Are there really that many people using this site? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

It's 2PM and I'm trying to reach the Yourdon site. The screen says, "SERVER TOO BUSY, Server too busy to handle additional users at this time. Please try at lower traffic hour."

I have tried different times of the day and am getting the same response. Am I the only one that this is happening to? Mary

-- Mary (, January 27, 1999



Yes, the servers HAVE been quite busy lately; but you have to remember that the same servers host our discussion forum and several dozen others (of which ours is by far the busiest). Among other things, Phil Greenspun has turned off the "instant alert" feature that caused each forum posting to be sent via instant email to anyone who requested it. The reason: we were exceeding 500 individual postings per day, and there were approximately 300 people asking for such instant alerts. That works out to 150,000 email messages per day, or roughly two per second. While this might not seem like a monumental number, it was more than the existing server technology was able to handle easily.

One way to help reduce the server load is to refrain from idle chit- chat and gossip, especiall if it's aimed at just one individual forum participant -- use normal email instead.

Remember: this whole thing is free, courtesy of Phil and the good people at MIT, and whatever corporate sponsors are providing the research funds to MIT. At the very least, we're not in a position to complain about the overload that we've caused; at best, we should try to behave in a fashion that minimizes unnecessary overload.


-- Ed Yourdon (, January 27, 1999.

happens all the time. just keep hitting the reload or refresh button in your browser, and don't waste bandwidth asking questions like this one.

-- - (-@-.---), January 27, 1999.


Aren't you pleasant! Mary, that's why so many people are asking for search engines and the like. This place is huge.

-- margie mason (, January 27, 1999.

--a-- --- Thanks for solving the problem I'm new at this and need help sometimes. Mary (Thanks Margie, too.)

-- Mary (, January 27, 1999.

Mary, you are not the only one that this is happening to. I would say that the vast majority are just lurking, though.

-- Gayla Dunbar (, January 27, 1999.

Y'know Mary, I was just thinking about who "we" are. This is the internet, right? so we are probably mostly male, mostly white, mostly US/Canada, mostly above-average intelligence....

Gentle reader; in your mind, estimate how many people actually post here. <50? <100? certainly <1000. And yet the server bogs? Hmmmm

We posters are not a representative sampling. And we do tend to reinforce each other.

Not sure what this means. Diane, Flint, Dog, Cat, Leska, Chris, Paul(s), Arlin, tout les autres; thoughts?

-- Lewis (, January 27, 1999.


This forum and others are hosted on an MIT computer. Contact Phil Greenspun at or and ask him your question.

It could be the computers are down at that time for a good reason. I've encountered the Server Busy signal too late at night. Ask Phil, he's good at responding.


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 27, 1999.

Yes, several people have commented on Yourdynamite Midnight Madness. When you start eMailing other addicted posters after midnight commiserating on the inability to get past the clogged servers ... :_(

Melinda tried 4 times yesterday to get on here and gave up. Did read that there are plans to increase load capacity. Would enjoy seeing how many hits per day we get; not just posts, but ppl checking in to read/lurk at the latest collective brilliance ;-D

Ed ??? BTW, how long has it been since we've seen Mr. Yourdon here? With the Fed/Media collusion blackout, this is THE place to find info and shore each other up for continued calm sensible preparation. Thanks a million times, Ed, for giving us this lifesaving meeting Asylum.

Ashton & Leska in Cascadia

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx

-- Leska (, January 27, 1999.

If I remember correctly, this forum had about 30,000 messages posted on it from December 1997 to January 1, 1999. Now it's up to 42,000+ messages.

That's about a 40% increase in the number of messages ever posted here. A 40% increase in less than a month. Y2K awareness IS on the rise.

-- Kevin (, January 27, 1999.

Here are just a few of the stats for this "Wunderland" as of 5:00pm CST 27 January 1999.

By way of estimates (Strictly a GUESStimate). You are running about 500 "hits" per day now. This includes the weedy folks.

