server, so the machine happily hummed along, saying it had network connectivity.

The problem is, the web server only knows how to talk to the database server on the network connection that got pulled out. So, while all the servers happily reported as healthy, the web server couldn't actually reach the database server. It wasn't until an update process complained that I realized something was wrong.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Let me know if anything isn't working as expected.
February 27, 2016
01:27 PM Eastern
Database Maintenance
Today (Feb 27th) I'm doing some database maintenance to try to keep the responses quick and stable. With nearly 15,000,000 records in the rank table, the database is needing a little "spring cleaning" to keep it chugging along.

You might notice a little lag or slowdown in the response while this is going on but it should be done soon (Hopefully by 4PM Eastern time).

Thanks!
January 31, 2016
05:33 PM Eastern
Oops...
I was installing a modified email package on the server, and apparently it really didn't like the database connector that the rank site was using to talk to the database.

It's been fixed now. Sorry for the inconvenience.
January 6, 2016
01:28 AM Eastern
Over 100,000 Served!
I just checked our page counter, and we have served out over 100,000 rankings since we first put this site up back in August!

According to our counters, in 2015, we served out two thirds of a million pages to nearly twelve thousand unique visitors! Those pages totaled nearly 5 gigabytes of data. That's enough to fill 9 CDs!

Thanks for all the visits and we're so happy to have provided a service that people find useful!
December 24, 2015
10:14 PM Eastern
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
From Brittany and Jeff here at the TPT Rank Search site, we wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!
December 7, 2015
02:54 PM Eastern
With humblest gratitude...
I would like to thank all of you who have taken the time to send such overwhelming praise via the feedback form. It is truly humbling and inspiring to know that we have helped so many good people.

Thank you so much!
December 1, 2015
12:23 AM Eastern
Hopefully More Mobile Friendly
I got some feedback that the pop-up help was living up to it's name, and popping-up... but not popping back down, so the help was covering up the list of ranks on mobile devices with smaller screens.

Oops.

I've re-organized the web page a bit and the help pop-ups should now disappear after a short time-out, leaving you free to check your rank on a phone.

Hope that's better!
November 30, 2015
06:22 PM Eastern
A Little Bit of Bad Data...
Looks like last night's run is missing 230 records -- a few of you may have problems getting your rank today.

Normally we've been seeing 2-10 duplicates -- this happens when someone was at, say 1050, the last entry on page 21, and then when I load page 22, they are at 1051. Last night, there were 80 of those duplicates.

Hopefully this is a one-time glitch, with a lot of people in motion because of the sale that kicked off today.

It also looks like 3 pages just didn't load at all. I'll have to look into why the process didn't just re-load those pages.

Update: It looks like two of the pages missed are pretty early in the set of pages, because a lot of people have "moved up" quite a few spots in the US/State rankings. I've updated the loader code to handle this better, and it should fix itself tomorrow. Unfortunately, I can't go back and re-load the pages as they were this morning.

Sorry for the inconvenience.
November 30, 2015
05:28 PM Eastern
Upside-Down is Right-Way Up
For those who commented that it's hard to look at a graph going down as a good thing, I've reversed the graph for ranking (and made it a bit more... shiny... as well.)

Enjoy!
November 27, 2015
11:42 PM Eastern
Now with pictures!
Okay, I've finished up the face-lift, and I added one extra finishing touch -- a graph on the rank page.

Thanks to the history kept in the database, we can provide your average rank for every month since April when we started pulling down the rank data. So, now you can see it in lovely graphical form as well.

Thanks for all of you who visit here to get your rank! It's great to know that we're doing something to help the community.

Enjoy!
November 26, 2015
07:36 PM Eastern
Things look different around here...
Since I've had a few days off for the holiday, I decided that it was really time for the site to get a face-lift.

The site was originally put together in about an hour and a half, and then got a makeover a few days later, but I really haven't had a lot of time since then to "touch it up".

So, hopefully you like the way things look. I've also added a new "Feedback" section just in case you have any comments or would like to see something else changed, or if you've found any other problems.

Enjoy!
November 20, 2015
02:00 AM Eastern
Good News!
It looks like your requests have had an effect, and TpT's ranking system isn't glitching any more! For the past seven days it looks like there haven't been any ranks jumping up and down. I'm still keeping an eye on it, but it's looking a lot better. Thanks for all the help!
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