Shouting at hard disks increases latency

Brendan Gregg from Sun’s Fishworks team makes an interesting discovery about inducing disk latency.

Shouting at Disks Increases Latency (VIDEO)

For more details, see Brendan’s blog entry.

Now you know what the technicians do to hard disks when they get angry. They shout at them and then notice something surprising and go like woah. For me, I whisper sweet nothings to my hard disk. It fetches documents a lot faster this way.

New Year’s almost ending

And assignment submission date is coming. My assignments are more or less completed. Yes they look a little like rushed work but they’re completed. I had this crazy obsession with formatting in Word 2007. And that of course is the reason why I can’t move away from Word. Whoever tell me Open Office is cool apparently does not work on numbered document listings and table of contents much. So please save your voices, Office Word 2007 rocks for me and I will not convert at this point of time.

Looking like Word does not mean it is Word.

Seven things I hate about Apple iTunes

The most annoying things about iTunes are:

  1. Each time I launch iTunes, it gives me a quick black screen, I don’t know what’s that for but it’s uncool.
  2. I never understood why dragging and dropping music into iTunes’s Music sometimes work and sometimes don’t.
  3. On a maximized iTunes, you cannot move your mouse cursor to the top right and click to close iTunes. You end up clicking on the application behind and that typically would be maximized for me and I always ended up closing Firefox this way. It’s just because iTune’s windows have curved corners all around.
  4. iTunes randomly eats up my cover art and I have no frigging idea what’s going on.
  5. Glorified spreadsheet is ugly, grid layout is simply requires too many clicks to move around and the cover layout – oh don’t get me started.
  6. iTunes’ volume changes are not reflected the Volume Mixer of Windows Vista.
  7. And the fact that it somehow needs Bonjour and Apple Mobile Devices and kindly installs those services without telling you.

Apple is just there to destroy Windows users experience. I can imagine they’ve got a bunch of really dedicated staff who actually would probably fix these things but were told to prioritize on useless shit like Bonjour for Windows.

When using Windows Vista, I can almost feel Apple screaming to me “Switch switch switch”.

Honestly one day I probably would switch but I can’t help but not like the company. Think of it as Microsoft. Lots of people claim that they dislike Microsoft online but few actually bothered to move away from Microsoft years ago. If you hate the operating system so much, why not move? It’s just because Microsoft got some things wrong and a whole bunch of things right. And Apple too, gotten some things wrong like iTunes, but they’ve gotten a different bunch of things right.

I earn 88 cents

For the month of December, I earn 88 US cents. That’s 4.4% the cost of my 20 USD web host. Last month (November) I earn 1.10 USD which is slightly better. But what I notice is that page impressions increase from 1700 to 2300 which made me slightly happy. Hopefully one I could offset the entire cost of hosting in Slicehost. Perhaps a year later.

Don’t use a Windows Service just to run a scheduled process

I see windows services that does absolutely nothing but just check for regular updates. It is just sitting there through your entire session waiting for the time to ripe for checking of update. Don’t do that kind of lame stuff.

A common requirement in business application is a scheduled process – call a webservice, process the data, and FTP the results to a business partner, for instance. Developers kick around possible solutions – BizTalk’s overkill, DTS won’t handle it well, what to do?

Invariably, someone suggests a Windows Service with a timer. Just as invariably, when you try to talk them out of it, they’ll condescendingly tell you that Windows Services are easy to write in .NET. “Trust me, it’s not hard – we’ll write a simple service with a timer which will do a simple time check…”

A Windows Service is the wrong solution to scheduling one-off custom processes. The right solution for scheduling simple processes is the Windows Task Scheduler. (Source: Jon Galloway)

I mean it’s just an update check. It’s not that a big deal to use a service for that.

Microsoft Zune fail because of this For loop

Wonder why Microsoft Zune fail on New Year leap year? It’s because of a Freescale date routine!

[code lang=”c”]year = ORIGINYEAR; /* = 1980 */

while (days > 365)
{
if (IsLeapYear(year))
{
if (days > 366)
{
days -= 366;
year += 1;
}
}
else
{
days -= 365;
year += 1;
}
}[/code]

Under normal circumstances, this works just fine. The function keeps subtracting either 365 or 366 until it gets down to less than a year’s worth of days, which it then turns into the month and day of month. Thing is, in the case of the last day of a leap year, it keeps going until it hits 366. Thanks to the if (days > 366), it stops subtracting anything if the loop happens to be on a leap year. But 366 is too large to break out of the main loop, meaning that the Zune keeps looping forever and doesn’t do anything else. (Source: ZuneBoard)

User “itsnotabigtruck” of ZuneBoard forum made that interesting find.