Re: Reflector Scanner

Jason Williams (
Mon, 9 Feb 1998 13:45:21 -0600 (CST)

On Mon, 9 Feb 1998, Trevor Sim Chee Yong wrote:
> Anyone knows of a good reflector scanner which not only shows active
> reflectors but also the CU users connected to it ?? make a short story long... :)

This is a fundamental question..but also has lots of problems implementing
on a wide-scale basis. There are a few reflectors that I know of (After5,
and a couple of Chinese/Japanese reflectors) which provide a list of who's
on their reflectors. But it's only useful for THEIR reflectors.

There used to be the Peoplenet scanner (face2face) which connected to
reflectors, captured the MOTD and the people on them. The problem was,
their list grew and grew and never was weeded down. What started out as a
nice idea scanning 40-50 reflectors every 15-20 minutes was rather unique.
Unfortunately, their list of reflectors became so huge (several
hundred...many of which were never up) that it took over 2 1/2 hours to
scan all of them. This made the idea rather pointless since people rarely
stay on a reflector for 2 1/2 hours at a time (except for the diehards).

The other problem with Peoplenet's scanner was that it didn't obtain
permission to scan the reflectors it scanned. This caused a lot of
reflector operators to really dislike it and one (hi Os :)) went so far as
to insert HTML tags in a deny message to prevent the Peoplenet scanner
from operating. Shortly after that, it went down permanently.

I have a scanner up which fixes the Peoplenet problems...I require an
email from the reflector operator before showing who's on their reflector.
I also only check the authorized reflectors so I can scan the reflector
fairly quickly. The Peoplenet scanner opened up a physical connection to
the reflector as a participant to capture who was on...My scanner connects
thru refmon or telnet directly to the reflector so it isn't affected by
how many people are on it. (The Peoplenet scanner was often unable to
obtain who was on the reflector because the reflector was full).

The downside for the end user's aspect is that my scanner doesn't scan the
shere amount of reflectors that Peoplenet did. But the ones I do scan are
scanned legally and everyone is happy. It's also quite fast. The last
time I checked, it scanned about 25 reflectors in a minute and a half.

Until 4-5 months ago, I only allowed people to scan individual reflectors,
not ALL of the reflectors. I figured I could try and see what I can do to
scan all of them at once every 5 minutes. It seems to work great from
what I can tell (and also much more versatile than the Peoplenet scanner)

If you go to you can
click on an individual reflector's IP to see who's on just that reflector.

If you go to you can
scan ALL the reflectors at once (actually just displays a file).

(geeze...I forgot how long those URLs are...) :)

Oh yeah..and if you want more reflectors to be able to be scanned, just
have the reflector operators contact me...I'm more than willing to add
them to the authorized list.

Now if only White Pine could update their links at to remove the Peoplenet link and
substitute mine, there'd be some progress :) Peoplenet's page hasn't been
up for over a year now.

--    * Jason Williams -- Austin, Tx.  |     |       * University of Texas at Austin  | ___ |         * BS Computer Science             \_|_/
*************** **************|