Recent Posts by MickoZ

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Feb 23, 2015
Avatar MickoZ 14 post(s)

Comment Topic: JBidwatcher Development / Tips on compiling JBidwatcher?

Hi Salimoneus, I can answer your questions…

1) Yes, we can run the .jar on Windows, that is actually how I run JBidwatcher because I can use the command line and tweak the memory allowed to it (it is so memory hungry, at least for me, eh). Here is my current command line:

java -d64 -jar -Xms768m -Xmx1800m JBidwatcher-2.5.6.jar

I use the -d64 to run it in 64-bit (maybe not the best choice to save memory space, but I think I did that so I can put higher max memory limit [?] and well the Xms and Xmx is to define the amount of memory allocated at start and the max it can use).

2) I think you are on the right track guessing what is the benefit for .exe for a Java proggy (imagination and guessing are some of my best tools to understand anything, even thing I never heard of :D). Apparently, we can bundle or not the JRE with it. Also, you can embed command line into it, so user don’t have to mess with it. And people are more familiar with .exe (still, nowdays you can usually double click on a .jar to run it, so…). I would guess there is couple of program that does this, but like Morgan said, he use Launch4j and there is a good introduction there that say basically the same thing as we say:

“Launch4j is a cross-platform tool for wrapping Java applications distributed as jars in lightweight Windows native executables. The executable can be configured to search for a certain JRE version or use a bundled one, and it’s possible to set runtime options, like the initial/max heap size. The wrapper also provides better user experience through an application icon, a native pre-JRE splash screen, and a Java download page in case the appropriate JRE cannot be found.”

For more info, I would suggest to look around its website, its features, etc. at

Jan 14, 2015
Avatar MickoZ 14 post(s)

Comment Topic: JBidwatcher Tips and Tricks / How to bid lowest necessary bid

I have to use multiple accounts. Multiple reasons, but the main one is to have account in multiple countries (in my case, Canada and U.S.A.) as some sellers refuse to sell to people outside their country (mostly U.S.A. people, their reaction to some problems they might have encounter or they do not want to fill paperworks, etc.). And when you are a collector, sometime you just want to have “some items” or “some deal”.

So it happened that by setting multiple snipes, that I use by error both account with a high amount. Luckily, the few times it happened, the sellers found it funny and we corrected it. Of course if it is a couple dollars, I might just accept my error, but if it is couple of hundred difference, I will of course blame the error, he he he. ;-)

P.S. Back in time, I could easily contact the sellers and they agreed most of the time to do an exception as I had good record. But lately, eBay went as far as from stopping you from contacting the seller (actually they block you if you pass through an item, but you can still do the direct contact, but who know this except freak like me, not very user friendly; I can understand people not wanting to be bothered, but if you begin to stop people from messaging each other, that is sick). Not counting the search result that can change, even if you put “Worldwide” in your option and have couple of countries addresses in your profile. They seem to only consider your main address some places, and not your alternate (they should…). I found lot of quirks like that… eBay is getting a bit worst with all restrictions they implement. I often call this “too intelligent/smart” when developing software… and you do not want to be “too intelligent” with your apps rules. It is like designing a calculator and decide to disallow 13 + 37 because nobody is ever gonna do that… why waste time with such rule that make your apps worst. ;-) [of course that is my opinion, some people can enjoy such rules, but that is because they are often simplistic and are not conscious of what they lost; functionally, you often worsen your soft being “too much intelligent”]. Not counting that they now hide all information… they killed communication between most collector, and some people that do not know the reasons that all this happened are taking it as a big rules and are afraid to unveal data. ;-) So it gets more complicated for the users. Also probably easier for ill-intended sellers to hide a fake bidders.

Jan 14, 2015
Avatar MickoZ 14 post(s)

Comment Topic: JBidwatcher Development / Option to archive and not load archived auctions

If some answer, like for projects, are not thing you want to answer publicly, you can always email me for those type of discussion. Of course for what is related to JBidwatcher, unless there is a reason, it is better to keep it public so everyone can benefit. ;-)

P.S. My email is the same as my website “domain” (in my profile)… except that you replace the first dot with and @. Or you can probably fetch it from your DB. ;-)

Jan 14, 2015
Avatar MickoZ 14 post(s)

Comment Topic: JBidwatcher Development / Option to archive and not load archived auctions

Thanks Morgan, I am looking into it. I had some problems today with JBidwatcher simply not loading and freezing at the part that seem to load UI (I updated all my JVM, and only 1.7.x and 1.8.x remains, and I doubt it was using 1.6 before… but I have been bold and deleted, hehe, but I might retry with that later)… I will probably have more questions or even suggestions later, but I will probably give more effort in your new version. Me too, I might have some project related to eBay, and contributing can be a good way to learn.

That being said, quick questions to start… if I understand right, auctions are only the data about an auction, independently from everything I do? (well I see flag as “outbid” in the database, but it mights not mean what I think).

Q1) So, if I do not do the manipulation in the AUCTIONS table… then will it load all these auctions? There is like 262586 rows for now in mine. So if it is doing a full load, that might be a first problem. And is it needed to load all this? (is it just in case I re-load the auction in my entries).

Q2) Is entries corresponding to what I see? I had the first reflex to try to archive/delete only entries that were in my “complete” tabs before a given date… then I started JBidwatcher, but same things (my problem might be elsewhere, but I did not play with anything much, except DB and updated my JVM thought, which might be considered a major change, I do not know how good the Java world is with keeping being backward compatible with old Java version). Of course, if it load all auctions, then that won’t help.

P.S. FYI, I am quite good with db/SQL/modelization/etc. (I am picky about naming, etc. and go a bit beyond most to get it “right”). As for SQL, I will try to do some project with a so called “NoSQL” DBs… projects that might scale a lot of records… but in the end, it should not change our modelization much. I also have done lot of web development, and I do not know if you did a lot (most common software dev jobs touch this nowdays), but when doing it, we are use to load only what we need. The way you talk, you probably know all the reasons it is like that and might know how to solve, but choose to create a new major version that will fix what you want to improve.

Any ETA for 3.x? Or is it already usable and source available?

Also, I saw somewhere you said you were planning or working on another project related to eBay, etc. Have you move forward with that? Is it live? Or still a work in progress / idea?

Jan 9, 2015
Avatar MickoZ 14 post(s)

Comment Topic: JBidwatcher Development / Option to archive and not load archived auctions

JBidwatcher is a snipe tool but also a monitor tool. It really helped me a lot for BOTH function. In fact, I began to use it back for monitoring only since I use other snipe solution for now (mainly because JBidwatcher failed me in the past because either of the program or my computer that was not reliable, and also because I have multiple accounts… and yes, I have run multiple JBidwatcher with multiple accounts in the past, but the first reason still applied at some point).

The biggest problem I have with it since always, is that it become excessively slow/unusable when you have a lot (I was gonna say too much, but, I do not think even hundred thousands or millions of auctions should be a factor that influence that much its performance, read it should scale, unless we decide to qualify JBidwatcher as a temporary tools and not an archive tool, which can be fine, and maybe that is a good answer, but how hard would it be to keep an archive without affecting the performance? I think not much).

So, I wonder, can we have an “archive auction” option, and make sure these are not actively loaded when JBidwatcher starts. An alternative could be a “search active” option that would let us do just that… it open a windows, you enter your search criteria, it list the auction.

I am quite a perfectionnist when it come to develop software, so I would say, maybe the correct name is not “archive”. We will want to keep active some ended auction (I guess we can qualify of non-archived). An alternative name might be “active”… but usually when you “archive” something, you put it aside. But I might give some deep thoughts later about it.

For now, Morgan, if you can only tell me if I could just go in the database, put a flag, and make sure when it open it does not load these auctions. I will be pragmaticelly happy. Might be considered a hack, but it is not that dirty if we do it “right” even if implementation is not complete. I mean if data are OK, but interface is not full featured to use those, then it is still clean. Later we can decide how we interact with the archive…

I will probably just re-delete my completed auctions, but I really do not like to do this over and over… and merging all my old backups might be an hard task (unless I am in a mad enough state to do it! :D).

So is it possible to do something quick about this?

I somehow posted about it years ago, but never got real feedbacks. I can do it myself too if you give me some hints (or I may do it anyway). If you can load the completed auctions in a second step. You can probably take the decision to NOT load these completed auctions or archive auctions quite easily if you know where the code is (or like I said, if you can tell me hint, I can at least make my own patch fast).

I remember when I looked at the database long time ago, I think you had one table that was for backup auction or something… so I guess you thought of a similar functionalities.

Oh, and here is the post I did about it:


Jan 8, 2015
Avatar MickoZ 14 post(s)

Comment Topic: JBidwatcher Development / Option to delete auctions over x weeks old

Personally, back in time, I used to archive the .XML and do search in it. I do not use JBidwatcher anymore for sniping for multiple reason, mainly because it became unusable at some time and I probably lost lot of stuff and also I changed a little bit my habit at some point to avoid missing snipe. But my best combination was JBidwatcher + a backup (does not hurt with eBay as there is always something that happen).

Being a collector, I easily monitor and even bid on hundreds of items a week easily and with my computer (laptop, i3, 8GB ram [not super “small” even if for my usage pattern it is not enough, but I am the kind to have hundreds of windows and tabs opened in my browser, so maybe I am atypic]), once JBidwatcher’s item list get big, it just slow down the machine too much, often taking 100% of one CPU/Core, etc. Lot of things get inefficient like sorting, etc. I would say it is a “bad smell” for just a “list of items”… hundreds or thousands are not a lot in computer data. But I am sure there is reasons, good or bad. And it may not be the first design goal of JBidwatcher to be an “archiver”.

However, as an user, I would really like to archive everything I monitored and that since the first time I use JBidwatcher (years ago). Every snipes I took decision to put a price on (it can require considerable time to evaluate and decide on a price… if I could re-use my old data fast, that would save me a lot of time, like I said, I remember back then, I was scanning textually my XML backups to find out my old data). But then… we have a database… it should not be that hard to introduce a kind of “archive” mechanism (Morgan, if you read this, let me know what you think or if you have a clean/quick solution in mind, that will be really something useful). I way much prefer to archive than delete for the reason I said, etc.

Even if in short term it only mean that I put an archive flag to true and can’t access it, but it stays in the database, I would prefer this over having to delete each time to make it usable again.

Then later, we can have an option or a little interface to search archived items. But loading all in the current state of the software just make it almost unusable (at least on my machine).

I am actually thinking of writing my own tool. At the same time I gotta admit that JBidwatcher has been a very valuable tool in my bidding experience over the years, so that I write my own or not, if I can help with at least “simple and good idea” that improve it, I would be happy. Maybe if I am not lazy (read: if I am mad enough one day to just do it) I can also propose an implementation myself. ;-) We’ll see.

But fast, if I could only have a kind of “archive” option, that would be fantastic.

I do not know where the state of JBidwatcher is as I see you still post Morgan, but there is a lot of thing going wrong as I started back using it lately (I mostly use it as a monitor tool that can hold hundreds of items… eBay’s watch list that I tried, limit me to 200 items and that is far from enough for my needs). I am sure it is possible to do such tool without it needs to take 500MB+ of ram… I do not mind giving it more if it works fast… I think in the past I boosted its JVM memory to help, I would need to investigate that again…

Sep 28, 2013
Avatar MickoZ 14 post(s)

Comment Topic: Announcements / [PreRelease] JBidwatcher 2.5.3pre4

Do you have any news for us Morgan?

On a personal note, all I really want is a monitoring software now with the export feature as I can snipe independently with a service like I said in another post. Sniping is a plus though. If the problem is only one of getting the right tag/value in a webpage, I could help I guess, but I am sure it is not only that.

May 17, 2013
Avatar MickoZ 14 post(s)

Comment Topic: JBidwatcher Help / Upload snipes to Gixen

Bump! An answer to these questions would be appreciated.

May 5, 2013
Avatar MickoZ 14 post(s)

Comment Topic: Announcements / So - you feeling better Morgan?

Morgan, about the persistent COUGH, my boss used to have this and an ENT specialist suggested that he clean his sinus (you can look for Neilmed Sinus Rinse type of product)… and apparently he goes way better since then (I have heard about this in my multiple “research” time ago too and it was on my list to try). Might not be the solution, but might be interesting to try, even if you are healthy it is apparently a good practice to do this.

May 5, 2013
Avatar MickoZ 14 post(s)

Comment Topic: Announcements / [PreRelease] JBidwatcher 2.5.3pre4

To add to my just previous post, I got the pre-snipe login failed error live, so I decide to go in eBay > Refresh eBay Session. And it failed 2-3 times, then it worked. Why it failed and worked the 3rd or 4th time is mystery, I have not dig… but I have noticed that eBay sometime try 2-3 different layout at the same time and you may end up with one or another sometime (like the interface to see completed, sold, active listing, there is at least 3 different version I see going around when I do my search directly on eBay); so that might not help when Jbidwatcher try to parse the HTML if there is different layout.

P.S. I do use eBay with an account identified as Canadian, and another one identified as an US account (and I feel the US account often have a more recent version of the interface that eventually reach the Canadian’s one).

May 5, 2013
Avatar MickoZ 14 post(s)

Comment Topic: Announcements / [PreRelease] JBidwatcher 2.5.3pre4

I use JBidwatcher 2.5.3pre3-2-g03a9bc3 — I will upgrade to pre4 now that I see it exists; but this “problem” or potential enhancement probably apply to post release.

I have an item that end at Sat May 04 15:55:04 EDT

And snipe did not launch. I check the item information and I see:

Sat May 04 15:52:50 EDT 2013: Cancelling snipe.
Sat May 04 15:52:50 EDT 2013: Pre-snipe login failed. Snipe will be retried, but is unlikely to fire.
Sat May 04 15:52:50 EDT 2013: Preparing snipe.

Was the decision to not snipe taken 3 minutes before the snipe? If so, won’t it be a good idea to retry a couple of time when it fails 3 minutes before. Back in the time this never happened to me (I never noticed) and recently it does happen a lot (and it happened twice on similar item I wanted more than others, bad coincidence).

