The aforementioned "unlimted bandwidth" has very recently become quite limited.
April 25, 2001 6:17 PM   Subscribe

When I first visited that site I thought.. 'Hmm, okay, their ISP isn't going to love this.' Even if they owned the server themselves, it seems they're getting some asskicking from above.

I couldn't really see the point of the site either. Most people were just uploading rubbish. Can someone explain to me what was so cool about this site? I think I missed it.
posted by wackybrit at 6:20 PM on April 25, 2001

Well... one persons rubbish is another persons treasure. I liked seeing what music/pictures/movies other people like or find interesting, a little voyeuristic I guess...
posted by the_ill_gino at 6:39 PM on April 25, 2001

I noticed that the download speed of the server was occassionally hammered to the point where downloading mpg videos was a lesson in futility.
posted by crunchland at 6:41 PM on April 25, 2001

Hi, I made FilePile.

First of all, I wouldn't have spent all those nights writing it if I thought it was going to be forced down. I mean, I have better things to do with my time like, stuff... cool stuff. No really.

I feel really terrible about everything. Not just all the code I wrote and the time I spent thinking about how it should all work, but I feel like I let everyone down. I mean, I incorporated a lot of your suggestions and so I feel like we all made FilePile.

Basically what happened is this: I ask my ISP, "Is it cool if I do this thing?"

And they say, "Yes, that's fine with us, we have to pay for these T-1's whether they're used or not. Go for it."

So I say, "Alright, I'm doing it..."

I go to SXSW, no problems, I come back from SXSW, no problems, I spend a couple weeks writing the new FilePile. Still no phone calls of concern. I call them before I launch the new FP and they say, it's cool, go for it. Then today they call me and tell me they're going to unplug my ethernet unless I stop whatever it is I'm doing on that machine.

Filepile was doing about 15 gigs of data a day. It was doing this ever since I launched it and left for SXSW.

I'm really sorry. Like I said, I have all the files still, and the code, and the database. Everything is intact. I have to rethink how it works.

This post has taken me far to long to do. I don't know what to say. I'm really sorry.

Everyone who donated money will be receiving refunds.

I might just burn all the stuff to CD and send it out.

Oh, and I just got the "okay" to turn FilePile back on at midnight tonight and run it to 6am. Apparently that's when the T-1's are basically unused. I've been given permission to do this until it becomes another problem.

I don't think this is the solution at all, but at least everyone can download what they can tonight.
posted by perplexed at 7:02 PM on April 25, 2001

the_ill_gino: I guess so. It seemed interesting, of course, but it wasn't what I was expecting. Haughey was talking about it on his site like it was going to be the next Napster or something.. and when I saw it was just a few simple CGI scripts.. (g) Oh well, it'll be interesting to see how it develops, when/if it comes up again. Good luck to them.
posted by wackybrit at 7:02 PM on April 25, 2001

I think this will increasinly be a problem with cool utilities created within the Metafilter community. If they really are cool, they'll cost their owners a fortune in bandwidth. I've had my own run-ins with bandwidth charges, expecting a $200 bill and recieving a $700 bill. It's not fun.
posted by benbrown at 7:10 PM on April 25, 2001

Filepile is/was a hell of a lot of fun just because of the diversity of stuff on it, and most of the time never knowing what you were going to get. The "democracy" of the site is what made it cool. Anyone could post anything...the whole "remix" thing...I hope issues are worked out so this site can continue.
posted by modofo at 7:14 PM on April 25, 2001

So right now I'm thinking about how a system could be devised where instead of there being client to client connections like napster, files would be hosted on people's servers and linked in a central repository.

I might be drunk.
posted by perplexed at 7:15 PM on April 25, 2001

Help design it here
posted by owillis at 7:37 PM on April 25, 2001

No, I think you're basically right perplexed although it brings up the issue of stealing other people's bandwidth without their noticing--that is, until their ISP does what Andre's ISP does... I'm going on a 12-day vacation where I won't think too much about work. I'll think about this instead.

