April 29, 2003

mysqldump performance tip

The -q option to mysqldump is poorly documented and misunderstood as a result.

Several folks at Yahoo have been having trouble with mysqldump running out of memory. At first I figured it was some odd problem, specific to one person's setup. But after it happened again, I started to look into it.

I did a bit of testing and found that when dumping really big tables, mysqldump was using up large amounts of memory. It was very good about freeing up the memory when it moved from table to table, but eventually it'd hit The Big One and die.

I reasoned that it must be buffering everything in RAM before dumping. (Of course, you can watch the long pauses in output to the dump file to notice this too.) I then thought that PHP has a way of fetching results without sucking tons of memory (mysql_unbuffered_query()) and began to wonder what it'd take to get mysqldump to do the same.

I ran thru the PHP code to figure out how they did it and found that it was the difference between calling mysql_store_result() and mysql_use_result() at the C API level. That's it, really. So I checked the source code to mysqldump only to find that the option already existed, but I'd have never found it.

The docs for mysqldump's -q flag say:

Don't buffer query, dump directly to stdout. Uses mysql_use_result() to do this.


You see, unless you know the C API and understand the difference between buffered and unbuffered results from MySQL's point of view, the description in the manual is useless. I wouldn't have thought to try the -q option to solve this problem.


Sounds pretty trivial, doesn't it? It's not. The docs probably should say something about using it on larger tables and how you might run out of memory of you don't use it.

In fact, I'd go so far as to argue that maybe that option should be on by default. There's little downside for folks with small tables, and there's a lot of benefit for those with really big tables.

Anyway, this ends my public service announcement on the matter.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:14 PM

AT&T/Comcast Cable Sucks (again)

Following in the footsteps of Excite @Home and then AT&T, it appears that Comcast (or is it still AT&T? I can't keep track.) can't run a network either.

                           Matt's traceroute  [v0.52]
cow                                                    Tue Apr 29 10:23:09 2003
Keys:  D - Display mode    R - Restart statistics    Q - Quit
                                           Packets               Pings
Hostname                                %Loss  Rcv  Snt  Last Best  Avg  Worst
 1. cable-router.zawodny.com               0%   10   10     1    1    1      1
 2.                          20%    8   10    11   11   21     41
 3.                         20%    8   10    16   12   24     48
 4.                          10%    9   10    39   12   25     62
 5.                          0%   10   10    13   12   15     21
 6. gbr5-p40.sffca.ip.att.net             10%    9   10    51   13   29     51
 7. tbr1-p013501.sffca.ip.att.net         10%    9   10    21   13   36     69
 8. ggr1-p340.sffca.ip.att.net            20%    8   10    14   13   23     57
 9. svl-brdr-02.inet.qwest.net            20%    8   10    19   19   38     64
10. svl-core-03.inet.qwest.net            20%    8   10    56   20   30     56
11. chi-core-01.inet.qwest.net            30%    7   10    85   61   71     85
12. chi-edge-01.inet.qwest.net            10%    9   10    88   60   75     91
13.                          10%    9   10    72   71   98    136
14. tlp3-atm1-0.toledo.oar.net            20%    8   10    82   80   88    112
15. wcnet-atm1-0s53.toledo.oar.net         0%   10   10   130   80   98    130
16. wcnet-fasteth3-0.toledo.oar.net       12%    8   10    84   81   91    129
17. family.zawodny.com                    12%    8   10    91   84  105    144

Notice the packet loss at the first hop! I guess it's a good thing I held on to my DSL service too.


Posted by jzawodn at 10:49 AM

Apple could learn a lot from Amazon.com

I just installed the new iTunes 4.0 and decided to check out Apple's new music store. I launched iTunes, clicked on the new "Music Store" icon and was taken to a web page that offered lots of stuff I might sample and buy. But there was one big, glaring problem with it.

Much of the music on that page is irrelevant to me. There's a wealth of information in my iTunes music library. Apple could use data about which music I own, how often I listen to various songs/artists/genres to make suggestions. You know, Amazon.com-style stuff.

I know why they don't do this by default (privacy), but the first time I visited, they really should have asked if they could use my music library and listening habits to better suggest music that I might want to try and possibly buy.

What are they thinking?

Amusingly, they even have a "Buy an iPod" link near the top of the page. Guess what, Apple. I own a 20GB iPod that's only 20% full. You could know this. I really have no need to buy another one right now.

There's so much potential here, yet so little of it is used.

On the plus side, at least Apple has the balls to try making the "pay for downloading music" model actually work. I give them a lot of credit for that.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:28 AM

April 28, 2003

PHPCon Talk Slides on-line

The slides from my "MySQL, PHP, Stuff" talk on on-line now in HTML and PDF format.

Enjoy. (Well, as much as you can without the audio of me filling in all the detail.

Update: I'll fix the spelling bugs and re-post later today, I hope. Luckily my loyal readers are noting them in the comments.

