Welcome to the first sponsored giveaway at ARPartsFinder.com. Originally I had intended to run this event on my own, but I contacted a few merchants that work closely with the site and these guys stepped up and immediately offered to sponsor items. Be sure to give these merchants a look whenever you are in the market for items they carry as they are all “good people” with whom I would not hesitate to spend my money. Depending on how this goes, we may try to do this on a regular basis…
I will be selecting 5 winners at the end of the event and will be matching up one of the bundles below to each winner, randomly matched by myself. This event will run from December 2nd, 2013 until 10pm EST on December 9th, 2013. I will announce the winners within 24 hours of the end of this event.
Winners have been chosen and are as follows –
Blake Darche – Bundle 1
Chris Jeter – Bundle 2
Lindz Settle – Bundle 3
Michael Barr – Bundle 4
Chris Winkler – Bundle 5
- Battle Arms Ambi Safety Selector (BAD-ASS)
- ALG Combat Trigger (ACT)
- Battle Arms patch and sticker
- Spike Battle Trigger Set
- KNS Gen ST Non-Rotating Trigger/Hammer Pins .154 Diameter
Bundle 3 (sponsored by Eagle Armory):
- Magpul MOE AR-15 Black Grip (MAG415-BLK)
- Magpul MOE Polymer Black Trigger Guard (MAG417-BLK)
- TVG Command Arms Three Finger Vertical Grip
- Blackhawk Universal Tactical Sling
- Otis 5.56mm Chamber Brush
- Southern Bloomer 200 pack of 22 cal cleaning patches
Bundles 4 & 5 (sponsored by ARPartsFinder):
- Blackhawk Lower Parts Kit
To be added to the pool of potential winners, just follow the steps below. Be aware that although we are using Facebook for parts of this giveaway, this is not a Facebook giveaway.
Step 1: Click the each of the links below and then click Like to become a fan of their company/page. If you do not do this and you are selected as a winner, I will randomly pick someone else to take your place. It would be sad.
Step 2: Click the link below and make a comment. Also feel free to Share, but know that this is not required… just appreciated!
*Winners must be at least 18 years of age and reside in the US. Facebook is not associated with this giveaway, did not sponsor any prizes, and is only being used as a promotional medium.
Being sick last week caused a few problems in getting some items on my task list completed on schedule. The good news is there were some other site issues that came up during the week that I had been putting off for a long time, which are being resolved now. You probably noticed some of the changes and not the rest. The change of the category names for Uppers was likely seen by some. Some of the parts moving from the wrong categories to the correct ones may have been caught by some as well. Larger back end changes this weekend were most certainly missed. This leads to the main topic for this update…
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I have had a lot of people ask what it takes for the site to do what it does. Even though I touch on a few points in the FAQ, I figured a quick write up wouldn’t hurt.
Likely not surprising, the site runs on a dedicated VM with a database at my hosting company, with all the pages being dynamically created when you request them… much like many sites you visit. Where we diverge from most of those other sites is the additional VM dedicated to handling site scraping/feeds and submitting those results to the previously mentioned database. The whole thing was custom written from scratch based on a quick pseudo-code block I wrote in Emacs (think notepad, but for unix) the first week. That same write up turned into a longer to-do list, which is still very long with all the future stuff I want to implement.
By the way, I typically use the word “scan” when I mention adding a new retailer on the front page news list. I think the word makes the most sense as the system is scanning pages on the retailer site similar to how you scan the page in a magazine, looking for what is important. Really, though, I grab the html (the stuff you see when you right click and View Source) like a web browser does and parse the text for the information. This means I am not requesting images, which would waste bandwidth for both the retailer and myself. Some people call it data mining and others call it site scraping. Tohmato – tomahto.
Interesting notes about the site/scanner:
- Retailer scans and db updates take about 700 gigabytes per month in bandwidth currently.
- The web site uses only about 50 gigs a month, due to external thumbnails and minimal images.
- There are typically between 15 and 20 retailer scans running every second.
- I typically have to fix at least 1 retailer’s site scan every 2-3 days as they tweak their site layout/html.
- Pauses between scans range from 1 minute to 15 minutes (typically long delays for ones who don’t change stock often).
- Some retailers are providing custom feeds, which ensure we catch all their products even if they change their site.
- Most new scan additions are done near midnight, to stop the New Items page from being spammed during busy times.
Don’t know if anyone found this stuff interesting. Either way, I typed it all out… so there you go.
Added Hamlund Tactical to the site. They had a bolt carrier (not complete BCG) in stock until literally seconds before I did the final scan for inclusion after testing. Bummer.
Of note is the merging of Lower Build Kits into the Lower Parts Kits area. I was hoping to find others, besides Palmetto State Armory, that included all the components needed… but it appears PSA is somewhat unique currently. So, it seemed silly to have basically a PSA only part category.
Also, I added Heroes Tactical (why is everyone so tactical?) Friday. I know they had 25 BCGs in stock and their inventory is live (despite the fact you can add 100 to your cart). It seems they sold those 25 out, likely due to ARPartsFinder, by Saturday night. I was told they expect more in this coming week… so keep an eye out.
Preference for how many items to show per page should now store your choice for 3 years and not till the browser session ends. Thanks Kory H. for calling behavior that out.
Finally… I have been working on even more stuff that should go live before the end of the week. I will keep adding other sites in the meantime, but I did want to give a heads up!