OptusQuota Gadget – Error

15 01 2009

For all of those users out there that are getting this error:


Optus have pulled the usage data text feed that the gadget, and many other third party tools used today with no real warning (certainly no email fyi). 

I will endeavour to find a workaround over the weekend and release an update.

More info can be seen over on this Whirlpool thread.



36 responses

16 01 2009

Can Optus please provide an explanatio for this, because it was one of the most useful gadgets I had on my PC. It enabled me to monitor usage and allowed me to control my kids downloads as they used the green and red colours as guides.
Please reinstall this Optus.


16 01 2009
Chris OConnor

How did you grab the details previously ? Sounds like you’ll have to do a “screen scrape” from this URL…>


Damn u “Optass”…

16 01 2009

The annoying thing is the gadget at the moment does effectively the same thing, doing a parse of a .txt file that is accessed via an https:// request. It strikes me that Optus has some security issue their end (the gadget simply passed the username and password and parsed what Optus gave it), or changed their optuszoo platform and forgot to implement the usage.txt again.

The only thing worrying me is that the suggested workaround is still an issue as per Optus’s reason for pulling the usage.txt feed. It still requires you to send the username and password in the URL. I don’t know enough about https to understand if it will be encrypted all the way.

I think the more elegant solution would be to put the username and password in the request header and hit the site that way. Luckily I worked all that out in the VicRoads gadget ๐Ÿ™‚

Once your in the page, the HTML looks relatively easy to parse and scrape.

I guess this is a lesson about writing gadgets that use data sources you don’t control!


16 01 2009

please, reinstall it!!

16 01 2009

Hey Alex, firstly awsome gadget. Any luck in fixing it yet?

16 01 2009
Peter Stubbs

Thanks for pursuing this (and for the good work in creating my second most useful gadget). One tiny thing for the future the More Info URL in your gadget goes to http://www.blurg.net/gadgets/ which is giving a 404 error.

Bloody Optus

16 01 2009

Im sick of optus, there call centres are now overseas and the stupid voice prompts to get thru to an operator only for the operator to go over all the info you spent 15 mins trying to tell the computer!!! And now this?


16 01 2009
Prasad Shrikanth

This not joke anymore. I am not feeling comfortable dealing with company like Optus shipping job overseas and giving appalling service. Please recommend better broadband supplier with similar quota gadget.

17 01 2009

Optus…you were actually winning the war against Telstra…we all believed in you. Maybe not anymore!!!
This is your chance to maintain the support you need..or..it may be a mass switch to other providers…and for what??…
Optus your greed to send us to your own site and be bombarded by pathetic ads – which I for one don’t even look at!!!
Get your act together …obstinate Optus management!!!!!!!!

17 01 2009

LOL you all make me laugh… Do you think Optus care if this awesome gadget works or not .. no they want you to visit their website..

Why? they sell space on it…

Why? To make money and lots of it..

Why? so they can provide a better more informed service to you…

I for dont’ really care if they stopped the gadet from working… I loved the gadget but hey I can live with out it…
I’m not moving to another ISP I did that and got screwed cost me $290. to get back to optus.. Why you ask would I do that well ..

I went cause I could get a so called better service cheaper…

No I could not .. after I sign a 2 year contract I find out that the service sucked REally really big time…

Yeah I could download all the data I wanted .,. and it only cost 49 bucks a month you F’ing ripper… I’m in.. And it I could to… that of cause if I was not offline because of an upline provider issue or our link overseas is down or I’m sorry but your contaction apears fine here it must be your end we suggest you get a service technican to look at it..

and if you play a game over the net.. like I do.. PING or LET is the most important thing.. its suposed to be a small figure to get good results not a high number.. something the big name OMFG ISP I went to.. was confused about…

NO I”m stayi8ng with optus so far I have not been able to find anything better in my North Brisbane suburb.

IF you do go to a new ISP really do YA home work on them ask you nabours who they use what they think about them what they do with they internet..
Just be prepaired. to get worse then you have now..

I’m staying with optus..I sure am

17 01 2009

G’Day Alex

I am missing your gadget already, The only shining light is I’m off contract & Optus is Gone in two weeks. Ever thought about a gadget for TPG lol

Thanks for you work m8!

17 01 2009

I have been used Optus Quota Gadget V 1.2 for a year, it very helpful for me to known how much I had used .But Just from yesterday it not function , it show error click me
I hope a solution will be fix it soon !1 I missing this gadget !!
Thank you very much for making this gadget .

17 01 2009

Hey guys I must say I have been using the usage meter gadget & it will be missed by my household. If they want us to adhear to their data usage requirements as cable is a shared medium why wouldn’t they make the usage stuff easy to access?

17 01 2009

Hey, sudenly and without explanation, I can’t easily know my download, I have a household of 7 people and this gadget was the fastest and simpliest way to control the usage of my quota,
The moment I saw red on the gadget, I was on top to reduce usage, for it to be fair to all users.

17 01 2009

I’m lost without this gadget :S
Optus usage, GeForce Temp and the uTorrent gadgets are pretty much the only reason I stuck with vista lol!

I really hope there is a solution found soon! Loved the gadget and really appreciate your effort.

If there is a new version in the works soon, might I be able to suggest a graph with a plot line of “ideal” usage for the month (like the Green/Pink colour scheme). But also have actual usage track across the graph easily showing if your above or below the ideal usage curve and by how much ๐Ÿ™‚

The current version doesn’t make it easy to judge if your over your ideal usage quota mid month and makes it hard to know by how much you need to slow off the usage.

Anyways, thanks for the update on why the Optus gadget isn’t working, I thought it was something I’d done ๐Ÿ™‚


17 01 2009
Darl Knox

Optus dont want u to know, so you will go over the limit
I hate Optus

17 01 2009


F**KIN’ NOT!!!

