Day in brief

  • I favorited a YouTube video — Fedora 13 Goddard #
  • Somehow nobody realized that one of the vital company servers runs on 1GB of RAM. And it's an old 1.6 dual-core machine, staffed with disks. #
  • I need a #wordpress plugin to send newsletter using posts of specific category.Subscribe/unsubscribe feature too.Please advise plugin.Thanks #
  • I favorited a YouTube video — Football is for girls … try RUGBY #
  • I favorited a YouTube video — This is Rugby #

Zip vs. Bzip2

While investigating an unrelated issue on our backup server, I came across an interesting discussion about gzip vs. bzip2. I was surprised to read on how much slower bzip2 is.  I even tested it on our server.  And as expected, I saw the huge difference.

$ du -sh home
819M  home

$ time tar czf test.tar.gz home
real	3m29.741s
user	1m4.026s
sys	0m5.629s

$ time tar cjf test.tar.bz2 home
real	11m38.751s
user	6m19.259s
sys	0m7.237s

$ ll test.tar*
-rw-r--r-- 1 leonid users 365987716 2010-06-29 13:08 test.tar.bz2
-rw-r--r-- 1 leonid users 390655750 2010-06-29 12:56 test.tar.gz

For such a small difference in size, the compression time difference is huge! Of course, I should play with more parameters, repeat the tests several times, and test the decompression time too. But the above test is still a good indication. Way too many scripts out there use the default parameters and substitute gzip with gzip2 without any testing. That’s obviously asking for trouble.

Trailer : Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Here is something to live for for all of you Harry Potter fans out there – an official trailer for “Harry Ptter and the Deathly Hallows”.  Apparently they stuffed so much into that part, that they had to break it into two.  I wonder how that will go with the movie going crowd and the pirates.


Big football picture

Looking through the collection of World Cup photograph’s at Boston Big Picture, I had to pick these two.  The first one made me think of how quickly things change, especially when context is given.  Anyone looking at this picture a month ago wouldn’t think anything negative.  It’s a pretty much classic shot of man, music and nature.  However now, after all that vuvuzella noise, I’m sure there are plenty of people who would be disgusted by the view.

The second picture answers a question that is asked by many people of several generations.  The question that asks what is there to enjoy about football and why would anyone even consider attending a match.  This is not the only answer of course, but I think this is the easiest to understand.  Yes, hot chicks are apparently a part of a stadium crowd.

One thing I wouldn’t do

I don’t think I have a list of things that I wouldn’t do, but if I had, I’d put “never go swimming in the pool of Marina Bay Sands resort that just opened in Singapore” somewhere high up that list.  As high up, in fact, as this pool.

I’m too afraid of heights, even if it said that the pool is perfectly safe.

But swimming to the edge won’t be quite as risky as it looks. While the water in the infinity pool seems to end in a sheer drop, it actually spills into a catchment area where it is pumped back into the main pool. At three times the length of an Olympic pool and 650ft up, it is the largest outdoor pool in the world at that height.

Update (July 29th, 2010): more pictures of this resort are available here.

MantisBT vs. RT3

I’ve been praising Best Pratical’s RT3 (aka Request Tracker) for a long time.  So at my new job, given a new start, I thought that I maybe need to explore other options and widen my horizons.  After all, the needs were much less and much simpler.  We just needed a bug tracking application for three people or so and for a single project.  There was a possibility of more people joining the team later and more projects starting up, so I didn’t want to limit ourselves too much.  But immediate needs were quite simple.

After a good look around, I decided to give Mantis Bug Tracker another try.  I remember using it for a bit back when the project just started.  I even remember patching it to fit my needs back then.

During those few years that I haven’t looked at MantisBT it grew and developed quite a bit.  It is a stable, feature-rich, yet simple to manage application.  We’ve used it for the whole two month before our needs changed again and we started looking back at RT3.  Never-the-less I am glad we used it and got experience with another tool.  I got a few ideas out of it, which I will be implementing in our new RT3 installation.  Below are the few things that I loved and hated about the MantisBT.  Maybe you’ll find them useful.

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