Hubris -or- When All Possible Outcomes Prove Your Prescience

My day to day is filled with Windows, OSX, Android, iOS, and Linux: There is rarely a day when I don’t spend substantial time on all them, often simultaneously. I am typing this on a Windows VM running on a Linux server, connected through VNC to an OSX box, an SSH session sitting open on ...

Amazon Abandons ECU (Elastic Compute Units). No One Notices.

Edit: A very kind reader gave me a heads up that the ECU appears on the current EC2 pricing page (and now is an optional column on the instance request page). Whether I simply completely overlooked it, or Amazon trialed removing it or is A:B testing (there seems to be some debate within Amazon about ...

Database Performance, LVM Snapshots, golang and sqlite3

Database Performance, LVM Snapshots, golang and sqlite3
Snapshots for Beginners Snapshots are a very useful mechanism found in database products, disk management layers, and virtualization tools. Instead of making a complete copy of the source, snapshot functionality allows you to create the copy virtually instantly. Snapshots can be used to perform backups without locks or transaction contention, or to save volume contents ...

Ageism And The Nomadic Demographic

Ageism And The Nomadic Demographic
A New Republic article titled Silicon Valley’s Brutal Ageism has been making the rounds for the past few months. It’s the sort of anxiety-inducing material that leads developers to make reactive, poorly considered decisions. During the big “offshoring” panic of the early 2000s, for instance, countless developers were sure they needed to rush into project ...

Software Development and Virtualization

Software Development and Virtualization
After a recent development workstation failure, I decided to go all in with virtualization of my organization’s software development platform. I was already doing this to some degree, using my workstation as the server: Instead of setting up a separate development environment on my laptop and other machines, I would simply work via a remote ...

Red wine and its impact on project longevity

Red wine and its impact on project longevity
The fields of nutrition and software development share a lot of parallels. Both are notoriously difficult to study: Each person, background, situation, confluence of behaviors and goals have an enormous influence on outcomes. Reductionist extrapolations, and a rough abuse of correlation versus causation, yield meaty headlines that seldom hold up to scrutiny, the fertile soil ...

Name Navigator Updated with 2013 Data

Name Navigator Updated with 2013 Data
The US Social Security Administration released the 2013 state-level name files this morning, so I’ve incorporated the new and revised data into the Name Navigator. Behold the mighty staying power of Jacob, now in fisticuffs with the infant Liam, Noah and Masons of the world. The competition for top female names is just as contested. ...

Quick Follow-up to EC2 t1.micro Blog Hosting Post

A year or so ago, I posted an entry titled “This Blog Is Running on an Amazon EC2 Micro Instance (for free!)“. I was motivated to post after seeing a parade of recommendations that grossly over-estimated the hardware necessary to run a low to medium traffic blog. My primary message was to give it a ...

The Brutal Winter of 2013-2014. Data and discovery.

The Brutal Winter of 2013-2014. Data and discovery.
Spring is a welcome respite after a brutal winter here in Southern Ontario. The frigid cold came early, hitting us with -23C (-10F) temperatures before the season had officially begun. It blasted us with a destructive ice storm that wreaked havoc on power grids, causing multi-day power outages and ruined holiday seasons. It caused massive ...

Vertica Community Edition

Continuing on the database posts I’ve authored over the past while, anyone who does any sort of mid- to large-scale data analysis needs to download and trial Vertica Community Edition. It is a fantastic, leading product, and is incredibly powerful in roles for which it is suitable, which generally entails analysis and reporting tasks. The ...