Month: December 2004

Database Update — InnoDB

I updated my two largest database tables — my raw server logs and the GrabPERF data table — to InnoDB tonight to try and improve performance. I have noticed some sever performance degradations lately, but that may be because I am using it more and expecting more of it.

I will monitor this change and rollback if no real improvement is seen.

Cancel Inauguration Parties

Samantha and I are right in tune with Mark Cuban on this.

Start by cancelling your inauguration parties and festivities.

Could there be anything more confusing and shocking than to read that our country was offering $35mm in aid
to the areas affected by the Tsunamis, but that the cost of inauguration parties would be about $40mm ?

Does anyone else think that this is wrong ?

Secrets of the DNS Gurus

  1. I find DNS one of those things on the Internet specifically designed to drive sane people mad.
  2. The true DNS gurus do very little to share their knowledge.
  3. Are there any truly legible blogs on DNS, and most notably BIND?

Creative Burnout and the Future

NOTE: This was written in 2006. I achieved 1.5 of the 3 items.

  • I am working for a different company – 3 different companies counting acquisitions.
  • I am working in the Pacific Northwest, just not in one of the major cities
  • I am not living in Canada, but I can see it from my desk while I work.

Scott Berkun has an excellent essay on creative burnout.

For those of you who read this and may know me, this is a hard thing to accept. That I have gone so hatd at something for so long that it no longer excites me. Yes, there are elements of it that do motivate me, but the day-in, day-out work of taking apart companies’ Web performance data, answering the same questions, and hearing the same questions is no longer fun.

I used to live for this sort of thing. I would work from 06:00 – 00:00 because there were so many cool and interesting problems to solve. Now I heat those some questions and almost roll my eyes.

I have been immersed in this field for so long that I have lost a lot of my focus. But now I am asking questions that are the foundation of my life.

  • Where do I want to be in 5 years?  Short Answer: Working in Canada, consulting and speaking to an international audience on trends in Web performance from a technical and process standpoint
  • Will I be working for the company I am working for now? Not likely.
  • Where will I be living? At minimum in one of the Pacific Northwest’s triad (Vancouver/Victoria, Seattle or Portland). Preferably near but not in Victoria, where I can easily get flights to my gigs.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately, and thinking how much better I would feel being closer to home. I accepted this move as a way to get out of one backward, dead-end job, but I often find myself questioning if it was a good move, or simply one of convenience.

Last night, I updated my resume/CV. Tomorrow, I will transfer it to Word, Text and PDF formats. Time to hit the pavement again.

Interesting theme appearing — US Foreign Service Not Helpful

One of the themes I keep reading about in the stories from the Southeast Asia Disaster Zone is that Americans are all reporting how ineffective and/or invisible members of the US Foreign Service are in dealing with citizens trying to get replace documents, find loved ones or simply get home.

I hope that the Canadian Foreign Service is doing a better job.

Faye Wachs said she was impressed by the efforts of the Thai
government and the International Committee for the Red Cross, but "she
was appalled at the treatment they got" from the U.S. government, her
mother said.

At the airport in Bangkok, other governments had set
up booths to greet nationals who had been affected and to help
repatriate them, she said.

That was not the case with the U.S.
government, Wachs told her mother. It took the couple three hours, she
said, to find the officials from the American consulate, who were in
the VIP lounge.

Because they had lost all their possessions, including their documentation, they had to have new passports issued.

But the U.S. officials demanded payment to take the passport pictures, Helen Wachs said.

couple had managed to hold on to their ATM card, so they paid for the
photos and helped other Americans who did not have any money get their
pictures taken and buy food, Helen Wachs said.

"She was really very surprised" that the government did so little to ease their ordeal, she said.

Updating my CV/Resume

Spent the last couple of hours looking over my CV and examining all the things that I have done over the last six and a half years. I have gone from a pretty mundane tech-support position that was not challenging me in Victoria, BC, to Silicon Valley during the boom, and landing a job in the 128 Corridor in Massachusetts.

Not bad for a kid from a small town, where the grad class only had 65 students.

If you are a potential employer (or basically curious or voyeuristic), drop by the updated document; there is a link in the left-hand column of this page.

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