AutoTempest (aka HanksHelper) Beta Test

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Erik in YVR
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HH - Searchtempest; Cannot enter info in the "but not" contr

Post by Erik in YVR » Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:31 am

Hello Nathan,

I am unable to access/put the focus in the "but not" control in the Craigslist.org tab of HH. Is this functionality still pending?

Thanks,
Erik

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Tempest Nathan
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Re: Hank's Helper Beta Test

Post by Tempest Nathan » Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:59 am

That's because Hank's automatically sets the keywords to 'Advanced'. In that case everything is entered in one box. ('not' keywords are entered -like -these).
In normal operation of Searchtempest that's obvious because the box greys out when 'Advanced' is clicked. Since Hank's does it automatically I can see how it'd be unclear. Hmmmmm..

enginerd
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Re: Hank's Helper Beta Test

Post by enginerd » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:28 am

This HH website is superb. I'm thrilled to have found it and it helps my searching so much. I'm also excited to tell a few friends who I'm sure will enjoy it.

One suggestion I thought of. Not sure if it's possible. When I do a large search, I would love to have a check box that would allow me to not show cities that have the result: "Nothing found for that search ( All words must match )." In other words, if the results show 50 cities, and only 3 of them have results, I would like to see only those three cities with the results.

Now, this is a long shot, but I was dreaming yesterday. What if you plugged in your search criteria and a website emailed you the results at a chosen interval (twice a day, for example). Or maybe once a posting was activated that met your search criteria, it would email you the post (maybe not RIGHT away). To me, this might work if I was getting a maximum of a couple results a day, but it would obviously depend on the search criteria.

By the way, the only way I've been using it so far is to put all my search info in the keywords box and using the Price fields. Seems to work well. But I'll have to experiment with the Make/Model fields.

Thanks!

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Tempest Nathan
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Re: Hank's Helper Beta Test

Post by Tempest Nathan » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:28 pm

Hi,

Glad you like it!

For the first question, unfortunately it isn't as easy as it seems. Check out the Searchtempest FAQ for more info. However, I am working on a new results format that should improve this dramatically.. stay tuned. :)

Second question: while I don't currently support something like that, I do partner with someone who does. Try Craigslist AdNotifier for ad notifications.

Third not-really-a-question: Just using the keywords box will work as long as you're only searching craigslist and ebay. If you want to use the other Hanks' sites, like Autotrader or Cars.com, you'll want to use the make/model dropdowns.

That gives me an idea though.. eventually, I'd like to make those dropdowns into comboboxes, so you could either type your choice or select it from the list. (As you type, the list would get shorter to only match what you've typed so far.) Hopefully someday I can get to that! :)

zoomzoom
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Re: Hank's Helper Beta Test

Post by zoomzoom » Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:18 am

"Or maybe once a posting was activated that met your search criteria, it would email you the post" I agree this is a great idea.
A new site, Craigsly.com, states they do just that...but it doesn't appear to work as advertised. It is inop as best i can tell.
I am now trying...www.craigslistchecker.com
I don't like the AdNotifier as I don't want the program located on my computer.

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Re: Hank's Helper Beta Test

Post by Tempest Nathan » Sat Oct 24, 2009 1:36 pm

zoomzoom wrote:"Or maybe once a posting was activated that met your search criteria, it would email you the post" I agree this is a great idea.
A new site, Craigsly.com, states they do just that...but it doesn't appear to work as advertised. It is inop as best i can tell.
I am now trying...www.craigslistchecker.com
I don't like the AdNotifier as I don't want the program located on my computer.
AFAIK, a program on your computer is simply the only way to do what you want. Any server that tries to access craigslist more than a few hundred times a day will be blocked. That means that any solution to check results and email you needs to be on the client side. To do that, to the best of my knowledge, you need an installed program. (Which, by the way, is why services like Craigsly tend to pop up, work for a bit, then stop working. As soon as they get significant traffic, they're auto-blocked by craigslist.)

The other alternative is to use RSS feeds. You can get all the feeds for your search by clicking the orange 'Get RSS Feeds' button on the Searchtempest results page. Then just import them into your RSS reader of choice and you'll see the new posts highlighted. There may even be RSS readers that offer email alerts, but if so, I'm not aware of one. (If anyone is, please post!)

bcs4
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Re: Hank's Helper Beta Test

Post by bcs4 » Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:31 am

Let me first say that Hank's Helper/Search Tempest is the best thing I've found online in the past 3 years, and I can't actually remember what I found more than 3 years ago that was better. Needless to say I appreciate what you've done a LOT!

I'm using the HH Beta and I noticed a couple of things. If you can't fix them, I will still love your search.

First. When I use a radius of say 500 miles, it shows me the first 20 or so locations and at the bottom there's a button to click for more results. When I click it, it almost always shows the additional cities permanently in the mode of searching (the little grey circle spinning). Refreshing the page doesnt seem to help.

In the Beta, I have to use the slider to get the results to fit in the window left to right, but there seems to be a lot of blank space on the left and right.

In the Beta, there are sometimes results that have been trimmed on the right side.

Again, thanks for everything you do!

OldNuc
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Re: Hank's Helper Beta Test

Post by OldNuc » Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:21 am

The HH is working well this morning. Good work!

Would it be possible to ad an option to provide the number of results displayed per page or just display all? The present limit of First 40 Cities leaves many very short pages.

Displaying first 40 cities (5 with results) - 0 to 321 miles
Show more ▼

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Re: Hank's Helper Beta Test

Post by Tempest Nathan » Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:03 pm

bcs4: There was a bug that was causing some users of IE8 to see strange formatting. I've fixed it today, so it should be good now. Please let me know if the problem seems solved for you.

OldNuc: The 40 page limit is there to protect craigslist's servers from unnecessary queries. For common items, only 10 pages are shown. If only a few results are returned, the page is automatically expanded, but stops at 40. Still, you just have to hit 'Show more', to quickly grab the next page.

When you say "provide the number of results displayed per page" do you mean some kind of notification of the total number of results returned in all the cities on a page? I could theoretically do that, but I'm not sure I see the benefit. Can you help me understand how that information would be used?

Thanks for both of your feedback!

OldNuc
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Re: Hank's Helper Beta Test

Post by OldNuc » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:26 pm

Searchtempest Nathan wrote:bcs4: There was a bug that was causing some users of IE8 to see strange formatting. I've fixed it today, so it should be good now. Please let me know if the problem seems solved for you.

OldNuc: The 40 page limit is there to protect craigslist's servers from unnecessary queries. For common items, only 10 pages are shown. If only a few results are returned, the page is automatically expanded, but stops at 40. Still, you just have to hit 'Show more', to quickly grab the next page.

When you say "provide the number of results displayed per page" do you mean some kind of notification of the total number of results returned in all the cities on a page? I could theoretically do that, but I'm not sure I see the benefit. Can you help me understand how that information would be used?

Thanks for both of your feedback!
If I run a search in Sale/Wanted > Antiques within a 500 mile radius around 51555 with search term Singer the search returns pages as follows:

Found 86 cities in 14 states, within 500 miles

Page #1 Displaying first 40 cities (5 with results) - 0 to 321 miles
Show more ▼

Page #2 Displaying first 80 cities (8 with results) - 0 to 470 miles
Show more ▼

Page #3 Found 11 cities with results within 500 mile search radius

That is 2 additional clicks to display a total of 11 cities with a total of 13 results.

Seems to me the page limit is not doing anything for the cragslist server load as the total cities are shown at the top of the first page and the results of the first 40 cities are displayed. Now if the results are pulled by the page then that could be limited to batches of less than or equal to 40 results at a time and would make sense to me. The present action does not. For my piddly 13 results I made 2 separate additional queries plus the initial query to determine total cities and first 40 cities plus results. The initial query would have to return both the number of cities and the number of results per city to do what I am talking about. Then number of results would determine the page length instead of as it is now the page length is the number of cities regardless of the presence or absence of results.

I hope this clarifies what I am trying to communicate. :mrgreen:

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