Posts for Tag: hardware

The iPad2 - or rethinking my android tablet purchase

So here's the deal: I had planned to purchase a honeycomb-based tablet as my sabbatical leave of absence going away present to myself. I was carefully considering all the pros and cons of both the Motorola Xoom and the new 10" Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Between the two of them discovered the latter has a better general body finish, as well as slightly better front camera. Besides, Samsung has had the first tab out there for some time now, which means they have some more experience in regards to what works and what doesn't, as building tablets goes.

The problem is that I just tried an ipad2 for the first time. And, besides feeling super snappy and slick, it's so shinny :). I might have fallen for this thing already.

The price is more appealing as well: 549 euro for the 32GB wifi version. I can't imagine either the galaxy or the xoom matching this anytime soon. Not before the ipad3 comes out anyway ;)

UPDATE: Alright, i sold my soul to the devil: Ordered an iPad2, arriving at the end of the month :)

Summing up Apple's keynote

Apple had an event yesterday. And i saw that it was goooood. Seriously now, i was pleasantly surprised by - well - the surprises that were shown by Steve and co. Here's a brief sum of coolness:

iLife 11 This update to the iLife family of products is one of the best ever, in my opinion.

iPhoto got yet more social features into it, like the ability to display your Facebook photo albums, as well as comments from your friends on those photos, and the fact that you can zoom to a particular part of the world map and, with one click, see the pictures inside that area. Other interesting features include a full screen mode, that takes away everything that is peripherical when organizing your pictures. They also introduced new slideshow templates and the books feature is very, very enhanced, showing a bookcase with all the photo book projects you have created and giving you complete control on the generation of the book.

iMovie also was added a lot of nice new features. The most notable include the long waited ability to edit audio directly in the timeline, like adjusting the sound level (even for just parts of a clip) and do fade ins and fade outs. Another great feature is the trailers part. It can now help you take your favorite footage and create movie-trailer-like movies, effortlessly. I can see myself using almost all these features in my podcast :D

GarageBand got some love as well: Between the ability to match the groove, or beat, of a track to another one, hence turning out-of-sync tracks into fully synced ones (which looks like magic), and a feature that reminds me of Guitar Hero called "How did i play", GarageBand gets an incredible boost in terms of helpful features for artists and aspiring musicians.

No word on the rest of the products, but i can imagine some updates as well, though probably minor. FaceTime for Mac Yep, it's here and fully available. You can now make video calls between iPhones and Macs (or macs and macs as well). Pretty awesome, though i wonder what will happen to iChat, and why wasn't that integrated… Mac AppStore Will be available in 90 days time (yes, also for Snow Leopard) and will rock. These guys are going to make a ton of money on this thing. And for the end user, well, it means no longer manually installing updates for your favorite apps or using the (somehow) disparate software update mechanism in OSX. MacBook Air In one word: "Freakinawesome" :) No more spinning drives (yes, that means no optical drive as well: goodbye DVDs), which pretty much makes them lighter and smaller. 2 versions are available, one 13 inch and one 11 inch. The prices go from $999 to $1599, depending on the version and options you want. OSX 10.7 Lion They showed off some new features, though the most notable ones are:

A new dashboard: Where you can see all your installed apps from the Mac AppStore, like you do one your iPhone (yes, sliding panels and everything), and group them as well; Full screen apps. Meaning, real fullscreen goodness for your applications. They basically want to make Lion a bridge between traditional OSX and the iOS, where every app is basically fullscreen; Something called mission control, where you can see an overview of every app that is running on your Mac, be it fullscreen or windowed. Think Exposé, but better arranged.

What about you? What are your thoughts on Apple's new features?

Apple quietly renovates the MacMini

And i must say it looks beautiful! It features twice the graphics speed, HDMI connector (finally!), a thin unibody aluminum case, and a built in power supply (which means no more big power transformer in along the power cable). I love it and i definitely want one connected to my TV in my living room :) Check it out at Apple's website.

Lack of RAM will kill your blog host virtual machine

I know what you are thinking: "Well, duh Pedro, how come you didn't know that?".

I'll explain: Recently i started having some service shortages on my blog. From times to times the CPU usage would just go rooftop and then nginx and apache both stopped serving requests. I am using Linode as my host, where i have a nice virtual machine (or node, as they call it) with some reasonable values in terms of CPU and bandwidth monthly usage. The weakest link was the RAM; it only had 386Mb.

A while back i developed Jumperr.com and i figured "hey, i already have the node, so i'll just host it there". Some time after deploying jumperr, i started noticing these shortages coming up maybe once a month, or every two weeks (i notice the pattern now, not then :)). At some point i even considered switching hosts (to slicehost, for example), but i never thought that memory could be the problem (after all they are not that accessed anyways). Looking at the system logs i just could not figure out what made the machine stop working just like that.

About one month ago, i decided to develop a stupid website that allows you to bomb countries using a Google maps interface. And then, surprise, the shortages became more and more frequent (sometimes 4 per day!). In one of these fails i decided to try to login to the node using Linode's ajax ssh interface on their dashboard. And that's when i saw it: a bunch of "out of memory" errors right on the boot list. Since when you connect normally via SSH you don't see the prompt on the remote end, i never saw these before.

So there you go, lesson learned. If it spikes, chances are you are out of memory :)

By the way, if you are a proper Linux/Unix admin, was there a log that might contain those errors that i missed?