Desserts and Birds 
Thursday, 21 January, 2010, 03:44
Posted by Administrator
Cupcakes, Donuts, Eclairs ... yes, it's another Android post! I'm diggin' my phone, that's for sure. It shipped with Cupcake and now has Donut, but I can't wait for Eclair to come out. The one Eclair feature I'm looking forward to is the Exchange support, because ActiveSync on Donut leaves much to be desired.

I don't know if I'm patient enough to wait for T-Mobile to release their MyTouch Eclair update, but Cyanogen is still based on Donut. That may leave loading a generic Eclair ROM ... which may not necessarily work well.

In other news, I signed up for Twitter. No surprises on the username I chose ... trying to figure out the point.
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Happy Birthday Julie :-) 
Sunday, 17 January, 2010, 18:44
Posted by Administrator
I think the subject line says it all :-)
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Someone Else's Code 
Saturday, 9 January, 2010, 23:30
Posted by Administrator
Real life coding is nothing like school coding. While the actual process of coding is the same (there really aren't too many different ways to type), the interactions are different. In school, you are pretty much forced to code solo. In real life, you need to work with others or face epic failure.

In real life, we generally don't deal with code that is completely our own. Often, the code is not particularly well documented; this is where education kicks in. Common sense is also required, as uncommented code cannot remain that way.

Now, with that said, it's still fun to do. Can be a little frustrating if the creator of the code did things in a not-so-straightforward manner, but still fun and quite satisfying when it works.

Why am I posting about coding? There's going to be a bit of it this year. Maybe not on this site, because color scheme changes don't need code updates, but for other sites I've been working on. I really want to nail down a new design for Images on Ice, for example.

Anyway, I'm rambling now.
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Christmas has Passed 
Saturday, 26 December, 2009, 14:46
Posted by Administrator
Indeed, Merry Christmas to everyone!

To me, it didn't feel like Christmas this year (just like it didn't feel like Thanksgiving a month ago). My family has always celebrated Christmas on the 24th and there were lots of people (including Julie, due to work) missing from that celebration. It felt like the holiday snuck up on us this year. We were also kind of rushed yesterday because Julie works today and tomorrow, so we had to get home at a decent time so she could wake up early enough to get to work. Snowplows haven't been out yet, and it's 8:45.

With all that said ... I really didn't tell anyone I wanted anything this year. No hint dropping, no lists ... really the only thing I wanted was a set of four 2TB hard disks, but that wasn't necessarily for Christmas ;) I did get New Super Mario Bros. Wii, a Nerf N-Strike Rapid Fire AS-20, some cash, and assorted gift cards. I gave Julie a SingStand iPod karaoke mic, some shiba inu gear (T-shirts and such), and comfy pajamas.

2010 is less than a week away now. On the one hand I'm wondering where 2009 went ... but on the other I'm glad it's over because it was a stressful year. Granted, there are others among my friends and family who have had more stressful years, but I'm sure they're also happy to see 2009 go. In less than a week there will be a clean slate ... still doesn't feel like it, though.
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Transformation of a computer into something less 
Wednesday, 9 December, 2009, 02:34
Posted by Administrator
The idea and practice of virtualization has been around for a long time. I've been messing with it since 2006, when Microsoft made Virtual PC 2004 free. I didn't touch hardware-assisted virtualization until Virtual PC 2007 came out, but pushed further with Xen, VirtualBox, and Hyper-V recently. The concept of virtualization is certainly not foreign to me, nor are the concepts of its execution (including some silly stuff like virtualizing database servers).

However, until today I had no experience in virtualizing a machine. By that I mean I have never converted a physical computer into a virtual machine. Sure, I've set up a virtual machine with a configuration identical to that of a physical one, and I've migrated the roles and applications over with the purpose of decommissioning the old hardware. Today, though, I took a machine that was up and running and essentially moved it from its physical hardware to a file on a disk.

Think about that for a second. Here I had a pretty low-end server (Pentium 4 3.0GHz w/HyperThreading, 1GB RAM, two 80GB IDE hard disks in software RAID 1 with 72GB used, Windows Server 2003 Standard, SQL Server 2005 Developer, SVN, IIS, blah blah blah) and, after just under an hour, the physical computer could be turned off with no loss in data or services. As an added bonus, because the host's processors and hard disks are ridiculously quick (dual Xeon E5540s and a RAID 60 composed of thirty 146GB 15,000RPM SAS disks), the virtual machine is actually faster than the old physical one.

So ... here's a machine that stood on the floor of a server room, taking up roughly 2.85 cubic feet of space (18.5 in x 10.25 in x 26 in, specifically). Now that this conversion is complete, that floor space is free. The machine now exists as a single 80GB file on a disk array in a server rack. It no longer consumes any physical space. The machine's power supply is no longer drawing current; instead, the current draw of the host machine rises a little bit. The fans are no longer dumping heat into the server room; instead, the heat output of the host machine and its disk arrays increases ever so slightly. Hardware that moves and stores bits has become just that -- bits. So freaking cool.

Now, I know I did pretty much nothing in this process apart from loading and configuring the operating system on the new host machine, installing the software that made this P2V conversion possible, and entering the usernames and passwords required to perform this task. But, in the end, it's damn cool, and I can say I've done this now. There's another, identical (hardwarewise) old server sitting on the floor of the server room right now. That is the next one on the P2V list. After that ... there are 4 more old servers remaining. One will be replaced by a virtual machine (rather than P2Vd itself), one will be replaced by new hardware, one will simply be shut down, and one needs to stay as-is until a certain specific plan is completed.
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