March 21, 2003

The Facts... Sort of.

In this ZDNet Australia article about MySQL, it says:

Much of the very busy Yahoo! Finance portal uses MySQL as a back-end database.

I find that statement quite remarkable because it's simply not true.

Yes, Yahoo! Finance uses MySQL as a back-end database. But much of goes a bit far. Most of the Y! Finance data is served from memory, not from MySQL. Yes, there are parts that use MySQL quite a bit, but they're not in the majority.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:24 PM

March 20, 2003

I'm a Pilot

It's official. I flew (and passed) my FAA checkride today! I'm officially a glider pilot.


Read all the details (if you care) in my flying blog.

Posted by jzawodn at 05:55 PM

March 19, 2003

My TrackBacks are Broken Fixed

Can someone ping this entry with a TrackBack? Let me know what (if any) error you get. A few folks have told me that my TB is broken and I seem to be getting way fewer TrackBacks that normal. I suspect it's related to my recent upgrade to MT 2.63 but am not sure where to begin debugging this yet.

I will have to search around a bit in the morning and see if this is some sort of known problem. Everything else went quite well with the upgrade from 2.21.


Update: I've patched MT. Let's see if that fixed it. Someone ping me again. :-)

Update #2: Duh. I pinged myself. It's fixed. Thanks to Phil's post in the MT support forum.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:28 AM

March 18, 2003

Testing Zemt

Just playing with Zemt. Ignore me. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 11:46 PM

I will not blog about the war.

So don't expect to read anything about it here. Well, nothing beyond this.

Posted by jzawodn at 05:54 PM

March 17, 2003

Live vs. Studio Music

I find that decent live concert recordings almost always sound better, more authentic, and often more energetic than the studio tracks. Yet the live stuff is almost never heard on the radio. Why is that?

I guess it's good that I have the live versions of several albums in my collection. I really don't understand the music industry sometimes. Or maybe it's the general public I don't understand. It's not like Sony or ClearChannel are going broke...

Posted by jzawodn at 09:37 PM

Holy Cheap Fares!

I just made my flight reservations for PHPCon East 2003 on Y! Travel. A round-trip, non-stop flight from San Jose to New York was less than $300. And I even got times that were quite reasonable.


Not to arrange who I'm going to hang out with while vising NYC. Anyone live nearby and want to get together for a bit?

And, yes, it is my first time to NYC.

Posted by jzawodn at 04:12 PM

Upcoming Conference Presentations (MySQL)

I finally got off my lazy ass and wrote up abstracts for some of my upcoming talks. Here's the scoop on the MySQL Conference and the PHP Conference (both in April). I'll hit the OSCON ones in a few days (or weeks?). So far they haven't nagged me yet, but I'm sure they will. :-)

MySQL Conference -- San Jose, CA

At the 2003 MySQL Conference, I'll be giving a 2-hour talk on Thursday (April 10th) at 10am that's listed as "Using MySQL Replication in Large Scales" Here's the abstract I've submitted:

Replication provides a great mechanism for scaling MySQL beyond a single machine and even across vast distances. It can also be used to provide a "hot spare" server which can be used in the event that the primary server fails.
In this session, we'll look at how MySQL replication works and how to configure it. How is replication in MySQL 4.0 different than in the previous releases? nnn
We'll also cover common problems and solutions. Why does replication fail? How can you monitor and detect when replication fails? What's the best way to add one more new slaves to an existing replication setup? Which replication topology makes the most sense for a given application?
Finally, we'll discuss hardware and software solutions that can be combined with replication to provide load-balancing and high-availability.

Then on Saturday (April 12th) at 4pm, I'll be giving a 2-hour talk titled "Optimizing MySQL" Here's the abstract for that one.

As the load on a MySQL server increases, its performance may degrade if it has not been properly tuned to handle the load. A default installation of MySQL performs well for many applications, but it generally will not perform efficiently under stress.
In this presentation we'll discuss many of the tunable parameters in MySQL's configuration file (my.cnf), how to read MySQL's performance counters, and various optimizations which can be used to improve the performance and efficiency of MySQL servers--often with dramatic results. We'll also examine MySQL's various table types as well as hardware solutions to performance problems.

This conference is really gonna be cool. Check out the schedule to see for yourself. The only thing that bothers me is that there are other talks that I want to attend while I'm presenting. And even when I'm not, there are some tough choices. During many of the time slots, I want to attend at least two of them.

Good for the conference. Bad for me.

PHP Conference -- New York, NY

At PHPCon East 2003, I'll be giving a 75 minute talk titled "PHP & MySQL Performance Tuning" Here's that abstract.

They're they dynamic duo of LAMP. Fast, easy to use, wildly popular, and extensible. But what happens when your MySQL-backed PHP application starts to slow down? Where do you look? What tools will help identify bottlenecks? What techniques can help to avoid performance problems with PHP & MySQL?
In this session, we'll take a whirlwind tour of MySQL performance viewed thru the lens of PHP (and Apache). In doing so, we'll discuss and illustrate answers to all of those questions.

I'm looking forward to the conference and visiting NYC for the first time. That's right, I've never been there. I'll probably stay a few extra days to hang out with Derek and Kasia.

That reminds me. Flight reservations. Hotel reservations. Ugh. More stuff to do.

Oh, and I should probably alert the boss to the fact that I'll be out a bit in April. Better sooner than later.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:04 AM

March 16, 2003

Here come the uninformed, lazy, opinionated masses...

The Fortune Magazine MySQL story I mentioned the other day (which is also being syndicated on has just been slashdotted.

Slashdot is a lot like a car accident on the highway. You know it's gonna be really bad, but somehow you can't stop yourself from looking (or reading in this case).

News flash, folks: MySQL has transactions. Yes, the ACID kind, just like Oracle and PostgreSQL. They've been there for a while now. Really. I've been using them quite happily.

It never ceases to amaze me.

The Open Source freaks can be so predictable sometimes. As expected, most folks seemed to have a 3 year old (or worse!) view of MySQL's features and limitations. And, as expected, there was a big "What about PostgreSQL?! It has more features!!!" contingent.

Reality check. It's not all about features. It's about the best tool for the job. For a lot of folks, MySQL really is that tool. Get over yourselves.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:23 PM

Would you change your blogging habits if...

Imagine you have a blog with a couple hundred folks who read it on a semi-regular basis. Some of them are your co-workers. Further imagine that you work for one of the world's best known tech brands. Finally, suppose that you know at least two of your company's vice president's read (or have read) your blog.

Would you blog differently? Shy away from criticizing your employer? Purposely avoid work-related topics?

I hope not.

You might wonder, as I have, what would happen if your company's PR folks caught on. (Maybe they have?) Would they care? Should they care? Or is it more of a "don't ask, don't tell" situation?

What if those PR folks also knew that tech journalists were reading it, hoping to get ideas for a story about your company? (That's a funny story that I really wish I could tell.)

What about shareholders? Is that part of what being a public company in the Internet age is all about? Having employees who blog about their company from the inside. It probably won't be long before someone stands up at an annual shareholder's meeting after the CEO has made some bold claims and says, "I was reading one of your employee's weblogs. She seems to think that won't work at all, and she provided very compelling evidence." How might that CEO react? Would the blogger lose her job?

What about your competitors? Surely the smart ones are reading 'em. Aren't they?

Posted by jzawodn at 06:51 PM