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Death Grip

Ed Anuff —  July 18, 2010 — Leave a comment

Should I return it and get a new one or just use the bumper?  Still need to install iOS 4.1…

One of the common issues of dealing with the Apache Cassandra database is how to do secondary indexes of columns within a row. This post will discuss one technique, far from the only one, for
how to manage this. One thing that experienced Cassandra users will hopefully find interesting is that SuperColumns will not be used at all to accomplish this in order to
avoid the complexity and limitations they introduce. Also, it should also be pointed out that Cassandra will have native secondary index support in the upcoming 0.7 release (see CASSANDRA-749), which will make this all much simpler, but the idea is still valid for how to think about about this sort of thing, and will still be applicable in some situations. Once that version gets closer to release, I’ll do a follow up post looking at it.

So, to start, let’s assume a scenario where we have a container (ex. a group) of items (ex. users in the group), each of which has an arbitrary set of properties, which
are searchable by value in the context of the container. Items might also be members of other containers, but we won’t explicitly deal with that in this

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“False Clouds”

Ed Anuff —  June 25, 2010 — Leave a comment

At Structure 2010 this week, both Werner Vogels from Amazon and Marc Benioff of Salesforce both described the so-called “private cloud” solutions being offered by a large percentage of the companies at the conference as “false clouds”.  I had the sneaking suspicion that the real reason many of these companies were all focusing on these private clouds was not so much due to the allegedly unique needs of corporate customers such as security or legacy integration as much as it was due to the fact that most of them were being built on the classic enterprise sales business model with it’s inherent dependency on trying to front load as much of the sale as possible.  Unfortunately, while this leads to start-ups that are able to show great early revenue traction, the challenges of scaling that sort of business are very well known.  The lessons to learn from Amazon and Salesforce aren’t about the technologies of the cloud, they’re about the business model, but there were only a handful of start-ups that seemed willing to follow in their footsteps.

Not something I actually plan to do, but if I was revisiting my car computer project from five years ago, I’d probably take this approach.  Use a small, low-power single board computer like the Beagle Board that can run Android.  Have it able to talk to an app on the iPhone via WiFi for application communications and use the Bluetooth stereo headset and hands-free capabilities to be able to wirelessly digitally play iTunes DRM music out of the iPhone through the car’s speakers as well as potentially put phone call audio though the same system.



Good Advice

Ed Anuff —  May 28, 2010 — Leave a comment

It’s here

Ed Anuff —  April 3, 2010 — 2 Comments
Come on, UPS, you can do it!

It ships!

Ed Anuff —  March 30, 2010 — Leave a comment

Like there was ever any real doubt that I’d finally give in and order one…

Tracking says they’re shipping them directly from Shenzhen, China.

In honor of Maker Faire this weekend, I’m uploading some of the old photos from the various projects I’ve hacked around on over the years.  These used to be on several old sites and blogs that I let lapse:

The installation of the navigation system took place of the course of two days in the garage of my apartment building back in October of 2001.  One of my neighbors became very concerned when she saw me disassembling the interior of my car and alerted the building security.  Apparently she thought I was turning the car into some sort of terrorist weapon, go figure.  Most of this project was documented along with a lot of other interesting information on the now-defunct site and a Yahoo Group.  At the time, if you didn’t purchase the car from the factory with the navigation system installed, BMW refusted to install it afterwords, claiming that it wasn’t possible, and would refuse to provide information to people who wanted to install it themselves.  I found a CD-ROM database of part numbers and identified every part used by the navigation system and ordered them from the repair departments of three different dealerships over the course of several months.  Eventually, after a number of people printed out the instructions from my site and went to their local dealers asking them to perform the retrofit, BMW relented and packaged all the parts into an installation kit that could be installed by the repair centers.

The car computer project was primarily focused on building an interface board that would tap into the navigation system and allow an in-car PC to take over the display and interface with the dashboard knobs and buttons.  I designed the circuit boards and sent the files to China to be manufactured and assembled.  When I got the boards delivered back to me, I’d usually find at least one chip would be mounted incorrectly and I’d have to resolder it by hand, which would unfortunately often result in me ruining the board.  Once the interface board was installed, I used a trunk-mounted Linux PC running software that I’d written on top of Mozilla to provide a user interface for things like an MP3 jukebox and web access.  Maybe I’ll turn it into an iPhone app at some point.

