Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Flash/SSD MySQL and performance

It seems that MySQL and SSD performance is popular. I just saw Kazuho at Work: Benchmarking SSD for MySQL and last night I listened to Blog Talk Radio: Innovation Insider - Flash Memory Technology with Michael Cornwell. The latter discusses more than flash performance with references to MySQL benchmarking. It also covers price/performance, reliabilty and the economics of power consumption and heat dissipation for SSD vs spinning storage.

Benchmarking Amazon EC2 for High-Performance Scientific Computing

My copy of ;Login: arrived yesterday last week. As I was reading it over a quick breakfast of oatmeal and coffee the article "Benchmarking Amazon EC2 for High-Performance Scientific Computing (PDF)" by Edward Walker caught my eye. Having worked with our own grid services at Network.com I understand that there is a tradeoff in terms of cost/value and performance and didn't find the gist of the results to be surprising.

In my opinion, a purpose built high bandwidth, low latency grid/cluster is generally going to outperform the lower cost more generic and I believe possibly more flexible solution. On the other hand, in the utility model the consumer of the service/resources doesn't really have to worry about the TCO of the service or the cost of management and up front implementation.

In short: if you have the time, money, talent and desire feel free to build your own. If not it may be worth while to trade off some of that performance for convenience.

Monday, October 13, 2008

OpenSolaris at SmugMug

Don MacAskill has written about his experiences with Solaris and OpenSolaris at SmugMug. Most recently about his experiences using MySQL and OpenSolaris as a slave in one of SmugMug's production database clusters. Today Don published an update on MySQL, InnoDB and ZFS compression.

You may now be saying to yourself, yes but other people have posted about this already, and you would be correct. Aside from being interesting articles the second article uses a picture I took during the setup of network.com in Las Vegas :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Going to the start of the Marathon wish me luck

Race starts in 24 minutes...

Heading out to meet my pace group now. My support crew is here and ready to go.

The voice of the baby just wised me luck

Friday, October 10, 2008

Baltimore Marathon Live Tracking

The Marathon will have live results including split times somewhere on the Baltimore Marathon Site or at Active.com. I don't know for sure and I won't be checking from the course.

For all of you that follow me on twitter, you are obviously waiting for updates with baited breath, I haven't had the time to work out a way to update that I am sure won't end up as spam.
Instamapper is showing you the last time I had GPS Tracker running, when I ran 20 miles of the course in baltimore, but will update as soon as I start it back up on Saturday.

Non-Embedded: http://www.instamapper.com/ext?key=7514930745553215930
Mobile Tracking: http://mobile.instamapper.com/ext?key=7514930745553215930
GPS tracking powered by InstaMapper.com (Reload page for updates)

I will be wearing bib number Shawn (1117), my sisters Emily (21796) and Karina (31683) will both be running the Baltimore Half Marathon. I also run with a Garmin 305, after the race I will have detailed track information which I view with Ascent from Montebello Software. Ascent allows me to view my pace, heart rate and supporting data with a replay function to view recorded data with a map overlay.
After the race I will upload the recorded course to mapmyrun.com

Friday, October 3, 2008

Goose Grade, seriously?

What is Goose Grade?

Paraphrased from the video and my reading. Crowd-sourced (do people still say crowd-sourced?) review/editing of blog content. I have added the goose grade chicklet to my blog. It seems as if it has potential, particularly given my generally bad grammar/punctuation and spelling.

Suggestions for improvement

  • excerpt post title in goosegrade.com feed
  • excerpt feed needs to link to individual article not top level site
  • excerpt feed needs to ignore non-primary content feeds
    • alternately allow users to specify/override for the appropriate feed
  • excerpt feed needs to not post errors such as 403 or javascript problems
  • excerpt feed per-article images should be part of the article, not the first/only image on the page
  • excerpt feed I feel no desire to comment on the goosegrade.com site, it doesn't foster or enhance the conversation around a particular post
  • excerpt feed I am unable to see the value in the link to the goosegrade excerpt
  • console sliding animation is attractive but I am unsure that it enhances use
  • console drop downs truncate long site names
  • console/excerpt "Name of site" isn't especially useful as the target of the excerpt link
  • most pages would benefit from a more results/next page link
  • console I would expect website name to link to the user provided URL e.g. "blogs.sun.com/yakshaving" not blogs.sun.com as above, If I had used Yakshaving as the name instead would I have been presented with a broken link?
  • search shawn ferry (no quotes) seems likely to have matched shawnferry, but it doesn't
  • search does not seem to search inside user profile content
  • generated html should include alt and title text to help explain what goosegrade is and why someone might want to click (I made some up)

Please feel free to give it a shot by clicking on the goosegrade chicklet in the side bar (or the one I included specifically in this post).

