Surviving Valentines Day at

It's all about testing the systems and having a cutoff for changes, says a technologist sitting in the midst of a tenfold spike in traffic. (

The surge of online buying around Valentines Day has begun, and is prepared. More precisely, it has been prepared for weeks.

On Valentines Day and the two days leading up to it, the number of transactions handled by the Carle Place, N.Y.-based retailer jumps to 10 times its usual level. Its like the accountant who suddenly gets 35 calls on April 13.

"You hit the Monday of Valentines Day week and the traffic just jumps," says Chris McCann, the companys president. "Its all us last-minute men."

With Web transactions now representing three quarters of 1-800-Flowers business, the company has put in place an Internet architecture that can accommodate the predictable spikes in business that come this week, around Mothers Day and during the Christmas holiday season.

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