Victoria, BC — SMART Car parked across the street

Yup, we made it to Victoria. It was a 23-hour marathon that involved:

  1. A shuttle service that made a change at the last second and saw us almost miss our flight. Dragon dude will be dishing out some justice about that soon.
  2. A wildcat strike by air traffic controllers in Chicago that the pilots blamed on “weather”.
  3. A motion sick kid from 20 minutes before landing in Seattle until we got to Grandma’s house.
  4. Getting in the slow lane at the Douglas Border Crossing.

And then today, I blew up my father-in-law’s router doing an upgrade. had to do a downgrade to get it to work, but i may be buying him a new one.

Tomorrow, I will be rested and want to do something besides sleep and try and keep in touch with the world.

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Coming up for air

I am still swamped at work, but I have a glimmer of space available to me, so I thought that I would drop by and let everyone know what’s happening.

We are well on our way to being ready for the trip to BC and Alberta that starts Monday (June 26). We have a dining room full of luggage, and have a lot of information concerning travelling with Miss Wiggles. It’s been nearly 3 years since I was “home” to Victoria, so it will be fun to scout out and see what’s changed since the last visit.

As a sidenote, if anyone in the Victoria, BC area wants to do a meetup while I am in town, I would be happy to attend — need some lovely beer from Swan’s or Spinnaker’s.

GrabPERF continues to chug along almost completely unmanaged. One tiny improvement I made to scatter plot is the only code change in months. If things settle down at work (not likely until we get an extra body in here to support me), I will be updating some of the measurement code and back-end systems. Until I have time to go through a formal review process, the system is in maintenance mode.

While I am on vacation, I will likely been able to write some more; lot’s of thoughts on IIS 5.0, Net Neutrality, Firefly, and other things that are deeply buried right now.

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PubSub: Death by Shareholder Stupidity

The news that Bob Wyman posted today (here) hit me hard. Bob was one of the first folks to see the value in GrabPERF, and to put his own money where his mouth was (as well as helping to host a GrabPERF measurement location).
I have valued his advice and support over the last year.
Best of luck, Bob. You and PubSub deserve better.
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GrabPERF: Scatter Plot Change

Made a simple change to the Scatter Plot graphs today. Any measurement greater than 180 seconds (3 minutes) is flagged as an error in this view.
Thank PodTech. Som of their measurements were coming in at an insane 500 seconds plus this morning, and my graphing package couldn’t handle the scaling of data between 0.5 and 1400 seconds.
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Dear PodTech…Part 2:

Dear PodTech:
Say thank you.
HTTP/1.1 302 Found
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2006 19:18:11 GMT
Server: Apache/2.0.53 (Fedora)
Content-Length: 283
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: Apache/2.0.53 (Fedora)
X-Powered-By: PHP/4.3.11
Status: 200 OK
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
Vary: Accept-Encoding
Content-Encoding: gzip
Content-Length: 9233
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2006 19:14:21 GMT
Connection: keep-alive
Performance got better, didn’t it?

PodTech Performance - June 13, 2006

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Dear PodTech

Dear PodTech:
Use HTTP Compression. It’s built into Apache/2.0.
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2006 15:30:24 GMT
Server: Apache/2.0.53 (Fedora)
X-Powered-By: PHP/4.3.11
Status: 200 OK
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
Probably save you some bandwidth and improve your performance, which is in the tank right now.
Podtech Live Web Performance
Best of luck.
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Why United sucks…again!

So, I called United today to see if there were any special procedures I had to follow when we arrived at Logan on June 26, as Ms. Wiggles is going to Canada with us.

Turns out that they had completely screwed up our flights. And hadn’t bothered to inform us that they had changed the flights.

So, I forced someone cold and impersonal operator (who I am STILL on the phone with) to re-book our tickets so that we had enough time at O’Hare to actually make our connecting flights.

That’s it. They blew it. United is done.

Sorry United. You will have to do something pretty damn special to get me back as a customer after this.

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Feeds and the Blink Test

Reading anything using a feed reader allows prevents us from discriminating against the content.

Start with an inflammatory statement, then back it up, using the wisdom gleaned from Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink. Why do feeds prevent us from initial discrimination? Because we have no point of reference other than the text in front of us, and the occasional image. There is no way to make a quality judgement based on differences in appearance or layout.

In fact, the feeds we read are often filtered by the influence of others. We react positively to someone’s raving review of a feed, and we incorporate it into our subscriptions.

The decisions we make in those initial seconds may sour over time. Feeds grow old, stale, uninteresting. But the why did we subscribe in the first place? Was it a decision based on the layour of a site? The way the person looks?

No. It is based on the feedback of others, and the content we encounter.

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