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Baltimore Marathon in 10:10:10:10

10 Days, 10 Hours, 10 Minutes and 10 Seconds

I have been training for that last 20 weeks to run the Baltimore marathon. My first ever marathon and the first time I have done any real training for a running race. I have been training with the Ashburn Area Running Club and Potomac River Running as part of the AARC distance training program.

My goals for this run in order of preference:

  1. Finish in 4:45
  2. Finish in less than 5:00
  3. Finish on my feet

I got new shoes four weeks ago (Asics Nimbus 10) they are broken in (and extremely similar to my old Asics Cumulus). As of this moment my first concern is getting sick. Cdash is currently coughing up yellow phlegm and feeling miserable. Otherwise I have yet to run the full distance but I did run most all of the hills on the course on a 20 mile training run two weeks ago.

I am working on live tracking for the event, more details as I work them out.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Seared Ahi Tuna

@Cdash is off in Sacramento in the middle of a cage migration and new hardware deployment. I decided that it was finally time to make some of the tuna that I bought a couple of months ago. I had planned to make it last night but didn't get the meat into the fridge to thaw with enough time to spare.

This is based on Seared Ahi Tuna Recipe, I deviated using the ingredients on hand. Starting with a very hot cast iron skillet (smoking the oil) I seared the tuna for 70s a side.

After it was removed from the heat I sliced it into ~1/4 inch pieces and plated it on a bit of spring mix for color.

Momma was sure that she would like some tuna please. nom nom nom

So I gave her a taste

I had some too

It was excellent and it is a shame that my wife couldn't be here to have any. I hope the migration is going well.

More pictures in the gallery

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Good Turn out at CROSUG

Sitting in the Capitol Region OpenSolaris Users Group meeting, this is one of the best turnouts that e have had so far. This meeting is a little later than last few (starting after the workday instead of just before the end).

Ooh, live demo failed...looking for a live setup utility for the AMP stack couldn't find it offhand. OTOH the GUI package manager is working nicely. IPS seems like it has really made progress since the last time I looked (it has been a while, I have been slacking). We just got the fairly standard question about patching, packaging etc looking more advanced in OpenSolaris than Solaris 10. The answer of course is "OpenSolaris is more the development platform, it has the newer and more advanced/bleeding edge features. Some of these features will make it back to commercial Solaris."

Given the location that we are in another fairly obvious question: How do we get access to these cool bits and the IPS repository if our network is separated from the internet by an air gap. (The answer is that you can set up your own repo, eventually you should expect that there will be something like an official DVD that provides the needed files. (I expect that this is really only of interest in the Fed space))

I just remembered why the late meetings here aren't as nice as they could be. The AC cuts off at 6PM, it is starting to get just a touch warmer in here. I assume it will be fairly warm by the end of the meeting.

Moved to Sam NIcholson for "OpenSolaris: A Developer's Perspective"

"OpenSolaris Look and Feel: Give people what they expect and slip in what they need under the covers."

Good questions about iSCSI, SMF, Contracts, manifests. I am surprised at how few people here haven't done much with SMF (not even writing your own service).

I really need to get to ZFS root for the live snapshot based update, I have the image sitting on my laptop but haven't installed the image.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Big Buck Bunny Rocks

Way back when (June 19, 2007 at ~4am) I sent mail to Ton at Blender. At the time I allowed that we had this compute grid that already ran Blender and that while I couldn't commit any time I could if he was interested put him in touch with the people who could. Happily he allowed that indeed they were looking for a render farm sponsor.

Woot! On May 29, 2008 I received my copy of the Big Buck Bunny DVD. I brought it inside and we paused the Stanley Cup Playoffs so we could watch it. It looks really good and I think it was worth the occasional pain on our part in supporting the rendering (also because my name is in the credits as I bought a pre-release copy of the DVD to further support the development effort :) ).

Big Buck Bunny was rendered on Network.com (press release) using Blender which is part of the Network.com application catalog

To focus on the things that I think most people reading Sun blogs would find interesting the rendering process from the Big Buck Bunny blogs. My role was down in the Sun Grid - Network.com bubble.

Renderfarm overview

If you look at the blogs there is plenty of information describing the development process, the rendering process and the fact that there were some complications in the execution. Interestingly one of the most common problems from my perspective were a large number of core files from the various Blender processes. These cores would at times fill up /var in the zones they were running in causing the Blender jobs to fail. Because of the implementation a single sub-task failure would cascade resulting in stopping the whole rendering process.

I "fixed" the core issue (coreadm is your friend) and cores have been disabled by default, now requiring that the end user make a local directory in their job setup scripts to hold their own cores if they would like to capture them. I believe that the cascading stop has been made into an option that is controllable in the job definition through the portal as well.

