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I don't support VPS problems that I've already found out are unsolveable

Posted in the VIP room:

OK.  Have to say this since I've been spending way too much time supporting it.

I tested 50-75 VPS providers.  Yes.  Honestly.  All but one were screwed up. 
* Some oversell their resources.  They say 4 GB of memory but you can't use all of it because they promised too many other people 4 GB when they only had 16 GB total.
* Some provision their VPS to be used as a web host which has VERY different allocation design decisions despite the hardware specs provided, a webhost is different from a VPS capable of botting.
* Some do funky stuff with directory permissions in the interest of protecting their customers from themselves. 
* Some auto-apply security patches and reboot you too frequently.

I DO NOT SUPPORT THEM because they do not work.  I have to end the conversation when I find out it's related to a VPS problem especially since I have dozens of PM convos all alike.

I do not use those other VPS providers because they're screwed up.  I know others have found a VPS provider they like and use successfully.  I know some have gotten over or around the problems above.  If I find another VPS provider that works "out of the box", I'll do some testing and add it to the list that I'm willing to help with.  I am not willing to help with VPS providers that I have already found DO NOT WORK.

I spend too much time helping others learn what I already learned.  I put my finger into the light socket.  It hurt.  I don't need to spend time helping you learn that putting your finger in the light socket hurts.

If you ask me "what about provider XYZ", the answer is:

So far, I have ONE provider on my list that works.  If your provider is not on my list of working VPS providers, it means either:

  1. I tested it and it does not work so I don't support it.
  2. I did not test it so I don't support it.

Some of the problems I experience that tell me your VPS provider is crappy:

  1. Director does not save profiles due to file permissions or directory permissions
  2. NEATO does not work or gives strange errors
  3. Bot crashes due to resource starvation
  4. Bot stops responding due to resource starvation
  5. Director launches multiple copies of the same bot due to resource starvation
  6. Director crashes due to resource starvation

There are tons of problems that happen.  I will paste this URL to you if we determine a dumb VPS is the cause.  

If the VPS is not the cause of the problem I will help you even if you use a VPS I don't support.  I'll help you out regardless of the VPS you choose as long as you don't have a problem that is caused by your VPS.

The Director isn't (and can't) disappear

I've received a LOT of questions about the Director going away.  Seems there's a clone / offshoot site of The Director that implies I am going to stop the Director from running.

Let me make this clear.

  1. There are no official SRG-sanctioned off-shoots.  The Director is a GPL application which means anyone can take it and modify it provided they provide source code.  I have not been approached about any such offshoots so I do not know of any but there's obviously at least one out there.
  2. With regards to the official Director, I cannot stop it from running even if I wanted to (which I don't).  The Director is open source.  There is absolutely no way I can tell it to stop running.  There are no timeouts, there is no way for me to remotely disable it.  Even if there was, it's open source so you could disable the ability to disable.  

The Director isn't going anywhere no matter what someone else says.  It's a rumor from a malicious person, obviously.  Someone is trying to scare you.  I cannot stop it from running.  

Every now and then, someone decides to start a rumor to see how far it will travel.  Obviously, this one traveled quite a ways.  Previous rumors have been about Neatbot and/or Evony.  This one is about the Director.

If you do know of a Director spin-off, make sure you trust whomever gave it to you.  For security purposes, I very strongly encourage you to only run the Director that you download from my site.  If you get a copy from someone else, make sure you trust them, especially if it's different from the one I distribute.  I can't say for sure what someone else is doing from their spinoff of my app.

I'd be very interested in knowing about whatever spinoffs are out there.  If you know of one, please let me know.

New option being tested - Bot Launch Throttle

  • Written by Sum Random Guy on Monday 10 March 2014 in the category Default with the tags , .

There's a new sherriff in town.  Wait, no there isn't.  Same old Director but he has a new trick.  

Bot Launch Throttle

It's off by default but you can turn this nifty little feature on using the File menu option.  If there's a checkmark beside Max Launch Throttle, it's turned on.  If there is no checkmark, it's turned off.

This little feature throttles the number of bots launched within a given time period.  This does NOTHING about disconnects and reconnects, don't even ask me for it.  It doesn't do that.

