Monday, June 25, 2007

Testing 1-2-3

I want to see how labels are handled with classic templates.

<p>I want to see how labels are handled with classic templates.<p class="blogger-labels">Labels: <a rel='tag' href="http://grouchgeek.blogspot.com/search/label/testing">testing</a></p></p>

It looks like Blogger just inserts a paragraph for you at the end and from the looks of the documentation you have no control over that. Nice...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Crew cases, part two

Just a quick update. The painting is done on the two cases. The yellow case; well the paint job didn't quite turn out perfect and I gave up trying to get a nice smooth gloss after three coats of color and two clear coats. It looks good from a distance or on casual notice but when you get close you notice the dull spots. Oh well.

Still left to do are the Crew logo, the "Columbus Crew" on one of the 5 1/4" drive panels, and possible the LH in a circle (for Lamar Hunt). The black case is fully operational with and AMD X2 processor, 4GB ram, 500GB and 80GB x 2 RAID-0 running Ubuntu Linux 64bit 7.04 desktop. This machine will serve as a VMWare Server server development system with images on the striped array; with management, squid cache, apache, tomcat, mysql and maybe Oracle images. Fun. The yellow will be a Windows 2003 Server based development machine and swap out drive sets with Linux based server development.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Informative links about computers

Just putting this here for my own personal reference and might build on it in the future; or have other people build on it.Power supply buyer's guide

Monday, June 11, 2007

No more FOX in the mornings

I am no longer going to wake up on the weekends to watch FOX and Friends on weekend mornings. This weekend on Bulls and Bears there were two blondes, one arguing and spouting off one-sided political vomit about another worthless blonde that deserves zero publicity. Ann Coulter discussing Paris Hilton. Good lord. One annoying stick figure she-male talking about a talentless socialite stick-figure.

That's it. No more.

I almost tuned out when they took Juliet Huddy off but then there was Kiran Chetry to look at but now Kiran is with CNN replaced by Gretchen Carlson and now Page Hopkins. I like Page but she's no Juliet or Kiran.

Ann Coulter discussing Paris Hilton was the last straw, though. Two days later and my stomach is still sore and unable to accept anything stronger than pudding or yogurt. (And I do realize that discussing this is actually "publicity" for both but if some lowly blog like this one is "publicity" then that actually makes me feel a little better about the rest of the world that thinks both need to be forever hidden from the public eye in a jail or sealed in lucite or carbonite or something).

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Keeping CPUs busy

I guess I either don't understand the finer points of computer performance or don't understand why some people don't understand what I consider to be simple knowledge about computer performance.

"The CPUs on the server are running at high utilization, 60 to 80 percent"

Okay. So?

Are you paging (swapping) heavily? No. Is the disk I/O rate normal, low or very heavy? It's about normal. Is there a looping or run-away process or service? No.

Then what is the problem? (this isn't happening with my current employer, by the way)

It seems to me that if you aren't paging then you are not using all of your server's memory, else you would be swapping and that could be bad. If there are no looping processes then the software and operating system are functioning normally. If the disk (or network) I/O are normal then the software is reading and writing data like it should be. Again, what is the problem because it sounds to me like the CPUs are doing what they are supposed to be doing, utilizing themselves and if your I/O rates aren't through the roof then you are probably getting a portion of the CPU utilization through application buffer and cache hits (a really good thing, by the way). You don't spend a dump-truck full of money on a bunch of processors just to have them sit there at 10 percent utilization most of the time; you want them doing work! Throw more memory at them to boost cache and buffer hit rates or if that doesn't seem to help (which sometimes it doesn't; there is a sweet spot when doing read caching just because you can only cover so much especially when data is scattered on disk) maybe consider moving temporary spaces to memory (or covering them heavily).

The point is: you want your server processors to be busy if there is work to be done. Maybe I'm wrong or just don't understand things correctly but it seems like putting a motorcycle engine on a scooter; if you're never going to have the thing above 2 miles per hour then why all the horsepower? I see the same thing on the workstation. If all you are going to be doing is surfing the Internet, typing memos and using central application software do you really need a 2.8Ghz P4 sitting there doing nothing? I got in an argument with a pro-Firefox guy recently. He said Opera can use over 160 MB of memory. So? Is any other application using it? No. Then what harm? I'd rather have Opera intelligently caching as much as possible while there is no effect on other applications. "Well it shouldn't use that much!" Sigh.

IBM has a technology called Capacity on Demand (CoD) "so companies don't have to pay for computing resources until they use them." They have on/off and reserve processing that can be activated in increments of time (like a day) for end-of-period processing or for sporadic work loads. The company I work for has already had some fun with it. There are other aspects of CoD and it is a decent idea but I have to believe that IBM isn't in it just to keep customers happy; they are making their money.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Subliminal ideas

Ever been on hold with some company, usually a tech support line or any other cost center that earns them zero cash, and listened to that grainy music? Ever wish when you had a caller on the line that just talks and talks and talks and talks and talks forever about nothing and just wants to vent or occupy your time? Ever wish you could put that person on hold, press a button and have something subliminal play within the music while they were on hold? I think I'm onto something here.

Lets say I'm some cable company where ninety percent of calls are people saying the cable is out even though you have a message up front saying so. When this person actually gets through they could have on-hold music that subliminally repeats "hey lard-ass, the cable will be back shortly why don't you go for a walk or ride a bike for a while?" Maybe the on-hold subliminals for a sales line would be something like "buy this product and you sure to be getting oral pleasure from your spouse or spousal life acquaintance".

Of course, the applications are endless. And they don't necessarily have to be devious, do they? How about a calm, reassuring "your mind is calm, your life is happiness" while on hold? Maybe not at a hospital or funeral home but you get the idea.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Rally's orange cream shake

Before I'm going to change back to a healthy diet of greens, proteins, fiber, plenty of water, etc. I was going to go for one last "heart-attack-in-a-sack". For those of you who don't know me personally that would be a Rally's Big Buford sandwich, fries and a soft drink. Instead of the combo meal I skipped the soft drink and got one of those orange cream shakes they have been advertising. Here is the deal:
  1. doesn't taste a thing like oranges; imagine drinking liquid candy valentine hearts (the ones with I LUV U and other dumb sayings on them), that is what it tastes like
  2. it is creamy (and foamy) but that's because it is a shake; I don't detect a dairy cream taste at all
  3. it is a shake
I'm killing the taste of the thing with the Buford but that shake is going to put up a fight for control of my stomach acids for the next five hours during which my belly will probably sound like an angry flock of geese.