May 7, 2010

The Insanity of Stop Loss Market Orders and Impact on Cloud Computing

Computers around the world are ready to sell, sell, sell!  I don’t mean on-line stores, but stop loss orders. At first a stop loss order sounds great, if not a necessity: if you hold stock at $100 and you want to protect yourself,…
March 31, 2010

High Performance Page Caching for Drupal 6.15

On one of our Drupal sites, we had an interesting problem.  While the site happily handled up to 600 requests/second (on a 4 Gig, 4 CPU system) with the built-in Drupal page caching turned on, if an editor updated content on the…
February 12, 2010

Global Warming Can Cause Snow!

Watching the evening news, I saw yet another person ponder the unusually cold weather and claim “I thought global warming was supposed to be a bigger deal…”.  Here’s the fun fact: global warming causes amazing new patterns of snow and heat, consistent…
July 8, 2009

Importing Microsoft Project into GForge 4.6 (Open Source Version)

With the latest open source version of GForge (4.6), thanks to a new CSV import system and a little bit of work (a custom export map and Perl script) you can now import a Microsoft Project file into GForge! Step 1: Prepare and…
April 7, 2009

A Fun Little Math Problem in System Optimization

Recently, a company with whom we work had a Web site that wasn’t as fast as they wanted.  So they ran a series of tests using Apache’s benchmarking tool: Running a simple “Hello World” page: 500 pages/second “Hello World” plus turning on “feature A”:…
March 11, 2009

Adding the Boolean Operator OR to Nutch

Nutch  is an open source web-search crawler and engine.  Built upon the Apache Lucene text search engine, Nutch allows you to add a mini “Google”-like indexing and query environment right to your Web site, but with added features like semantic tagging…
November 24, 2008

Getting Sabrent SATA Host Cards to Work

To support a large number of hard drives on our backup machine, we bought a Sabrent SATA 4 port PCI host card (SBT-SRD4).  Guess what?  It hangs with our 1TB drives.  In fact, it will hang with anything larger than 175 GB! Instead of…
November 11, 2008

Lines of Business: OMB’s Mistakes and How It Can Fix Them

Here is the fundamental challenge: Each new grant program passed by Congress creates a tiny new fiefdom in a government agency. This fiefdom directly gets funding and has the ability in many cases to set up its own management processes and systems.…
November 4, 2008

A Script to Automatically Update Clamav Packages

Clamav is an excellent open source multi-platform antivirus program that we use on our systems and projects.  While clamav comes with utilities to update the antivirus definitions, there isn’t a utility to update the engine (instead the antivirus update gives a warning).…
August 22, 2008

The Amazing Power of Spamhaus.org

Recently, we turned on block-list spam protection provided by the zen.spamhaus.org in addition to regular DNS-based restrictions. Thanks to Zimbra’s graphing capabilities we have a powerful visual depiction of the power of Spamhaus:  This graph displays the number of messages processed…