Last night’s discoveries

  1. Back massages are wonderful, both for relieving back muscle strain caused by moving heavy computer equipment around and for giving you time totally disassociated from everything to think.
  2. Doing editing of massive MySQL dump files to turn them into files that Postgres can read, and loading them into Postgres to test, on a linode with 64Mb of memory and a shared processor does not make sense when you have a local machine with Postgres on it, 1024Mb of memory and two processors.
  3. The perl script that I downloaded from SourceForge to convert MySQL dump files into Postgres dump files SUCKS ROCKS and I’m getting much better results from my own little sed script.

That is all.

Getting my linode on

As I wrote in a blog entry a few weeks ago, I added up all the money I spend on Gradwell web hosting and domain registration, and realized that because of the exchange rate, I hadn’t realized I was up over $400 a year.

I decided that I could do everything I’ve been doing on my Gradwell account with a $20 a month Linode virtual Linux host, and 5 domain registrations at GoDaddy, and a couple of free dns entries at ZoneEdit, for a total yearly cost of about $285.

The rest is even more boring than what’s come before, so I’m putting in a cut line.
Continue reading “Getting my linode on”

Goodbye old junk

I made another pass through the computer junk today. Two weeks ago I pulled out the stuff that I thought had some potential and tried to sell it on-line. I sold a couple of barebones computers (one of them an AMD Athlon 1800+), a motherboard, a power supply, and a hard drive and a few other miscellaneous bits. I think I made $75 total. Today I took the rest of the junk out (including a Pentium 90 computer and a couple of old Macintoshes, and a SPARCClassic that I never got working) and put it at the end of the driveway for the scavengers to pick through.

The stuff I sold was probably worth a lot more than I sold it for, and there were a few things in the junk pile that would probably sell if I was willing to take the time and hassle to list it on eBay or take it to a swap meet. But hassle is the operative word here – I just wanted to get rid of it, because right now empty shelves are more valuable to me that potential sales.

However, it’s quite amusing to watch the scavengers at work. One of them drove past, slowed way down to have a look, and then sped off. A few minutes later he came back, and parked well away (like nearly 50 metres). He ran over, and furtively and hurriedly grabbed an armload of stuff and ran back to dump it in his trunk. He ran back and grabbed another armload. I swear he looked like a chipmunk collecting nuts, or a person worried that any moment I was going to run out of the house yelling at him for stealing my stuff. If I didn’t want you to take it, I wouldn’t have put it at the end of the driveway!

After he left, our neighbour phoned me to chuckle about his behaviour. Heh.

I’ve got some more stuff to put out later, including some even older Macintosh computers (a WGS-8550 and a LC-III), but I have to wipe the hard drives first. I think I’m going to wait for another time when I can watch out the window.

Not my fault, I hope!

Computer Problem Causes False Stock Quotes

I spent nearly two years working for a company that made the software that, at the time, was responsible for over 75% of all the trades that took place on NASDAQ. My bosses attitude towards quality assurance and testing would have been laughable, if it wasn’t the fact that they could have cost people millions of dollars, and the fact that when I was working there we were losing market share hand over fist to a company that made a product that was faster, easier to use, and didn’t crash all the time.

I’m torn between hoping this failure wasn’t the fault of any of my friends still working there, and hoping that the people in charge will some day get what’s coming to them.

Most of our customers were “market makers”, which is a large step up from stock broker in the heirarchy. A lot of our customers, and three of the people in our company, were at work in the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001. One person from our company got out. The other two didn’t. One of the people who died was somebody whom I was scheduled to have a conference call later that day when she got back from WTC. I think about Julie a lot when 9/11 comes up in conversation.