music to code to, #1: noisy psilosophy

In course of finding music to listen to while working through my evenings recently, a while ago I discovered freemetalalbums.com, an astounding site providing wagon loads of legally downloadable EPs, singles and full length albums mainly featuring more or less unknown bands playing all kinds of music from dark / gothic rock to more extreme metal. And, as I managed to come up with quite some discoveries this way, I felt like outlining a few of them here…

Psilocybe

Starting with Psilocybe, a rather impressive band from Poland. “Psilosophy”, their self-released debut album, features progressive, technical, complex death metal on an astoundingly high level both talking about songwriting and about overall musical skills of the people involved. While mostly being rather harsh, powerful, balancing between energy, complexity and, at times, dissonance, all the eight tracks on this album (which sum up to about 37 minutes playing time) are yet highly original, live off a bunch of rather effective musical ideas (arrangements, vocals, overall song structure) and make it hard to compare Psilocybe to most of the other bands active in this field of music. Somewhere I read having them put a bit closer to Gorguts which, even though not completely right in my opinion, is quite a big comparison. And still… I am tempted to say the Psilocybe guys definitely are up to this. So if bands like Gorguts, maybe at times also later Sadus albums, are something you can pretty well live with, you definitely should get this album. It’s definitely worth it, both being played as loud as possible and being listened to via headphones while writing code. And yes, it also works without even being close to any kind of mushrooms, despite the name. ;)

services monitoring, flap detection and mail flooding

There are features in software which you learn to estimate just the very moment you understand why they are there. By now, running nagios internally for monitoring the availability of server hardware and processes, we used to have disabled a feature named flap detection which, to cut things short, does “recognize” whenever a service seems to change its state too quickly (in other words, is “flapping”). What’s the point? A while ago, we disabled flap detection in course of integrating nagios in our environment after we missed some messages of services being left in “flapping” state, so we decided to rather be notified in case a service goes down or comes up.

Why is this a bad idea? See, and especially have a look at the Date column in my inbox this morning:

This is a pretty good example of what flapping practically is – a pretty good way to fill up your mailbox, or, worse, the text message store of your cell phone. So, let’s have a look at how to set flap detection right.

fun with broken tools

I think I have been ranting about that before, already, and… for whatever it’s worth, then and now again I stumble across the same things that keep bugging me in an unbelievable way. Dealing with proprietary programming languages, most notably the one used in the document management software we used to buy a couple of years ago, is one of these “funny” experiences, in several dimensions…

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a better mouse trap #1: persistence, document storage and couchdb

Ever considered building a better mouse trap? Well. I do, actually, each and every day anew. I will leave out most of the more in-depth considerations related to this, as for now they don’t matter – the only thing worth knowing, initially, is that the process of “migrating”, “updating”, “rebuilding”, … an existing, fairly complex application system is something that is painful beyond all imagination, and this even while “just” considering the mere technical effects and aspects of this procedure…

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Why HP/Palm webOS should be open(-sourc)ed…

Those who have been reading this blog for a little longer eventually might know I’m pretty enthusiastic about Open Source both due to pragmatic and to “philosophic” reasons of this approach, and eventually I tend to “demand” software to be released as open source eventually a little more often than necessary or appropriate. However, in case of webOS, the cell / smart phone application platform initially invented by Palm and now, along with all the remainder of Palm, owned by HP, this seems an approach pretty much reasonable and logical for several reasons…

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