Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hiking in Russian Ridge (again)

I went hiking in Russian Ridge (again) yesterday. I had been there just a few weeks ago. This time, I took 2 photos from my cell phone. So, they're not so great. Summer is here and it was hotter and so everything has started to dry up. Too many flies on the trails for some reason. The open trails here mean that you should best avoid it during summer.

Yes, that's a blanket of fog on the trees, in the background. They are not clouds. It looks wonderful.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Funny JavaZone Video

Here's a funny vid to watch over the weekend (it's only a few minutes long). Still strictly Java related, mind you:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Varnish, Voldemort, Virtualization and other vaguely related stuff

A few interesting articles I read these past 2 weeks:

1) Voldemort presentation at QCon - Project Voldemort at Gilt Groupe. I didn't know that Voldemort was storage independent. Interesting to see the different storage options they tested. Lots of other useful presentations from QCon London 2010.

2) Some fairly detailed and low level notes on systems stuff like swapping and paging from the guys who wrote Varnish page cache - You're Doing It Wrong. The original Varnish Architect notes describes the remaining details.

3) The latency and throughput numbers of Market data - and

4) Azul Systems opens up a part of their awesome runtime - They have a Linux kernel module for better memory management. I'll follow this with interest, being a fan of the awesome Dr. Cliff Click.

5) Some questions I had posted on Virtualization expert blogs about when not to use them. There's no doubt that Sys Admins and IT guys want everything in the data centers to move to a 100% virtualized environment. Apparently it not just about server consolidation anymore. Companies are willing to sacrifice some performance for easier provisioning. To me the performance reduction is disappointing. It's like 2001 all over again when Java was slow and there was a lot of resistance to using it in production. Eventually the JVMs became faster (well, so did the processors to some extent) and people stopped thinking twice about using Java. Now, just when you thought Java was going to run blazing fast on multi-core, there's a second VM under the Java VM to slow things down. Dang! So much for progress. Now we have to wait for 10G pipes , SSDs and mega-multi-core to make up for the drop in power.

6) ORM - do we still have that impedance mismatch? Why are there so many standards - JDO and JPA and so many frameworks? Apache itself has so many. Then there is Hibernate, DataNucleus and EclipseLink.

7) Does Queuing interest you? ZeroMQ looks interesting. Anything that is open source interests me. Here's some eval notes on open source queuing systems. A little dated but still interesting.

Until next time!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This quarter in Sci-fi

1) Protector by Larry Niven has a very relaxing and smooth flow. Simple, unadulterated and enjoyable 80's Sci-fi.

2) The Scar by China Mieville. Another Mieville classic. This story is set on a pirate ship, complete with science-fantasy, steampunk and magic. Loads of sugary goodness, like his other novels.

3) The Light of Other Days by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter. What happens when 2 masters work together? You get a Hard Sci-Fi masterpiece. If every action you make were to be visible later in the future with the help of wormhole cameras, would we still lie, commit crimes and injustices? A thought provoking novel. We talk about Facebook, Google and privacy. Hah! You should read this book. The issues in the novel are way more complex. Society and species level.

4) Ilium by Dan Simmons. A fat book, you have been warned. A strange mix of sci-fi, Greek gods, Trojan war, Shakespeare and post humanism. Too bad this is just part 1. I would say, it's almost as good as Hyperion.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hadoop, CDI, Weld, HSQL and Chuck Norris Java jokes

Big data doesn't get bigger than this...very rarely. i.e if you exclude GOOG, EBAY and MSFT. Facebook now has the largest Hadoop installation, surpassing Yahoo. Hive is the main interface into Hadoop for the Facebook analytics team, it seems.What caught my attention was the 16G heap for the JobTracker nodes and 58G heap for the NameNode.

I still find it hard to believe that the established OLAP and DW companies cannot offer competitive prices and solutions. One of them has docs explaining how they do joins in clusters - SQL Request and Transaction Processing. Just the doc for Join processing runs up to 400 pages. Impressive to say the least!

HSQL has a new re-written core with MVCC and 2 phase locking. This version 2.0 is now about as good as H2. I like the competition.

I've been trying to understand where this new (CDI) Dependency Injection business was heading. After digging up a few articles, I found these interesting: 2 JSRs - 330 and 299. 299 extends 330 as described here. And obviously, Spring, naturally is not very enthusiastic about making JEE easy to use - read the comments in that 299-330 article. JBoss' Weld is the RI.

And here's a bit of fun, courtesy Chuck Norris:
   1) Chuck Norris Java jokes -
   2) Chuck Norris facts -

Until next time!