October 30th, 2008

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Thoughts on the plane

So, like I tweeted earlier, the JFK Terminal 7 closes at night, open at 4.
So I spent a couple of hours sitting in a air tran station.
When the terminal opened, the TSA gate was scheduled to open at 4:45.
But they didn't, they opened (chaotically) at 4:55.
Got to the gate and found a good chair and a power outlet.
But the flight boarded late and departed later.
Because the pilot was late to arrive, he "was stuck in traffic".
That has to be a CLM.
And then there was some sort of mechanical problem that didn't get discovered until the pilot started checklisting.
This aircraft is decent. ALL of the seats are either business class or "Plus" class, e.g. they have legroom.
Probably due to competition from JetBlue.
I slept thru most of the pretakeoff wait, the takeoff, and most of the flight, awakened only a couple of times due to moderate turbulance.
It's now 10:10. I was supposed to arrive at 9:20. We're probably going to arrive around 11.
Which means I will have to take a faster option from SFO to UC Berkeley.
There is some really annoying very catty chick show on the entertainment monitors.
And now it's been replaced with something worse, a history of the 1979 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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"... is finished not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Going in to this most recent gig, it was thought that it was going to be a heavy user of MySQL Proxy, which thus would involve a fair amount of custom Lua programming.

As the client and I talked and whiteboarded out the design, it evolved into being very complex. It was going to be a challenge, and had a lot of moving parts.

As big and expensive as it was becoming, it still was much simpler and cheaper than what *r*cl* had quoted, they wanted a mid seven digits, PER YEAR, in license fees, for their proposal.

Anyway, as this thing grew on the board, something started itching in my head, and I sat back, looked at it again, and said "we're recreating the binlogs and the replication threads".

The client was very familiar with replication in Oracle and in MS SQL, but not at all so for MySQL, especially it's robustness in the face of lag and link failure. E.G, just let them lag, and let the disconnected one catch up again out of the binlog when it can reconnect.

With that, 90% of the past day and a half's design work got erased, and the whole thing collapsed into a completely bog standard replication setup, that any trained MySQL DBA can instantly recognize, understand, and maintain. One master, a handful of slaves, using InnoDB, replicating over geographic distances, with a needed average replication link bandwidth of less then 10 kilobits/sec. It doesn't even need hot slave promotion, since the system is still live and working, just not updating, if the master fails.

They can go live in *days*, not months.


The most important skill to have regarding any advanced technique, is being able to see when you don't have to use it.
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at Open Source Boot Camp 2008, notes so far

I'm sitting here at OSBC. I was invited to speak on the "working at an open source company" panel.

Right now am listening to a talk about the story of the founding of BSD, and the invention/discovery of "strangers will send you patches", and the development of the contributor, captain, integrator system. And then a description of how to deal with a contributor community.

The previous talk was by Eric Allman about running a company and dealing with investors vs founders.

Before that was by someone from INGRES about "Myths of Open Source".

I missed BrianB's talk, because figuring out how to park here at UC Berkeley took too long.
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Tweets for Today

  • 04:42 off to JFK to fly to SFO, whee #
  • 05:47 I'm at John F Kennedy Airport (USA) - bkite.com/025j1 #
  • 05:48 The "city that never sleeps" closes it's airport at night. WTF? #
  • 05:51 the city that never sleeps closes it's airport at night? WTF? - bkite.com/025j6 #
  • 08:11 now the airport is open but the TSA isnt... - bkite.com/025lY #
  • 08:48 So not only does the TSA take their sweet time opening their checkpoint, they are now late opening it. Fools? Jerks? Both! #
  • 10:20 Boarded. I think I just got my first seat upgrade. #
  • 18:01 I'm at San Francisco Airport (USA) - bkite.com/025Nd #
  • 23:45 I'm at University of California-Berkeley (, , United States) - bkite.com/026dz #
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