Duels is going crazy

I should probably be posting more. But I’ve been so busy posting on our message boards. So if you want to know more about what’s going on check that out.
In our first week we’re already over 8,500 registered users and we’re averaging over 2 duels a second. It’s crazy.

Oh and we are in the Wall Street Journal: A popular new site allows coffee-break dueling

Traffic Trifecta

First on Techcrunch: Ready To Kill Some Time (And Some Enemies)? Try Duels.com

– This resulted in a ton of traffic. It brought the servers to their knees.

Second, the article shows up on Digg: Duels.com – New Free Online WOW-like Game and Social Network Launches

– It became popular on Digg, eventually making the homepage. It currently has 500 diggs. This finished the servers off.

We doubled our server capacity.

– There was still tons of traffic coming in. We had to tune MySQL.

Meanwhile it also made the home page of del.icio.us (on the hotlist) and got picked up on a myriad of other blogs.

Next I’ll post some graphs.

Duels featured on Techcrunch

You can read the article:  Ready To Kill Some Time (And Some Enemies)? Try Duels.com

This has resulted in a huge influx of traffic that has caused some server hiccups for us.  I think we’ve managed to tweak things enough that they running smoothly (although more slowly than we would like).  I’m hopeful we can get some additional servers up today, but that is not entirely within our control.

Oxygen Games

The corporate site for my new company, Oxygen Games, is live.  Check it out and find out what we’re planning to do!  Our first game, Duels , is also going live today. Stay tuned for more information! (Oh who am I kidding, like there is anyone reading my blog that is going to actually stay tuned! So if you wander through the great interwebs, fall through the “tubes”, or whatever – check out the game!

iPhone Update: My Big Issues (Negative)

So I’ve had the iPhone for almost a month.  There are parts of it I really like.  Everyone writes about what they like though, so I’m going to skip that part.

Here are my issues (ie: what I don’t like):

  • My biggest issue with the iPhone is e-mail.  (Not the edge, the way e-mail is handled.)  I generally blame Google / GMail for this.  Here are my issues:
    • GMail uses this funky “threading” mechanism for conversations (e-mail exchanges with the same titles) which is pretty cool on the web.  It sucks in an e-mail application.  Google, please, for the love of tech gadgets, give me a way to turn this off in POP.
    • Better yet, give me IMAP.  Please, please, please.  I think adding IMAP support (so I could ditch POP) would make my GMail / iPhone experience ten times better.
      • I believe this would solve a myriad of other issues I have with e-mail that are related to how POP works.  I never had these issues on my Q with the Mobile Outlook client.
      • It might also make me a user / fan of the Google Calendar.  (Which I don’t currently use – I’m just keeping my calendar directly in the iPhone.)
    • Apple:  Change the GMail mechanism in the e-mail client to support addresses that are not “@gmail.com”.  I use commercial GMail (ie: my own domain) and not being able to put those accounts in there is annoying.
  • More on e-mail.  Apple, these are for you:
    • Let me play WAV attachments.  WTF?  I mean I know you guys are kind of proprietary, but give me a break.  I just want to listen to my Vonage voicemail on my iPhone.
    • Show my new e-mail account for all my e-mail accounts on the unlock screen so I don’t have to go through the hassle of unlocking and looking to see if I have new e-mail.
    • Even better, show me the number of new mails since last time I looked instead of the absolute new mail count.
  • Austin has this citywide wireless network that appears as COA_Mesh.  It isn’t iPhone friendly (possibly the same network structure, ie: Cisco, as the Duke network that was covered as having iPhone issues) becuase it requires some confirmation screen and, well, it never seems to work. 
    • Cisco:  Please fix your network infrastructure stuff so it is iPhone friendly.
    • Austin:  Please beat on Cisco to fix it and, hey, ideally turn off that stupid confirmation screen.
    • Apple:  Please add the ability to exclude wireless networks that you have connected to in the past.  Since I connected once, my iPhone keeps trying to connect to it.  Since it can, technically, get a WiFi connection it thinks it is connected but can’t actually do anything.
  • Fix this Vista issue.  I’m not sure what’s going on, but Vista blue screens when I try to sync music or pictures.  I admit I haven’t tried it in a week or so…. largely because it pissed me off.

So to summarize my plea(s) for help:

  • Apple:  Add a little bit better e-mail support.  Fix the WiFi handling.
  • Google / GMail:  Please, I’m begging you, add IMAP support to GMail (even if it is just for commercial users).
  • City of Austin:  Fix COA_Mesh to be iPhone friendly.