Posted by jzawodn at 04:35 PM

April 27, 2003

Back from NY

The trip back to JFK wasn't bad and the flight home was good. Now I have a lot of catching up to do. Thanks to Derek for putting me up over the weekend.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:11 PM

April 26, 2003

Muhphy's Law

The one day that I'm totally free in NY, and the weather really sucks.

So we'll just sit around Derek's place and watch movies.

Screw you, Murphy. Thanks for the sun and warm temperatures on the days that I'm flying and stuck in buildings and/or trains.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:49 AM

April 24, 2003

Angelo's of Mulberry Street

After arriving at JFK, taking a taxi to the hotel and checking in, I just tried to stay awake for a while. Then Adam called and said "we're going to dinner at a great place in Little Italy..."

We all met downstairs and hopped a ride to our food (and many glasses of wine). Angelo's was busy. The bottom line: best Italian food ever! If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend it. It's amazing.

After that, we wandered over to a cafe for dessert. Damned good stuff. Can't remember the name of the place.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:50 PM

Wing it!

Oops. With the 80's music playing on the iPod, I finally motivated myself to write my talk for the conference. I still have 2.5 hour of flying to go, so it's not like I'm waiting until the last minute.

The talk seems to be of the right length. But I'm worried about the topic. I know I'm supposed to talk about MySQL & PHP, but what about them am I supposed to say?

I don't remember, exactly. And I don't have a conference program handy. And it's not like there's WiFi in-flight (in a few years maybe?). So I'm guessing. Hopefully I'm close. :-)

Right now, I have the standard preamble, followed by a review of MySQL 3.23, 4.0, 4.1, and 5.0 features and development. I then move on to some performance tips. Then I get into a bit on PHP/MySQL advice (mostly about persistent connections since they're a persistent source of "discussion" among some folks). I finish up with some talk about mysqli, the new MySQL API that has been exposed in PHP for use with MySQL 4.1's binary protocol (prepared statements and all that goodness).

I hope there will be questions during the talk (there are always seem to be) that can help guide things a bit.

I love my iPod. And I really love having power at the seat. Other airlines could learn a lot form American. (I just got the battery warning and plugged in.)

(A few minutes later.) Hmm. It's getting bumpy. Hard to type. We're over the plains now and the atmosphere is a bit more unstable here. The pilot is taking us down to a lower altitude. Hopefully that'll help. Looks like part of Idaho maybe.

(Many minutes later.) Well, we're flying over Lake Michigan now. No turbulence at all, but that's to be expected. Water has a funny way of calming the atmosphere. It's a very clear day. Ya know, I'm only a about 30 minutes of flying time from my home town of Toledo, Ohio.

(A while later.) It looks like there's great soaring over Pennsylvania today. Lots of cumulus clouds popping up. I even spotted some nice clouds streets. Their altitude is difficult to judge, but it seems to be at least 5,000 AGL. From the looks of it, one could have launched at 2:30pm and expected to stay up for several hours without much trouble. Amusingly, a 757 pilot probably looks down there and sees turbulence. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.

(Later yet.) Well, we're 80 miles from the airport, landing in about 20 minutes (gate 43. My body really doesn't believe that it's already 4:30pm. Hopefully dinner a good night's sleep will help that. I guess it need to put the notebook to sleep now and re-pack things. At least the battery is fully charged again!

Funny note. The flight attendants can't tell time. They just announced it was 2 minutes until 4. Then 2 minutes until 5. And then someone gave 'em a working watch and he discovered that it is roughly 4:35pm.

Heh. That's all for now. I'm hoping to post all this crap using the WiFi from the conference in a few hours. We'll see. If not, there's always dial-up (shudder!).

Posted by jzawodn at 12:31 PM

Spring in New York

Like Jim I'm hoping to spend some time outside while in NY for PHPCon. With the conference hotel so close to Central Park, I'll likely spend some time there with my camera.

I, too, am annoyed by Saturday's weather forecast. Derek, Kasia, and I were gonna maybe do something outside. But Mother Nature may have teamed up with Murphy to thwart that plan.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:29 PM

MySQL Column Types and Optimization

I read but never got a chance to respond to Scott's question/tip:

Now Feedster makes pretty extensive use of MySQL and as I am reviewing my table structure, something I'm noticing is that I'm using way too large fields all over the place. Now if I read this MySQL man page correctly, I can use a TINYINT to store between -127 and 127. Like a lot of people I suspect, I was just using an INT. That's 4 bytes instead of 1. Not a big savings but if you have this kind of wastage on a number of fields, it adds up.

He goes on to suggest that folks figure out their max values needed for each column and make the right choice. I agree completely. As he suspects, this is something I mention in myMySQL Optimization talk(s) but I tend not to give it a lot of attention. That's often because there are a lot of other (bigger) mistakes that people seem to make.

