Back on Top

Google finally has me at #1 for my own name again. Take that, Jeff Darcy!

(Seriously, I couldn’t be in better company. Jeff’s a fine cartoonist whose work I enjoy . . . at least when it’s not too Ohio-specific for a Massachusetts guy to understand. I wish him the best of everything . . . except for the top spot on the top search engine.)

New Records

Last month, this site set some new records. The most obvious one is that WordPress stats report 8,763 visits for October, vs. 8,701 for previous record holder June. AWStats shows a slightly different picture, though, in particular that September was already beating June in some categories. Here are some highlights:

  • 26,954 visits (September 23,868; June 22,969)
  • 13,524 unique visitors (September 11,609; June 11,950)
  • 69.992 pages (September 62,572; June 57,516)

What I like best about these results is that they’re not the result of a single huge spike like I got for my “Unemployed!” article back in June. (Yay, I’m no longer most famous for having lost my job!) Sure, I wouldn’t have set a record if not for the scary-pumpkin traffic, but there was a pretty consistent level of traffic all through the month. My posts on software cargo cults, consistent hashing, and particularly comparing key/value stores all generated mini-bumps of their own. It’s nice to know not so much that people are reading this site, but that the ideas I’m writing about (most of which I got from elsewhere) seem to be the subject of increased interest. I’m the surfer, not the wave. I know that, and I know these are also trifling numbers compared to the people really generating the wave, but it’s still nice to feel like this site is part of something and not just another personal waste of time. I’m wasting lots of people’s time now!

Hi, Rackspace!

I was just re-checking prices for some of the various cloud providers, and suddenly realized that Rackspace’s Cloud Server pricing page prominently features a quote from the block I/O performance comparison I did a while back. Cool. I wonder if they also saw my parallel filesystem results. Let me know when you’d like me to re-run that test, guys.

Insider Trading

If I mention a public company on this blog, and somebody else posts a link to me on Yahoo! Finance, am I constrained with respect to buying or selling that company’s stock? As absurd as it might seem, I suspect the practical answer is yes. Certainly the person posting to Y!F would be subject to such constraints; there have been many cases regarding that “pump and dump” tactic over the years, and rightly so. I suppose that two unscrupulous people could try to avoid such scrutiny by having the blogger do the trading so that the Y!F poster’s hands appear clean. I’m not even sure it would work, and it would require a far more influential blog than this one to have any effect on price, but it’s certainly not hard to imagine someone trying.

I wasn’t planning to buy or sell anything I’ve mentioned here, but it does irk me a bit that somebody I don’t even know could create that kind of trouble for me. If I ever do start picking individual stocks, I guess I’ll also have to start paying attention to inbound links as well.


I’ve upgraded my version of WordPress, and also updated my list of links in the right sidebar. As always, let me know if anything seems weird.

New Year (almost), New Theme (almost)

As I’m sure reading this on the site itself and not in an RSS reader have noticed, the look here has changed. I like this new theme visually, but functionally there some things I’m not sure about – especially the fact that it only shows the contents of only the most recent post and just titles for the rest. Please let me know what you think; if others seem to share these reservations I’ll either fix it or revert to the old theme.

UPDATE: never mind. Other people commented on the same display-one-post issue, confirming my impression that it was a bad idea. That’s a pity, because I like other things about that theme (“sunset”). Instead I’ve switched to another theme (“fall colors”) that I also like, and tweaked it a bit. Let’s see how that works out.

Web Mysteries

Do I want to know why seems to be linking to my site? No, I don’t think so. Even for an infophile like me, some things don’t seem worth knowing.

Leaving So Soon?

As some of you know, this blog moves around a lot. Here’s a list of previous homes from two moves ago, and here are some thoughts from last time – when I didn’t even bother mentioning who the new host was (InMotion, so Google will see this). That was only January, and already it’s time again. This post is being made at GlowHost, and if you see it that means I’m already there as far you’re concerned.

P.S. There’s one other change: I didn’t move over the Revivio forum that was the only thing in the domain. I have it backed up, but don’t intend to make it live again. The only posts there for months had been spam, and I got tired of cleaning out several dozen of those every few weeks.

WordPress Upgrade

I’ve upgraded to the latest version of WordPress. The process seems to have been admirably simple and painless, and as far as I can tell everything is working fine, but if you see any glitches please let me know.

Happy Birthday, HTP

Hack the Planet is ten years old. Congratulations, Wes. Looks like this site (including all of its previous hosts and platforms) just turned eight, BTW.