Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Tale of Two Servers

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."
Recently I came across two database servers, one with fast execution times, the other with slow execution times. Both machines were running windows server 2003, both had similar hardware, both had similar disk access speeds, yet one was over three times as fast as the other.
We puzzled over what could be the cause of the difference.
Can you take a guess?

Turns out the fast machine was running the 64-bit version of Windows 2003 and the slow one was running the 32-bit version. The fast 64-bit machine could load entire tables directly into its 8 Gig memory making it much faster. The other machine, when it wasn't hammered by disk thrashing, was probably wondering what it was doing with all that extra memory it couldn't access.

Friday, October 14, 2011

All My Apps Disappeared When Upgrading to iOS5

I upgraded my iPhone 3GS to iOS5. All my apps disappeared promptly. Here are instructions on restoring some of your apps:
In ITunes, on the left side select your iphone under "DEVICES" (I don't know why they shout at us in all caps).
Then on the horizontal menu bar across the top, select "Apps".
In the upper left corner of the window, select the "Sync Apps" checkbox.
In the app list below, check all the apps you want to restore.
Then in the bottom right select "Apply".

This reloaded all but my apps living in a subfolder. They are still missing. I'll update here if I can bring them back.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pictures from HTML5tx October 8, 2011 Austin TX

This last Saturday the HTML5tx conference was in Austin.
The conference was very well organized with good food and good directions around the campus. An Open Space component was running simultaneously with the prepared sessions. To my surprise the Open Spaces were well attended.
To me the major theme of last week's Pablo's Fiesta and this week's HTML5 was "Regressive Enhancement"; with modernizr and pollyfills we can actually start using the features in HTML5 now, even in older browsers, yes Virginia, even in IE6.

Here's a few photos:
Opening session
Mike Taylor from Opera gave a talk on the HTML5 DOM and the associated IDL. I was impressed with Opera Dragonfly, a debugging environment shipped inside Opera.
Alex Sexton gave an excellent overview of modernizr and yepnope and the whole polyfill game.
HTML5 even has its own gang sign (Be sure to remember it if your caught in a dark alley between a gang of Ror guys and those PHP punks)
Estelle Weyl at presented a very informative session on HTML5 forms.
(If you see her, be sure to wish her a happy Columbus day). Estelle showed how to style invalid input boxes with CSS. I liked her presentation format of using
We ended with a panel discussion
Mike Wilcox gave an interesting history of video on the web, including H.264 (based on Quicktime), MPEG/4, WebM. Some browsers support some video encoders natively, but no video format enjoys support from all browsers. Mike's solution? Upload your video to YouTube and let them figure all that out.

A few useful sites: Summary of browser features like HTML5, CSS3 and SVG examples of best practice in html5 and CSS for schemas

Monday, October 10, 2011

VS2P4 - A Visual Studio Plugin for Perforce

I've been using VS2P4 for a while and really like it. VS2P4 automatically checks out files in Visual Studio. Dale Brubaker has done a fantastic job with this plugin.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Pictures From Pablo's Fiesta - Open Space Austin TX Oct 30,2011

I went to my first Open Space Conference, Los Techies's Pablo's Fiesta. Here's a few photos:

Doc Lister started by giving the ground rules of an Open Space Conference. Four ideas and one rule; or was it four suggestions and two golden rules? Whatever.
Matt Hinze was one of the suggesters of sessions for the next day.
Jeffery Palermo suggested a session on how to hire programmers.
Our list of sessions:
We did a "fishbowl" exercise with five chairs, one has to be empty, and people talked about software quality - reminded me of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Repair.
Jeffery Palermo and Steve Done hosted a session on how to hire good employees. Jeffery asked a good set of questions:
How long does it take to learn you've made a mistake in hiring? How can you simulate the process in hiring to avoid making that mistake?
Jeffery did something very good near the end of the talk. He asked everyone who had contributed to the discussion to be quiet so we could hear from those who were quiet. This had the effect, for a little while, of silencing those who had been a little too verbose early on.

My random tidbits:
Test your site in IE early. Sometimes IE's JavaScript is so glacial your site is unusable.
Check out Blueprint.css for web templates.
Node.js is a server-side JavaScript library to host simple web sites.
Watin is preferred for Web GUI testing.
Use Socket.IO library for web sockets for your daily dose of JS. is an interesting site - your browser is the ide. Cloud9 will publish your site directly to github. Cloud9 doesn't do compiling, because the cool kids are writing in scripting languages.
Checkout John Teague's blog. He did a great session on Node.js
Use to profile your nhibernate code. Other ORMs: dapper, petaPoco, Massive
Sql 98 GoldParse.txt
CQRS - Command Query Responsibility Segregation
SignalR is an event sourcing library that degrades well over different browsers. It tries WebSockets. If the browser doesn't support them it tries a flash program, then long polling to communicate with the server. (This can be bad if you have a lot of customers using old browser using long polling - can tie up threads on the web server)
trello uses SignalR