Anyway, using the most logical column type is smart for two reasons. First, it helps performance. Smaller columns use less space, so more of the data can be cached in memory. It also means fewer disk seeks and that translates to faster disk reads (and writes). Secondly, by using a TINYINT instead of INTEGER, MySQL will limit the size of values you can stick in there. So you're getting a bit more error checking that you don't need to code. I don't think you should rely on it being there, but it's nice to know that it is. Don't write sloppy code.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:28 PM

E-Mail is Proprietary?

According to Russell it is:

Every day I'm getting more and more frustrated with email. It's so closed, proprietary, unsearchable, filling with Spam, yet so vital to every day life. It's nice that we're getting close in a lot of ways to replacing it

I'm not sure what he meant by that. Anyone want to enlighten me?

It's gonna be a long time before we replace e-mail. More likely, we'll re-work SMTP to make e-mail more accountable (to combat SPAM, mostly) and to add features that don't exist today. But one to one and one to many store and forward messaging isn't going away.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:26 PM

Airline Stupidity

A flight attendant just got on the PA to ask us to lower our shades "for better viewing of the in-flight movie."

Fuck that.

I'm not watching the crappy in-flight movie. I'm on an early west to east cost flight and depending on my iPod and the abundance of daylight (I got a window seat by choice) to help adjust my sleep schedule. I'd rather not be falling asleep tomorrow morning during the talk I'm giving. If this was a red-eye flight, that'd be one thing. But for most of us, it's either 10:30am or 1:30pm right now.

If the other person in my row asks me to close it, I will. But she looks perfectly content to me.

Why don't they also ask everyone to return their seats to the upright position for the comfort of those using laptops to try and get work done during this 5 hour flight?

Because this isn't a flying office. And it's also not a flying movie theater.

On the other hand, if this is my only complaint so far, things are going well.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:25 PM


If I was Ann Harrison, I'd be pissed too.

Firebird is an Open Source Database, just like PostgreSQL or MySQL. I'd hate to see the Mozilla folks confuse things so much that they have to start calling it FirebirdSQL.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:23 PM

So far, so good

As I write this, we're cruising at 37,000 feet above Utah, just east of the Rocky Mountains. The the flight left on time, I have a window seat with laptop power (not that I need yet, but it'll come in handy), the seat next to me is empty, and it has been a smooth ride so far.

(Of course, as I wrote that the seat belts sign came on. But it didn't last long.)

The Bay Area was covered by some status clouds at roughly 4,000 feet (guess) when we took off. As we flew over the central valley, the clouds vanished. The didn't reappear until we passed Lake Tahoe, on the California/Nevada border. And we flew right over the lake. Quite a beautiful site with the all the snow capped mountains around. Someday I'll have to do some soaring around the Lake Tahoe area.

The whole "more room in coach" on American Airlines proves to be especially helpful when you want to use a laptop without fussing when the person in front of you reclines his seat. And, hey, their breakfast wasn't bad either. French toast and melon. I guess that's my second breakfast of the day. The oatmeal and banana at 4:45am was my first. Yeah, I got up early because I didn't feel like packing last night. I'll just be sure to find something good for dinner after I settle in at the hotel and try to find some of the PHP freaks.

Oh well, time to catch up on a bit of my blog reading. Unfortunately, I can really only catch up on those feeds that provide full content via RSS. My aggregator (SharpReader currently) can download the RSS but doesn't know to fetch the full entry pages too. No big deal. I'll just bust out the iPod and start working on tomorrow's presentation.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:05 PM

Finally on Wireless

So it's time to procss my backlog of postings...
Posted by jzawodn at 12:04 PM

April 23, 2003

WiFi at the Airport

I'm posting this from SJC Terminal A (American Airlines). I love having access. It turns out that T-Mobile isn't usable here for some reason. Guess who will be asking for a refund. But the local Waypoint service works great. Not bad for $6.95/day. Of course, I'll only get 1 hour of use, but I wanted to give it a try. Maybe I'll get to the airport even earlier next time, knowing that this is here.

I'm really impressed by the low latency to my DSL line at home and the other machines I've tried. It looks like a good connection via Level3.

C:\>ping dsl.zawodny.com

Pinging dsl.zawodny.com [] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes=32 time=30ms TTL=240
Reply from bytes=32 time=20ms TTL=240
Reply from bytes=32 time=30ms TTL=240
Reply from bytes=32 time=20ms TTL=240

Ping statistics for
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 20ms, Maximum =  30ms, Average =  25ms

Not bad at all! :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 07:59 AM

April 22, 2003

I'm Strange

It's hardly a news flash, but I do some odd things. I can never leave on a trip without cleaning my living room and doing my laundry. It took me a few years to figure out why, because it's not apparent until the return home.

I love the feeling of walking into [what appears to be] a clean apartment, one where there's no dirty laundry around. Of course, all I need to do is walk into the bathroom to reset my expectations, but still. I like it.