Also, FWIW, on 27 November 1998 we had a total of 19952 "hits". So, in 2 months we have had 22740 "hits". I think, mayhaps, someone is stirring the herd.

>First message: 1997-12-22

Most recent posting: 1999-01-27

Number of archived messages: 42692

Note that these data do not include messages that were deleted (or marked for expiration) by the forum moderator.

This is just the "top 20" POSTERS and does not include the "lurkers", or "those laying in the weeds" out there.

Active Contributors (1529) (1395) (984) (831) (804) (764) (707) (707) (657) (647) (641) (640) a@a.a (559) (542) (504) (502) (486) (420) (407) (401)<


-- sweetolebob (La) (, January 27, 1999.

" A 40% increase in less than a month. Y2K awareness IS on the rise."

Agreed. Always remembering that an "awareness" sufficient to motivate a question here doesn't imply an "understanding" of the scope and implications of the problem. Dumb questions don't deserve rude answers -- all questions posed here qualify as dumb ones from some standpoint relatively more informed. Only way to find out what you don't know is ask. Assume good intentions -- if absent the fact will soon be apparent.

-- Tom Carey (, January 27, 1999.

saw a study several years ago that indicated that the more well-read usenet newsgroups averaged somewhere around 1K lurkers/readers for every poster.

I dunno, but considering the number of us who do post, who also happen to advocate (what was that phrase Declan used? oh yeah) "radical responses to y2k", we just might be providing a bit of a counterbalance to the happyface koskinenite nonsense being bandied about elsewhere. At least I certainly hope we are!

Arlin [who is happy to note that S.O.B.'s stats say that I'm managing to stay below the random noise level.]

-- Arlin H. Adams (, January 28, 1999.

Arlin, are you kidding me? 1,000 lurkers for every regular?

I might be able to envisage ONE lurker for every poster. More like one for every two or three, or more. Where did that incredible 1,000 figure come from?

If it's true, we talkers really are an elite ;)

-- Leo (, January 28, 1999.

Arlin, are you kidding me? 1,000 lurkers for every regular?

I might be able to envisage ONE lurker for every poster. More like one for every two or three, or more. Where did that incredible 1,000 figure come from?

If it's true, we talkers really are an elite! ;)

-- Leo (, January 28, 1999.

Yeah - well Leo it doesn't count if you post twice .... 8<)

One "assumed" lurker to writer ratio is 100-1 on the InterNet, talk radio averages 10,000 to 50,000 listener-to-caller ratio, direct mail is 100 letters-3 replies. Perhaps 100-1 is small, can't tell until you get inventory the lurkers. Also, just reading a thread without making a reply qualifies you as a temporary lurker anyway - lurker in residence perhaps?

Note to counters - the numbers you're quoting above aren't "hits" (an access by a person to the database site) but number of messages and replies. With this many threads, many re-opened several times as people check for new info over the "life" of the thread, its very likely that tens of millions of "looks" to any given reply are actually occurring. Several web sites get over 1 million "hits" per day to the main site - including and - and their access seems easier than here lately.

One reply may get read several tens of thousand times, but it is only one reply.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (, January 28, 1999.

Ms Leska;

If you will read the answer posted by Ed Yourdon you will see why your E-mails are disappearing into thin air. They aren't being sent.

We are killing the "golden (Mother) goose" as it is just with the amount of traffic here.

So, you'll just have to forage for the answers in your quest for "the truth".


-- sweetolebob (La) (, January 29, 1999.

Nope, SOB, it's weird, I'm getting some of 'em, but not others, & some private eMails slipping thru. When read that, was surprised to see all responses via eMail to LOOTING coming thru. Oh well. My ISP shows them loading but then disappearing just before the sound that indicates the drop; they're stumped too. Of course traffic will increase more & more throughout 1999; Y2K is global and the countdown is bound to attract ballooning attention.

Gotta run & pick Diane up at airport now. See y'all in Seattle tomorrow!

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxx

-- Leska (, January 29, 1999.

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