Navigation Installation Project – 2001

Car Computer Project – 2004/2005

Yes, I am a geek

iPhone programming isn’t that hard once you get the hang of it.

When I started this blog on Movable Type 4, I used the Action Streams plug-in to put a list of Twitter and Facebook activities in the right hand column.  I did this out of habit, treating the list of tweets as a black-box in the form of a widget rather than something actually integrated into the content of my blog.  Over the last couple of week, I realized that while this made sense from a technical perspective, it didn’t really reflect the true relationship between the content generated through lifestreaming and long-form blog posts that expounded on a particular idea, never mind that fact that the former are going to outnumber the latter due to my lackadaisical efforts to compose interesting posts.  But, more importantly, it demonstrated some of the limitations of using widgets as the fundamental building blocks of web publishing.

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Om Malik did a good job today of summing up the conversation about the convergence of blogging and social networks that was started by Six Apart’s launch of Movable Type Pro on Wednesday, with a full set of features aimed at allowing bloggers to create social network-like communities around their blogs.  A couple of things worth adding, though.  First, as I mentioned in my previous blog post, the “social” aspect of blogging platforms is one of the main things that differentiated them from the previous generation of content management systems.  Second, is that there seems to be a perception that the social network around a blog is meant to replace or compete with the mainstream social networks such as MySpace or Facebook.  Fostering community discussion and interaction wherever a focus of interest occurs is a good thing, and the blogosphere is a perpetual source of these focus points.  This is the inevitable evolution of blog commenting, which is what makes sites like GigaOm so interesting.  The social network capabilities will allow these blogs to take that to the next level.  However, these communities will be linked to each other and to the large social networks like Facebook through a variety of mechanisms, such as all the emerging standards like OpenID, aggregation tools such as FriendFeed and Movable Type’s Action Streams capabilities, and other forms of data portability.  The nice thing is it’s not going to be an either or choice, sometimes more is more.

I had an interesting conversation today with an analyst that was trying to understand how tools like Movable Type and blogging fit into the general category of content management.  When I was at Vignette, we had seen the content management space splitting into web content management (WCM), document management and enterprise content management (ECM), and collaborative intranet portals.  Although Vignette, through various acquisitions, had strong products in each of those categories, it was hard to see the relationship between how content managed in the WCM and ECM worlds related to the more ad-hoc collaborative content that was created and interacted with on a daily basis within the increasingly-popular intranets and corporate portals.  Companies were increasingly choosing corporate portals such as Epicentric, Plumtree, and Microsoft’s incredibly successful SharePoint product, which offered “lightweight” content management in conjunction with strong collaboration capabilities over the more powerful, large-scale content management systems.  For Internet publishing, the same thing was occurring in the web content management space as well, but it was happening under the radar screen of most of the WCM vendors in the form of the emergence of blogging.  The reason why it wasn’t immediately understood was because WCM vendors have historically been driven by the needs of the large media publishers, and as we all know, those publishers had no idea just how much the principals of blogging would transform their businesses at the time.

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I’ve joined Six Apart

Ed Anuff —  August 11, 2008 — Leave a comment

It’s been just under a month since I joined Six Apart as the EVP of Movable Type and Six Apart Services, and I’m sorry to say I’m just getting around to blogging about it.  It’s always a tug of ware between the clichés of “eating your own dog food” and “the cobbler’s kids going barefoot”.  I’m not going to get too much into what the company is up to just yet, other than to say we’ve got a lot of good stuff that will be coming out very soon now.  As for as the job itself, I’m enjoying it quite a bit.  The company has a great culture and great people, and it’s refreshing to be at an Internet company that’s revenue focused.  I really like the markets the company serves, and there are a lot of things I see that make me confident that the space is going to enter a new phase of growth as the changes brought about by blogging start to permeate and reshape the rest of the media industry.  I’ll share more thoughts about that here over time.