Monday, January 30, 2006

Providing public transport services - eventually

While waiting for something to render I thought I'd pop onto the Transperth website to see if my Smartrider has been registered yet. It usually takes them a couple of days. So I bring up the website and wait for it to load. And wait. And wait. Eventually it grounds into existence. Now let me point out here that I'm using a broadband connection which is - according to my traffic logs - completely uncongested. Websites can be momentarily overwhelmed at times so I continued believing that the sluggishness would pass. WRONG!

By the time my render had finished I had managed to load up only the opening page and was waiting for the login page to show itself. Fortunately I had to make some changes and needed to render again. By the time I had finished and was rendering the login page had loaded. I logged in and then waited two minutes for the next page to load. A new speed record!

Over the course of the next half-an-hour I managed to complete what I was attempting - admittedly with the occasional brief distraction of doing some real work. Now, I will say that once everything is set up that being able to check where you have been and how much you currently have on the card all via the web is very cool. But with each page taking at least a minute to load (and usually 2+), and there being several pages to visit before reaching the good stuff, it makes the Transperth Smartrider Account website virtually unusable.

Perhaps they're just overwhelmed by the introduction of the Control Group. Maybe it will improve with time. However, there are only 5000 or so of us on the control group and if such a small number is able to swamp the system then imagine what will happen in April when a couple of hundred thousand all attempt to log on and register.
There needs to be a big improvement before then. Of course, I suspect much of their problem is caused by their choice of server software: Microsoft-IIS/5.0.


teddlesruss said... (or whatever Telstra calls their DNS service) was down this morning for a few hours, leading to EVERYONE getting the catatonic Internet service.

Ask me, I attended two jobs this morning directly down to the DNS server being deader than a politician's promises after election day.

skribe said...

Nope, it is still abysmally slow.