Computer Magic
Software Design Just For You

Missing Websites – pecl 4 win

January 2nd, 2009

Looks like the website is down again. It is nice that when the system is rebuilding, it disables the entire website with no ability to get past binaries.

Additionally, I find it a bit crazy that all these modules aren’t distributed in binary format. The code is easy to find, but often binaries of open source projects are nowhere to be found. Why? They say just compile it. Except you have to have a whole suite of additional make tools plus dependencies on your windows system. That is a lot of work just to get a dll like XDebug for your server. And by the way, I am a linux/unix guy and I have multiple versions of visual studio and other compilers on my work systems, and yet the windows projects most often still find a reason not to compile properly. Geeks, get over yourselves, if you are going to work on a windows compatible project, just post a binary so we can all get on with our lives. We all have better things to do than spend hours fiddling with your fragile make system.

Now to my point. is down yet again. Use the wayback machine to get past versions of things. I got XDebug at:


Seperation Code And State

December 19th, 2008

This is pretty clever. Definitely fits in the category of nerd humor. Worth a look

What’s happening inside your computer?

December 3rd, 2008

Very good article on whats going on inside your computer. A very good description of the relative speeds of internal components. I especially liked the part about how accessing the hard drive is like “leaving the building to roam the earth for one year and three months”. For coders, this illustrates well why cache concurrency is an important topic for performance hungry software.

Ray Pulsipher


Computer Magic And Software Design

InnoDB Corruption common in MySQL

November 6th, 2008

I am now recovering corrupt InnoDB files in MySQL for the 6th time in the last year. Not a good sign considering all the press I have seen about how InnoDB should be default storage engine in MySQL and how superior it is with its added features such as transactions.

First let me give a quick rundown of the recovery history:
– I have been using MySQL in production environments for almost 10 years now. I have had 1 MyISAM table corruption in that time and that was a result of using a Beta version of MySQL. The fix was to run the fix SQL statements and problem solved. I installed a beta version because I was a newbie at the time and no longer do that.
– I have had to fix 6 InnoDB corruption issues on MySQL in the last year on completely different servers. Note that once InnoDB corrupts, it either disables the MySQL process from starting or it disables ALL InnoDB tables in all databases on the servers. Either way an entire server is screwed.
– Corruption has happened on FreeBSD 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, and Win 2k3 Svr on completely different hardware.
– Mysql versions have ranged from 4.1 through 5.1 (various sub versions)
– Recovery of InnoDB has never been simple. Every time it has required several hours working with tools and spending several hours recovering the data. That means additional down time.
– Corruption generally happens after a graceful reboot, but not always. None of the corruption has been a result of power outages or other more “abusive” treatment of the server in question.

In short, MySQL has had a history of being fast and rock solid. InnoDB has shown that it is fragile and buggy – at least in MySQL. With all of the problems it has caused me, I have begun converting any InnoDB tables to MyISAM and adding the skip-innodb line to the MySQL Configuration files to turn it completely off. I am not surprised that my headaches have gone away. This is the last server that has InnoDB on it. New installs will have InnoDB turned off immediately.

I just can’t see how you can promote a technology that has this many problems on this many different servers and operating systems. If you don’t need InnoDB, do yourself a favor and turn it off.

Change for change sake – Console is now Admin for MSTSC

August 3rd, 2008

noscripta href= a car bulgaria/a/noscriptthose who use MSTSC (Remote Desktop Client), you may want to know that as of Vista Service pack 1, XP Service Pack 3, and Windows 2008, you need to replace the -console switch with -admin.

What does -console do?
Console is a parameter that you give to MSTSC to tell it to connect to the main desktop when logging into your server via remote desktop. It is very useful when you want to see the same desktop that you would see when you are sitting in front of the computer physically. I have used it repeatedly for years to ensure that I see the same apps that were open when I am away.

I get frustrated when technologies that are several years old are changed for no apparent reason. Switching to the -admin flag serves no real purpose but to force people to spend time googling for answers for problems that have been solved for years. Quit making arbitrary changes for the sake of making changes. There is no reason you have to constantly break things in the name of progress. If you have to reinvent the wheel again, at least use the same damn lug wrench. We computer professional who have to use your software are tired of watching things that used to work break.

Just so no one thinks I am just picking on Microsoft, switching to Linux doesn’t help. This is a geek wide issue, though MS has been especially bad the last few years.

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