Mirroring in SQL Server Denali

The new mirroring features in SQL Server 2011 sound great. The clustering technologies are getting a much needed update, and will no longer require shared storage. Having recently troubleshooted a broken SQL failover cluster with a quorum drive issue I’ve been a little wary of HA clustering lately. The online mirror capabilities are huge. This makes for some very interesting possibilities like having all your readers hit the mirror, or even running backups on the mirror.

more info on Brent’s blog.

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MacBook Pro dual hard drives (SSD + 7200 RPM)

While the Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid sounds like a nice balance of performance and capacity there is a better hybrid storage solution. Just install two hard drives in your MacBook Pro. Use an SSD for your operating system, and parts of your home directory, and use a mechanical hard drive for storing your data.

SSD on top, 7200 RPM drive on bottom

First lets take a closer look at the Momentus XT Hybrid. It’s a traditional mechanical 7200 RPM hard drive with an onboard 4 GB SSD. The drive uses the 4 GB SSD to cache files that are frequently accessed. Over time the drive becomes smarter and the most used files will be read from the SSD. This sounds great, except it’s only 4 GB. The operating system and a few applications will use all this space. I run VMWare on my machine along with applications like Photoshop and Lightroom. I want all my Applications to be stored on SSD, and just the larger data files (virtual machines, photos, movies, music, etc) to be stored on a mechanical drive.

The parts you need to build this set up are as follows:

The installation is very straightforward. OWC provides excellent instructions and all the tools necessary to complete the installation.

Once you’ve got OS X installed (cloned) onto the SSD then go through the following process to move folders from your home directory over the 7200 RPM drive.

  • Copy the directory (Music for example) over to the data drive.
  • Delete the directory from the SSD.
  • Create a symbolic link to add the directory back to your home folder.

cp -R ~/Music/ /Volumes/Data/Music/
sudo rm -rf ~/Music/
ln -s /Volumes/Data/Music ~/Music

I moved the following directories over:

  • Downloads
  • Movies
  • Music
  • Pictures
  • Temp
  • Virtual (where I keep my virtual machines)
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Aside >> Flash drains the battery

Having Flash installed can cut battery runtime considerably — as much as 33 percent in our testing. With a handful of websites loaded in Safari, Flash-based ads kept the CPU running far more than seemed necessary, and the best time I recorded with Flash installed was just 4 hours. After deleting Flash, however, the MacBook Air ran for 6:02 — with the exact same set of websites reloaded in Safari, and with static ads replacing the CPU-sucking Flash versions.

More here

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Coffee Fest

Yesterday I headed up to Seattle for Coffee Fest 2010. It was my first year attending and the experience didn’t disappoint. The show floor was filled with coffee and espresso related products. There were tons of pour over samples to taste, blended drinks, and coffee shop related products to check out.

One trend I noticed was the abundance of eco friendly products being promoted. Eco Products attended, along with a whole bunch of similar companies making similar products. Some of the cups were a bit misleading in that they used less material (by having a built in sleeve), but they still weren’t compostable or made of recycled material. Another company was selling compostable wooden cutlery, though it was made in China which brings with it a separate set of problems.

The espresso related stuff was of course my main interest. I was disappointed that some of the local roasters like Zoka Coffee, Caffe Ladro, Tony’s Coffee, and Stumptown didn’t attend. Most of the roasters were big corporate companies which I don’t see myself buying coffee from, although ironically, Starbucks was nowhere to be seen. The one local shop that really impressed me is Caffe Vita. They had a great booth, and made me a perfect short latte complete with a rosetta on top.

In the espresso machine department the Faema booth had an E-61 legend, which is the original machine that had an E-61 group. Even my machine made some 30 years later still uses this group design. The La Marzocco gear was impressive as usual. I’d love to own a GS3 one day. The most high end machines I saw were by Synesso. Their booth was crowded full of people swooning over their latest creation.

La Marzocco GS3

Diedrich Roaster

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Java Deprecation on OS X

This isn’t all that unexpected coming from Apple, but the Java runtime that ships with OS X is being deprecated. This doesn’t mean Java won’t run on OS X (like flash won’t run on an iPhone), but it does mean Apple isn’t going to continue spending their resources on providing a native JRE. I think this is probably an okay move for Apple. Back in the day when Apple had to be an attractive platform it was important to make nice with the other open platform technologies like Java and Flash. But these days things are a bit different, as Apple is starting to build momentum it’s important to choose alliances like this wisely. Oracle isn’t very forthcoming about their plans for the technologies they acquired from Sun, which I think is a huge mistake on their part. At least Apple is giving the development community advanced notice on this.

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Happy binary day to all my binary friends. In decimal 101010 is 42, which it turns out is a very interesting number. In fact it’s “the answer to life the universe and everything,” based on the The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Unfortunately we don’t know what the ultimate question was.

Here are a few fun facts about the number 42 from wikipedia:

  • The angle in degrees for which a rainbow appears.
  • In 1966, mathematician Paul Cooper theorized that the fastest, most efficient way to travel across continents would be to bore a straight hollow tube directly through the Earth, connecting a set of antipodes, evacuate it (remove the air), and then just fall through. The first half of the journey consists of free-fall acceleration, while the second half consists of an exactly equal deceleration. The time for such a journey works out to be 42 minutes.
  • The glyph, or character, corresponding to the number 42 in the ASCII character set, is *, the asterisk, commonly known as the wildcard character.
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has 42 illustrations.
  • 42 is one of The Numbers – 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42 – featured in Lost.

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Roku XDS

The new Roku XDS looks like a pretty compelling little device for $99. It plays content from a variety of streaming sources. Both paid and free content is available. It also should be capable of playing some video files off a USB drive in November following a software update. Unfortunately they forgot to build in support for AVI files, which seem to be very common at the moment.

In comparison, the newly redesigned Apple TV only plays content from two networks currently (Fox and ABC), and each TV show costs 99 cents. I’d be okay with paying 99 cents for TV shows, but if there are only two networks available then I’m still going to end up having a cable subscription. So I don’t really understand the point.

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Aside >> Coffee Coffee Coffee

Always on the brain, literally.

Seattle Coffee Guide: The Independent Shops Great list of independently owned coffee shops in Seattle, WA.

Coffee Capitalism An oldie, but a great read. I never realized Ladro means thief in Italian. Very clever.

What the Locals Order Tom Douglas: Espresso Roast, really is that the best you can do? I would expect a chef to try new food/coffee/wine/etc on a semi-regular basis.

Coffee Fest Got your tickets yet? I got mine in the mail yesterday.

Roaste Cool site. You can order two bags and get free shipping. Would be even cooler if Intelligentsia sold their beans on Roaste.

The best coffee in the US for 85% less than a Starbucks Latte Exactly what I always try to explain to people.

Posted on by Jono | 2 Comments

Aside >> It takes a long time for DNS to propagate to China

I switched this site over to a new server a full 18 days ago. A week before that I dropped my DNS TTL to 3600 seconds (1 hour), from 86400 seconds (1 day). And yet today, I’m still getting a trickle of traffic coming in from China, Russia, Japan, and parts of Europe. Exactly what kind of DNS servers are you guys running over there? Evidently TTL is being completely ignored.

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Aside >> How Ironic: This is the Top News

I’ve been a big fan of digg over the years. Except for the fact that only the elite diggers could every get a story pushed to the top, I generally like the content on the site. Today I stopped by to see if there was anything worth reading and found this:

Wow, that sucks guys. At least their algorithm doesn’t seem to be filtering out the bad news.

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