Oct 17, 2012
Avatar MickoZ 14 post(s)

Comment Topic: JBidwatcher Help / Auction shows as (FP)

videobruce: look in the icon bar on top, it is the “3rd icons”. It is the hammer usually used to say that a decision has been made. :-) I can confirm now that it works, at least that is a work-around that let us go above the contextual “smartness”. Thanks Roger.

Oct 1, 2012
Avatar MickoZ 14 post(s)

Comment Topic: JBidwatcher Help / Archive auctions and not load them at runtime?


I have been using JBidwatcher for years, and I have often archived the auctions.xml back in time (still got them all probably!) because JBidwatcher always seemed to take too much memory and run too slow as I add more and more auctions. While doing this I used to then delete the auctions in my “Completed” auctions (and kept the ones in tab like “Won”). I suspect it is taking so much memory because it is loading all the auctions at the runtime (and maybe your “objects” are taking lot of memory, Morgan probably have an idea of the capacity of the program and the reason why it is so memory hungry). It is also going over 512MB on my box (I could probably force the java VM to allow more, if that is a limit and it would probably avoid some problem I am often experiencing, I suppose because it behave wrongly when it is taking so much resources).

I am a collector and I often add hundred of auctions each weeks, and I also have an archiver mindset, and I like to keep my archive! It is useful to check how much something was sold for in the past, how much I decided to bid/snipe, etc. (even thought JBidwatcher sometime seem to lose sniping info, but that is another story).

I used also to put at the same place (category/tab) everything I was winning, but I do not do this anymore with JBidwatcher because going in the “completed” tab was a nigthmare, i.e., it is taking way too much time. That broken my “good habits” at some point.

I do not like to “purge” everything (JBidwatcher could do a good job of archiving and even let me search the archive) and I would prefer another option.

Still… I am probably gonna do this somewhere this week (unless I get another recommendation for archiving without just doing a backup). I am not even sure deleting through the interface will be an “easy” and “fast” task.

Maybe there could also be a kind of “archived” auctions that won’t load on startup (I know that you load only the “active” auctions at first to speed thing up, so it is probably something that could be easily implemented).

I noticed that there is an “archived_auctions” table in the database (that is similar to “auctions”, except some fields), which hinted me that maybe you already thought about such problems.

My first idea would simply be to only load active auctions (or to allow us to “archive” auctions, without deleting). If we ever want to make an auction non-archived, then we can have a small interface to query the database and change the “flag”). But I have not think much about it. Do you have any suggestion Morgan?

You also talked about “entries” in another thread, so maybe auction and entries are different thing, feel free to educate me on them too.


P.S. Might be also fun to load the whole old archive from XML, but that is beyond practical purpose to create a merger for everything even if the archiver in me would like it! I have not been mad enough to create one myself, so… eh

P.P.S. I am also a developer, and I am at ease doing technical stuff like going to the database and do some manipulation, etc. And if you do not have any other suggestions than delete completed auctions for now… then I can probably suggest something more advanced to manage archive and help the runtime memory, etc. usage as a side effect.

Aug 18, 2007
Avatar MickoZ 14 post(s)

Comment Topic: JBidwatcher Tips and Tricks / Forcing Multi-snipe in different currencies

Hi, this is not a particular need of mine, but since I stumbled upon it, I will give my opinion (I can go further and technical if needed as I also build software).

Being able to set our own price for each auction in a multiple-auction feature, seem nice (even when it is the same currency!), and it is the smallest thing that allow any possibility (but is it supported by your model?). It is a feature that could find some use (is it a mainstream need I don’t know, but if it can be supported alongside the other options, e.g. “bid the same amount for all”, that looks fine to me and probably give more power to the user [and yes it can still stay simple]).

And then, with that possibility in your model (assuming it is there), you can offer multiple choice to the user when he bid on:

- bid the same price on all auction (and do not change currency)
- bid the same price on all auction (and adapt currency, “be aware that it is an approximation” [anyway after this, in the time we pay, the price might change, our bank might charge different price, etc. etc. etc.; so it will always end up being an approximation… and using that option the user accept to use ebay’s approximation (I will go with their approximation at first glance even I usually go to to really know the rate, when I pay with paypal, I am probably using ebay’s once!)])
- specify the price for each auction

Of course the “bid the same price” option, will just be a way to enter multiple snipe of the same amount (big chance are your model support it that way!).

We can always think further, but I think just keeping it simple, offering the power to the user to specify “anything he want” if he wants, and offer him “easy helper” like “bid same price on all option” seem the best choice the way the problem has been presented.

If someone is not happy with your assumption (conversion, shipping, etc.), he can always just enter all the amounts by himself.

// BTW Thanks for making me lose (spend) a lot of money and win a lot of auctions! :D