So why did this come up just now?

I'm off to PHPCon East 2003 in the AM. It's a direct flight from SJC to JFK on AA flight 202. I'll try out the T-Mobile Hot Spot in the American terminal at SJC and try to blog something in my sleep-deprived state. (It's an early flight and I'm not what you'd call a "morning person." Not by a long shot.).

There's supposed to be WiFi at the conference, so I'll see if I can't keep up with stuff a little better than I did at the MySQL Conference. Oh, my talk is on Thursday morning. Yeah, morning on the east coast. That's like really early morning on the west coast. This will be amusing.

On Friday I'm gonna visit Y! HotJobs to talk about MySQL, PHP, and stuff. Then I head to Derek's place of employment so we can head to his place for the night. On Saturday, Kasia is slated to join us. We're gonna do something. Not sure quite what. On Sunday evening I head home.

There. Now you know.

Oh, and I had a lot of fun uploading New York maps to my GPS. More on that later. I'm curious to see how well it works there.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:04 PM

Phil Greenspun has a weblog!

It's right here. Excellent. I've been a big fan of him for a long time. He's the reason I started doing the whole "web + database = application" thing several years back. I picked up a copy of his excellent Database Backed Web Sites book and it flipped the light on in my brain. Everything just clicked.

Phil is very smart, funny, and has a great writing style. I highly recommend his books and (probably) his weblog.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:28 PM

Yahoo Bloggers?

It occurs to me that there's no single list of Yahoo bloggers out there. Perhaps we should start one?

It might encourage a few more to get out there too... Or it just might result in more bitching. Hmm. There's one way to find out. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 09:45 PM

T-Mobile's HotSpot Service

I'm thinking of signing up for T-Mobile HotSpot service to try it out. Since I'll be traveling, this will give me (hopefully) good Internet access at San Jose airport (I'm flying American, which is listed) and a few other random places.

Anyone have much experience with the service?

One thing worries me. At JFK they only appear to service the "admirals club" and not the general terminals. How lame is that? Anyone know if you can sniff the service outside the club(s)?

But hey, there's always the bookstores and coffee shops they service...

Posted by jzawodn at 12:16 PM

April 21, 2003

Flying the Friedls

Okay, I'm posting this really late, but I took the day off work to fly the Friedls. I don't have time to write a lot of details, but there is some info (and a QuickTime movie) available here.

I'll try not to wait so long before posting next time.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:39 PM

My Head Hurts

Literally. It does.

What a day. Things didn't go exactly as planned. And I have a ton of stuff to do before heading to PHPCon--including my talk.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:50 PM

E-Mail Tension Syndrome

From NewsScan comes this odd report:

People's anxieties and fears over e-mail etiquette have given rise to a new term: pre- and post-mail tension (PPMT). A major problem is that as many as half of all e-mail users fail to properly understand all the nuances of personal messages, and blame the resulting confusion for arguments and even relationship break-ups. "E-mail is a great way to make contact with people and maybe develop a romance. The problem of PPMT we have revealed by these statistics is caused not by e-mail itself, but how people let their anticipation and expectation get the better of them," says Helen Petrie, professor of human computer interaction at London's City University. A survey by Yahoo! Mail showed that people can become obsessed with "inbox expectations" -- constantly checking their e-mail inbox to see if a message has been answered. Sixty-four percent of respondents in that survey reported problems concentrating at work if they were waiting for a reply to a specific e-mail, reinforcing the impression that e-mail is contributing to workplace "cyber-slacking."

Read more about it in This ZDNet story.

I'll never be amazed by the the strange ways in which people react to technology.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:53 AM

April 20, 2003

The secret to making Mac OS X updates install...

After fighting with the OS X 10.2.5 upgrade for a few days, I've discovered the secret to making this stuff work and am ready to share it with the world.

Step 1: Fight with the software.

Step 2: Get really pissed off.

Step 3: Write a nasty rant about it for your blog.

Step 4: Try one final time before posting the rant.

That's it. It'll work on the last try. Every time. Now if only Apple could build a blogging tool into Mac OS X, this process might go a bit more quickly.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:07 PM

Cleaning LCD Screens?

What you use to clean off your LCD screen(s)? I have a few notebooks of varying age and some external LCD monitors. Being the slob I am, I haven't cleaned them in a long, long time. Now I'm trying to figure out the best way to clean them without leaving streaks and without damaging them.

So, on this Easter Sunday, I ask... what do you use? Water? Windex? CRT wipes? Other?

(I bet you didn't know that Windex had a web site. I didn't either until I Googled for it.)

Posted by jzawodn at 03:58 PM

April 19, 2003

Save Money! Book on-line.

I finally made my hotel reservation for PHPCon East in New York. Amusingly, I called their 1-800 number a few hours ago to find that their reservations desk was closed and that I'd have to call back on Monday. WTF?! Worse yet, their automated message never suggested their sucky web site.

