Bonus – Anime Weekend Atlanta 2009 Con Report

Hey kids, remember this podcast? Yeah, neither do we. But here’s our recorded some time ago convention report for Anime Weekend Atlanta 2009! Our special guests are a bunch of crazy people we know, many of whom sleep in Gerald’s quarters EVERY NIGHT. Just be warned: the audio and editing quality on this one is…kind of rough.

By all rights, there should be several pictures, videos, and links in these show notes. However, I do not have any of them because they’re locked away in the vaults. Bug Gerald and Clarissa to post their stuff. It won’t do anything, but you’ll feel better afterwards! Actually, I have some pictures of Gerald’s harem:

Laina, going completely Berserk. In more ways than one.
Amanda (demonstrating why she is The Face, even though this is not The Face)
Andrea (it’s a good thing she has those goggles, I’m just sayin’)
Brian in his Travis Touchdown / Miami Bass outfit

Brian and Laina. (Laina is the one on the right.)

This gas station / Dairy Queen art is a caricatured representation of everyone on this podcast.

IT’S A FUCKING SHARK

Pricing iTunes out of business

35 thoughts on “Bonus – Anime Weekend Atlanta 2009 Con Report

  1. Now, see, this is where being an old fart has its uses.

    Gerald is clearly doing his 'Jack Tripper' impersonation, and he's living the 'Three's Company' lifestyle!

    (insert the 'The Price is Right' failure sound here)

  2. Exceeded bandwidth makes this listener a sad succubus. (as opposed to panda.)

    I guess I'll catch up to fast karate while I wait.

    ~Victoria

  3. I thought that it was a good report. I especially liked how everyone started with something that they did like. I do not know if it is an act on everyone's part, but at times I feel like everyone is picking on Jerald and it was quite bad in this episode. That is probably why he is not answering his phone during the conventions.

  4. Well, there is good news and there is bad news. The good news is that you shouldn't be getting the Monthly Bandwidth Limit Exceeded errors anymore since it's November now. The bad news is that it'll probably just happen again soon, and so we need to change our hosting situation…AGAIN, after we'd just done so.

    When we signed up for this new hosting, we did so because it was advertised as "unlimited disk space" and "unlimited bandwidth," just as pretty much all hosting sites are. However, in a month where we released pretty much zero new episodes, we still used up 750 GB worth of bandwidth just from people downloading the old episodes. But the fact that we used up that much bandwidth is apparently NOT the problem, even though that's the error that came up.

    The problem is our CPU/RAM usage on the hosting server, a usage statistic that is never advertised when buying hosting from anyone as we ourselves are not capable of monitoring or even viewing it. But as they tell me, because AWO is several small files instead of one gigantic file, it's far more of a computational strain to handle. (Naturally, we were not told this would be a concern prior to when we first signed up, after explaining exactly what the hosting needs were.)

    The statistic we were told–and I have to take their word on it–is that we use up over 20% of one core from a quad-core Intel 9550, which is apparently astronomical. So what now? Our choices are as follows:

    1. Keep the current hosting, but pay for the higher usage in CPU / RAM. At our current usage, that'd mean a price increase of about six times higher than what we paid already. Even with what we made off the T-shirt sales, we don't have that kind of money. And considering we've never moved over this blog, set up a board, set up the Otaku Archive, etc etc, our "current usage" figures would actually increase. So it'd probably be more than a 6x increase for all I know.

    2. Find new hosting altogether. Forget a 6x increase, Libsyn costs nearly 20x more than what we're paying now, plus some episodes would need to be taken offline for several months due to their monthly storage limits, plus you can't host websites or anything on it. Other non-podcast dedicated hosting options all offer unlimited storage/bandwidth (typically at double the price of what we're paying now), but they probably also would scoff at our CPU/RAM requirements (so perhaps a 12x price increase). http://www.archive.org offers free hosting, but it's a pain to use since you have to fill out lengthy forms for every file uploaded. And depending where you are, files downloaded from there are slooooooooow.

    3. Reduce our CPU/RAM usage. There are only a few ways to go about this. We could remove most of the old episodes from the RSS feed such that people would have to manually download archived episodes, but this option quite frankly sucks and runs contrary to the point of podcasting in the first place. We could host the older episodes somewhere else (perhaps archive.org), but I don't know how much of a dent that would make since most of the traffic comes from either the newest episodes or the oldest ones.

    In the end, this is a problem that takes money to solve, and it's more money than we've got. The clock's just struck 2:00 AM for the second time today, so we'll just have to wait on the matter I guess.

