It’s been almost a year since I started blogging. Sam Buchanan, who has been blogging since 2001, tried to get me started a couple times years ago, but I didn’t really think I had anything to write about, or maybe I thought that nobody would read what I wrote, or maybe I wouldn’t admit that I didn’t really know what blog was, so I never started. My boss finally convinced me to start writing, and this blog is the result. I’m probably late to the party, as the trend seems to be shifted toward micro-blogs or Tweets. I’m a fan of well written, original thoughts in the longer blog format though, so that’s what I’ve tried to present here on this blog.
Here’s a short summary of the interesting posts
from the first year.
Security related posts include a post
on protecting yourself from your own applications.
It’s a concept that we’ve used for years that unbeknownst to me is
closely related to Biba and BLP. Hopefully I’ve recorded the essence. I
also wrote some thoughts on de-provisioning as related to security, and a bit
on the recent shift toward applications as the target of Internet hacks.
management posts include thoughts on minimally configuring systems, on ad hoc versus structured system management, and a
proof of concept that we did a few years ago on self provisioning servers. I got thoroughly annoyed
by the bloggers who ranted on about ISP’s that didn’t patch their DNS’s
overnight, making no allowance for a reasonable test/QA cycle, so I
wrote some thoughts on rapid patching versus availability.
posts outlined essential transitions to higher availability,
touched MTTR and MTBF and availability when humans are included, and availability versus complexity. I also wrote a series of posts on estimating the availability of redundant and
non-redundant systems. (The availability related posts seem to catch
more search engine referrals than anything else on the blog).
possibly interesting posts might be the one on scaling our on-line instructional management system to over 14
million page views per day. For some people, that’s a small system. For
us, it’s our largest application by far, touching almost all students
and faculty in the state. We also started calculating the rough cost of running certain
database queries and feeding the data back to the application
developers, figuring that optimization effort should be tied somehow to
Non-nerdy posts include a couple posts
on energy use for wall warts and game consoles, a couple posts on privacy in a security camera and database infested world, and my initial post and a follow up post on my annoyance at
having to be tethered to a bulky computer or notebook.
finally, a nostalgia post generated a bit of interest among
the been-around-the-block readers.
It’s been interesting.