So I went there anyway and made a reservation. And guess what... I got a better price. They're offering $124/night on-line. The conference discount is supposed to be $169/night.

Now I know why their phone message doesn't drive you to their web site. They can make more money off you on the phone. I'm sure this isn't news to Rudy Maxa but it's the first time I've run into this.

Posted by jzawodn at 05:30 PM

Stupid Garmin MapSource Installation

I recently bought the Garmin MapSource TOPO CDs from Amazon. Why? So I could add maps to my GPS and manipulate paths, waypoints, and other cool stuff on my computer. But the installer is really stupid

First, check out this picture. I'm being asked to choose from a list of exactly one. Why? That's retarded.

Second, there's no way to say "I have a big hard disk, so please put all 3 CDs worth of data on my laptop instead of making me carry 'em around with me." Granted, Garmin isn't the only who doesn't get it. But this isn't rocket science. Garmin builds portable navigation devices. Don't you think that someone interested in portable navigation might like the option of not dragging CDs around with 'em?

I think so.

Posted by jzawodn at 05:18 PM

I want my web back!

I couldn't agree more with Sterling when he says I want my web back. He's sooo right. This stuff is getting too hard. Have we lost sight of what the web is supposed to be about and how it has managed to grow this quickly?

I used to love putting stuff on the web. Now it's a pain. I seek out tools to make the job easier. Not because I'm lazy but because the barriers to publishing seem to have gone up. I have to worry about so many more stupid things. Granted, some of it comes from the increased expectations. I could keep publishing like it's 1994, but I suspect that would cause its own problems.

Thank god for MovableType, huh? Have you paid for your copy? (I have. And it was some of the best money I ever spent.)


I hadn't intended this to be an advertisement for MovableType. Sorry about that. But I have no problem chatting about my favorite tools and why they're great.

MT is easy to use (it Just Works) but is also very hackable at the same time. Witness the growing repository of MT plug-ins.

Posted by jzawodn at 05:00 PM

MySQL 4.x article on-line now

Now that the standard 3 month delay has passed the MySQL 4.x article I wrote for the January 2003 issue of Linux Magazine is on-line.

Here's a the intro...

MySQL has a lot in common with the Macintosh: both products grew out of their creators' early vision and passion to become the great products they are today; both have begun to fill very visible roles in the Open Source world; both have been popping up more and more in corporate settings; and both have managed to generate communities of vocal and loyal supporters -- communities that continue to grow and thrive.
But the most important and striking similarity between MySQL and the Mac boils down to the emotional response each product evokes. Few people who have used a Macintosh come away unimpressed -- they either love the Mac or hate it. People have a similar reaction to MySQL. And recently, there has been more to love and less to hate about both of them (and with the advent of the Unix-based Mac OS X you can run MySQL on a Mac for the first time).

...and so on.

Posted by jzawodn at 03:32 PM

House of 1000 Corpses

After flying yesterday, Adam called and asked if I was hungry. So we met at the fish place. Then decided a movie was in order. I called Movie Phone only to find that, no, Old School wasn't available. (Last showing had already started.) The Real Cancun hadn't opened yet. Damn.

So we headed up to the theater to see what they had to offer. Not much. Adam suggested House of 1000 Corpses and I didn't care too much. The other options were Anger Management and Phone Booth.

Despite what jwz says, the move was bad. Very bad. Very very bad. I have never ever seen a worse movie. Ever.

The only way I can think to possibly make up for the 2 hours wasted is to tell all my friends how great it was, in the hopes that they'll waste 2 hours and I can laugh at them.

In summary, don't see it.

Posted by jzawodn at 03:11 PM

Programming the Internet

Phil Windley has recently gave a talk titled Programming the Internet and it looks quite good. There are PDF slides up on his site. It looks like he did a nice job of presenting an overview of what it means to build services on an Internet infrastructure and how it's different than more traditional LAN-based systems.

Good stuff, as always.

Posted by jzawodn at 02:50 PM

Perfect Weather

I just stepped outside to take out the trash. It's 68 degrees, sunny, and there's a light breeze. Damn, I love northern California at this time of year.

Posted by jzawodn at 01:29 PM

April 18, 2003

Gone Flying...

The forecast for tomorrow (err, today actually) looks great and some friends from work want glider rides. So I'm taking the day off to fly!

After the rides in the late morning and early afternoon, I'll fly with my instructor a bit to hopefully complete my sign-off for the BASA Grob 103 (no, not the one in that picture but one just like it).

It should be a fun day. What a way to start the weekend.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:49 AM

April 17, 2003

Time Traveler Beats Stock Market

I've always wanted to do this. Well, except the part about being arrested.

"But the fact is, with an initial investment of only $800, in two weeks' time he had a portfolio valued at over $350 million. Every trade he made capitalized on unexpected business developments, which simply can't be pure luck.


