October 4th, 2005, 14:21
As some of you may know I have been working on a service called vSig. You can read about this service in my original request thread where I was hoping to get hosting for the website and for the signatures. That request had been courteously fulfilled via PM of qwertyuiopasdfghj (by the looks of his profile, not a very active member here, but that doesn't mean anything). Anyway, reading on vsig.org you can see that vSig provides the ability to view a user's current MSN Status on the image. I have been working and working on this MSN bot for quite a long time, and for about a month it has been stably running on vsig.org. However, as you can see by reading this announcement of mine, qwerty (let's call him Dane) has been notified that his host has decided that they are going to disallow bots. Now, this may leave you wondering if my bot was slowing down the server, or causing CPU to rise. Neither I nor any of my users nor Dane has noticed any speed decrease, or any negative side-effects of running this bot. See, the bot is not complex and it does not respond with intelligence or anything like that.
Let me give you the lowdown:
The bot runs using PHP and CRON Jobs. The cron job runs every 5 minutes (if you would prefer a different time-interval let me know) and checks if the bot is running. It does this because the bot script updates a tiny file every few minutes, and the script run via cron checks this. If the file has not been updated the bot starts, unless manually disabled by an administrator. The file run via cron simply includes another php script that acts as an msn bot. In this way, the bot runs only one process of PHP, and should be very efficient. You may also wonder how it tracks the status of a user. It does not query the server every minute or do anything drastic like that. In fact, if an update needs to take place the MSN server tells it to, and only a mySQL query needs to be run. This does not mean I need mySQL: The mySQL database lies on the vsig.org server. This is the most logical and easy-on-the-server method as I could come up with, and it seemed very effective. If you are in doubt we can do a test-trial (run the bot for a day and check if any slowdowns occur). I do believe it will pass. We are also making plans to run bots for other networks, with your permission, of course .
Which is why I am very confused at why the server shut us down. At any rate, let me now specify my requirements for all you quick-readers out there:
Space: 5mb. 5 megabytes is probably an over-estimate; the scripts are very small. 2mb would be good enough, but 5mb is still very small
Bandwidth: No more than 30mb That is, again, if you feel like giving me something extra. The bot will not be accessed; only the server will use it and the transactions it has are very small. 10mb would be a better estimate.
CRON Jobs Discussed above
Ability to connect to ports for the bot, obviously. This worries some hosts because they think my bot may be hack-able, or accept file transfers, or something. This is simply not the case. It only needs to connect to port 1863 for MSN, and other ports if you allow it for other messengers. This is all done in PHP, so most servers should already have this enabled.
Any method of uploading is fine, and any method of editing CRON is fine also. I don't need anything feature-rich, so anything extra will probably be unused.
Any URL is fine except for a domain. I'm not going to purchase another domain just for another host . A subdomain can be vsig.you.com, or a subdirectory could be you.com/vsig or you.com/~vsig. The only reason I need a URL is because since it is on another server I need a way to tell the server to stop or restart the bot; the only way to do this is to have a very-protected PHP file publicly available that can be called. This will be done as small and as secure as possible. Don't worry
If you would like I can put a link or a button on the vsig.org page. On your server would be completely useless: like I said, the server won't be browsed and I'll probably set something up so it redirects to vsig.org if that's OK (unless you would prefer some kind of ad-packed page to bug prowling users, that's fine too )
Any other questions or concerns are accepted with a great big hug . All of the current and future users of vSig thank you.
And myself of course!
PS: Looking back this is a ridiculously long request for just a tiny bit of hosting. I apologize for this; I hope I didn't waste your time!
Last edited by tm899; October 4th, 2005 at 14:26.
Reason: Quick apology =)