18 01 2009

So when will the gadget be up and running u think? This is one of my most useful gadgets ๐Ÿ™‚

19 01 2009

I miss this gadget so much, like other people there are 4 computers in my house and one of my room mates is a total torrent hog. So hits harder to smack her about when my limit get close.

Damm you Optus I’m beginning to thing the free phone calls, isn’t quite worth the 10 minutes it takes to get there absolutely brain dead VR system to work every time I need to talk to them.

On another note (and I have nothing to do with this) I have found a FireFox extension “Net Usage Item” ( http://netusage.iau5.com/) that does still work. Its just not as handy, and of cause you have to use FireFox.

Optus I want my widget back!

19 01 2009

Darl, do you think it’s part of some optus maniacal plan to rule the world with making it difficult to read your usage stats? If ppl hate optus… leave them…

They’ve done this to enable better security for your username and passwords not to be leaked around the place. There is obviously a risk involved whereby this information could be stolen on the way to the server and back. I’m no expert nor a hacker (got more important things in life to do)… anyways.

If you hate Optus…. try Telstra Bigpong… and then realise how much better you had it with optus.


Have you tried bandwidth limiting software such as http://bandwidthcontroller.com/

There are heaps of programs which allow you to manage quotas between PC’s in your own network to make usage fair… Whirlpool forums have some info on them and how to use them. If using a router, you could perhaps set the QOS settings to allow priority to your PC over theirs, or even speed limit them at certain times of the day…. even utorrent scheduler for limiting their torrent downloading to offpeak times only.


20 01 2009
20 01 2009

OK thats strange.

If I put that into the address bar for IE or FireFox it works fine still.


20 01 2009


I thought it did, but I have must have had a signed in session already when I tested so it basically back doored via that.

Damn it!

I really miss this gadget.

20 01 2009

Lol. All of you guys are acting like its not fixable when really its just made it a bit harder because you need to use regexps on the page like the FF addon does… Alex can even maybe use the regexps himself if he wants to…

20 01 2009


David is correct, the problem is fixable, once you get through to the underlying page with the information. At the moment the gadget is working fine for some accounts, but not for others. I have not coded up regexp’s mainly because they are painful to write (well at least for me), but am doing some pattern matching in the returned source code.

The issues I am running into at the moment are:
1. Fusion and Non Fusion accounts have different markup returned on their usage pages. Not a big issue, but it seems that some pages have id’s or classes for each item which you can use to shortcut the lookup, whereas others have straight ‘s, of which there are lots, so we need to find the correct ones. These both need to be coded up specifically and tested.
2. In switching the gadget over to authenticating, there are some issues around session that have never been encountered before, given the limitations of xmlhttp and javascript, this is a little flakey and its taking time to make sure the gadget is reliable enough to meet all scenarios
3. Some older accounts seem to do some really strange stuff. Previously it was really easy parse the usage file as it was stable in structure, you passed the information, it returned the data back in a simple to parse format. There was no painful scraping, and no sneaky things happening with redirects. It seems some users get fired off to a different system, my.optus.com.au for authentication, then passed back to the memberservices url. XMLHttp doesn’t handle redirects very well, so another special case is needed to handle it.

On the plus side, I have fixed a bug you would run into in Windows 7 if you use the gadget, and added a link to the OptusGadget twitter feed to get more up to date info.

Apologies that this is taking so long to get back out, but this is done in my spare time, of which there is very little.


20 01 2009

No need to appoligise alex… I’m sure we’re more grateful for your efforts that you realise.

Thanks again.

20 01 2009

As Ramjet said, no need to apologize… Thanks heaps for all of your effort and time put into making the gadget what it is.

20 01 2009
Michael Kwan

Ditto Ramjet. I’m just a dumb end-user who really appreciate you doing this in your spare time! If there is anything we can do to help you (from all of us with different sorts of accounts, etc) don’t hesitate to ask!


20 01 2009

Uumm… I don’t fix this JavaScript file from Net Usage Item will help much since you’d rather not use regular expressions, but it may be worth reading through. http://stashbox.org/367496/nsNetUsageItem.js

20 01 2009

EDIT: Sorry, I’m tired. lol. Gave the wrong link. Here: http://stashbox.org/367498/isps.js

21 01 2009
Hamish McLean

Great gadget and now I really miss it.
Is there any uypdate (or alternative ?)

I have been using this gadget for some time and it is just so useful. I have updated my release to but still no luck.

I have been with Optus for years.

Thanks Alex.


21 01 2009


22 01 2009
OptusQuota - an update « blurg.net

[…] – an update 22 01 2009 Since Optus pulled their feed of Usage info and the OptusQuota gadget stopped working. I have spent a fair amount of time to get the gadget up and running again, but have gotten to the […]

22 02 2009

I currently use a separate program called USAGE AGENT that sits in a window and polls my OPTUS usage.

I also have a FIREFOX add-on which does the same.

Both are still working

The optus quota gadet has stopped working.

If you could find out from the writers of these programs how they poll OPTUS , you may find out what is stopping the gadget from working.

It was the first one I used and I still love it as it does day by day usage warnings.

I want it back!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

22 02 2009

@Lance, Usage Agent supplies a gadget. The downside is how much desktop space it takes up and the details shown aren’t nearly as easy to read quickly.

22 02 2009

To all readers, I missed a reference to an update to the current optus gadget written by Alex – Version 1.3.1.

As soon as I downloaded that version, it WORKED!!!

I like it better than USAGE Agent because it calculates DAILY USAGE and turns RED if you exceed it.

Please download and use it – it is great.

Thanks Alex.

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