Chris R's Weblog

Daily link November 4th, 2007

What does my blogging look like?

Well, sometimes when I am editing code, I flip back and forth between my editor and here as well as news feeds.
So, it looks something like this:


I don’t have a lot of time to really read and aggregate a lot of feeds though so I try to pick the best ones.
Oh, and don’t forget your ALT tags. :) When I do write in Firefox, I sometimes do. Especially when I use Eclipse, Netbeans or Komodo to edit instead of emacs or vim.

Here’s what it looks like while reading it.

reading pic

So I did use Firefox to upload to flickr, and I edited the post a little in firefox, but if you don’t want to leave the shell, it’s really nice just firing up a text browser instead. Most of the good content on the web is text anyway aside from

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t use vim all the time, but when I do, it looks like this, because when you’re hot in text mode, it’s a pain to mix and match with a GUI. RMS doesn’t use X at all from what I can tell, and he gets along just fine.(with emacs)

Daily link November 4th, 2007

How can I score higher than Pirillo?

This blog that you all read is currently rising at 700% on Alexa and is steadily climbing, but is still around 200k. Chris Pirillo on the other hand is at 21k, which is much higher. Since I am building a search engine, I do not have a lot of time to do things and go to conferences. I am pretty much stuck in a text editor all the time flipping back and forth.

I didn’t even have enough time to build MPX this weekend. I am going to do that when I get a free second. So with those constraints is there any way to chute up there any way? I am trying to aggregate as many interesting stories as I can, and I will try to minimize the local Canadian content as much as possible, such as complaining about the currency crisis in the future. I am aware that most of the American readers think that’s lame.

So I have limited time, but I need to get as many users clicking in as possible. Any comments will be appreciated. If not and you want to lurk, I understand. I still want you to visit.

I want to be an A-list blogger, but with the minimum input possible since I have to do so much programming in between blog posts.

Daily link November 4th, 2007

Cringley hits the nail on the head yet again

Bob Cringley, the man behind Triumph of the nerds books and dvds has posted an interesting story about how Google is the next Microsoft. I couldn’t agree more and he’s the man that has always had the in depth scoops and stories related to IT in Silicon Valley. He used to work in Steve Jobs’s garage making Apple computers with a soldering iron.

Perhaps Google should change their motto from Do no evil to just plain “Do Evil”

Daily link November 4th, 2007

Aggregating news, it’s cheaper than paying reporters - NY Times

NY Times releases a RSS news feed aggregator. This is the first time I have seen a major newspaper go to 100% automation.

I wonder if they will fire the humans now? Maybe they need a few more years for that to happen.

At any rate, if there aren’t any more people to create news stories, there won’t be anything but old crap to aggregate. Who will pay them and who will leech?

Daily link November 4th, 2007

Google vs Yahoo from 96 to present a pictorial

I picked this up from Digg. Great stuff.

” He said a, the answer is not in the box. it’s in the band. “

This whole web 2.0 trend funded by Silicon Valley VC is pointless, because the answer is not in the box, or the interface or gui, or CSS, or fluff, or flash media server video app, or SMS gateway,
It’s STILL in the band, or the power behind the web application, the assembly, the large data and transfer capacity, and kernel hacking that the people working on Web 2.0 project do not have the foo to pull off.
The people with the real code foo can work anywhere they want(ie Linus Torvalds, and Bruce Perens) and they sure as hell aren’t going to work for some venture capitalists(at least I don’t think so).

UPDATE: Funny story, I actually met Bruce Perens in person earlier this year. He lived up to the hype. He’s for real.

Daily link November 4th, 2007

Data backup on a budget

So instead of backing up as we collect indexes, I am taking the cheap route of collecting a few million indexes and backing up when there is significant progress.

This is not preferable to a live duplication system, but there is so much freaking data we can’t. To double the hard drives when we open up the bandwidth in a month or so would be to double the HDD and machine costs, and we can’t do that right now. So where’s the data going? Right now it’s going to a lot of DVDRs and dual layers. Pretty soon it will go to blu-ray disks, and eventually it will go to hard disk duplication. So with diffs on the data going to media it won’t be so bad until we start charging the credit cards. RAID duplication would not work in this case because it would cut the 1.5TB LVM volume group per machine in half and that’s not something I can live with.

It still sucks, don’t get me wrong, and it’s still kind of risky. If something did go horribly wrong, we would still lose terabytes of transfer gone to waste, but it would be recoverable. Painfully recoverable. I kind of hope I plugged all those SATA connectors well now, though I don’t want to open the cases to check. I am crossing my fingers.

UPDATE: I guess I should explain this in more detail. You can buy 100 DVDRs for about $10, so for $20 you have about 1TB of media storage. While this is a complete pain, you can not find a better deal. Only the difference of index data is backed up, in other words legacy data is not updated. It should be, because indexes can be updated but whatever. We can’t. Also about 2 GB of disk data represents terabytes and terabytes of HTTP data collection, so the size of the indexes on the disk is a LOT smaller than the data transfer it took to get those. It’s like those big old cardboard cases on CDs and DVDs they used to have, you only want the cherry in the middle. So for about $20 per TB, we can have a better than nothing “if we mess up” solution(better yet, if I mess up, because I’m the one that has to deal with this). Yeah, it’s ghetto, but what do you want.

This isn’t, this is more like cherry picking the internet. If it was like it would be impossible with this gear.

Also consider that 8 GBs of data gunzips down to under 1GB for storage. In other words, you can fit about 40GBs of index data on 1 DVDR, and that in turn represents something like 100+ TBs of HTTP transfer. But that’s part of why I say it would be an impossible pain to do a restore. It’s the best I got for right now.

Daily link November 4th, 2007

Rory Blyth Coder?

OK, so I am writing about Rory Blyth again. Actually this time I am writing a note “to” him. Rory says he is a coder. Rory is currently not working anywhere

Now this part is to him:

Rory, since you say you’re a coder, and you don’t have very much to do except sit at internet hot spots and read my blog:

A. please get together a small band of friends who also write code

B. please write a keyword sales interface AKA “Adwords clone” for the search engine

C. please write an interface to our e-merchant CC auth system

D. please include statements, billing, exel exports, ect..

E. write it in whatever tech you want, ie, ASPX, it doesn’t matter so long as you don’t use MSSQL

F. I will give you part of the proceeds from the mass credit card billing that will ensue starting in December

I really need help to finish this, and even though you may not have been the best coder at Microsoft, I bet you can code up an adwords clone pretty easily, without all the fancy ajax suggestions and stuff that the coders at Google put in.

Also in return I will reveal the true nature of this project which until now only about 10 people know, 10 people who will never reveal it to the public. I gather that cloning adwords in a month even at a base level is too much for you, so I would suggest that you enlist those friends of yours on the project as well. They will also get a cut. We can determine the size of the cut before you start, but you need to start immediately. I can not afford to pay cash for a team to do this right now so you would have to do it based on earnings in December and so on from the time billing starts.

I have already started this interface, but I am constantly pulled back to fix the actual search, so I can not continue on it.

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Chris R. works at (title: President of Development and Sales). This is Chris's work blog.

Disclaimer: BCS will not let personal views of any employee, including Chris, regarding any software product, company, standards or otherwise get in the way of any company that hires it to provide a solution. Companies pay BCS and BCS provides solutions regardless of the views of any employee. That’s part of being professional, and BCS is a professional software company.

Everything here is Chris's personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else on this blog.

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