Building notes, projects, and occasional rants


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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.

OSCON 2006

OSCON is well underway and the cool presentations are starting to appear online. I like to read them and collect the ones I find more important to me. As a side effect, I'll keep this article updated with all the links collected. RHOX, by Audrey Tang: if you don't like Perl because the syntax scares you, you haven't seen nothing yet. If you like Perl because the syntax fits your brain, prepare for brain surgery;Plagger, by Tatsuhiko Miyagawa: Plagger rocks, I've been using it, but the Notify::Pizza is too cool - whenever Miyagawa writes "I'm hungry" on his blog, Plaggers orders him Pizza using a WebService…;ppencode, by TAKESAKO Yoshinori: Fun, Fun, Fun!

I'm trying to use the organizer to sort some of my work. Usually I use small 3 by 4 cards, and they are great to collect stuff to do, but they are not that great when I need to organize them into projects and define priorities. First impressions are good. It's a simple script with a simple command line interface. One of the first things I did was adding a short alias, t, as suggested at their site.

Folder syncronization

Status: I'm now using a recent version of iFolder for Mac OS X Intel by Boyd Timothy. Works perfectly. Recently my wife needed a solution for folder synchronization between her laptop (mostly at home) and two other PCs at the office. I searched a bit for a solution and I noticed two things: GDrive speculation and iFolder. A GDrive sighting appeared in some blogs recently, in the form of a project named Platypus.

Movie Stores

I'm a big fan of the iTunes Music Store. My main reason is that I hate waste, and I'm not a big fan of owning the jewel case in which CDs are sold. In the last few years, for every CD I bought, I just rip it into iTunes, and store the jewel case with the CD somewhere. So iTMS is a big plus for me: I can just purchase the music I want, download it and be done with it.

Blogging in a Intel Mac world

After a couple of posts, I've decided that for now I'll keep using TextMate for my blogging needs. The last time I wrote about this, Mark Papadakis suggested MarsEdit. I know about MarsEdit, I think I'm entitled to a license because I bought a previous version of NetNewsWire that included the blog editor that eventually lead to MarsEdit. Anyway, I think that for my personal needs TextMate is enough, no need of nothing else, and given that TextMate is mostly always running, a new post is a shortcut away.

Apple Dashboard E.T.-style hobby

Apparently E.T. is not the only one that is trying to phone home. Although it appears that no personal information is being sent, I don't believe that is the point. The main point is that the release notes of 10.4.7 suggest this feature as an option at install time, not a recurrent event. Personally, I would prefer a better explanation on the release notes and a documented way to turn it off.