  5. I feel your pain. Last month I ran into the same problem, although your bandwidth usage is still about twice as much as mine. The cheapest upgrade that would allow me some breathing room costs 4X as much using the same hosting service, and it's not an option designed to host podcasts…

    So far, I've attempt to alleviate the problem by purchasing more bandwidth and planning to upload new materials at off-hours, when the servers aren't as likely to be hammered by everyone downloading at once.

  6. This is where my ignorance of all this shows, but I'll throw this out anyway.

    It seems to me the core issue is that no hosting company is honest about what they charge for. With all the push for 'web 2.0' you'd think they've got it figured out but it's clear they don't.

    So, I say, screw web 2.0.

    RSS feed? current episode only. So what if they have to do a few more clicks to d/l old content? If they WANT it, they'll DO it.

    No more embedding Youtube. link only. yeah yeah, you'll tell me that doesn't enter into the CPU use and blah blah, I say it does. How can it not? I assume because of the embedding the viewing goes THRU your server not AROUND like a link would.

    yes I'm sure I'm total dumbass and know nothing.

    Look at logs and see if some of the links are being constantly probed or crawled or something.

    Also, I kinda call bullshit on the hosting company, as the whole CPU usage thing may be just a scam to charge more money for doing nothing.

    can they show you CPU/memory usage logs and compare them to other customers? One would assume they are documenting that if they can charge for it.

    the only other option I see, and I know it can't happen now, is just go ahead and build your OWN server and only lease bandwidth.

  7. Well, I looked up libsyn, and you can make a blog/site from there.

    Their bandwidth is unmetered (as opposed to unlimited), and judging by how long your podcasts are and how often you release them (they have a calculator thing you can use), and the 12 or 24$ a year service should be pretty good for you.

    But as you said, a lot of eps would have to be offline for a while until you upload them all again.

    Also, hell, AnimePulse took off a lot of their older eps from their RSS feed.

    I get the older eps manually now (since i haven't caught up yet), and it's not that much of a hassle..

    I also asked a friend of mine who owns a dedicated server if he's able to handle a lot of bandwidth or not.

    http://www.libsyn.com/account/
    With the 24$ one, you can upload like what…16 shows a month? Would take about 5-6 months to catch up.

    Well, whatever you want to do, I guess.

    Just throwing stuff out there.

  8. Andrea is gorgeous, and the outfit rocks

    I think the choices of pictures reflects their personalities, as the only guidelines I provided was "give me a picture of you from AWA that you consider representative of you." Working off of that, Amanda chose a picture of her in drag emerging from underneath Laina's dress while making a bizarre face (as she is so inclined), Andrea chose one of the professional photographer pictures you'd get from attending the nerd prom, and Brian just sent me a picture of him holding the TNA title which wasn't taken at AWA at all, meaning Laina had to find a proper picture for him such that she hasn't actually had time to send me one of her yet.

    This is where my ignorance of all this shows, but I'll throw this out anyway.

    Indeed, none of this applies in any way whatsoever to the situation at hand! Currently, everything related to this site you're reading this message on right now is hosted on Google's servers. This Blogspot site can exist forever as it costs us 0 dollars. When I say "hosting" for now I'm only talking about where you download the MP3s from.

    The solution we're leaning towards is this: we'll sign up for Libsyn using the rather costly $60 a month plan (lets you upload 1.5 GB a month) for about 4-5 months. For the first month we'll put the X most recent episodes and the Y oldest episodes on there, since those episodes are what get downloaded the most and therefore cause the most processor strain. All the new episodes will get posted on there too. As the time passes, we move more episodes over such that no episodes are actually taken offline in the process. Then once everything's moved, we switch to the $12 a month plan (lets you upload 250 MB a month) and just keep on that indefinitely. We may just have to do the ultra-lame NPR thing and ask for listener donations, since while we have some cash from selling shirts, it's not gonna cover it the way it did for the current hosting.

    This will all probably start going down before the month is out, as it's not even been two days and we've already used about 65 GB of bandwidth. It turns out that I can indeed view the CPU/RAM server stats in real-time (though not logfiles): as of the time I type this, the total load on the server–which is to say, us plus whomever else we're sharing it with–is 0.63 (4 cpus), with memory usage at 17.7 %. Is that a lot? I dunno. Doesn't seem like it, especially considering it's a total for everyone and not just us. But clearly I don't know much about all this, otherwise we wouldn't be in the mess we're in right now!

  9. You guys are nuts. Wouldn't have it any other way. LOL Will have to somehow make it to the panel of doom and history of hentai someday. Oh, and I got one of those Tezuka books at the con too. Writing my own thoughts here. Hmmmm… wonder if I can get you three into the vid rooms at all next year? BTW Gerald, read the description for the AIC panel in the program guide. Made sure to give you props. 🙂

  10. What you need is a mirror set up. So that on each request it gets sent to a host closet to the users location. (Which cost money)

    I would be happy to setup mp3 hosting for whatever. I have to accounts you can work off of. One is a dreamhost "unlimted" account, The other is a fdcservers.net "unmetered" 100mbit line vps account.

