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Displaying posts with tag: web services (reset)
The promise of Drizzle

I got to actually speak to Brian Aker for maybe a total of 5 minutes after his micro-presentation about Drizzle, which took place at the Sun booth at OSCON 2008. I was a bit nervous to ask what questions I had out loud, because the things I had wondered about were things I really didn’t see too much discussion about out in the intarweb. I’m happy to report that, if Brian Aker is to be considered any kind of authority (hint: he is), my ideas are not completely ridiculous, so maybe I’ll start talking a bit more about them.

UPDATE: lest anyone get the wrong idea, Brian Aker did, in fact, state that views are not on the short list of priority items for Drizzle, but he did say that views are one of the features he finds most useful, and that they’d probably be higher on any future priority list than, say, …

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Day 1 of OSCON Begins, and More Tips for Conference-goers

I got an early start. Too early. But I’m from the west coast, so my body thinks I slept in. I wandered around a bit, took a few pics which you can see at my Flickr OSCON set, and I discovered a couple of things that might be of interest:

  • The starbucks in the conference center charges over $2 for a small cup of joe. There’s a starbucks right across the street (you can see it from the breakfast area - seriously, it’s 5 seconds away), and they charge less than $2 for a medium (grande). That’s less than I pay at home.
  • The ATM outside the starbucks charges $3 for cash. I’ll report back when I find a cheaper one, but most places seem to take plastic here.
  • Every computer involved in this conference, from registration to the video screens that dot the common areas, are running Windows XP. Just sayin’.
  • The …
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Useful stuff - 2008 - first half

Having a Google account is sometimes useful in ways you hadn’t planned for. For example, at a few different employers I’ve been at, I’ve had to prepare for reviews by providing a list of accomplishments to my supervisor. One decent tool for generating this list is email, though it can take some time. Another useful tool is the Web History feature of your Google account.

Though this isn’t necessarily indicative of everything I’ve accomplished in the first half of 2008 per se, it’s definitely indicative of the types of things I’ve generally been into so far this year, and it’s interesting to look back. What does your Web History say?

  • Gearman - this is used by some rather large web sites, notably Digg. It reminds me a little of having Torque and Maui, but geared toward more general-purpose applications. In fact, it was never clear to me that …
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Cloud computing hype overload

I’ve been working with what I used to call “utility computing” tools for about 6-9 months. However, for about the past 2 months, I’ve been seeing the term “cloud computing” all over the place, and there is so much buzz surrounding it that it’s reaching that magical point best described using Alan Greenspan’s words: “Irrational Exuberance”.

When Alan Greenspan used those words to describe the attitudes of investors toward the markets, what he was basically saying was that there were people who didn’t really know what they were doing, putting more money than they ought, into things they knew relatively little about. Further, he was saying that the decisions people were making with regards to where to put their money were a) bad, or at least b) not based on sound reasoning, or the ‘facts on the ground’.

This, I think, is where we are at with “cloud computing”. The blog post that put me over the edge is …

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Plug-ins: isn?t there a better way?

If there’s one thing that bothers me about using a ready-made solution like wordpress for my blog, it’s plug-ins. I hate software plug-ins. The first question every support engineer for any software product that supports plugins asks in response to a trouble report is “are you using any plugins?” And when you say “yep, I’m using plugins!” the reply from support is to disable them immediately and see if the trouble goes away. That’s a problem.

What’s worse, if the plugins are maintained by a third party (often the case), there’s no telling whether or not they’ll exist when the next version of the base software is released, or whether they’ll be supported in future versions of the software.

Two examples that touch my daily life are Firefox, and …

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Why should I pay for this AWS design decision?

I was writing a utility in Python (using boto) to test/play with Amazon’s SQS service. As boto isn’t particularly well documented where SQS specifically is concerned, I also plan to post some examples (either here or on, or both). When I had some trouble getting a message that was sent to a queue, I went to the Amazon documentation, and found this little gem in the Amazon Web Services FAQ

I am sure that my queue has messages, but a call to ReceiveMessage returned none. What could be the problem?

Due to the distributed nature of the queue, a weighted random set of machines is sampled on a ReceiveMessage call. That means only the messages on the sampled machines are returned. If the number of messages in the queue is small (less than 1000), it is …

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High Performance MySQL on Safari!

All right! In the past, some books seem to be delayed in getting into O’Reilly’s Safari site, but on the day that Baron announces the book’s arrival, I find that I’m able to access it in Safari right now! Sweet!

Simple S3 Log Archival

UPDATE: if anyone knows of a non-broken syntax highlighting plugin for wordpress that supports bash or some other shell syntax, let me know :-/

Apache logs, database backups, etc., on busy web sites, can get large. If you rotate logs or perform backups regularly, they can get large and numerous, and as we all know, large * numerous = expensive, or rapidly filling disk partitions, or both.

Amazon’s S3 service, along with a simple downloadable suite of tools, and a shell script or two can ease your life considerably. Here’s one way to do it:

  1. Get an Amazon Web Services account by going to the AWS website.
  2. Download the ‘aws’ command line tool from here and install it.
  3. Write a couple of shell scripts, and schedule them using cron.

Once you have your Amazon account, …

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Multisourced Production Infrastructure: History, and a stab at the Future

Startups are pretty fascinating. I work for a startup, and one of my good friends works for another startup. I’ve also worked for 2 other startups, one during the first “bubble”, and another one a few years later. Oh my, how the world of web startups has changed in that time!

1999: You must have funding

The first startup I was ever involved in was a web startup. It was an online retailer. They were starting from nothing. My friend (a former coworker from an earlier job) had saved for years to get this idea off the ground. He was able to get a few servers, some PCs for the developers he hired, and he got the cheapest office space in all of NYC (but it still managed to be a really cool space, in a way that only NYC can pull off), and he hosted every single service required to run the web site in-house. If I recall correctly, he had a web and database server on one machine, and I believe the primary DNS server was on an old …

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Is this thing on?

Since the recovery from my recent outage, I’ve noticed that none of the normal feed sites where my posts normally show up caught the last post, so this is a test post to see what’s going on, if it was a temporary glitch, or what.

If you didn’t see the post linked above, please read it if you’re happy with your web host. I’m looking for a new one :-/

Showing entries 11 to 20 of 23
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