Sunday, June 21, 2009

Firefox 3.5 Memory usage looking good

This article benchmarks opera, chrome, firefox 3.5 and safari in terms of how much memory they took to perform the same task(s). The numbers are for Windows, but I expect that there'll be a similar improvement in memory use on Linux.

Firefox 3.5 is looking very good. I'm going to download the beta and test the heck out of it :-). Browser memory use has been a *huge* problem for me, particularly since I've been doing a *lot* of Selenium testing. Of course selenium, and firebug and similar developer tools will increase the amount of memory used by browsers by a lot. But if the base browser can use a lot less memory, that'll be a huge help (particularly since Eclipse and tomcat 5.5 aren't memory-thin applications either, and running everything together makes my system slow as molasses as they force each other out to swap).

pidgin stopped working with yahoo

Yahoo changed their messenger authentication protocol and now pidgin 2.5.6 has stopped working with Yahoo Messenger. There's an announcement that 2.5.7 is available at launchpad, but it's not really there yet. I guess it takes a while for packages to become available, or maybe I'm hitting a mirror and the mirror hasn't synced yet.

I hope it'll be there tomorrow so I can upgrade my laptops and my work computer :-). If not, well, works well enough for now. It sure would be convenient though if pidgin were to start working again soon :-).

I'm not yet ready to build pidgin from source. But I may be, by Tuesday :-).

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Broadband plan upgrade

I was sick for much of last week. That's why we're upgrading our broadband plan (to avoid 64kbps when we go over our cap). Now, it's only one week til the end of the current cycle, so we're going to have to use up 10G in one week :-). I don't think that's going to be a problem.

Our previous plan was the Explorer plan, with 10GB of bandwidth before we're slowed down to 64kbps.

Since I was sick last week though, but I only took two sick days (Monday and Tuesday). I went to work on Wednesday, but that was a mistake since I got worse on Thursday and had to stay home Thursday and Friday. But I didn't want to not work at all the whole week, so I worked from home. Unfortunately, work involved a lot of vnc work against a vserver at work. So I blew around 2.5GB on vnc :-).

So we're upgrading to a 40GB cap plan. It's only NZ$10.00 more for double the bandwidth, so it's a great deal. There's a real danger that we won't downgrade from this plan :-).

Well, we plan to get a second broadband link at some point. Sol works from home 4 days a week, and I do quite a lot of work from home, so redundancy (even against an extremely unlikely outage) is going to be worthwhile. But that won't be for a while yet. And if we do that, then I'll certainly ratchet the telecom plan down.

I should have started the upgrade yesterday morning, so that it'd take effect by Tuesday (two working days). I didn't though, so we'll have to stay under the 800MB cap until around end of Tuesday or sometime Wednesday when the new plan takes effect. It had better not take til Friday to take effect though.

Update: I looked at the bandwidth monitor this morning and I noticed that we'd already been upgraded. No 2 day wait. That's cool since I *was* wondering what they were thinking with the 2 day wait. The delay was probably a leftover from some manual procedure that required review and approval, a leftover that got brought over to the web based procedure. And telecom finally figured out that the approval and delay weren't necessary since, after all, the customer logged in and authenticated themselves with their password.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Caveats of Evaluating Databases

The title of this article is just the title of the article on Caveats of Evaluating Databases. That title isn't very good. But the article is.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

very interesting discussion of tomcat classloader leak that leads to running out of PermGen

Must read deeply and test (-client seems an easy test)

Update -
Ok, -client doesn't work for me. OTOH, this is an old article (2005). No doubt a lot has changed with Java garbage collectors (and maybe less, but still some changes in Sun java API/JVM implementations). -client is actually significantly bad, compared to -server.

Time to look at org.springframework.web.util.IntrospectorCleanupListener

Monday, June 15, 2009

Morons? Utter Morons?

Sounds like Microsoft has outdone themselves with a bug that makes windows unbootable. And fixing it just sets you up for letting Microsoft making itself unbootable again.

Hearsay only, I wouldn't know if this is true since I don't run windows (it sits there eating up some disk space in case I run across some hardware that needs it, and I'd rather not have to waste money on a license since I've already got one good license [actually, I'd have three, except I've blown away windows on two of our three laptops]).

Thursday, June 04, 2009

myvodafone fail

I get my mobile phone service from Vodafone NZ because when my family and I arrived in New Zealand, we brought our GSM phones with us, and Vodafone is currently the only GSM provider in NZ. It's a prepaid service since I don't need to make many calls.

Since it's prepaid, I need to top-up my prepaid credit every once in a while. Now vodafone has a service called Hotlink. With Hotlink, it's possible to register a phone number and pin with my bank (highly recommended) and then get prepaid credit top-ups via a vodafone app that works through SMS messages. Hotlink worked very well for us for a year. Lately, however, my sister-in-law came to visit us in NZ and we asked her to buy us new phones since our old phones (well, mine) were approaching unusable due to a cracked screen, shorter battery life, etc.

We love our new phones. However, apparently vodafone's Hotlink app doesn't work with all handsets. Presumably it only works with handsets that vodafone sells or has sold in the past. So no hotlink for us.

Fortunately, there's a website where I can top-up my own phone via credit card payment. I didn't realize that I could top up my wife's phone too, using my account. So I tried to log in to *her* account. I'd forgotten the password, so I clicked on the forgotten password link and it sent a new password to her mobile. Except the password didn't work. I generated passwords three times and none of them worked. FAIL.

And phone support doesn't work since vodafone phone support isn't 24x7. FAIL.

So I logged in to my account (I use the Revelation password manager in Ubuntu to store my passwords) and I noticed that I could pay for prepaid credit to (via credit card) go to any mobile phone. So I used that to send credit to my wife's phone.

But vodafone FAIL isn't done. Vodafone accepts the credit card number on their site instead of having the credit card transaction be processed through a dedicated credit card gateway. In the name of usability they allow myvodafone users to store their credit card information *in*their*profile*. So they're not dropping the credit card information as soon as the credit card transaction is done, they're really storing the credit card information in their database.

Well, they'd better be really security paranoid over there.