Building notes, projects, and occasional rants


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Got to love science: Men who said they had sex twice a week had a risk of dying half that of the less passionate participants who said they had sex once a month, Dr. Davey-Smith’s team said. via Justin Mason. So, print a couple of copies of the study before you leave for the pub/bar tonight. You got science on your side now.

Two new apps: Yuuguu and PortMap

Yesterday, Rui pointed me to two applications/services that immediately found a place in my Applications folder. The first is Yuuguu. Its a screen sharing application that just works. You install the client (Windows, Mac. You can also use the web server), create a free account and add your friends (by email address). That's it. You can now share you entire desktop with any of your friends. Essential for those support calls you get from your family members.

DevonThink online

I'm a big fan of DevonThink. I've used the Pro version for two or three years now, to store my web clippings, my own personal Google. Yesterday, I read through the Evernote review at AppleInsider and it looks like it could be event better. My favorite feature is the bookmarklet that lets you select part of a web page inside Safari, and send to the Evernote server. I love this combination: a web service to store all this data, and a companion desktop application to ingrate perfectly with my environment.

MySQL optimization quick tips

I'm not a expert on MySQL, but I spent a better part of this past night optimizing a server, and I've collected some notes. This is mostly targeted at InnoDB-based tables. To change this settings, you should edit your my.cnf and update them in the mysqld section. See the MySQL System Variables manual page for more information. Please remember to keep a good working backup of your previous my.cnf. Better yet, include your my.

Increasing supply of PIP/PEP nodes

My favorite XEPs of last year where PIP (XEP-0223) and PEP (XEP-0163). These two made Publish-Subscribe (XEP-0060) trivial to implement on XMPP clients, and pave the way for rich-presence clients. One problem was that open-source servers did not implement PIP/PEP. Recently this has changed, with both Openfire and ejabberd having decent implementations. Other servers, though, are still MIA. Also of note, GTalk does not supported it yet. This is a bit of a problem due to his visibility in the XMPP community.

Safari 3.1.1

In case you missed it, check your Software Update, there is a important Safari upgrade in there. I classify this as "important" not because of the security fixes included, but because is now working properly again. With the last Safari 3.1, I stopped being able to paste plain text inside a mail message. I would copy something from TextMate or a Terminal window, and when I pasted it into a Mail.

I'm going to be sick...

I've been a bit under the weather this week. Something inside not quite right, nothing major. But after seeing the stupid internal Microsoft Vista SP1 video, I feel the need to rush to the bathroom and throw up. I don't believe that anybody really expect this sort of "inspirational" video to pump up your sales team, do they? It's like the monkey dance all over again. I'm a fan of Bruce Springsteen (I was a very impressionable teenager in the 80's, so sue me) and I fell that some sort of lawsuit is in order here.

Network throughput "problems"

A friend of mine was complaining that he could only upload a file to my server at 2Mbytes/sec with his FIOS link at home. Some people have interesting "problems". Anyway, I send him my /etc/sysctl.conf that I have on my Mac for quite some time without any problems, and with significant gains in network performance on my local LAN (specially for other computers with Gigabit ethernet). net.inet.tcp.mssdflt=1440 kern.ipc.maxsockbuf=800000 net.inet.tcp.sendspace=400000 net.inet.tcp.recvspace=400000 Stick those lines in your /etc/sysctl.

iCal birthday calendar

iCal has an option to extract birthday dates from the Address Book and create a calendar. Maybe I'm missing something but given that there seems to be no way to set a default alarm on those items (like 1 day before or on the day itself), isn't this a very stupid feature? I mean, I don't live inside my iCal, it might work for people who do, but I don't.

Rethinking CPAN

Andy Lester wrote an article a couple of days back about rethinking the CPAN interface. The key part of the argument is: We don't want to "make CPAN easier to search." What we're really trying to do is help with the selection process. We want to help the user find and select the best tool for the job I though a bit about this and my own CPAN usage over the years.