Rockies World Series Ticket Clusterfucks

In case you haven’t heard, the Rockies are going to the world series after winning 20 of their last 21 games and sweeping both the Phillies and the Diamondbacks in the divisional playoffs.

To help makes things for the thousands of fans wanting tickets, the Colorado Rockies decided to only sell tickets online. Fair enough.

Well on Monday, millions of people attempted to buy tickets to the World Series at Coors Field. I was one of them. Using my tablet in the middle of Digital Logic, I was going to try and snag a couple of Rockpile tickets (Rockpile Tickets to the World Series: $65/each). Well, I sat there for about 10 minutes, a battle waged against server timeouts. I finally gave up.

The story reported later that night went something like this:
From colorado.rockies.mlb.com:

This morning, after more than 8.5 million hits on the Colorado Rockies website, Paciolan (Pack-ee-o-lan), Major League Baseball’s ticket vendor, experienced a system wide outage that impacted all of its North American customers. As a result, the Colorado Rockies have suspended the sale of 2007 World Series tickets scheduled to be played at Coors Field.

By this morning, the report had changed a bit. “System wide outage” turned into “external malicious attack” and eventually the Paciolan/MLB was playing the role of victim to a denial-of-service attack.

Yea, DOS my ass. Drew calls BS on this one and I have to agree with him:

From www.thedenverchannel.com:

Drew Curtis, the owner of Fark.com, called the denial of service claim “bogus.” Curtis, who has been on the receiving end of DOS attacks, told TheDenverChannel, “If they notified their upstream provider that they were under attack, the upstream provider could have shut that off in no time flat. They’re lying.”

Curtis said the heavy traffic Monday was likely coming from ticket brokers.

“Scalping is big money, big enough for scammers to develop utilities to open thousands of simultaneous connections attempting to buy tickets. I suspect that was at least part of the problem.”

Confident they’ve beefed up their network enough blocked the culprits, Rockies tickets went back on sale today at noon local time, kind of. I got on a campus computer1 at 11:45am and was online trying to get tickets until 1pm, when I had to leave for a meeting.

I spent wasted over an hour of time either looking at a 120 second countdown timer assuring me that the systems were under severe loads and I would be ushered in in the order I arrive or this screen:
timed_out.JPG

That screen, my friends, is a server timeout screen. In short, I was blocked again. Rocktober has frozen into Mocktober.

I looked for a report on a local news site saying that ticket sales would be suspended again because gremlins had been mucking around in the systems again; no such luck.

Tickets were selling, apparently. But at the appalling rate of 1500 per a minute.

So here’s what I don’t get. Pick any A-list music performer (U2, Dave Matthews Band, The Police, etc). Most of those performances sellout within minutes, like eight minutes. 60,000 tickets gone in a flash at a rate five times faster then Rockies were selling tickets. How come they never have any issues?

Let the scalping begin!

For more information on the squirrel with big nuts: http://www.fark.com/farq/about.shtml

1We sit on the FRGP Network, which, for the sake of this post, well call A Really Fast Connection™

Boston: Day One

The following takes place between 1pm and 3am, Boston Local Time:

The plan for the day was simple, go back to Jeff’s place and sleep some more. Then, get up and go to Chelmsford and check into a hotel to watch the Boston College at Notre Dame game. The next morning Colin would run the BayState Marathon in his attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

We woke up around one in the afternoon, had a bit of breakfast (i.e. the bagel and cream cheese we picked up that morning), and then took off.

We made a stop at a local market to get some food and Jeff and I picked up some Arrogant Bastard. We hopped on the highway, only to figure out about 25 minutes later that we were on the wrong highway. As it turned it, we going in generally the right direction and we were able to get to Chelmsford without any major rerouting/back tracking.

We checked into the hotel and then Colin, James, and I drove into Lowell so that Colin could check in.

Check in was as at Lowell High School (Random Wikipedia trivia: Lowell High School opened in 1831 as the first co-educational high school in the United States and is currently the state’s second-largest public high school). We all decided that:

  1. All high schools look the same, no matter the state, and
  2. Being in high schools when there aren’t high school kids around is still kind of weird.

On the way back, we stopped by Dunkin’ Donuts which seems to be the thing to do when your in Boston. James introduced and treated me to the iced regular coffee, which is actually coffee with cream and sugar. So thanks James, you’ve got me hooked on something else ;).

We made another stop at a grocery store to find the rest of the items Colin would need for the next days marathon, and then to the beer store because it seems that most grocery stores don’t sell alcohol of any sort (not even 3.2%).

DSC_0803 One of things I try to do is sample the variety of beers, always trying to find something great. If I go to a restaurant and see a new beer on the list, I’ll try it. If I’m far away from home (such as in Boston) and I’ll try to look for beers that aren’t in Colorado/Seattle. We picked up Samuel Adams October Fest (I can probably get this in Colorado/Seattle, but it’s Samuel Adams and I’m in Boston….so, I kinda had to), UFO Hefeweizen, and a Magic Hat of a type I can’t recall (help anyone?).

DSC_0808 Boston College beat Notre Dame. We hit a up a Applebee’s-type place called The 99 Restaurant or maybe just 99, I’m not quite sure. It was good food and decent service, plus a good time had by all.

It was approaching 9pm local time, so we headed back to the hotel and jumped into the hot tube for a half hour or so before heading back up. It was 10:30ish by time I was dried off. People started to head to bed and the lights were out by 11:15pm.

I however, was still pretty awake (remember that it was only 9:15pm in my mind and I had woken up at 1pm local time…a double whammy). I basically spent the next 4 hours watching Boston loose it to the Indians in the ALCS and then time on the interwebs getting caught up on my feeds and email.

I finally made it to bed around 3am, just in time to get around three hours of sleep.