It is very useful, though.  Say you restart your computer.  The Director will dutifully go through and start all of your bots like it should.  That kills my computer.  I only want it to launch a maximum of 5 bots at a time, then wait a bit and launch a couple more, then wait, etc.  That's what this does.  Perfect!

There are some defaults.  I like the defaults.  I highly suggest you learn to like the defaults.  You can change them but I won't help you figure out the best setting because I think the best setting is what I set for the defaults.  

It will launch a maximum of 5 bots at startup. It'll wait 90 seconds, then it'll let another 3 in.  Every 90 seconds, it'll let 3 more in.  Yay.

If you feel you MUST change the values, they are MaxLaunchBatch, LaunchClearSeconds, LaunchClearNum.  You break it, you get to keep all the pieces.  I don't want them back.

Notes:

This does NOTHING about network disconnects and reconnects.  It is not intended to and will not do anything about it.

This does not impact the login times, i.e. the delay that you have set.  It merely throttles the launching of the bots.

This does not impact the disconnect/reconnect cycle.

This will make it where you have bots offline for a period of time because it's only allowing a few in at a time.  It's supposed to do that.

If you stop a bunch of bots and let it automatically relaunch them, it'll throttle them down.  That's what it's supposed to do.

You can launch a billion bots manually with no throttle; this only impacts the autolaunch function when the Director notices the bot is not running.

This will not change the behavior you see when you get disconnected.

 

Betas aren't for everyone

Over the last two days, I've released a few beta versions of the Director.  Beta versions aren't for everyone.


Who are they for?

Well, they're for people who can handle change.  People who know how to download the new betas without handholding because you'll have to do it more often than non-beta participants.  

Most importantly, they're for people who can provide useful feedback.  "This sucks, how do I go back to the old version." is not helpful.  "I'm having a problem with a change, here is what it is doing but I thought it would do this other thing." That's helpful.  "You suck, DIE IN A FIRE!!!!!!1111!!" That's slightly less helpful than the first one, but it clearly gives me some direction about what you are after.

Participate in betas if you're willing to provide constructive criticism and can provide beta testing.  Don't do it if you're not willing to try new things.  Betas are new.  If you don't do change well, you won't like betas.

File | Participate in betas

Set that how you wish.

You merged without saving your goals

I wrote this for the last merge. I'll post it here ahead of time. Pretend this post doesn't exist until tomorrow.

Inevitably there will be a bunch of people that didn't believe us when we said back up your goals. They're sad now. The universe weeps for them.

But wait! You can point them here! This will confuse and bedazzle them. It will say "I told you so" in a friendly way. But, it'll help them get their goals back. Keep this link. We'll be needing it for the next couple days. I'm just going to keep it on my paste clipboard permanently so I can paste it in to the Skype room a couple dozen times. :)

___
OK, that's a bummer. You can still get them but it will take a bit of work.

Go here:
http://forum.neatportal.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=69

It'll tell you where your goals live. Inside that directory, you'll find a bunch of .sol files. The ones you are after are named cityXXXXXX.sol where XXXXX is your OLD city IDs (behind the scenes numbers used by the server but which make no sense to anyone). Open those up using Notepad or, even better, an application called .minerva which you can find by Googling for it. Guess which city it belongs to and copy-n-paste them into your new bot profile.

Good luck and may the Force be with you. Live long and prosper.

So your server is merging

OK, you're merging. Yay!

You must back up your goals to a text file or be prepared to recreate them. As with all merges, there are lots of folks with grand plans to keep their goals without having to copy-n-paste them. Sorry. It's not going to work. You have one option. Copy-n-paste your goals out into a separate document. That's it.

Can't you just keep the old server name? No. Though the client is OK with it, the bot isn't. Also, the goals are saved in a directory with the server name in it but it's also saved in a file with the city ID. The city ID will change. INVALID PLAN.

Can't I just use the Director to make a backup and restore the backup? No. The city ID is changing. You'd be restoring with the old city IDs. The Director can't know old city ID 123 is new city ID 444. INVALID PLAN.

Can't I just keep the bot running while the merge happens? Nope. I don't even know how to explain the myriad ways this won't help. INVALID PLAN.

So what can I do? Your only option.... The only thing that will work.... Copy-n-paste your goals out of the bot into a file somewhere. Paste them back in when you log in after the merger. That's the only thing that will work. VALID PLAN!

Battle on, warriors.

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