(Thanks to Andy for the link.)

Posted by jzawodn at 01:43 PM

mytop 1.3 is released

I've just posted version 1.3 of mytop.

What's new? Here's what the Changes file lists...

Added a "c" command to switch between the thread view and "command summary" view. The command summary pulls the Com_* values from SHOW STATUS and summarizes them. The UI needs work and I welcome feedback on how to improve it.
Fixed various bugs. Added regex support for filters. Added the ability to [K]ill all threads owned by a particular user. Fixed query cache hit rate computation.
Use the value of Com_select rather than Questions to calculate the Qcache ratio. Only SELECT queries are candidates for the cache, so this is far more accurate.

Bug reports, patches, and feature suggestions always welcome. :-)

(Oh, there are likely a few things missing from the docs... Let me know. From now on, I'll try to update the docs sooner after changing the code.)

Posted by jzawodn at 01:26 PM

April 16, 2003

MySQL super-smack on FreeBSD

MySQL super-smack is a great little benchmarking tool. Using it, you can generate a load on your MySQL server to highlight bottlenecks in your configuration or MySQL itself. Heck, one of these days maybe I'll provide a little tutorial about how I've used it.

The trouble is that it doesn't build out-of-the-box on FreeBSD (minor library conflicts). It works great on Linux. I managed to make it work about 1.5 years ago but never bothered with a patch. So, it is with much delay that I present super-smack-bsd.patch.gz

The usual disclaimers apply. It seems to work for me and may or may not work for you. I'm sending it to MySQL AB so they can better include it in the standard super-smack release.

Posted by jzawodn at 06:09 PM

April 15, 2003

Great Quote

From Mark:

As you may have noticed, I haven't really thought about this very hard, so no doubt some issues will arise.

I've felt like that a lot recently. But I wasn't cool enough to be that succinct.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:40 PM


I just realized that the most interesting (to me, at least) things going on in my life right are are things I cannot really discuss on-line. Not now, at least. And much if it maybe never. In some ways it's really cool, but it's also rather frustrating. In the 9 months or so since I began blogging, I've grown accustomed to tossing stuff out here so that others knew what I'm up to.

Amazingly, some people are interested and even care.

It's a strange little world we create.

On a related note, I just discovered that I really ought to do laundry tomorrow. I'm in need of clean whites.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:36 PM

Email via TiVo

Oh, I long for the day when I have this much spare time again.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:54 PM

Inbox Cleanup

I've been bad. My inbox at work was over 800 messages this morning. I've spent most of the day removing, sorting, and responding. It's exhausting in a way, but it feels good. I'm down to 31.

Of course, the last 20 are always the ones that seem to require 1-2 hours effort each to deal with. You know, it's the last 10% taking 90% of the time...

In summary: please don't send me anymore e-mail. Well, not until I'm caught up, at least.

My goal is to keep it below 20 messages for the next few weeks. Let's see how well I really do.

Posted by jzawodn at 02:35 PM

When E-Commerce Sucks

I'm catching up on my blog reading while I eat lunch. I just ran across Scott's e-commerce rant from a few days ago. I couldn't agree more. I don't always go for lowest price. I often job with a vendors reputation in mind and don't take kindly to being jerked around.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:38 PM

April 14, 2003

Conference Pictures

The few pictures I took came out like crap. So I have nothing to share. But thanks to "the other Jeremy" there are lots of pics on-line to see. (Oddly, he's not in any of his pictures--not that I saw, at least.)

When you find the pics that I'm in, you're free to laugh. In fact, you'll probably be wondering "what the... was going on?!"

I'll I have to say is this. Beware of MySQL salespeople bearing alcoholic beverages. They may not look evil or sound evil, but they sure can be. :-)

I had a blast. I hope everyone else did too.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:40 PM

MySQL Conference Talks On-Line

Well, I'm still digging myself out of a pile of stuff to do. I haven't updated my MySQL page *yet*, but my presentations are available in HTML and PDF format.

  • Managing MySQL Replication (HTML and PDF)
  • MySQL Optimization (HTML and PDF)

Warning: they're still a bit rough, but I've had enough requests that I figured I should get something on-line for now. Lots of other stuff has taken priority for a bit. More on that later.

As always, they're better in person. You should have been at the conference. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 10:27 PM


Something is broken (suddenly) in my MT install.


Posted by jzawodn at 04:09 PM

April 13, 2003

Back to Normal

Well, after a few crazy days at the MySQL Conference, I'm mostly back to normal. I'd have been back sooner, but those MySQL guys sure know how to throw an after-conference party. Wow.

Let's just say I wasn't functioning at full capacity this morning.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:06 PM

April 11, 2003

MySQL Conference Stuff

Okay, I have lots of notes I'd love to organize and post, but no time yet to do it. In the meantime, check out Radwin's blog for some Day #1 info.

