Ambient Orb

A long-time friend of mine started playing with his Ambient Orb a year or so ago. At the time, he explained all sorts of details of how he’d setup a Windows service and .NET providers. I remember thinking, “wow, their API must be pretty complex”.

While in Salt Lake City on vacation, I picked up an orb on sale for $50 and decided to investigate this on my own. Today, I finally got around to looking into the API, and implementing a client. After looking at the ‘API’ I decided on BASH to implement my client.

Spoiler: It’s 2 lines of bash to retrieve our current daily customer count and post it to the ambient orb API. And, before you waste your time both my Orb ID and the database password have been changed.

After combining my ‘service’ with the ever powerful CRON, my Orb now updates every 15 minutes.
[tags]ambient orb, bash, intellicontact[/tags]


I attended the fantastic BarCampRDU today. The attendees varied greatly mostly in the realm of technology professionals–everything from programmers to book pulishers. I attended sessions on “WetWare”, RNA (RESTful Notification Architecture), APP (Atom Publishing Protocol), and The Future of Publishing. I also led a discussion on “Scaling Web Applications using Free Software”. All in all, a great time networked with lots of really smart and open-minded people. Thanks to all involved for participating. Special thanks to the organizers.

[tags]BarCampRDU, barcamp, unconference[/tags]

trip to the west

We’ve just returned from a lovely trip out west to see Houston, Las Vegas, The Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, and Park City. We had a great time including camping for two nights in Zion and Bryce Canyon Nation Parks, seeing Jack and Sally (Libby’s aunt and uncle in Vegas), and meeting up with Libby’s family in Park City. It is, however, wonderful to return the comfort and routine of home particularly recharged with fresh air and the outdoors. I will be putting up the photos (and videos) soon.

ganglia–know what’s up with your servers

We continue to see the wonders of monitoring with Ganglia. I’ve put together some of the lessons we learned installing and configuring Ganglia.

Ganglia is a cluster monitoring tools developed for computing clusters. it works just as well for monitoring your servers as your ‘cluster’ grows to more machines. A cluster constitutes any set of servers on the same LAN and communicate via Multicast.

[tags]ganglia, monitoring, clustering[/tags]