The Beckett Blog


New Beckett.com data migration under way by Chris Olds
February 1, 2011, 11:08 am
Filed under: Beckett Media | Tags:

Dear Beckett User,

As many of you know, we have had our dose of Murphy’s Law in the last week.  We suffered a severe network outage at our old host provider.  That was fun.  In addition, Dallas is under a few inches of ice, sleet and snow, which has our office closed.

We expected to launch the new site this last weekend – as it stands we are doing so now.  Yep, currently we are importing your data and the massive database (have been since Monday) into our new hosting location.

Due to the extremely slow nature of the data migration, it is hard to say exactly when it will be complete.  Likely by 48 to 72 hours.

So the time is here.  Once the data migration is complete, the main components of the new site will be live.  This will be followed shortly by an update to both our Grading and Marketplace sites.

Thanks,

Brian

Brian D. Gulledge
President
Beckett Media LLC



Beckett President unveils upcoming website changes by Chris Olds
January 5, 2011, 11:52 am
Filed under: Beckett Media | Tags: ,

Dear Beckett Customer,

Back in July, we estimated the new site launch for the end of December.  We have moved that date by a bit.  The new site will launch by end of this month – yes, January 2011 – in the next few weeks.  I moved it by a few weeks for several reasons, but the overall gist of the conversation is that we want as close to perfection as possible upon release, and that includes new server location with all-new hardware.  We ran into a bit of a snag having the new hardware set up on time.  We also have a bit more work to do to complete all the data migration.  This will allow all of your account history to be included in the migration.

Besides eliminating all of the current load/timeout issues and increasing site speed, our team thought you might like to hear about some of the additions and changes for the new site:

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ITG President Dr. Brian Price answers a few questions on 10th edition of Ultimate Memorabilia by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

In the Game is coming out with a very special release next month — the 10th anniversary of ITG Ultimate Memorabilia, a cornerstone of its hockey line.

The line will consist of 1,500 five-pack boxes and each pack will include a base card, memorabilia card and an autograph.

Some of the preview images released so far have caused hockey collectors’ heads to turn. The patch cards have been particularly exceptional, but that’s not all the product has to offer. View galleries here and here.

The base design is inspired by the original hockey set, 1910-11 C56, and is celebrating 100 years of hockey trading cards.

In The Game president Dr. Brian Price took time to answer a few questions about this exciting line.

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Live from the Ice: An Update from the 2010 NHL Rookie Showcase by Tracy Hackler

Editor’s Note: Beckett Hockey correspondent Gus Katsaros, the Pro Scouting Coordinator for McKeen’s Hockey Prospects and a writer for MapleLeafsHotStove.com, is in Toronto today covering the 2010 NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Toronto. Look for his updates throughout the day.

The afternoon session at the 2010 NHL Rookie Photo Shoot included a lunch for the players and gathered media (which disseminated fairly quickly after the morning skate). There is a pick-up hockey game that will end the afternoon events before the rookies take the bus back to the host hotel.

A most curious and interesting scenario, however, occurred as the rookies were taking their photos and video rolls. A bunch of young kids were using the ice for a practice. The awe in the eyes of the children as they saw their dreams and aspirations personified walking among them made for a much more spirited effort in training sessions.

Inspiration, it seems, comes from the most unlikely places and surprise times. These kids didn’t expect to see actual drafted NHL players in what was surely just a routine practice. Their surprise and elation will form a deeper root in their commitment.

Lunch intersected the sessions and the ’95-born Toronto Marlboros took to the ice for their own practice. While the interaction wasn’t as extensive as they likely preferred with the potential NHL Rookies, similar to the younger kids, the practice was high energy and focused.

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Real-Time Photo Gallery from the 2010 NHL Rookie Showcase by Tracy Hackler

Editor’s Note: Beckett Hockey correspondent Gus Katsaros, the Pro Scouting Coordinator for McKeen’s Hockey Prospects and a writer for MapleLeafsHotStove.com, is in Toronto today covering the 2010 NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Toronto. Look for his updates throughout the day.

TORONTO — After this morning’s media scrum cleared, the next phase of the 2010 NHL Rookie Showcase had players on a brief skate for action photos. As the players skated away and toward the camera, taking various shots, some rookies started showing off shooting skills on Nashville netminder Chet Pickard after Milwaukee Admirals teammate Jonathan Blum fired some preliminary warm up cannons from between the face off circles.

The cold arena, coupled with heat-wave-like conditions surrounding Toronto set up a thick fog across the ice surface that even skating players couldn’t lift. Skating through the fog gave the appearance of waif-like creatures emerging in battle fatigues, ready for action.

Players lined up in their respective organizations’ uniforms and participated in a small video roll. Florida Panthers rookies Eric Gudbranson and Jacob Markstrom participated in a hilarious video shoot, set up with various comical situations (including a funny bit with two dolls and a proposal of a female assistant on the ice) set up through the NHLPA.

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New Beckett President Addresses Website Performance Issues, Future Plans by Tracy Hackler

Dear Beckett User,

Please allow me to introduce myself – I am Brian Gulledge, the new President of Beckett Media LLC. I have recently joined the company with a primary focus of correcting, improving and growing our online presence.

Over the last few weeks, several customer emails and phone calls have been forwarded to me regarding our current website and some of the quality issues we experience. Rather than playing the politically correct game to explain what we are doing to improve the situation, or giving the standard “Thank you, we are working on it,” I feel that being frank and upfront with you, the Beckett community, is much more appropriate.

For the most part, the site is poorly architected without the code and technical infrastructure to handle the scale of users that want to access our data. Part of this is a good problem to have, as the data is of great value to collectors, dealers and traders, and more and more customers have joined over the last few months. From the feedback you have given us, our data is top notch and second to none. It is the access to and speed of acquiring that data that accentuates many of the experienced issues. This frustrates all of us.

Not to bore you with too many details, but the current data set is massive (226 million products and billions of lines of content), and with the existing programming architecture and structure, the current website is not something we can easily correct for stability or scale.

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Contest Update: And the Winner Is . . . by Tracy Hackler

You may recall that last September on Beckett.com (and on The Beckett Blog and in Beckett Football), we solicited submissions for a special 2009 NFL Season Preview card-investment contest. Essentially, we asked Beckett visitors how they would invest an imaginary $1,000 in at least five football cards for the 2009 season.

We selected 10 lucky respondents at random and announced that the one whose collection appreciates the most in value from the start of the season to the end of the Super Bowl would be crowned the winner and would receive a pigskin potpourri prize pack that includes an array of 2009 football products.

Well, at long last, the contest is over and the winner is . . . Arlington, Texas, collector David Sharp, who rode the 2009 value-increasing exploits of Ray Rice and Cedric Benson to victory. His hypothetical collection finished at a combined value of $1,130.

Sharp’s 2008 SP Authentic Ray Rice RC (#285) started the season at $60 and ended at $120; his 2005 SP Authentic Cedric Benson RC (#251) started at $60 and ended at $150.

Sharp’s reaction: “That’s awesome! Thanks to Ray Rice and Cedric Benson.”

For his value-minded prognostication, Sharp will receive a star-studded prize pack that looks a little something like . . .

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