Building notes, projects, and ocasional rants


last update:

80 days with a MacBook Pro

It's almost 80 days since I bougth my MacBook Pro 17", so I think I'll recap what has been going on. First, I had problems with the built-in iSight camera. I tried to upgrade all the software I could think of, installing all the firmware upgrades I could find at the Apple website. But it wasn't meant to be. Two days before the 30 day warranty no-questions-asked expired, I cloned my hard-drive and did a full nuke & pave reinstall.


Lately, I've been feeling "the pain". It starts after 7 hours at the office, and has become a major nuisance. I'm only 35 and I wouldn't like to be unable to work by the age of 40 or 45, so I'm taking some steps. After a recommendation from João Bordalo at the local Mac-for-geeks list, I've installed AntiRSI, and so far I've been able to cope with the forced intervals, even when they appear in the middle of a wicked Perl line.

Still hot

After reading the technical specification of the Core 2 Duo (Merom) CPUs, and trying to make sense of Chapter 5 (see page 77), and comparing with the technical specification of the Core Duo (Yonah) CPU (see page 81), I got the impression that the Merom, although faster than the Yonah at the same clock/power consumption, was still sending out a lot of heat. So, unless Apple changes a lot of heat dissipation stuff on the Macbook Pro's, you will still be able to toast a piece of bacon on your new laptop.

Perl training by Damian Conway

The author of the excellent Object Oriented Perl is going to be in Lisbon, Portugal this September's 12th and 13th, to give a two-day training on Perl Best Practices. There are a limited number of places, and the early bird discount ends August 20th, so do it now: harass your boss to send you, because this is an excellent opportunity to learn more about writing good Perl from one of the best practitioners of the craft.


Latest albums bought online: Time Without Consequence - Alexi MurdochThe Eraser - Thom YorkeBlack Hole and Revelations - MuseJust Like Blood - Tom McRaeTwin Cinema - The New PornographersI'm experimenting.

... and now with Fedora

I like Tim O'Reilly articles for the Radar. One of the last ones compared with Google Trends four major Linux distros. The graphic that accompanied the article was this one: I found the RedHat line very low, it was not what I was expecting at all. Then it hit me: he didn't include Fedora. It's not even mentioned in the article at all, something that makes me uneasy about his analysis.

What I want from WWDC

There are a lot of WWDC 2006 wild guesses online right now. I'm not a Mac developer, just a simple user, with a UNIX background, a UNIX immigrant, like Rui likes to call it. So I only have one wish. I wish that Apple launches a product that allows me to look at data, the same way you can see in this amazing presentation. Update: This set of WWDC 06 predictions, by Daniel Eran, is my favorite so far.

Building Scalable Web Sites

I've been reading one of O'Reilly latest books, Building Scalable Web Sites, by Cal Henderson, of Flickr-fame. If you do websites for a living, and better yet, if you do medium-sizes one, this is a book to read. It packs an amazing amount of info, covering topics from development environments, i10n, L8n, and data integrity, up to bottlenecks, scaling web applications and statistics, monitoring and alerting. I'm picking up a lot of good tidbits and validation.

Not fast enough

Sometimes, you're just not fast enough. Last week I was talking with Joel Bernstein about the best way to host web applications written in Perl, for example using Catalyst. My current setup uses Perlbal as a front-end, and then Apache+mod_perl in the back-end. I've also tried lighttpd with FastCGI, but I was not at all happy with the overall results. Our first idea was to strip down Perlbal, plug in a FastCGI server, and let it talk to a bunch of FastCGI instances started using FastCGI::ProcessManager.

Metaverse continued

From all the Metaverse-style worlds out there, SecondLife is my favorite. I tested it once, and now I just try to stay away, it's addictive. Today, I came across a SecondLife Amazon integration that's just too cool not to talk about. There is a store inside SecondLife, called Life2Life, that uses the Amazon Webservices to show your books, magazines and even perform searches. Every day goes by, and Snowcrash feels more real.