Yet another reason not to switch to Blu-ray

The Sony Blu-ray launch has been marred by a near-endless amount of mistakes, not least of which was the two years they spent duking it out with Toshiba’s HD-DVD, which, although they won, came at something of a high cost. For example, despite being launched in 2006, 3 years later Blu-Ray players are still ridiculously priced, especially when compared to DVD players. Not to mention that a lot of people have predicted the format war was so off-putting to customers that many may skip it and go directly to digital distribution. With the popularity of Hulu, iTunes, and Tivo, that does seem to be the case.

But, if you had any more doubts about Blu-Ray, never fear, Netflix will now charge you 20% more to rent items on Blu-Ray than on standard DVD: Boost Blu-ray Fee as Demand Increases

Makes you wonder, do they even like their customers? I don’t blame Netflix, I imagine the discs do cost more, I blame the studios for raising prices and missing a golden opportunity to be competitive with DVD. There’s just no compelling reason to switch.

Making MySQL Use More Memory: Part 2

In a previous article, I discussed how to get the most out of your memory usage in MySQL systems using the InnoDB storage engine. To review, MySQL has overly conservative memory usage by default. Your MySQL instance may be using only a small fraction of the available memory, leading to unnecessarily poor application performance. In this article, I’ll discuss how to accomplish the same feat in a MyISAM storage engine.

One of the main variables for increasing the memory usage in MyISAM is the “key_buffer_size”, which is the key cache for MyISAM systems. Set “key_buffer_size” to be up to 25% of RAM, or at least a few hundred megabytes. For example, if you have 2GB of RAM, you may want to set it as follows:


You can set this value up to 50% of available memory, although be careful to keep (key_buffer_size + innodb_buffer_pool_size) < 80% of available memory. Assuming your system is primarily an InnoDB xor a MyISAM system, only one of these values should be set large. Next, increase the size of the MyISAM sort buffer size. I don't really have a recommended size here, but a few hundred megabytes should suffice such as: myisam_sort_buffer_size=256M Some other less used parameters with suggested values: read_buffer_size=4M sort_buffer_size=4M myisam_max_sort_file_size=20G Note that the last parameter increases the temporary file space, not memory, but may lead to improved performance.

javaranch & coderanch forums

I gave IBM’s data visualization tool Many Eyes a shot.  Very cool.

The tag cloud visualization shows the most common words used in the JavaRanch/CodeRanch forum names and description.

Unsurprisingly, words like Java, certification and discussion feature prominately.  In two word mode, “sun certified” was the clear leader.

I have no doubt that other data sets would be more interesting.  It’s a nice tool to explorer.  Free to use with the only caveat being anyone can see your data/visualization.