Monthly Archives: August 2007

Project Update

Finally got the logo for my side project on Friday and it looks great! Now I’m working on what I want the overall look to be – which just takes time. I have something in my head and I need to figure out how to get it into code and graphics. Puttering around the net tonight trying to give some more form to my thoughts. I think I’ve found some good foundations to start with, but it’ll take some work to get it to the point where I’m happy with it. I’m hoping to get enough of the pieces to take with me up to the cabin this weekend (no net access) so I can get a good chunk of it done there.

Crazy Weather

Just when I was wondering if we would ever have the summer tradition of hiding in the basement when bad thunderstorms were around, we had this crazy storm go through. During our daughter’s six years, I think we’ve had to go into the basement twice, maybe three times. Maybe memory just condenses down after the years, but I swear we were in the basement hiding two to three times each summer. Obviously the technology for storm tracking and tornado prediction has become much more accurate and they only send out warnings when there actually is a tornado or threatening storm instead of just anytime the sky turns green.

My daughter handled it really well. Initially she was a little wigged out, but after we settled under the workbench with a calvin & hobbes book that just happened to be nearby, she chatted on about tornado drills at school and one time they went in the kitchen to get away from the windows.

Tornados and bad weather still make me nervous, but not as much as they used to. Seeing two tornados from the freeway in South Dakota when there’s no where to go to get off the road or find shelter, will really change your life when you’re twelve and your parents are trying to figure out where to go without sounding too nervous. I remember the date too – July 25th – Christmas in July with the ground covered in hail. It’s too bad I don’t have a picture of those two tornados or that storm – it would be worth sharing – but it is still vivid in my memory.

Too Much Traffic? Update

We had another outage (short) yesterday afternoon. This time the CDA (Content Display Application) cluster (jboss) had more connections than it could handle. It is the sort of problem you want to have (kinda). At least this time, the machines can handle more connections since the XSLT-caching was put into the system. Solution for now is to up the connections (conservatively to 100 each up from 75) and purchase another Apple XServe to add into the cluster.

We’re doing really well at handling the traffic that is normally coming to the sites. Now we just have to make changes so we can handle the traffic spikes. This is a bit of a moving target since as our sites grow the high water mark will too.

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Image I finally got to see the Transformers movie last night and even though it makes me sound 14, it rocked! I was a huge fan of Transformers when I was a kid and I still have all of the toys I collected, several of the original cartoons that were released on dvd, and the original movie on dvd. I had heard good reviews from a coworker, Paul, ‘giant fighting robots!’ and from my husband, but I was still worried that hollywood had ruined my childhood memories.

The movie was really a lot of fun and as soon as I saw the first Transformer transform, I knew it was so right, even integrating the original transforming sound from the cartoons. The characterizations were pretty good, although Ironhide had some rough edges and we didn’t see nearly enough of one of my favorite Transformers, Jazz, who (spoiler alert!) doesn’t even make it through the end of the movie. And I have to agree with my coworker, Paul, ‘giant fighting robots!’ are way kewl.

As always, they left the ending in such a way to allow additional movies and hopefully I’ll see more of my favorites, such as Mirage, Blurr, and Hot Rod, in future movies.

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Apple Apache Problems

We’ve been having some trouble with our Apple XServe Apache server lately. Intermittently it will just stop serving, but most of the time it seems to come back on all it’s own. One time did require a restart of the server (which I think was also frozen). The logs don’t seem to be too helpful although there are some errors related to web pages requesting files that are not available. It’s hard to tell if this is worrisome since with the set of legacy websites we have, the data has been moved from system to system to system and when people hardcoded instead of using content types properly, there isn’t a way to programatically correct links. After such moves you might expect us to take time to fix these errors, but with only a dozen people supporting 50+ websites, we haven’t had the luxury. Our IS Manager has mentioned reading about some problems with Apple running Apache, so maybe the Apple engineer who is coming in on Friday to help with our video server can help.

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The Web in 1994

Oh Digital – first .com, first to really understand everything a company should be doing online (better than many do now) – where are you now?Best part is how alike every single web page looks: mostly text, links and a few images. Pure information.Technorati tags: , ,