| Thursday, September 25, 2008

I know that I said Anna would be bloggin' about her teeth, but she decided against it (I am unsure why). Well, I had to get these pictures from her that she took and put them up. I am not putting them up right on my blog so that you are warned. They are disturbing (they were much more disturbing in the larger quality). So, if you click on the link, you've been warned.


Let me know what you think.

Don't Say This...

| Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I get these things forwarded on to me all the time. Usually I don't look at them (sorry), but I watched this and had a good laugh. My wife really liked it too. Good thing I have never said any of these things.


| Sunday, September 14, 2008
Before I get in to my main point here, I have to say that my wife is awesome. She had her tooth pulled on Friday and she is doing well. I know that it hurts like no other, but she has been strong through it all. Expect to see a post about it soon on her blog.

This past week I had the opportunity to got to a conference with my job. The conference was all about Amazon Web Services (AWS). For those of you who don't know, AWS is basically a hosting company for your website (i.e. the place where I keep all of the files, pictures, etc.).

The cool thing about AWS is it's all about the cloud. I know it sounds funny but it is a pretty simple idea that is taking over the internet. The cloud is suppose to be more secure and more reliable. With a normal hosting company, you have a machine where all of your information is sitting, and if that machine goes down then you are hosed until they get it back up. With the cloud, they replicate your data across a few different machines in different locations, so if a machine goes down, your data should still be available because it is sitting on another machine somewhere.

Probably the coolest thing about AWS is its flexibility. You pay for what you need. For example, if I have a super busy site, and lots of traffic, I am going to want more servers on the back end servicing those requests. But what if I am a company who doesn't have a lot of traffic on my site, but tomorrow I release a new video that becomes hugely popular. With a normal hosting company, you call, ask them for more machines, pay a lot of money, and eventually get it. With AWS, you turn the machines on yourself (through the internet), they fire up, and you pay for them while you use them. When traffic dies down, you can turn the machines back off, and you are done paying for them.

All in all, we learned a lot about the different services that AWS provides and how they all work and so forth. We also heard from some companies that are using AWS (I can only remember Podango right now). I love learning new things about technology.

In a couple of days I will post something about life, since I know some people are probably tired of all the technology :). In the mean time check out AWS and enjoy.


| Monday, September 8, 2008
Just wanted to share a quick experience I had today. I have about 5 different browsers installed on my laptop (Firefox, IE7, Chrome, Opera, Safari), and today I was seeing some weird behavior. I work for a company, The American Academy, that uses Drupal for a lot of it's development. I was only able to sign in to the site using Firefox. None of the other browsers were working. When I would try to sign in, I got no errors, and it would try to redirect me as if I was logged in, but I wasn't. I cleared all of my cached data, and reinstalled all the browsers, and so forth...

I determined that cookies weren't be set as they needed (internet cookies are the way to track that a user has visited your site and keep small pieces of date about that user for when they return). The cookie that said I was logged in was being created only in Firefox, but not in any of the other browsers. After about a 3 hour excursion to find the answer, we found it.

Every 2 weeks or so my computer runs an update and changes the time back one hour from the actual time. That means that I have to manually change the time. This past time, it turns out that I changed the month ahead as well. Here is what it said:

It is certainly not November. It turns out that Firefox is the only browser that doesn't use the local machine time to handle cookies, and so it was working fine. All of the other browsers were setting the time of the cookie as if it was 3 months from now when I returned, meaning that I was automatically logged out. Changing the date back to September did the trick and I am back in business.


| Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Just a couple of days I posted about Google Reader, and all of sudden Google surprises me with a new tool that I thought would never come...the Google web-browser. That is right, Google has joined the browser war with their own browser: Google Chrome. This has been rumored for a long time but it was certainly never confirmed until Monday. Today it is already out.

Now, I have only been using this browser for about 4 hours, but wanted to post a few first thoughts on it. It is fast. It is unbelievably fast. There is no messing around with this, you get everything as fast as you can. I definitely love that. I like how they handle tabs. Every tab is it's own process which means that you can see exactly what is going on. In the task manager it looks like the screen shot there, so for each tab, I have my own process. The reason this is so great is because now if for some reason one of my tabs gets out of control on memory, I don't have to close my whole browser, rather just the single tab. That is done as follows.

Pull up the Chrome Task Manager by pressing Shift-Esc while in Chrome. You can see exactly which tabs are using how much memory. If you click on the "Stats for Nerds" button you can see how much memory in total everything is using. It also reports memory use for other browsers as well (Firefox, IE, Safari, etc. - this is cool) So, I want to close my "Google Reader" tab so I do so by clicking the process and pressing the End Process button. Now for that tab I get this:

Awesome. Now I can control my memory much better than with Firefox or any other browser for that matter. A couple of things is that I wish were better. First, I wish there were some more addons. This may be a feature in the future, but for now, what you download is what you get. The other thing that I dislike about the browser is that if I close the entire browser, I can't save all my tabs to open back up next time. However, this shouldn't be much of an issue because I don't plan on closing the browser unless I have to. If you want to learn more, check out the comic that Google put together. Happy Browsing.

(I will let you know what is actually going on in life in a couple of days.)