The Build

22 July 2008


Death and the Server

A friend of mine once bought a $200 beater car. On the way to a very, very important job interview, this $200 car broke down on the freeway. My friend blamed this on “bad luck.”

Needless to say, this was not truly bad luck.

A server failing is not “bad luck.” Computers fail. All the time. Bad luck is a meteor hitting the data center, or Godzilla rampaging through an Internet connection facility. A single, un-backed-up server losing its single, non-RAID disk is not “bad luck.” Depending on how prepared you are, it is either as boring as a kitchen light bulb burning out, or as disastrous as my friend’s experience. It is, however, something that you will have to confront sooner or later if you have any kind of public web presence.

Before you pick a $9.95 a month hosting plan, you might want to reflect on that.

21 July 2008


The Problem with “Beta”

If a service is available to the general public, it is not in “beta.” It has been deployed. Excusing problems by slapping a “beta” on it is simply immature.

20 July 2008


The Giant Firebreathing Lizard Was The First Clue

From a demo of PostGIS:

Presenter: “Of course, this is all fake data.”
Audience member: “I would have thought that the use of Godzilla would have indicated that it was all fake data.”


XML in the Real World

From the PostgreSQL day today at OSCON:

Q: “What did XML get you (in this design)?”
A: “XML got us pain.”

16 July 2008


Credit Card Processing with 4th Dimension

Never for a moment thinking it would be accepted, I sent in a proposal to the 4D Summit in October to give a talk about credit card processing using 4th Dimension. And, yet, it was accepted, so I guess I actually have to prepare something now. I’ll blog here about the presentation as it comes together.

12 July 2008


Where’s the bouncer?

The iPhone developer program is now officially uncool, since they let me in. I guess I have to upgrade to Leopard now.

8 July 2008


Home Again

And I’m back, restarting the blog. This was, in part, just an exercise in writing a WordPress theme from scratch. I’d like to thank Big Contrarian for the inspiration for the design, and Eric Meyer for the “reset” CSS style sheet.

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