Andre, don't be so hard on yourself. Filepile was, and is, very very cool. For every problem there is at least one solution, and this one is no exception.
posted by fooljay at 9:00 PM on April 25, 2001

Just a thought: any possibility that turning off the Music and Movie sections during the day would keep things under control? Perhaps worth an experiment.
posted by dhartung at 9:04 PM on April 25, 2001

What about finding two ISPs in other parts of the world where their night is our day and evening? OK. I'm just a lawyer.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:15 PM on April 25, 2001

Bandwidth is even more expensive here on the other side of the world. heh.
posted by benbrown at 9:57 PM on April 25, 2001

Perplexed: here's a suggestion. Use the amihotornot 'trick' (really, the credit should go to eBay) of *linking* to high-bandwidth content instead of actually serving it out from your own server. Yes, this may require people to actually upload the content to their own web-space, but it will definitely bring down your bandwidth usage.

Or, if you don't like to put your users through the hassle, have a filepile quota for filepile-hosted content to appease your ISP.

The only issue I can think of, besides the inconvenience factor, is that people may abuse the system by linking to, say a cool MP3, and then swap the link with pornography or a spam. I think this could be easily remedied if you got the MD5 hash of the file on submission, and only keep the link around if the hash didn't change (which means that your server would have to periodically download linked content and hash it... hmmm... this may strain your bandwidth again, but since it's in the other direction the ISP might be more lenient).

Just a brainstorm...
posted by costas at 1:51 AM on April 26, 2001

Oh, another brainstorm: I don't quite remember my HTTP off the top of my head, but I think you can query an HTTP server to see if content was updated. If this is true, you could just do that, instead of downloading and hashing all the time.

Hey, this could be kinda cool, what are you writing this in anyway? (if it's not Python, I aint helping :-)...
posted by costas at 1:58 AM on April 26, 2001

I'm sure the bandwidth used to transfer the pages is insignificant compared to what is required by the downloaded files.

Would a distributed server system work? How about finding several ISPs, and having each section (music, images, movies) be handled by just one?
posted by crunchland at 4:21 AM on April 26, 2001

Filepile is and shall continue to be THE BOMB!!
People were reacting to each other's posts in a new way and it was beautiful. What if you can't throw up a text rant as it spills out of your mind in reaction to something that grabs you. You have to respond in kind with a photo or movie or remix(heh) and creatively add to the pile! Filepile will live on!
Andre Torrez has struck upon a great idea that I will gladly support . Who's with me?
posted by roboto at 5:15 AM on April 26, 2001

Won't there be bandwidth on the cheap as soon as another few .coms go under and ISPs get desperate?
posted by ParisParamus at 5:23 AM on April 26, 2001

An addendum, in the great idea that my co-patriot (=costas) suggested: you can set your server to download linked content and hash it during the 'midnight-to-6PM' period. This way you are (inevitably) wasting lots of bandwidth, but in a time period where you don't cause much trouble to your ISP.
posted by kchristidis at 5:40 AM on April 26, 2001

Maybe you should talk to MediaTemple?

They've helped out some of the biggest bandwidth hogs (K10K, Linkdup, Gmunk, etc.) in the design community.

I had lots of fun with File Pile yesterday and it's really caught on around the office. It'd be a shame to see it go down.
posted by SuperBreakout at 8:06 AM on April 26, 2001

I was wondering... did the bandwidth usage skyrocket when 2 days worth of everything was available, as opposed to the last 10 items?
posted by crunchland at 9:52 AM on April 26, 2001

crunchland: nope, it was burning through too much bandwidth long before yesterday.

superbreakout: MediaTemple won't co-locate my box. They use all their own machines. They were also rather rude, which was odd.

Maybe they thought my site was porn.
posted by perplexed at 12:12 PM on April 26, 2001

perplexed: that's weird - we've got our own box set up over at Mediatemple, running K10k, and we'll soon have another one ... never had any probs with them - they're the nicest hosting company we're ever worked with
posted by mschmidt at 7:57 PM on April 26, 2001

« Older Feeling chest pains? Maybe it's that gun in your...   |   Ashcroft and Bush make their move. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments