April 4th, 2004


VoIP; saving $40/month

Got my Digium cards installed in my new home server, running Asterisk (the Open Source Linux PBX), doing long-distance calls through VociePulse Connect, which is pay-as-you-go. No monthly fees.

I just went to cancel my $40/month Vonage service (which I see now is cheaper on their website) but a friendly chap in India told me the cancellation department doesn't work on the weekends, and you can't cancel online. I'll have to do that tomorrow.

Whitaker's a bum

whitaker's a bum. He's been laying on the floor next to his laptop, unshowed, undressed since this morning.

I'm afraid he's casting off negative bum-like vibes, so I'm going to fight it and go on a bike ride. It's so damn nice out.

mountain bikes, cont.

Test rode a Kona and a Giant today.

The Kona Dawg felt incredibly heavy compared to the Trek Fuel 90. I tried the same sort of riding as yesterday but it just wasn't as smooth either, and I had nowhere the same level of fun or confidence.

Then tried out a Giant (sorry, forget model, have it written down somewhere) and it was a lot better, but at 5-6" of travel it was probably a lot softer than I want. As much as the sales guy talked about its "stable platform", I wasn't feeling it. It seemed to take a lot of work to move it around. Perhaps other 5-6" travel bikes without the stable platform are much worse. And with 5 points of adjustment (3 for rear shocks, two for front), it was far more complicated than I'd like.

So at this point I'm still liking the Trek Fuel 90, but I'll probably go ride it again tomorrow to make sure that:

1) it's as light as I remember.

2) it's as smooth and fun as I remembered, and it's not just scoring a lot of points because it happened to be the first suspension bike I'd ever ridden.

3) climbing is tolerable. (didn't try that the other day)

memcached article

Memcached article is at 3200 words, which is 400 words too long. Spent quite some time today re-reading/re-structuring/re-writing lots of it. Reasonably happy, but all I want to do is elaborate at this point, not cut.

For example, often I have an area like:
Point A. Well, not entirely true. Caveat A2 which is useful/notable in case A3. Therefore, A, considering A2+A3, implies B.
But the A2+A3 part is kinda unnecessary. Most readers wouldn't care. But saying this:
Point A, implies point B.
isn't entirely true, and some readers could catch me on it, or at least tune out, figuring I was clueless. It's those readers I'd want to lock in. But leaving in the A2+A3 could push away some of the readers less knowledgable about the subject.

So the big challenge at every sentence is how deep to go while keeping both the informed and less informed interested.

I'm also not sure about the reader's backgrounds. How much computer science stuff do you explain? It's somewhat necessary to explain hashtables to convey how memcached clients pick servers (memcached instances being analogous to hashtable buckets), but I don't want to really go into it.

I told Whitaker to read it first because I need a break. When I'm more confident of it, I'll send it out to those of you who offered to review.