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Showing posts from April, 2010

EC2 as a build server

I've been using for the past year or so a Slicehost virtual private server running Ubuntu Linux to run a build server.

Due to the inherent IO-bound nature of some of my builds and the RAM starved nature of the servers sold, I've been forced to upgrade from the 256MB to the 512MB and then to the 768MB slice. Not sure if it's a marketing ploy but you cannot use the server otherwise.

Starting last week, I'm running experiments on migrating the builds on top of EC2 (and S3 for storage). Using EC2 for a build server, especially for a small company is a perfect fit:

EC2 machines are way more powerful

The smallest EC2 machine has 1.7GB of RAM and the next one 7GB. These are serios machines.

Builds are finite

This might not apply for your projects or your company, but I generally do a few operations per day that would trigger a build.

This means that I actually only need the server for, let's say, 5 builds per day or less. Over 20 work days, I would actually use the build ser…

Fremen gear

Ever since I've been working for my own company, I've discovered that working from a single place gets pretty boring after a while. Actually, there are a few phases you go through, but suffice to say at some point you'll want to also work in coffee shops at least for the change of scenery.

Let's talk now about the gear I happen to use:

A Swissgear notebook backpack (Thanks Tora!)My 15" MacBook Pro (it has 4GB of RAM compared to the base model). I also happen to be selling it after I've seen the specs of the new ones. Then, a whole lot of other items I was a bit surprised to find when I unloaded the backpack yesterday to wash it:

Let's see (right to left):

My Orange 3G modem. I rarely need it while in Timisoara. While visiting my parent though it's almost useless since it goes over EDGE, meaning it's slower than dialup.  Handy as a last resort but I won't renew the subscription with Orange when it expires.My 8G iPod Touch, USB cable and iPhone hea…

iPhone OS notes

Apple news flooded the Internet during Easter. After having watched the iPhone OS 4 keynote I have a few remarks and questions. Feel free to comment if you have anything to clear up for me.


Jobs sells the penalty of clicking ads since that closes the app and launches Safari. But since he just introduced multitasking, this penalty is greatly reduced or non-existent. After all, if the user doesn't know how to return to the app after clicking an ad there is something really wrong with the multitasking user interface.

Push services

Things that make you go hmm: apparently Apple has a direct link to each iPhone via push services. I never used this API but I can't but wonder how does this thing really work (expecially via 3G-only).

Also, I assume that notifications aren't encrypted. That should be another data-mining opportunity for  Apple for iAd.

Wireless sync ?

iBooks bookmarks sync wirelessly. What does that mean ? Is there some Apple server that gets this data no matter wha…