Author Archives: drbrain

Image Update

It seems I’ve fixed all the image problems for 43 Things, and 43 Places and 43 People will be fixed up tomorrow. Give us a heads-up if you see any broken pages or broken image links on 43 Things.

UPDATE: 43 Places and 43 People now seem to be up to date. If you see anything amiss, please leave a URL for the broken image and the page you found it on. Some may show up after a reload or two as our image servers may be busy rebuilding images for you.

New York on Top

In the past week New York City passed up Seattle for the city with the most 43 Things users.

Haven’t set your home town? Get to it!

Bouncing Emails

While setting us up for better and more-reliable emails (which will fix a few bugs with questions, for example) I goofed and caused about 8000 reminders to go out backwards. If you’re one of those lucky few you’ll get a strange bounce message saying “mail loops back to myself”.

Don’t worry, I’ve already caught and fixed the bug, so no more will go out this way.

Sorry for the inconvenience!

Kayaks Suck

Today we picked up pork sandwiches and corn on the cob from Paseo then headed down to the water to eat. We discussed the merits of canoes versus kayaks, and I maintain that a canoe is superior.

On the way to and from lunch we armchair navigated through the twisty maze of streets just East of the North end of the University Bridge.

Oh, I also let an eleven month old pug chew on my hand while attempting to photograph him. You’d get one of these super-cute pictures, but I left my camera’s USB cable at home after uploading pictures from the injury-free rollover in my neighborhood last night.


Today I write this blog post because Erik paid a three digit lunch bill (including tip). I’m often accused of cheating at Credit Card Roulette but I don’t know how I do it. I bet everybody else are sore losers.

Lunch topics today included the crappy cell phones and cell phone service we have here in the US. One of Erik’s friends had a cell phone with not one, but two cameras! One for photo taking and a second one for video conferencing. In Asia everybody has phones with these kinds of nifty features (and uses them), but here we have to pay extra to get the fancy phones then pay more to use them (if we even can).

Shortly after that we moved into the glorious rent prices of days of old, probably from back when I was in middle school and not even thinking about any of that “real world” stuff. (Not that I do know.)

Site Tuning

43 Things might get a little slow while we shuffle the responsibilities of our boxes by tweaking the load balancer. Or it might not.

The change will allow us scale each site’s hardware with the amount of traffic it receives. I’ll be watching things and tuning as people switch, so don’t freak out if things get a little slow.

Sorry about that

Due to a misconfiguration with our database we had some unplanned downtime. Everything is good again but we’ll need to have another short downtime sometime soon to fix it for good.

Image Changes Tonight

Tonight I’ll be changing the way images are stored on our sites around 11PM Pacific Time.

While I’m working on the images you may notice some missing images or image uploading not working for a few minutes.

Currently we store all our images on one disk, but it is close to being full (about 20 days of space remain). I’ll be switching to mogilefs for storing our images which allows us to distribute the disk usage across multiple servers.

UPDATE: It looks like I’ve got all the problems straightened out. There are a few images that aren’t yet in mogilefs but those will be found and imported over the next couple hours.

UPDATE: The image import crashed while trying to import the last of the missing profile images last night so a few of you may have missing profile images. I restarted the importer and its running through all ~800,000 images again.

Also, for those of you that have wrong profile images it will be very helpful if you give me a link to the image that is incorrect. To do this go to your profile images page. Mine is:

Then get the image address. It should be a URL like this:

Then I can go track down why the proper image isn’t showing.

UPDATE: I’ve fixed the random-image-fun, but some profile images might still be missing. The profile images import is about 3/8 done.

UPDATE: Consuming images are all fixed, random images seem to be all gone, but there’s a bunch of incorrect images that I’ll be flushing out starting now. Thanks for your patience!


logmerge is the tool we use to merge access log files from our web servers. As an added bonus you get a utility to quickly perform DNS lookups on the IP addresses in the log files.

Enjoy! is a new site that contains some of the libraries and tools we use to make our sites go.

Just yesterday we released two libraries that help make our sites go so fast, memcache-client and cached_model!