Month: October 2009

Price of Commercials

The price of commercials is especially high for engineers. And by commercials, I don’t mean an intermission between pieces of a sitcom or drama, I mean the brief 15 seconds of an interruption when someone asks an engineer in the zone a question that takes 3 seconds to answer. For the sake of argument, let’s …

By eric

Printing New Lines in Bash

Ran across this the other day and decided it required sharing. If you want to print a new line ‘\n‘ in an echo statement in bash, one would think its just as simple as: 12beacon:~ elubow$ echo "This is a test\n" This is a test\n The problem is that this doesn’t interpolate the newline character. …

By eric


Apple Steps Up With Multitouch Mouse

A while ago I wrote about how Apple needed an external multi-touch solution and that you can use your iPhone until then. Apple did it and now released the Magic Mouse. To quote Apple, “It’s the world’s first multi-touch mouse.” It’s a wireless mouse that attaches to any computer that has a keyboard, mouse and …

By eric

First Experience With Cassandra

I recently posted about my initial experience with Tokyo Cabinet. Now it’s time to get to work on Cassandra. Cassandra is the production database that’s in use on Facebook for handling their email system and Digg. One thing that I would like to note is that when I tested TC, I used the Perl API …

By eric

Migrations Without belongs_to Or references

Normally when do a database migration in Rails, when adding ownership from a model to another model, you use the concept of belongs_to or references: 1234  create_table :comments do |t|     t.belongs_to :user     t.references :post   end Interestingly enough, these methods are only available during the initial table creation. If you want …

By eric

Parsing Ini Files With Ruby

There doesn’t seem a lot of documentation or examples about parsing ini files in Ruby. There are definitely shortcut ways to do it and I could always write my own methods, but why reinvent the wheel when there are gems? So start out by simply installing the inifile gem. 12345beacon:~ elubow$ sudo gem install inifile …

By eric

Tokyo Tyrant and Tokyo Cabinet

Tokyo Tyrant and Tokyo Cabinet are the components for a database used by Mixi (basically a Japanese Facebook). And for work, I got to play with these tools for some research. Installing all this stuff along with the Perl APIs is incredibly easy. Ultimately I am working on a comparison of Cassandra and Tokyo Cabinet, …

By eric

Causing More Problems Than You Solve

To start off, if you know me personally, then you know I recently (July 30, 2009) broke my leg skydiving. If you’re interested, you can see this video on Youtube here. To make a long story short, I had surgery that night, they put a titanium rod in my thigh and I have been on …

By eric

SysAdmin Of The Year Contest

It’s that time of year again where you too can nominate someone for the SysAdmin of the year. The contest ends on October 24 and has a progressive jackpot of up to $5,000 (and seriously, what SysAdmin do you know couldn’t use an extra $5k ish)? So if you know any rock star sysadmins, sysadmins …

By eric

Fixing zlib Errors On Capistrano Deploy

Ever since I started doing Capistrano deploys from my Mac, I have been seeing the following error: zlib(finalizer): the stream was freed prematurely. The error seems harmless, but I figure that errors are there for a reason and the Sysadmin in me decided to try to get rid of it. A quick Google for an …

By eric

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