Go take a look at Big Buck Bunny and marvel at the power of open source software. Then realize how cool it is that a company such as Sun would spend/donate real time, money and resources on a creative commons animated movie. I'm glad we did it and I hope we can continue to do so in the future. (Maybe the next one as well)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Is Competetion Bad?

Adam said his record for Escapa! was 16.02 and I knew I could beat it.

So I did it a few times and figured more of the pattern out. Instead of claiming some high number I took a screencast of the session. Then after ending the capture I beat my own time so I took a screenshot.

My best time is now 23.234 and that is (including the time for the video and blogging this) is 15 minutes of my life that I will never get back. My question now is how many people will actually watch the video?

Another fun, quick and simple game I have found myself wasting time on: Desktop Tower Defense

Friday, March 7, 2008

Chinposin for the Chinerati

What?!? A chinposin T-shirt as an external and ongoing display of authority.


Are YOU chinposin, take a look at the chinposin blog for some explanation of the chinposin movement straight from the mouth of the chinerati.


ThinGuy posted about chinposin yesterday, and Friday's are for chinposin! My latest avatar snapped by my wife (@cdash) this morning. Chinposin doesn't take a description of the avatar I call this one:


Authority at rest cannot be STOPPED!

Authority at rest cannot be STOPPED!

It figures that I was not the only person to go with a chinposin at rest avatar today, but as far as I can tell I was the only one to actually do it from bed. This shows that my own natural authority shines through :)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Twitter Lock-In

During last night's Twitter "Timeline Oddity Update" I caught some interesting comments from @bhlackey and @thinguy in response to an update that appeared in my stream. I won't reproduce it here.




I experienced the following behavior while trying to logout so I could create the @smutr twitter account.

403 Forbidden: The server understood the request, but is refusing to fulfill it. I call it lock-in

Friday, February 22, 2008

Baked Chicken with Tomato and Olives

I slacked off and used canned tomato, it is easier. The original recipe calls for capers but we are out.

The chicken is baked from frozen from the costco bag-o-chicken.

  • 4 chicken breast halves
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1.5 tbps chopped garlic
  • ~20 small Spanish pimento olives (didn't weigh them), diced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cans diced tomato, drained

Chicken (from frozen):

  1. Heat oven to 350 deg
  2. Place chicken in baking dish, brush lightly with olive oil (or spray with cooking spray)
  3. Bake ~25 min
  4. Top with tomato olive mixture, bake additional 10min

Tomato, Olive topping (Start while heating oven):

  1. Heat the oil, lightly brown the garlic. Take a moment to appreciate the smell of cooking garlic
  2. Add the onion cook until slightly translucent
  3. Turn up the heat to medium and add olives, heat until hot, stir a bit
  4. Add tomato, simmer for ~10 min
  5. With ~10min left on the chicken, top with tomato mixture

Enjoy with a salad and possibly a carb, Basic recipe from "How to Cook Anything"

This is a picture of me taking a picture of dinner (or really the food I pre-cooked for dinner some time next week).

Taking a picture of food

Using a Joby Gorillapod SLR-ZOOM, Nikon D1x, Nikon 17-35/2.8 AF-S and MC30 cable release. The Joby has a little bit of vibration when I let go of the D1x so I wait for a moment and fire with the cable release

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Breakfast pictures for ThinGuy

The effective (35mm) zoom for this picture is 52mm, shot in natural light and pulled up a stop from the raw. The f/2.8 aperture is what causes the shallow depth of field. The front of the lens was probably 3-4in from the edge of the waffle.

Toaster Waffles w/Blueberries and Maple Syrup

Lunar Eclipse

I am disappointed with the pictures I got from the eclipse. Low ISO for noise begets a longer exposure which proves that the universe isn't standing still. Oh well maybe next time I'll be home and take a bit more time to get it right.

Lunar Eclipse

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Full Keyboard Access in Firefox from OS X

Recently some complaints have surfaced about keyboard access to form elements in Firefox 2 in OS X. I don't see the problem.

I have Full keyboard access for "All Controls" set in System Preferences -> Keyboard & Mouse -> Keyboard Shortcuts

I have "Enable Access for assistive devices" set in System Preferences -> Universal Access (although I don't think this is related, IIRC it is for some other programs that I use)

Since a video is the easiest way I can think of to show this, here you go:

If anyone happens to know what configuration changes you might need to make to get this working please feel free to let me know. I don't recall making changes other than the above.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dinner and Dessert

C- and I made dinner and pie on Friday night. Dinner was good but the salad needed a better rinse it was a bit too salty. The pies are quite tasty although the strawberry rhubarb didn't thicken up enough. We like pie!
Dinner: Pickled Cabbage Salad and Baked Fish

Apple and Strawberry Rhubarb pies from scratch
The Gallery

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The ZFS Device Shuffle

I shot this video/screencast demo thing nine or ten months ago. The audio from the datacenter was terrible. I have been sitting on it and some voice overs that I wasn't pleased with for about 4 months. Today I decided that it was time finally get it published, did another voice over and while it isn't perfect its good enough.

