UK Nova Signup Tool in Ruby

16 April 2007

After giving the Paul Bain UK Nova Signup tool a bash and not ever receiving a confirmation email to start using it, I thought I’d just write my own in Ruby and so far it seems to work!

I’ve included the script here to do with as you please, but please make sure you do not use this script for evil! In my mind I don’t see much wrong with refreshing a page and filling in a form programatically – the script should only check the page between every 30 – 60 seconds.

You’ll need to run it on a Windows box with the Watir and Hpricot gems installed, just call: ruby novasignup.rb username email password and sit and watch the log.

Download novasignup.rb


  1. DPS Says:
    Hmmm. I'm not sure it's a good idea to be posting the script. It might piss off the bods at UKNova
  2. Paul Says:
    Hi, My script works again now. The SMTP server got clogged by spammers! Sorry you didnt get your confirmation email. Paul
  3. Tahina Chaikomonaea Says:
    Yep, I think it's appalling that you would hammer someone else's site in this way. Do you have no respect for other people, and internet etiquette?
  4. David Smalley Says:
    @Tahina - hahaha, honestly do you think a script that reloads a site every 30-60 seconds using a web browser is 'hammering' a site. I think questioning my respect for other people is a bit strong - I doubt this script even touches the amount of traffic someone would generate by hitting F5 on the signup page repeatedly. Did you even think before posting that comment?
  5. Jose Says:
    UKNova is down! I keep getting errors on UKNova, try TheBox ( it's an alternative British TV torrent tracker.
  6. ryan Says:
    sorry, a bit off topic, but I'm not sure where to comment or how to contact you. I was trying to find the script you wrote for netnewswire to repost entries to wordpress through marsedit. the link was broken. is it still available?
  7. uknova user Says:
    sorry, this script sucks. If lots of people run it then yes it does hammer the site. Please remove this
  8. David Says:
    anonymous 'uknova user' - fortunately I thought about the backlash and coded this in ruby requiring lots of dependencies that no average user would be expected to get working. Did you give it a try?
  9. heh Says:
    no wonder I get the 'message from london underground tube' something everytime i log in. it is so slow and annoying. this explains that maybe thousands of people are running these scripts and fucking up the site.
  10. David Says:
    Or probably just doing what I did until I knocked this up - sitting hitting F5 repeatedly for about an hour, and pressing it a dammned sight more frequently than once every 60 seconds. Perhaps the whole system could be overhauled - move the signup page off to a different server, just some cheapo one that people can fight over to signup and take signup details ready for people to use the actual site. Or, they could perhaps have a box where you input your email and it sends you an invite in the order people signup when they become available, if people dont' respond to an invite email in 24 hours it gets given to someone else. Hey UKNova people - I'll happily make you something that does that for free - obviously it'd have to be in Rails.
  11. Lorna Handley Says:
    hi. wondered if you could help me. I have tried several times now to sign up for an account but the forn never appears. It just say nothing or a message bout it being delayed etc. I have tried for 3 days now n still does the same. Can u help me with what i can maybe do to get an account ? thanks
  12. David Says:
    Lorna: I'm afraid you'll need to just keep checking back. I know a few people that have turned up and got the signup page immediately, and some who have taken a while clicking to refresh the page.
  13. LP Says:

    Is it true that only UK IP addresses can use UK Nova? I read this somewhere, but it hardly seems to make sense since I’m sure for many ex-pats, it would be one of the main ways to get their British TV shows. Or for Americans like me, haha. I’ll get my comp sci friend to help me give your thing a try nonetheless. Thanks!!

  14. LP Says:

    Oh, I should mention that I only ask you about the UK IP address thing because they do not provide any contact information on the UK Nova website, and the question isn’t answered in the FAQ or info. They have things in the info saying “click here to send a message to staff” but they aren’t links at all.

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