One Bid, Two Bids, Three Bids More:
My Bidding Engine Has a
(Continued from home page)
The reason I knew I had found a good home was because the
person who bought me was a huge sniping dude, and because of something else.
Remember how I was a Visual Basic program when I was born?
Visual Basic is a Microsoft programming language. The new
proprietor, Tom Campbell, had been the Program Manager for the
Visual Basic language compiler at Microsoft when I was born!
However, he had a serious question about my health. There was
only one computer running eSnipe. What would happen, eBay be
Praised, eSnipe broke down or... or... I got
Sniper Auctions Bid Adieu?
Furthermore, what if I remained too busy to do the job?
Because the truth is, I was already dominating one entire
server and steam was starting to come out its ears. We all saw
the end coming. Within days of buying eSnipe Tom realized
bid sniping was serious bidding
business, so he quickly hired a brilliant programmer named
Stephen to do all the hard work. Just in the nick of time.
There were times when I could barely place a bid and had to
take a rest. Stephen helped me out by performing major surgery.
He separated my bidding engine into QueueBids and AfterBids.
The bid breakup was amicable; we all got along great. Visual
Basic breathed a sigh of relief. However, the Access database
keeled over and was replaced by a more muscular SQL Server
If a Tree Fell in the Forest and No One Was
There to Snipe
My new owner decided that one of me just wasn't enough to
place bids reliably. He wanted to have at least 2 eSnipes and 2
Rovatrons available at any one time, so if one eBay
sniper went down, the other eBay sniper could
bid on it. He also decreed that those computers be sniping in different parts of the
country. Run by different hosting companies. On different
Internet backbones. He wasn't fooling around. I had to be
cloned, heaven For... Bid (sorry).
One Bid or Two? Controversy Breaks Out Before the Bidding
Here's the funny thing. Stephen, my new programmer, thought
Tom, the owner, was wasting his money by having two
eSnipes and nearly refused to implement
the double sniper auction auction sniper bidding
extravaganza. Stephen said "No one does this! It's too
expensive!" Tom asked, "So what happens if the site goes
down?" Stephen said "It will take a few hours to fix it at
the most." Tom asked the obvious question: "What about all
those bids?" "Well... we just miss some sniping."
If a Bid Got Bashed, Who Would Do Your
Not for the first time, Tom the bid meister made a rash
decision and decided to go ahead with the auction sniper
cloning switcheroo and insisted Stephen put two identical eBay
sniping sites... sniping from two different parts of the
country... with two different ISPs to bid from... bidding from
two different Internet backbones. And so it goes. Snipers
everywhere rejoiced, or at least would have if they knew what
was going on in eSnipe's giant underground sniping research
MISTUS Means Business... And Something
else: Bidding in
Stephen pointing out something to Tom. Having two different
eSnipes meant they had to update each other all the time. If
Bid Site 1 went down, Bid Site 2 couldn't exactly be bidding
accurately unless it knew what the other eBay sniper had been
bidding on. This is a problem called database synchronization,
and normally only much larger companies bother with this kind
of thing. But Tom was an eBay user, and he was doing the
technical support for leading auction sniper eSnipe, and it was
clear we would all have to face that problem. Enter MISTUS.
Double the Pleasure, Double the... Bidding
MISTUS was the name Stephen made up for his bid database
sniping synchronization system. He had given Tom a choice:
synchronize using computer hardware (very expensive) or
software (inexpensive, because Stephen would write the
software and let Tom use it). Tom is a software guy and a
cheapsake so the eBay sniper bid backup question was easy
to answer. It was still way more expensive than just
having one site, but Tom thought it was more than worth it to
have that of peace of mind. Now if the bid engine busted,
bidding would continue in 20 minutes or so.