This video was inspired by CSI: Munich I watched it and thought, wait I have an x4500!

Link to ZFS Device Shuffle on Mediacast

Here instead we will try an object embedded quicktime found at Bye Bye Embed, the video above is being served from the all new and improved http://mediacast.sun.com


Edit: I have uploaded an amplified version, it appears that unless you are using good isolation earbuds or have relatively good quality speakers you can't really hear the audio portion. The trial copy of "Sound Studio" I downloaded did a wonderful job of letting me amplify the audio. The audio and video are the same, only the link has changed (It does not appear possible to replace the original content )

While I was at it we just released a new version of mediacast.sun.com (I could never get my login to the old one working). For some reason smugmug is taking 23MB of video and reprocessing it to 94MB. I can download that in about 3 minutes but the size is ridiculous. (No wonder my wife said it took forever to play)


ZFS Device Shuffle Video
(This is the smugmug video, I still like the interface it just isn't quite doing it for me otherwise)

 Edit: A bit of clarity I should go to bed at 02:30 instead of messing with my blog

Monday, January 28, 2008

Hockey: We won 5-0 (and a weekend recap)

We won 5 - 0, I got the game winning goal and an assist. Now I'm not really tired it will make for a long day tomorrow.

I left for the game right after we finished watching the NHL All Stars, I enjoyed the game. All in all it was a really hockey weekend. On Saturday we drove up to Hershey, PA for a Bears game (The Caps Farm team). We got in a little late and they were down 3 - 0 against the Senators.

In the end the Bears won 5 - 3, we hung out after the game for some autographs, talked to some of the players it was a nice day even if the drive home seemed a little long.

Slept in this morning (felt great) before doing some work around the house. @cdash and I pulled out the dish washer to insulate behind it, put new casters on an ottoman and tore up some defiled carpet and molding.

Now I have a two week break and a nice early 11:15 game (the latest possible slot) on a Monday.

In the end it was a good weekend but I'll pay for it in the morning. I think there may be a bit of Wii Lego Starwars in my future.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Firefox extension compatability override

The next time you disable the compatibility override and want it back...because you really want the XYZ plugin and you value it over stability or possibly usability.

about:config -> add boolean "extensions.checkCompatibility" false and restart

(This is really a note to myself)

Monday, January 21, 2008

China: Great Wall at Mutianyu

While we were in China we spent some time on the Great Wall at Mutianyu. In the gallery there is a "You are Here" mark on the

map. We hiked (or more like climbed) from that point to the end (the 20) and back. You can see un-restored wall at the end.

(FYI: Courtney took the large picture above)

OLPC Pictures

I ordered/donated an OLPC XO-1 as part of the Give One Get One program
these are the pictures that ThinGuy scolded me for not posting a month ago.

OLPC shipping box OLPC Battery OLPC AC Charger OLPC XO-1 and Charger

OLPC not for use by Infants

OLPC Booting OLPC Booting OLPC Booting OLPC Booted

These pictures are from un-boxing the OLPC and booting it for the first time. I have enjoyed using it. The keyboard is a little small for adult hands (this is not a surprise or a criticism). The trans-reflective screen is impressively clear, the backlit screen is a little hard to read for small text (at least for me).

The packaging is sparse but solid, my favorite part of the whole delivery presentation is the warnings page, particularly "Not for use by Infants."

All in all I am glad I donated.

The whole gallery

Network.com in Vegas (belated)

I have had these pictures sitting on my laptop for about 1/2 a year. I pulled a couple out for a screen cast that I still haven't published because the audio blows. I have been doing a better job again on publishing pictures shortly after I take them. Network.com is the Sun Grid Compute Utility, I have a few pictures from the on site work.

Network.com setup in Vegas, Bellagio, Glass Flower Ceiling Network.com setup in Vegas, Shawn, Courtney

Network.com setup in Vegas, Compute Nodes Network.com setup in Vegas, Thumper disk bay, green

Network.com setup in Vegas, Torx Peg in a Hex Hole. I didn't put it in there :), I just removed it so we could relocate the rails. Network.com setup in Vegas, Courtney loves Storage Network.com setup in Vegas, Core Switch Time Servers

The Whole Gallery