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SER & CS & CB not working together

edited March 2013 in Bugs
I've got a VPS up on Berman. Was SER & CS. Just got a CB license installed yesterday. I set CB up as a backup to CS. CS was set to 6 retries, CB to 4. I also have AskMeBot.

In roughly 20 hours I saw CS not pick up a single captcha to solve. Everything went to CB. SER seems to be bypassing CS to make CB the option of first resort. Something is messed up.



  • OzzOzz
    edited March 2013
    i guess you have "try to solve unknown captchas" checked in CB. that option needs to be unchecked if i'm not wrong.
    apart from that you can set your retry number to 10 in CB and just use that. there isn't a single captcha that CB isn't able to solve by its own. maybe recaptcha, but solving rate should not be that high in CS and is very slim at best anyway.
    however, 10 retries overall is a bit too much in my opinion. things will slow down accordingly. just stay with 4 retries in CB and see how things develop.

    edit: i saw you have CS as 1st option which doesn't make sense as its slower as CB. forget my suggestion above regarding that "try to solve unknowns" but just keep CB as solving tool.
  • "i guess you have "try to solve unknown captchas" checked in CB."

    Why would a setting in CB determine SER's behavior? It shouldn't. If it does that is quite the bug.

    10 retries overall probably isn't optimal. But I'm not using CS & CB in combination until this is fixed. I'll worry about the retry count when it is.

    I have yet to see proof that CB >>> CS. Until then CB is going to wait until this bug is addressed.
  • And suppose CB >>> CS is true. I'd *still* like to use CS, even if only in backup position. But given that SER is bypassing CS when its in the lead position I have no confidence that SER would pass it anything when its in a backup position.

    This is a bug and simply saying "CB is better; use it" ain't good enough.
  • SvenSven
    There is no bug. Make sure your project options use all captcha services + TEST on both captcha systems give a proper reply. If thats not the case, you might want to restart CS as that one is known to be buggy and crashing sometimes.
  • I *did* restart CS. I ran the 3-some together for some number of hours. It looked like CS wasn't being passed anything, but I couldn't be sure given the way the "current solved" in CS looked. So I killed all 3 and started CS & CB first, then SER.

    I did not try testing either service. I know what CS is supposed to return on a test; what is CB supposed to return?

    *Maybe* CS is partially to blame. But I'm reluctant to blame it when SER & CS work just fine by themselves.
  • SvenSven
    CB returns 9.99 or 999.
  • CB I guess gives a "communication successful" message. Sven, I'm unsure of what you mean by "Make sure your project options use all captcha services". In the global Options -> Captcha screen I have CS in the lead and CB as a backup. In each project's Options tab I've always had "Ask all services/user to fill captchas" checked.
  • Ok, I didn't get a 999. Just "communication successful" Is that bad?

  • SvenSven

    In project options make sure you have "Ask user/external service to fill captchas". Checked. If that label is reading something else, you need to click on it.

    That "Communication successful" is OK as well.

  • SvenSven
    edited March 2013
    Also make sure you have the webserver disabled in CB so that CS can be used by it.
  • As I mentioned, "Ask user/external service to fill captchas" is always checked.
  • I did have "run as webserver" checked. I can't remember if I checked that or it was checked by default. I did as little as possible upon install of CB, figuring it would work out of the box.

    And that might have made the difference. Because on my restart as mentioned a few minutes ago I once again saw the same behavior. Nothing getting to CS; everything passed to CB. I will shut everything down and bring it up again, this time with "run as webserver" unchecked in CB.
  • Ok, I've restarted SER + CS + CB, this time with "run as webserver" unchecked. I'll report back in 30-60 mins.
  • OzzOzz
    edited March 2013
    "run as webserver" isn't checked by default.

    however, to just use CB as only option was just a recommendation by a user (=me) in case you think that i'm related to GSA (which i'm not). you are not the first who thinks that a backup to CS/CB is needed, but that's false thinking imo. of course you should test it for yourself and make a descision based on the experience you gain.

    to run CS as first and CB as backup solution is the worst of all combination though i believe, because CS will slow down your submission speed.

    i'll give you some examples according to your settings under the assumption that CB is double as fast as CS.

    Captcha A
    - solving rate of 50% is equal for CS/CB 
    - solving time of 1 second CS and 0,5 seconds CB

    CS (7 tries): 99.99% solving rate in 7 seconds
    CB (5 tries): 99.86% sovling rate in 2.5 seconds

    Captcha B
    - solving rate of 35% for CS and 25% for CB
    - solving time of 1 second CS and 0,5 seconds CB

    CS (7 tries): 99.75% solving rate in 7 seconds
    CB (5 tries): 94.39% solving rate in 2.5 seconds
    CB (7 tries): 98.21% solving rate in 2.5 seconds

    please notice that i assumed that Captcha B has a better solving rate in CS, which is not so often the case. also you might think that CS (latest public version) might be somewhat faster for some captchas which isn't true according to my experience for any kind of captcha.

    therefore i suggest you test CB as only option and compare the number of submissions you will get within a test period of 24 hours.
    you should test that with all possible combinations without changing any settings in SER and without updating to newer version between test period. also make sure you use the same number of tries for each combination.