The really short version for me is this. Excellent conference, great people, and lots to learn and play with.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:22 PM

April 09, 2003

MySQL Dinner

I just got back from the MySQL Conference Speaker's Dinner. Good stuff. Lots of good food, drinks, and people.

I had a chance to chat with Larry, Mark, Peter, and others. Before I left, we tossed around ideas for enhancing MySQL replication.

I'm looking forward to the conference tomorrow morning. I hope the wireless is working. If so, I'll be blogging it.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:10 PM

Okay, Dave. Ping me!

Yup, I'm listening now.
Posted by jzawodn at 08:17 AM

April 08, 2003

The universe is trying to tell me something...

I just don't know what it is.

You ever been in this situation? A bunch of events all happen within a relatively short time. They're not related (in a causal sense) but they have enough in common that it makes you wonder if someone isn't trying to tell you something.

(Sadly, I cannot elaborate on this stuff publicly for a variety of reasons...)

So I'm trying really hard to listen and make sure I heard the right stuff. But it's hard. Because it's always a guessing game. Always.

The only thing I can really relate to is the whole What Should I Do With My Life phenomenon. What I'm talking about isn't the same, but it's similar enough that I was reminded of it.

So here's my question: What do you do when it seems like the universe is trying to tell you something, but you're not quite sure what?

Anyway, I'll shut up now. I just felt like asking. Maybe I'm missing something.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:59 PM

Offline most of the day

Wow. I spent much of the day without phone, computer, network, etc. I was up at Inktomi (now "Yahoo! WebSearch" I think) headquarters learning about lots of cool stuff I cannot repeat with out being killed.

However, I did learn that Inktomi's search system knows, uhm... "stuff" about blogs. And I got the chance to see what some of their tools told me about my blog. Neat stuff.

The Inktomi office is located right on The Bay in Foster City, CA. I should have brought my camera. It's a nice location.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:02 PM

April 07, 2003

Just to mess with Scoble

I should add his NetMeeting site to the Yahoo Directory when I get to work tomorrow. Maybe that'll get him to recommend Yahoo to his friends?

Probably not.

As for his 4 suggestions, I'd love to respond. Maybe I will, since I have ideas about what Yahoo should be doing in the search world. And no, they bear little resemblance to what Yahoo actually is doing. But I have about ten other things to do now, so I'll have to delay that for day or two...

Posted by jzawodn at 10:07 PM

I'm disappointed in me...

My bike has been back from the shop for about five days. I haven't been for a ride yet. And the weather has been excellent.

Perhaps Wednesday. That's probably the only sane day I'll have between now and Sunday.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:43 PM

Inktomi has cool technology

I spent much of today learning about Inktomi's search infrastructure. I've come to the conclusion that they've got some really cool stuff. They're clearly still in the game--from a technology point of view, at least.

Tomorrow I'm heading to up to the Inktomi offices in Foster City for more of the same. It's a lot of time but there's some good stuff to learn about.

Most of Wednesday I'll be getting my talks ready for the MySQL Conference.

Then, Thursday - Saturday I'll be at the conference.

Busy week ahead.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:41 PM

CNN Humor

Ever wonder what it'd be like if the two guys from Airplane! ran the CNN web site? You know, the two Jive guys. Yeah, them.

Wonder no longer! It's right here.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:36 PM

SuSE and apt4rpm?

Anyone played with apt on SuSE?

As a Debian convert for several years, I've really grown to hate RPMs and all they stand for. But I may be working on a SuSE machine (remotely) in the not too distant future. So I'm looking for ways to make that as painless as possible.

Anything else I should be looking at?

Posted by jzawodn at 08:42 PM

Did nobody understand what I was saying?

Okay, yesterday I complained about Daylight Savings Time. A bunch of people replied in defense of DST, which is a little odd. If you read the post, I wasn't against DST itself, I was against the switching to and from DST.

I even said: "Why don't we just set our clocks ahead one hour permanently and be done with it?"

Hmm. I guess I should have been more clear or something.

Anyway, at least now I know that several folks agree with me. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 07:47 PM

Y! Search Easter Egg

Try a search for "jeremy zawodny!".

Neat, huh?

It's one of the new feature: search shortcuts (more detail).

Here's another example. Try a search for "mail!".

Now, if you're bored, see what other stuff is lurking in there. Just try adding an exclamation point to the end of your queries.

Update: someone has been busy looking for more of 'em.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:39 PM

April 06, 2003

I really hate daylight savings...

It's stupid. Very stupid. All it does it mess up my schedule and sleeping habits.

The main purpose of Daylight Saving Time (called "Summer Time" many places in the world) is to make better use of daylight. We change our clocks during the summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening.

