Member Since: January 12, 2011

Country: United States

  • The only thing that could have been "stress tested" is their homepage and their login server. But once you were logged in, the requests were very light (I analyzed the Ajax requests) and I personally never got a timeout or an error. It took me an average of about 7 seconds to solve the captchas and on every try it sent about 140 characters (the challenge key and the answer) and received 2 characters or data back (the status). Including the HTTP headers and considering that wasn't HTTPS, this really isn't a lot of data.

    I wonder how you can affirm that "the test was a resounding success!" and that they "design[ed] a stress test that would result in valuable data". I'd love to understand your point if it's backed by real information. To my knowledge, to stress test a system, you have to test the system itself.

    To give you an example, if I want to test my car I won't go for a ride on my bike even if it's on the same road.

  • I have to disagree. I felt quite the opposite.

  • "Finally"???? After 30 mins? You poor thing. Some people like me spent the entire day filling in captchas and we didn't get anything.

  • You are right. I just hope that they find something more clever next year. Unless they admit it's a raffle and simply asks people to fill in a form.

  • Servers going down is something to expect on a Stress test.

  • Today's free day was NOT a stress test for Sparkfun. The page was verifying the answers with ajax calls to a page called "check.php" which returned a maximum of 2 characters (in case of a bad captcha). I'm pretty sure even my server could handle such lightweight transfers.

    For every "try" reCAPTCHA had to create a challenge and transfer the picture to the client and then it was called by Sparkfun's servers to verify that the answer was correct. On the other hand, Sparkfun's server only had to receive the answer and return an integer representing various statuses.

    The real one that was doing all the work was reCAPTCHA which is backed by Google and even an event like "free day" isn't a real challenge for them. In fact, it is quite an opportunity since the reCAPTCHA system helps them digitize books, which gives them content that they can use for advertising later on.

    To be a REAL stress test it has to be representative of the actual traffic. Today's free day was absolutely not representative. Usually a webstore server is mostly busy sending pictures (since it's really slow) and doing requests on the database.

    Don't get me wrong, giving money to your customers is awesome. But don't try to make me believe this was a stress test for your servers. Sparkfun's free day 2012 was a RAFFLE, nothing more!

    Last year's free day was so much better. It was more representative of the actual traffic (and it was a real stress test!), I learned stuff while doing it and I won 60$.

  • Clearly you don't know anything about reCAPTCHA.

  • I understand, but having a quizz was a way better idea in my opinion. I learned stuff on free day last year. This year, it's boring and I feel like I'm wasting my time.

  • Liked it too. I think filling in capchas is a bit tedious and less fun but I won't complain!

  • Same here. It also makes an horrible sound when I'm trying to position it to 0 degrees. I assume the stoppers are not correctly placed.