Straight Dope Server(s)

Please pardon me if this topic has already been discussed to death. Is anyone else experiencing wild swings in performance on the boards? Sometimes it’s like a well-oiled machine. I’m able to hop around from forum to forum and from post to post at will. Lately, however, it’s like I’m wading through sludge more often than not, and sometimes the site just doesn’t come up for me. I experience the same lethargy in performance whether I’m using the computer in my office or at home.

Is the Straight Dope server simply unable to handle the user load?

Color me slightly frustrated.

I have, just like you said. Unbelievably slow for periods, then click click click fast others. I have noticed it’s more likely slow during the day (EST) and fast at night.

Yes. But the slow times are really. really slow. To the point of not being able to load the page. The fast times are fast, but extremely rare.

This topic being done to death? Hell no !!!

Yes, the servers are slow, but we’ve been reassured that

Luckily, it’s a problem that will be resolved soon (2003 version)

Luckily, it’s a problem that will be resolved soon (2004 version)

Luckily, it’s a problem that will be resolved soon (2005 version)

Luckily, it’s a problem that will be resolved soon (2006 version)

… can we surmise what the future holds?

BWA - HA - HA !!! :mad:

I’ve noticed it come and go by the minute. One moment it’s doing fine, then suddenly every request gets timed out. Then a minute or two later, it’s working again. Mostly just a nuisance.

Any special reason this is in the pit? Your profanity-to-paragraph ratio is very low. :wink:

Actually, I’d say the board speed has improved hugely during the time I’ve been a member. The fact that we haven’t had one of these threads for at least, what, six months or so speaks volumes.

Or merely that everyone has collectively decided to lump it or leave it.

I’ve been roving the boards for the last 15 minutes without a problem. Then, I came upon this thread, and like magic, it slowed to a crawl. Ah, the internet, what a wonderful, shiny thing!!!

These, and the deletion of old posts because vBulletin can’t hold all that are the new features that we were recently promised.

Oh there is that thing that doesn’t let you submit a duplicate post. Yeah, except that if the server hangs when you’re trying to post and your post doesn’t actually get made, sometimes you still get the duplicate post message and then you have to wait five minutes before you can post it, or go back and edit it. After 15 minutes of trying to make a post in one thread, I gave up.

Maybe that’s the real goal?

That’s a special feature - just for you. :smiley:

For me, too.

This is not a particularly large message board, not since pay-to-post started. It’s amazing to me how much worse this place seems to operate in that respect than just about anywhere else on the web.

You can swear outside the Pit, though not to excess, and you don’t have to swear in the Pit. Though I’m sure there are plenty of people who would like to swear at the servers. Me, I notice some awful sticky times, but they’re only a small percentage of the time. I often wonder whether it’s much worse for others, or if perhaps people perceive the problem to be worse than it is because they tend to remember the bad times but not the good.

For me, it times out with much more frequency and ‘hangs’ with much, much, more frequency than other boards I’ve been on, yet, this is the only one I pay for. Oh well.

The underlying problem is that most websites that are the gathering place for a community of some sort - well, they really want to fill that role. But the Chicago Reader, which owns this message board, apparently didn’t expect or intend for this MB to become the focal point for an online community, nor are they that interested in playing host to such a community. So we get what they’re willing to give us in the way of servers and stuff.

It’s been a lot worse in the past, so when things load slowly, I just shrug my shoulders and go do something else for awhile.

John Milton had problems with them too.

“They also serve who only stand and wait.”

And wait … and wait … and wait … and wait …

Everytime I experiece the slow-down I make note of the time.
It always seems to happen around 3:20 p.m. CST.

Which is 4:20 on the east coast.
Any relation between this time and calling the website “The Dope”.

Well since this came up, there is one aspect I’ve been pondering:

The speed of this board seems to be unusually dependant on my connection bandwidth. I sometimes connect to the wireless at a local library that doesn’t have much bandwidth. (I think they have several landlines connecting them to thier main branch). While this connection can easilly support other text based boards without much noticable performance loss, SDMB eats it’s lunch.
With a decent broadband connection this board still performs badly for the most part, but not so badly as with the skinny pipe…while the actual achieved data rate aught to have been adiquatly supported.

I’ve speculated that the slower speed connections somehow cause VB to drop connections which then have to be re-established. (TCP/IP ignorance probably showing here)

And oddly it tends to work much faster from my house, with standard residential ADSL, than it does from where I work, where there’s a dedicated high bandwidth fiber.

Connection speed doesn’t seem to enter into it.

I’ve been trying to run a search in a different window for ten minutes, and I keep getting “Cannot find server” over and over and over. (Look, there it goes again! :mad: ) Yet at the very same time I found, opened and (knock cyberwood) posted to this thread with no trouble or delay.

Wonder why that is?

catsix and Excalibre

That “duplicate post message” has been very frustrating for me too.
When it appears, you start to wonder if your original post went through or if you actually are making a duplicate post and by that point you can’t even get back into that thread. :mad:

I thought when the “Powers That Be” switched to paid memberships and running Google ads, everything would improve. :mad:

What’s next in line for increasing revenue? Will we have Esteban guitar infomercials at the bottom of the screen? :mad: :mad: