Sorry guys, the reality right now is:
1) I haven't done anything to improve the pool in at least a month.
2) All I've done is try and keep it up. I usually get a text message when it messes up, but not always. Each server (main and 2) seems to randomly fail occasionally (both PoolServerJ and pushpool.) I haven't had time to try and figure out the root cause. Basically PSJ/pushpool degrade after a while and need a restart.
3) I haven't done the numbers, but I'm probably losing money each day at the moment on this because EC2 is expensive and the BTC price is low. The bill this last month was ~$400+ with the two servers + bandwidth costs.
4) I'm closer to bringing the pool down than I am to implementing merged mining or anything else.
5) I'm having some personal problems and issues just trying to do work for my real job, so the priority for this right now is very low. In fact the pool is probably mostly still up (instead of being taken down) because it is more effort to take it down cleanly (provide notice, email everyone, resolve coin balances, etc.) than it is to keep it in its current state.
So, I apologize, but that is how things stand at the moment. I can't guarantee anything for the future, i.e. whether I will take the pool down, or finally work on improving it, etc.
Hey guys. I'm very sorry to have dropped off the map lately. I've been having a number of personal issues. One of which has affected my ability to be very social or responsive. I really appreciate the emails and messages about trying to help out with hosting and anything at all, and I'm sorry that I have not responded to them individually. I also really liked the community we had in the IRC channel, and I'm sorry that I've left it behind at the moment. It looks like a lot of people have left the pool, which is completely understandable given its current condition, and I think some have just stopped mining in general. I'm still glad to have talked to a lot of you and fun with bitcoin for a while.
Pool status as of now is about the same as it has been recently. I try to keep it up and running, but stability has not been the greatest. Honestly with the shape of the code base, database, etc not being easy to understand for someone else, and needed bugfixes, etc, and me not keeping up with the bitcoin scene lately, I'm not sure that transferring to another host or passing the pool on to someone else is a good idea. The most likely result is a shutdown of the pool eventually, but I'm still not certain. Probably be continuing the way it is over the holidays, with not much happening. I may shut down server2 to try and save some money since we could handle all the traffic on one server now. If I did this, I would point the DNS so that it would just use server 1, so you shouldn't have to worry about anything. However, it would disable port 80 mining (which was down for a while anyways I think....)
I still respond to password reset emails, etc, though it tends to take me a while.
On the bright side, looks like bitcoin price is up a little? Thats good for everyone. I haven't been watching it, but I would like to sell the donations I've received at some point so I can make back some of these server costs
At this point its just my own fault though, with all the offers of help, etc, to make it cheaper and such. I don't like running a sub-par service, as it isn't cost efficient, and of course doesn't inspire people to donate since the service hasn't been good lately. This is the most likely reason for an eventual shutdown, as I need to either improve things a lot and try and make this cost effective again, or I should just close it down to stop losing money.
If ArsBitcoin does get closed down, I will of course give notice, try to email all the accounts, provide probably 30 days of time for people to use the website to cashout, and probably 90 days of time for people to email me for manual account verification / cashout, etc. Like i've said, this would probably be a lot of work, so the pool chugs on for now
I guess you can tell I'm feeling a little better since i've actually said something... and been able to communicate. What a wall of text....