BTW, even with all these gripes I don’t regret my iPhone purchase.  I love the browser (except when it crashes, which it does a lot btw). 

This Is Why Phone Companies Suck

This time it’s Verizon. 

Anyone after Novermber 2006 – either a new customer or someone who changed their contract – has “variable early termination” which means they get prorated.  If you’ve been a customer longer or haven’t modified your server since before that date you are screwed.

I love that.  Been a customer longer?  Screw you.  Brilliant.  These guys are even worse than AT&T.

If they had just given me a pro-rated early termination I probably wouldn’t have a) said anything b) done anything.  But now I’m pissed so I’m going to extract it from them one way or another.

The thing that really pisses me off is that for the last several months my Q phone has been dying on me.  Usually late in the afternoon or the early evening.  (After being charged up all night.)  I’m not sure whether this is caused by a faulty battery (I’ve had for maybe eight months – my previous one was stolen and I paid full price for this one.) or if it is bad service.  In my downtown Austin home I typically only got one bar so I suspect it might have been ratcheting up power for reception and thus draining the battery, but I don’t really know.  All I know is I got a lot of dropped calls and my phone just turned off on a regular basis.

 I have 5 bars on AT&T in the same place where I have never had more than 2 on Verizon.

I’ve now requested a copy of my contract, this will be interesting.

iPhone Real World Trial

So yesterday my iPhone finally got fully switched on (incoming calls).  So I went out for dinner with a couple of my friends and continued on to have a few drinks in Austin’s Warehouse District (Fourth Street).  I didn’t have any issues with the phone – it didn’t feel weird in my pocket or anything.  No scratches either.

WiFi is way better than the Edge, but not available everywhere.  Although I expect that to change.  There is a downtown Austin wireless project sponsored by the city called COA_Mesh but I can’t get my iPhone to connect to it for some reason.

The SMS system is really cool.  It shows a list of people and you click on the people to see the SMS correspondence like a chat.  It’s very well done.

I’ve also already convinced at least one of my friends to get an iPhone – I should get some kind of referral thing.  🙂

Anyway – the iPhone continues to live up to the hype for me.  I love it. 

Vista and the iPhone

So the first time I synced my iPhone using Vista it mostly worked.  The set-up worked fine.  It took calendar, contacts, and what not from Outlook.  But when I tried to sync photos it blew up.  (Music might have been involved in this too.)  I’ve gotten 5 blue screen of deaths (at least).  It’s really starting to irritate me.

The part I love is when you reboot, Vista says, “You’ve recovered from a serious error, would you like to check for a solution?”  I click yes…. Some bar glows for a bit.  Then disappears.  Thanks for the help!  At least tell me you haven’t encountered this problem before.

I don’t even know if it is really an iPhone related problem.  The only time the little “error helper” came back with anything it said it was a hard drive error.  I did a diskcheck and whatnot…. Still blue screening and the “error helper” has no useful info now.  I guess I will have to sync my iPhone with a different computer.

Has anyone else encountered this type of problem?

First blog entry from my iphone

This is my first 100% iPhone written blog entry and so far typing this much is not bad. The predictive keyboard is pretty impressive.

I am in a restaurant on the basic free wifi they have. I will give it a shot on edge next. I think once I get fully used to this keyboard that it will rock. I can definitely see what they mean when they say trust it. I am already sewing improvement.

iPhone Continued

Ok.  I got an SMS from AT&T late last night telling me welcome.  I assumed that meant my service had transferred, but nope.  I still can’t call my iPhone.  I can get SMSes though – although possibly only from people on AT&Ts network. 

Anyway, I spent several hours playing Duels (yes, I know there is nothing there yet – still in restricted beta, post a comment with your e-mail and I’ll invite you [and, no, I won’t publish your e-mail]) on my iPhone and it is freaking cool.  The fact that I can do that is really impressive.  (We use a lot of Flash, so there are a few things that aren’t there, but it is still playable.)

I browsed around and set up my WSJ account and looked at a bunch of pages.  I still remain really impressed.

Typing in usernames, passwords, etc. doesn’t seem like a problem.  I’ve had it for less than 24 hours and I can already type with two thumbs.  The keyboard is as good as the one on my (now retired) Motorola Q….. If might even be better. 

The software interface design on the web browser and the keyboard is some of the best I have ever seen.

The SMS handling looks pretty cool – it keeps them as an ongoing conversation – but I haven’t really fully tested it out.

Hopefully my number will transfer soon and I can really use it as a phone.

More soon.