Hyacinth Macaws at the Dallas Zoo

October 30, 2007



Free Astronomy Classes

October 30, 2007

Ok, I know, it sounds like a scam – let me check my crystal ball, and all. But no! Prof. Richard Pogge, of Ohio State University has made available audio recordings of his entire semester of Astronomy 162 classes.

This is awesome even if you’re too cool for school. Give a listen.

Back to my roots …

October 27, 2007

As it turns out, I’m an amateur genealogist. This fact is easy to over look because I am an amateur at so many things! Anyway, one of the things I’ve noticed researching my family tree is that I come from a long line of farmers. Of course back in the olden days, you know – before Google, there weren’t all that many types of jobs and a good portion of the population lived or worked on farms. So, without putting too fine a point on it, my family is sturdy farmer stock. At least they were until I came along.

Recently I’ve been thinking about getting back to my roots in the form of putting in a garden. I checked into this but it involved working with so much yucky dirt that, frankly, I was put off. But that is history. Recently our good friends J&F took my wife and I to Sur La Table near Pikes Place Market in Seattle. That’s where I ran smack dab into my family heritage in the form of the AeroGarden Indoor Garden Appliance. Right – it’s a garden AND a gadget!


After a short chat with the sales clerk, who offered free shipping, I was the proud owner of a garden. Man I am a sucker for free. After it arrived my wife and I set it up and immediately started a growing cycle.





It feels great to get back to my roots and my fingernails are still clean! In a few weeks we’ll have a harvest and y’all can come over for some salad.

Where’s the Leopard Buzz?

October 27, 2007

I thought the blog-o-sphere would be loaded today with buzz about Mac OS X Leopard and all the cool new features. So far, nuttin! Did it release? Was the FedEx overload responsible? What’s the deal?

My copy is still in the FedEx pipeline so I’m looking for a news fix. The best I could find was that Britney yelled “Eat it! Lick it! Snort it! F— it!” to a reported yesterday during a custody court break. Come on Apple, you can do better.

How to tell you are NOT Mom’s favorite

October 23, 2007


iMac Freezes – I feel vindicated! – Not so much!

October 23, 2007

Ever since receiving my 24″ iMac about six months ago I’ve been experiencing system freezes requiring a complete shutdown and restart of the system. In several cases, as I’ve blogged about, this has corrupted my hard drive, in one case so bad that Disk Utility could not recover it. I had to buy a copy of Disk Warrior in order to recover.

Now Apple acknowledges the problem and promises to fix it.

Update: Apple apparently issued a fix for the aluminum iMac’s not the plastic one I own. I’ve tried to install the fixes they released but they refuse to install telling me that my system doesn’t need the fix. Which means that I continue to be stuck with a piece of crap iMac that freezes a couple of times a day. Thanks Apple – if I’d wanted a Windows machine I’d have bought one.

ATG Repository Distributed Caches, Part 5

October 20, 2007

This will be the final post in the series about ATG Repository cache invalidation. As defined in part 1 of this series ATG has a serious problem with cache invalidation in large clusters. The solution I selected implemented a reliable multicast group, based on JGroups, for each cluster to use in the distribution of invalidation events.

This solution has been installed for about a month on our production web sites which consist of 15 clusters ranging in size from 20 to over 120 ATG instances. The JGroups implementation has performed admirably working seamlessly to distribute invalidation events. During this time we have had a couple of instances of “idle threads” however the problem was limited to a single instance and did not affect the remainder of the cluster as it had in the past.

We are viewing this implementation as a complete success.

Our solution to the idle thread cache invalidation problem has been submitted to ATG development. We are hoping they will see fit to include this as a supported option for repository cache invalidation.