These are suggestions and the rational which I use to make them.
These are NOT requirements
If it works for you, it works for us.
https is an encrypted protocol, we do not transact payments across the net, we do not want the kid next door tampering with the interactions of the auction.
We do create our own encryption key's and certificates of authorization, if your browser complains about self signed certificates, so be it.
Because of this, I can assure you the encryption key is fresh and no one has had time to crack it.
During the live auction there is an image of the item placed on the bidding web page. This image is presized to fit the space and the quality is reduced to a minimal pixal resolution to fill the space. This is done to facilitate rapid updating of all the bidders as the item changes yet providing postive identification of the item, the lot number. The preview photos are a much higher quality and allow expanding to fill your browser or even magnifying in other software to see the item details. The photo image used during the live auction is not of higher quality and your browser may well get confused if you attempt to enlarge it, viewing it in another software package will not provide the detail available on the preview page, it is the same image at a lower resolution.
Logging of information
We do maintain adaquate logs to determine bidding activity, within these logs you are refered to by your bidding identifier, there is no personal information in these logs. Sunset Auction may need to make this information available for certain legal reasons but does not make the information available to the general public. The same information would be made available if you were to bid in person.
Login name, password, verification item and bidder id
If you are a regular bidder at the auction house, ask about merging the online bidder id with your inhouse id.
yes, I need -> you <- to keep track of what you enter here. If you loose it, all I can do is remove it and let you start over. If you are the successful bidder on an item and cannot provide the identifiers you will probably not be picking up the merchandise.
I need some way of associating your bid to the person who walks in the door to pick up the merchandise, you login with a name of your choice and supply a password of your choice, there is a bidder number associated with your login and that is referenced when you claim merchandise. we ask for one verifiable real world reference of your choice, we prefer a phone number but a address works fine, email address is of little value for verification and a drivers license number is over kill. This information is not made available except to you and employee's who facilitate the merchandise pick up process.
Do not expect your password to act as an identifier in person, no one has access to it in an unencrypted form.
Yes, you reuse the user name and password at later auctions.
One login at a time
This system is not going to allow you to log in from more then one computer at a time, the second login will fail and I'll be informed that the internet address you tried to log in from tried to hack in. If you left a computer running with you logged in (a dumb thing to do) and really need to get online, you will need to create a new user and log in as that user. There will be no provisions of informing you of bids placed by your alternate user.
Hardware known to work
There is a reasonable load placed on the computer running a browser connected to this system, I am intentianally targeting approxamtely 1/3 of the cpu power of a 1gHz AMD Athlon processor while developing this code, the final cpu load will vary but is not expected to be far from this.
With that said, a 333mHz processor with enough ram to easily hold your browser will probably be adaquate to successffuly keep up and win a bid, less cpu may well fall short, I am not embarrassed to allow the slower boxes to fail.
This does represent a compromise, slow it down and the aspect of near real time interaction fall apart (it quickly becomes herky jerky) , speed it up and you spend all your money on hardware and can not enjoy bidding at the auction.
Software known to work
Firefox is the browser that was used to debug the web side interface. The scripts were modified so that Internet Explorer will work. I will add others as that experiance occurs.
Memory leaks ( Shut down your browser once you are through using this site )
With that said, for your sake, do not leave a browser logged onto the page for long duration (over 8 hours) it will make use of all your computers memory.
The memory is entirely recovered when you turn off the browser (it remains allocated to the browser until the browser is shut off).
If your computer has a limited amount of RAM (512MB or less), it is my experiance that suggests you would be better off using firefox rather then internet explorer.
It is my desire that a person using a modem with between 33k - 56k connected bandwidth should be able to interact with this bidding system, this say's nothing of lag created on the net as a whole and does not provide for other uses while online bidding is attempted. It is expected that a higher bandwidth would provide a more comfortable experiance.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.