Friday, April 25, 2008

Web development

I enjoyed "The Mother of all Interfaces" posting at The Daily WTF. With a lot of fancy high-paid architects, a simple application can be made horribly complex, slow, and unreliable.

In my day, we created a fully user-customizable portal with full session fail-over, that processed user requests in less than 10 ms. All this while running on a Pentium Pro. (We also had to walk to work, uphill, both ways.)

I dislike many web frameworks for the multitude of unnecessary abstractions and layers they add to a system. KISS.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Earthquakes & TV

Well, I got a chance to experience an earthquake. I woke up at 4:30 am on Friday, but wasn't sure if it really was an earthquake. Later I saw in the news that it was an earthquake.

Alyssa's become quite fascinated by Mythbusters lately. Even to the point where she wants to watch it over Disney later. I've liked Build It Bigger lately. I like the show's host, although it is hard to find it on.

Battlestar Galactica is off to a strong fourth season. The third season ended rather weakly.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

PHP Profiling

I'm putting together a class on profiling web applications. We use PHP, so I needed to search around to find tools appropriate for that platform.

I picked Xdebug and kcachegrind. They make a wonderful combination. The output of kcachegrind is beautiful. Unfortunately, it appears that application has been abandoned since 2008.

For an example application to profile, I picked Moodle. Moodle open source, plus it is slow. It makes an excellent example for profiling.

Speeding up Moodle would be an excellent project for Google's Summer Of Code. Apparently there were 70+ people that applied to the program to help out Moodle. But I didn't see speeding up Moodle as an idea.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Ubuntu 8.04 vs Vista on a Thinkpad X61s

With MS Vista I can run my laptop while drawing about 8.0 watts. I'd prefer to run Linux, but prior versions I tried drew too much power.

I was hoping the new Ubuntu 8.04 beta would help get Linux drawing close to 8.0 watts on my laptop. The tickless kernel should help.

No luck. Even with lots of optimizations, taking out trackerd, and shutting down gdm, I couldn't get the power consumption below 14 watts. With a custom kernel on a 7.10 install, I did have it down to 12 watts. But that is still a lot more than 8 watts. So this Linux fanboy is staying with Vista on the laptop for now. The desktop is still Linux.