  11. Daryl, you should make a proper post about this server problem instead of just a comment. Presumably AWO has a large number of nerd listeners. Either some of us can directly provide suggestions like Mistress Victoria, or at least we know somebody who can. Maybe one of your podcaster friends knows a more practical solution.

  12. The decision that they came up with is the best one for sure.

    I wouldn't mind donating a few dollars here and there to help with the 12$ payment. ..Heck, I won't even mind paying half of it.

    It's almost the cost of WoW, haha.
    *Doesn't play WoW anymore.*

    A few $ from a lot of listeners can go a long way, though.

  13. u really didnt need opinions of the con from other people especially attention deprived cosplayers!!i always listen to the show because u seem to have the same fed up impression with them.it just seemed like your guests didnt have anything informative or interesting to say about anime or manga just what they were wearing,it was like listening to paris hilton(or someone just as retarded) or a couple of 5 years olds talkin about what there costumes are for their school play.plz keep it non cosplay guest!

  14. Another great episode:) Don't really know, if this was better than your usual con reports (eg more analytical and balanced), but Gerald's gang was entertaining to listen:)

  15. Daryl, you mentioned Lovecraft as a white person's author, and while it's true that some of his remarks would have led Hitler to say, "Whoa, whoa, calm down there," the IRONY ALERT is that the leading expert on Lovecraft is named Sunand Tryambak Joshi.

    http://www.stjoshi.net/

    I'm just pointing this out before Jason does. By the way, Joshi says that he attended Brown because of its Lovecraft connection, which, if I recall, is also the reason PULP's editor-in-chief, Alvin Lu did. Also: not white. Come to think of it, even I wouldn't have qualified as white under Lovecraft's rather strict standards; the best I could have hoped for was "gibbering Slavic subman."

    –Carl

  16. P.S. I'm also ready to make some NPR-like contributions to you. Sure, they review anime on occasion, but they do it without swearing, which is inadequate.

    –Carl

  17. I always thought glass buttplugs and katanas were a pretty common combination. Every local con I've been to had at least one dealer selling both.

  18. I talked to Yaya Han this pass weekend at Saboten-Con. She was really nice person.

    I showed her picture of her in her Christie outfit on my PSP. I hope I didn't creep her out like that cake thing at happen at AWA.

  19. Once again the blogocasters of the world copy Fast Karate. First it was the sexy parties, then the drunken binges, and now everybody's gotta get all up in our "we exceeded our CPU limits and the server got shut down so we're going to abuse the 1.5 gig option on libsyn until all our files are up on a new server."

    Just remember Fast Karate was doing this like NINE MONTHS AGO and we were talking about ape rape while we did it. How often does Anime World Order talk about ape rape? Like, almost never.

  20. Congrats on your Parsec Award! Though I'll admit, I think this is the second time I've ever even heard of it!

    😉

  21. Oooo all i need is to buy vol 1 of the ryoichi ikegami Spiderman manga to complete it. That manga got really weird by the end.

  22. Oi, I happen to live right in Marietta. The Marietta Diner is fuckin' cool. They do awesome cakes.

    Another AWA gone by~
    Maybe I will get the balls up and introduce myself to the AWO crew sometime, seeing as how I have been an avid listener for over three years~

  23. This gas station / Dairy Queen art is a caricatured representation of everyone on this podcast.

    Heh, so Daryl is a gopher and Gerald's a St. Bernard in the back? That definitely looks like Clarissa at the wheel! 🙂

    Those cassette tapes in the photo remind me of all truck stop food marts. Let alone seeing what they write in the bathroom. I swear those guys should get into comedy. Since I haven't been to the south at all, I'll have to imaging the horrors of having two opposing sides on the highway, Jesus and strippers, in my head!

  24. I'm the robot, dagnabbit.

    Daryl, couldn't you use torrents to host the files?

    Yes. Indeed we have run torrents in the past, but after a while we stopped once we realized that you're never going to see that a torrent option even exists unless you view this site or see the torrent link on a tracker. The vast majority of downloads for this and all podcasts come via subscribers to the RSS feed. iTunes is the most used of the bunch.

    Most podcatcher software cannot handle .torrent files in the enclosure links. If instead of a MP3 link I put a .torrent in there, iTunes wouldn't know what to do. Yes, there exists third-party tools to sort of enable torrent support, but most people will not be using those.

    We could still do torrents and may do so again in the future. But until iTunes and the other popular podcast software adds native support for BitTorrent (don't hold your breath), the usefulness of doing so is very limited.

Leave a Reply (please, listen to the episode first):