open life blog

Site upgrade, throwing in new Drupal modules

I've been enjoying a nice vacation - the Sun is shining, so to speak :-). But a couple of days I've enjoyed upgrading to a newer drupal version, and also adding some much delayed blogging and Web2.0 enhancments.

Notes about the upgrade process (Drupal 4.7 to 6)

I had never upgraded, so I had to go through 2 major version upgrades. To do this, I created a staging site on my laptop so I could spend several days fixing things that would and did break when upgrading.

My love affair with MySQL Cluster (contains benchmark stories)

As someone may have noticed, I recently wrote a trilogy on how to dive into the MySQL Cluster source code. Unfortunately my overtures towards the MySQL Cluster source code ended up being only a look-but-don't-touch affair, as I failed to actually get to touch her internals with my text editor. Even so, in this post I'd like to tell about the background to my love affair with this beauty, by relating to some benchmarks I've been working on together with my customers.

Oh, and I'd like to apologize already, that I cannot mention where these benchmarks were done, what the schema looked like and the exact numbers. If you want that kind of real benchmarks, you should read Mikael's blog, or watch the slides from this webinar. (Then compare those results to BigDBAHead's SSD RAID magic with InnoDB, both are the same DBT2 benchmark.)

Swedish Pirate Party takes seat in Europarl!

"Rick Falkvinge: Today is a good day for epic winnage.11 hours ago" (Facebook status of the Chairman of Swedish Pirate Party.)

The Swedish Pirate Party (the first of the many national Pirate Parties popping up) wins it's first seat (bordering on two, some votes still left to count) in the European Parliament tonight, with 7+ %. In percentages they drive right past 3 long time established parties from the Swedish national parliament.

This is a historical moment in the turns of copyright and even civil liberties movements. I've personally for years supported the EFFish approach (and member of the Finnish equivalent EFFI) of lobbying all political parties with rational arguments about how good copyright, patents and civil liberties legislation will benefit the economy and society in general. Maybe we have achieved something there, who knows how the world would look like without the EFF. I'm still a supporter of the basic principle of copyright, after all, Open Source licenses like the GPL actually rely on it.

Actually trying to do something techical, part II: HowTo fix a MySQL Cluster bug without touching a single line of code!

This is part II of my efforts to prove myself that I can do programming. In part one I successfully created a MySQL Cluster branch for myself and compiled it.

Let's go to the public MySQL bug database and see if there are any trivial MySQL Cluster bugs I could sharpen my teeth on. Heh, sure enough #32658 looks simple enough. There is a typo in an output string - so I could fix that without even doing any C++ code! (Funnily, a MySQL internal comment to the bug says something about it being embarrassing. Guess it is a good bug for me then, as patching over embarrasments is what Sales Engineers do routinely :-)

Let me see...

Actually trying to do something techical: branch a MySQL Cluster bzr repository - part 1, branch and build

My collagues Anders and even Ivan sometimes blog about the grandeur of being a Sales Engineer. And I agree, it is a great job, probably the best I ever had, so far. But let me share a secret: It's not as technical as you'd think. Sure, they call me a "pre-sales consultant" alright, but I would be ashamed of comparing my own work with those of the real consultants. I sometimes jokingly say that the most amazing technical things in my job are airplanes (they fly in the air!) and how to make a nice slideshow. (OpenOffice Impress sucks btw, and I always envy my OS X + Keynote using friends on this one point.) What I mean is, I mostly meet with customers and talk about the technical stuff, and they think I know what I'm talking about.

Meeting Joshua Lawrence, a Footnotes user, at the Drupal booth of the MySQL conference

I have to confess I'm kind of a wannabe hacker. I think of myself as a developer, yet in practice I always end up being a customer facing person like a Sales Engineer, a Trainer or basically anything where you do more talking than coding. But there is this tiny little Drupal module, footnotes, that I'm actually the proud maintainer of for several years now.

Google even searches the future now

Wired already reported that Google Trends could have been used to find out about the Swine Flu epidemic in Mexico weeks before it was reported in the news media. Then, in anticipation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, the google engineers created a widget that would take Google Trends data as input (per country), and transform the search activity in each country to Eurovision points of 1 to 12. I copied the prediction to my Facebook page just when the Eurovision final was starting:

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