Sunday, December 30, 2007

Thrudb: Better Storage?

I recently read about thrudb, and I must say I am very impressed with the lucidity with which Jake Luciani describes the problem and the solution. Here is an excerpt:

"Data on the web is often fluid and loosely structured and it is becoming increasingly difficult to fit this data into a fixed database schema which is amended over time. A simple example of this is tagging. The many-to-many relationship of tags is difficult to query efficiently using tables and SQL, such that ad-hoc solutions are required.
Also, web data is often "mashed up" and viewed together (e.g. Facebook profile) or viewed spatially (e.g. Google maps + event data).
In order to provide this new kind of data flexibility the web is moving towards a document-oriented data model, where records aren’t grouped by their structure but by their attributes.
There are also standard data-oriented issues like indexing, caching, replication and backups, which are left for "later" but are never easy to implement when it’s time to do it. There are a number of great of open source solutions to these problems, but they require proper integration and configuration. These components end up being learned over time and learned by trial and error.
Thrudb, therefore, is an attempt to simplify the modern web data layer and provide the features and tools most web-developers need. These features can be easily configured or turned off."

Looks very cool. I am going to try this out as soon as I get hold of my developer box tomorrow morning.

Thrudb talks about the following features:
• Client libraries for most languages
• Multi-master replication
• Incremental backups and redo logging
• Multiple storage backends (S3 included)
• Built for horizontal scalability
• Simple and powerful search api (Lucene)

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Laptop Search: From Lenovo to DELL

My laptop search started 2 weeks ago. I had some very simple requirements; however I found it incredibly tough to meet my simple requirements. I am specifically talking about buying a laptop in India, specifically in Pune.

My simple requirements were – laptop should:
  • Have an Intel Core 2 Duo based mother-board
  • Should have at least a 667MHz FSB
  • Should have at least 2MB L2 cache
  • Should have a 14” screen
  • Should be light weight
  • I assumed that all laptops would have at least 80GB HDD and 1GB RAM
So, my search began with Lenovo, I looked at the X and Y series. Surprisingly, Lenovo, uses some really old CPU, most of their mother-boards were based on 533MHz FSB, the Intel Core 2 Duo mother-boards with 667MHz FSB cost more than Rs. 45K, which is a lot. I looked around at all available models (in India), couldn’t find a model that would cost me less than Rs. 50K (Lenovo 3000 Y300/Y410/Y500).

Then I looked at Toshiba. They had some really good mother-boards, for example the Satellite M200-A411D. However the look and feel of the laptop looked more like my 5 year old son’s laptop. There was a lack of ruggedness, lack of proper ergonomic thinking for the keyboard and port design. Specifically the keyboard is white in color, which means that it will get dirty in a week, and I won’t be able to fix that.

I looked at Sony Vaio VGN-CR23G series. Really cool models. Nice colors, nice mother-board, nice keyboard, almost everything was nice. Except for the weight – it weighs 2.5 kilos, which is more than I thought it should be. The cost was also higher, at Rs. 54,990 .

Then I saw DELL VOSTRO 1400 Notebook. I got an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor (T7250), 2.0GHz, 2MB Cache, 800 MHz FSB, 1GB RAM, 120GB HDD, 9 cell battery, and Vista home. That was the end of my search. I found my laptop. I bought it locally instead of ordering it online or on phone. Turns out to be a pretty good laptop, I happy with it. DELL has got much better since I started using DELLs back when I was at VERITAS in 1999-2002 timeframe. Good job DELL.

Looking back, Lenovo is way behind in its CPUs, I think. I love the rugged design of Lenovo, but they should get newer CPUs faster FSB and more L2 cache.

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