If you are looking for the epic motorcycle journey blog that I've written, please see the Miles By Motorcycle site I put together. 
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  • beanstalkd
    09/05/2014 2:39PM
    This is a lightweight fast message  queue implementation with wide language support: http://kr.github.io/beanstalkd/
  • Facebook TAO
    09/04/2014 12:46PM

    TAO is a memcache replacement designed by Facebook to handle their social graph queries. It is not open sourced but a paper on it is available. 

    https://code.facebook.com/publications/161988287341248/tao-facebook-s-distributed-data-store-for-the-social-graph/ 

     Another project is a router front-end to memcached which creates a distributed fault tolerant and scalable memcache.

    https://www.facebook.com/Engineering/posts/10152044187717200 

  • YouTube scaling of Mysql Databases using Vitess
    09/03/2014 1:10PM
    I came across this today https://github.com/youtube/vitess/blob/master/doc/HelicopterOverview.markdown which is the open source project released by Google that they use to scale Youtube. This looks like it could be very useful.
  • Converting a Physical Server to a Virtual Server using VirtualBox
    08/26/2014 10:20AM

    We had to move the servers back upstairs. Given that vetsclub is very long in the tooth we were afraid it wouldn't come back up. So a a fallback, in case it failed to boot, we decided to create a virtual copy of physical vetsclub.

    The recipe is pretty straight forward. Because the machine is so old, Duncan pulled the drive and inserted it into an old external USB case. We then created an image of the entire drive:

    dd if=/dev/sdc of=vetsclub.dd.img 

    NOTE: Obviously the source input file will likely be different in your situation. 

    Virtual Box makes it extremely easy to convert a raw image file into a bootable virtual machine. Assuming a current (as of this writing 4.3.10) VirtualBox the command is:

    VBoxManage convertdd vetsclub.dd.img vetsclub.vdi --format VDI

    Now it's just a matter of booting it. Unlike VMWare, adding the drive is a separate step.

    Create a New Virtual machine and then on the screen titled Hard drive select "Use an existing virtual hard drive file".

    Click the browse button to the right of the option and select the VDI file you created in the step above. 

  • A Raspberry Pi Media Server
    06/27/2014 5:19PM
    So for the longest time I've been showing videos and photos on the big TV by copying everything over to a spare USB drive and then plugging it into the PS/3. It works, but it's klunky.

    What I really wanted to do was set up a generic computer that I could plug directly into the TV and use it to show videos (mostly GoPro), photos and play music. 

    I have a Mac Mini with an HDMI output but in the year it was made they didn't support sound. 

    Then I realized that the Raspberry Pi hobbyist single board computers ($35) include an HDMI port along with two USB ports, an SD slot amongst others. In addition, there's a distribution of the Linux operating system available for the Pi that's a pre-configured ready to run Media Server called "OpenElec". 

    The Pi is powered by a simple USB power supply. 

    You can download a project called NOOBS which has a bunch of pre-configured OS's on it. You simply select from the menu and it installs and boots the selected OS.

    I initially tried RaspBMC but it kept locking up on me. After exploring power supply issues, I decided to try OpenElec which for the last hour has been very reliable.

    It fires up into a very simply interface for Photos, Videos, Music and Programs. It lets you browse the network for photos if you have a windows (SMB) server.

    All in all a very nice solution.