    CS = 10 tries (1 + 9 retries)
    CB = 10 tries (1 + 9 retries)
    CS/CB = 10 tries (CS: 1 + 5 retries | CB: 1 + 3 retries)
    CB/CS = 10 tries (CB: 1 + 5 retries | CS: 1 + 3 retries)

    if you don't trust my judgment then wait for someone else like LeeG, the godfather of speed submission, who will tell you the same i guess.
  • I ran CB by itself for 7 hours. Then for about an hour this morning after I saw the problem and before I started getting responses on this thread I ran just CS.

    In that hour I got 80% of the verified that I got in 7 hours on just CB. I should have paid attention to the submissions as well; my bad.

    So its been about 5 hours or so since I got the 3-some working right. "Run as webserver" is the culprit. Average CS solve time is 0.565. Recognition rate on CB is low, about 40%. Understandable as it ain't getting the easy ones. I didn't alter the retry numbers as I wanted a comparable baseline. The over all Verified count is lower then I expect for 5 hours, especially given what CS did by itself in an hour this morning. But again some of that is due to the retry specs.

    I'll set up a more rigorous testing regime tonight.
  • OzzOzz
    edited March 2013
    verifications doesn't tell you anything as they are not dependend on captchas. you need to monitor your submission rate which should result in a higher verification rate.
    the 80% verified could be the result of 7 hours CB, who knows??!
  • Am now running CS/CB as Ozz suggested above. This will run for about 12 hours. Tomorrow morning I'll switch to CB/CS.
  • First exercise - CS/CB

    8922 submitted 170 verified
    CS 3987 solved ave time 0.522
    CB 582/1188 recognized ave time 0.627

    Now running CB/CS. First exercise ran 12 hrs + 1 or 2 minutes.

  • I'd hope for a more illuminating comment from a supporter of Brad Guzan's team. ;)
  • nice. maybe you should have added how many captchas were sent from SER to CS/CB also, but now its too late ;)
  • I think those numbers are what you are looking for.  CS solved 3987 and CB got a crack at 1188. There is no way CB is going to do all that well with CS taking the cream off the top.

    Anecdotally CS's speed is much better with CB as a backup. I assume that must have something to do with how SER delegates the captchas. Or maybe not.
  • edited March 2013
    even I would not use CS as first and CB as second.. And I am known by some to do strange things with SER just for fun (or watching numbers) ;-)

    I miss the old defrag of windows95.... it alyway comforted me.
  • Second exercise - CB/CS ran for 12 hours

    18149 submitted 345 verified
    CB 5358/7075 recognized ave time 0.267
    CS 341 solved ave time 1.371

    I expected CB solve time to decrease and CS to increase. The first service up gets to skim the cream, leaving the tough ones for the backup.

    I hadn't really noticed until now the captcha reporting section on the stat bar. Can't make good sense of it as the balloon hint is ambiguous. It has three numbers in it at the end of this run, 8067, 1373,1244. The hint did not change no matter which number was hovered over. All 3 hints indicated "captchas sent to services <service1>".

    Now running CS alone. This will run for 12 hours. Almost forgot; all exercises have been run with my AskMeBot API key enabled.
  • the numbers of the "C:" collumn are the numbers of captchas that were sent from SER to the services. that number i meant with "how many captchas were sent from SER to CS/CB"

    1st service|2nd service|akmebot
  • Third exercise - CS ran for 12 hours

    12055 submitted 227 verified
    CS 5470 solved ave time 0.506

    From SER's stat bar: 10821 sent to CS, 1086 to AskMeBot
  • Ok, a little screwup. I ended up re-running CS alone. Thought I was setting up CB for a run alone to complete the quartet suggested by Ozz. Had a brain fart and ran CS again. And this time the stats improved:

    CS 12 hrs

    18923 submitted 379 verified
    CS 5318 solved ave time 0.581
    10441 captchas assigned to CS /1180 captchas assigned to AskMeBot

    *Now* I'll give CB alone a run. And I won't mess it up this time.

  • SvenSven
    edited March 2013
    @TheEditor did Mikey contacted you and offered some tweaks? ;)
  • Didn't have time with that reply. Let me give a fuller No to that. Basically I just started CB and SER but forgot to switch CS to CB in the Captcha screen under Options. I closed my remote connection as soon as I hit the Start button and didn't see SER call CS up. For previous exercises I did make a check or two but not here. I'd be happy to let CB run alone for 24 hrs to give an apples-to-apples comparison.

    But I'll do an update in a couple of hours at the 12 hour point.
  • After 12 hours, CB alone:

    SER says 12832 submitted, 226 verified. 8809 captchas assigned to CB, 1261 to AMB.
    CB says it recognized 5959 of 7672 with avg time of 0.264.

    Back to the VPS salt mines for SER & CB. The experiment will conclude tonight.

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