Archive for April, 2006

Dell Poweredge sc430 Server

April 12, 06 by kenrich

So I just ordered a new Dell server () to use as a desktop computer. This is something that I’ve done before because I currently own two poweredge 400sc servers which I am using as desktops. Dell must be really trying to cut their costs because the new poweredge tower server lacks a lot of features that the previous one had. This is really annoying for the consumer because they have to purchase all sorts of add-ons just to have a usable computer.

The first thing I noticed was that the computer didn’t have any sound ports. You know the phono jacks that allow you to connect a set of speakers and a microphone. This doesn’t work too well for a desktop computer but I suppose it’s okay if you are just going to use it as a true server. So I had to go out to buy a sound card to go into the computer which cost me $11 (not too bad).

The next thing I noticed (which really irked me) was that the computer is lacking any PS/2 ports to plug in a keyboard. I guess all peripherals are going the USB route and so this computer requires you to use a USB mouse and a USB keyboard. While I have plent of USB mice, I don’t have a single USB keyboard in my arsenal. This means that I now, also, need to buy a USB keyboard just to try out my computer.

I know that Dell is trying to cut their costs left-and-right and increase profits. I read a news article recently that read Dell had lost some profits because they were offering substantial price cuts on their systems. They were going to focus on the very high-end (XPS series) systems and also cut the large discounts on their regular systems. I did only pay $299 for my poweredge sc430, but c’mon, at least give us a $9 keyboard with the computer so we can boot it up and install an operating system. I really don’t think this is too much to ask

Building a Search Engine for Code

April 06, 06 by kenrich

I was faced with a problem with searching our source code recently. Since we moved our hosting to a third party, we no longer have shell access that would allow us to search all our source code for the occurance of certain text. This makes it hard to track down common mistakes such as mis-spellings on the site.

In order to correct this, I have come up with a specialized for the source code on the site. I am developing a crawler which will index every single file on the website and place the index into our database. I will then build a search page that will allow me to search for keywords in the source code of the site. This is all written using also known as Active Server Pages.

Another solution for this would be to just maintain a local backup of the entire site and then use your favorite search tool to search that content. But, even though I do keep a local backup, it’s only in one location and I certainly don’t want to keep a backup in two locations. The bandwidth usage in this scenario could easily get out of control.

With the search engine, I can easily build a of all of the content on the site and search it quickly and efficiently. The search engine keeps track of when each script is modified so that when a script is changed, the engine knows it needs to rebuild the index. Since source code also involves a lot of symbols, I will need to look into integrating symble search as well, but as it stands it should be a great tool for locating problem code on the site.

Meet Snubster, the Anti-Social Networking App

April 05, 06 by kenrich

One of the new “anti-social” networking applications to be launched recently is called . The functionality at this point is pretty simple. You can build lists of people and things you want to put “on notice” or that are “dead to you”.

There’s nothing on the site where you can indicate your interests and what you like. This site strictly allows you to indicate what you don’t like and share it with others. The site is currently in Beta since it has recently been launched. There aren’t too many users there yet, but with the good press they’ve been receiving, it won’t be long before it becomes a big success.

As for the social part, you can also share this list with your friends. The system will prompt you to enter the e-mail address whenever you reference a person on your list. You can also vote on which list items are the best. This is one of the most minimalistic applications that we have ever come across.

Although, the anti-social networking application is certainly not a unique idea, this site does seem to have it’s charm. There are some navigation and javascript bugs which seem to be plaguing the site at the moment. With any luck, these bugs will be cleaned up shortly. The interface is nice to work with and even though it’s light on graphics, this doesn’t really affect the experience. All-in-all, a good place to vent your frustrations with the outside world and share common complaints with your friends.