(Source: Daylight Savings Time on WebExhibits)

Fine. Why don't we just set our clocks ahead one hour permanently and be done with it? Let's "make better use of daylight" all year.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:39 PM

Saturday's Soaring Pictures from Ray

Yesterday I had my first good soaring day and even took along my first real passenger (someone who wasn't a pilot already). Fellow Yahoo, Ray, sat in the back seat of the ASK-21 and took some pictures of the adventure.

Posted by jzawodn at 05:30 PM

April 05, 2003

The Register on Google News and Press Releases

This is amusing. Apparently someone at The Register is annoyed by Google News showing press releases.

Hm. I dunno. Is it really that big a deal?

Posted by jzawodn at 08:18 PM

First Real Passenger and Real Soaring

Well, after Russell's thermal alert for the weekend, I hoped Saturday would be good. And it was.

After some early flights and low thermaling in the BASA Grob with Jim and then Stan (working on my Grob checkout), I launched with my first *real* passenger (a friend who'd never flown in a glider before) in the ASK-21. We launched a bit before noon off 24 and headed toward the foothills east of the airport.

We released at 3,500 and found lift after a couple turns. We spent the next hour flying along the foothills. Didn't go much farther north than Fraiser Lake. We could have kept going, but the the thermaling eventually got the best of my passenger. :-(

We spent most of the time above 3,000 feet and managed to hit 4,000 a few times. Couldn't go too much higher without worrying about cloud clearances.

Other than that setback, we both had a blast. He was impressed to see that we could stay up in the air that long, and I was glad to stumble my way through the process.

While this is routine for any experienced glider pilot, this was my first real chance to practice thermaling without another pilot or instructor along to help.

Of course, next time, I'll release lower and work my way up.

Oh, he took a bunch of pictures. Hopefully they'll be on-line soon.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:08 PM

April 04, 2003

USB Floppy RAID on Mac OS X

This is also amusing. A co-worker pointed out the USB Floppy Disk RAID page. They now have USB RAID working on memory sticks too.

I remember joking about this seven or eight years ago, but never thought anyone would actually do it. That's too cool.

Posted by jzawodn at 05:25 PM

April 03, 2003

Automatic Blog Entry Generator

This is amusing. A co-worker pointed out the The Apathetic Online Journal Entry Generator.

If you too lazy to write today's blog entry, give it a try! :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 12:13 PM

April 02, 2003

Microsoft aims for Google

According to this Reuters article, Microsoft has decided to finally stop ignoring Google.

"We do view Google more and more as a competitor. We believe that we can provide consumers with a better product and a better user experience. That's something that we're actively looking at doing," Bob Visse, director of marketing for Microsoft's MSN Internet services division, said.
Visse said the company was making some significant investments in developing a better search engine. But the company has not offered specific plans.

Hmm. This will be interesting. It's always interesting when Microsoft decides to compete with you.

Hey, technically Microsoft is now a Yahoo customer, since they use Inktomi behind the scenes and Yahoo bought Inktomi. I wonder what this all means...

Posted by jzawodn at 01:35 PM

McNealy leaves the asylum

In a news.com article titled Sun execs boomerang back to old HQ we learn about the fact that Sun's execs have left their new Santa Clara campus and moved back to Menlo Park. No big deal. The entertaining part of the article is a few paragraphs into it.

Sun opened the Santa Clara campus in June 2000, after the Internet bubble had burst but before the resulting spending slowdown shrank the company's quarterly revenue by about 40 percent. The site, a former insane asylum, features a prominent clock tower that housed McNealy and other top executives.

That explains a lot, doesn't it?

Posted by jzawodn at 10:36 AM

April 01, 2003

We're Hiring a Perl Hacker

Are you a Perl Hacker looking for work?

Yahoo!'s Engineering Infrastructure group is looking for a motivated Perl hacker interested in developer support tools. Help build the next generation of package configuration, release management, bug-tracking and build tools used by Yahoo! developers worldwide. A BS/MS in Computer Science or equivalent and 4+ years experience with Perl and Unix is required. Experience with CVS, Makefiles, SQL, and PHP a plus.

Interested? Apply here or send me your resume.

Disclaimer. I get a referral bonus if you tell 'em I sent you and you get hired.

Update #1: Apparently the page isn't linkable, so you'll just have to send a resume to me. The outsourced jobs site apparently uses POST or something just as dumb and unlinkable.

Update #2: The job is at Yahoo HQ in Sunnyvale, CA.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:51 AM

Are you fooling?

Several folks at work announced that they're changing jobs soon. The announcements were along the lines of "when I get back from vacation, I'll be taking a new position doing..."

Of course, nobody knows what to believe, being April 1st and all.

If they're legit, we need to slap these guys for picking the worst possible day to make such an announcement. If not, then we'll soon know how many people were fooled.

Personally, I don't know what to believe. I'm suspicious of just about everything I read on April 1st.

On a related note, I was really hoping that The Onion would do something extra special today. But it seems not. Oh, well.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:22 AM