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Showing posts from October, 2010

SEAHUG: Scale your OpenStack Hadoop cluster from the bar

Looking to spend more time drowning your infrastructure operations sorrow at the bar? Better start moving your @ cluster to @. Or at least that is what 100 NoSQL developers learned at tonights Seattle Monthly Hadoop / Scalability / NoSQL Meetup (#SEAHUG).

MapReduce has never been easier then with Karmaphere Studio available for NetBeans and Eclipse. They provide a free community edition and a prefesional version if you need something a little more hardcore. @ gave a rundown on using the toolset to rapidly design and deploy Hadoop jobs for your uber data crunching needs. from tonights meetup.

Once you get your Hadoop cluster running (you set it up on OpenStack right?) be sure to look for @'s upcoming iPhone application being built by @. It will support any @ cloud for checking resource consumption, server health or spinning up new instances. The app will even pull in the uptime notifications RSS feed for your favo…

SAWSUG: Makara and SEOmoz

Tonight Amazon hosted their final Seattle Amazon Web Services User Group (@) meeting of the year. A grand showing of about 50 participants was kicked off by @ with a State of the Union including information about Jeff's new book and AWS's new free tier.

AWS free tier avail to experiment on getting started on cloud. 750 hrs machine time included. #sawsug#aws26 Oct via Mobile WebSeattle AWS Users
After a short pizza break @ demonstrated how Makara leverages cloud infrastructure to make building and maintaining server stacks easy. While the Makara interface might not be something to write home about they support an impressive number of cloud providers and stack types. Even more impressive then the two minute stack setup is the plethora of statistics collected by their system. Everything from standard server metrics, to application performance comparisons, to transaction times. Makara even uses its own platform to spin up 120 EC2 servers when testing new …

Startup School highlights

These are the four presentations I enjoyed the most from @. You can find there rest on

Paul Graham of Y Combinator

Watch live video from Startup School on

Brian Chesky of AirBnB

Watch live video from Startup School on

Tom Preston-Werner of GitHub

Watch live video from Startup School on

Dalton Caldwell of Imeem & Picplease

Watch live video from Startup School on

10 Beginner Tips from PHP Masters

6. Abraham Williams: Try Drupal

Williams is a developer and self-styled “hacker advocate.” He, too, advises new PHP coders to jump into a coding project, giving preference to open source work.
”Find a quality project or community (preferably open source oriented) to contribute to. Get to know the code, the people and the customs. Not only will you learn from experienced developers, but the maintainers have a vested interest in quality code and a friendly community. They will be more than willing to recommend code improvements in patches and even how to be a better community member.
“I suggest the Drupal project as a good starting point. It is mature, has a epic community, a great growth rate and lots of jobs for good Drupal developers.”

Building Twilio phone menus for Audio RPG

This past weekend I built a simple Audio RPG using . You call a number and get injected into a storyline where you have to make decisions on how to procede. For example you might happen upon a NPC and get prompted to try and be friends, run away, or attack. This blog post will outline two methods for creating the prompt and directing the caller as needed.

At the basic level a Twilio phone menu for is TwiML (aka TwiML) that specifies how many digits to gather and where to send those digits for further instructions.

This will gather digits until the caller hits the # key at which point Twilio will make a GET request to process.php including a GET variable of Digits with the value entered by the caller.

One aspect of the Audio RPG that was important to me was that it not require a server and that it should be easy to add story arcs. Originally I started with static TwiML on Gist but quickly ran into issues with Gist delivering the raw TwiML as Content-Type: text/plain. Twilio (corr…'s shorten API

When the @ URL shortener originally debuted it was internal only. It initially had no web interace, no statistics, really not much of anything. While used mostly for @ and the Google Toolbar a few creative hackers where able to reverse engineer the shorten API.

Several months pass and Google has publicly launched the service with a fully working web interface. Also available are click through stats and and a history of links generated with your account. Google had this to say about the official API:

...we wanted to let you know we do plan to release an official API for in the future. You’ll be able to use the API to shorten URLs, expand URLs, and view analytics from directly within your own applications.
While poking around the web interface I discovered the shortening of URLs was happening with a simple AJAX request. No complicated algorithms needed. The exact request is a POST to with a paramater of url set to the URL you wish to short…

Adding social share buttons to Blogger posts

Update: Support for the Digg button has been added but is not reflected in the images.

Just above this text you will see three buttons. One each for @Digg, Google Buzz, @, and @. The following instructions detail how to add the same buttons to your Blogger blog.

1) From your Blogger dashboard click on Design.

2) After which select the Edit HTML tab.

3) Now you can see the HTML that makes the guts of your blog but not all of it. Expand the Widget Templates and to see the rest.

4) Scroll down or control/command-f to do a search for the following line of code.

5) Just above that line insert the following code. This will put all three share button under neath the title on each single post page. Fill in the data-via value with your Twitter screen_name. If you wish you can remove the data-related value.

6) Save the template.

If you visit a blog post you should now see the three buttons but alas something is amiss. The three buttons are not aligned so let us fix that.

7) Switc…

100k dollars and six months

If you had $100,000 and six months to build a web application what would you build?6th of October via OmniTweet for ChromeAbraham Williams

<p><a href="">If you had $100,000 and six months to build a web - Twitter conversation</a></p>

Nap time

Nap time, originally uploaded by abraham.williams.

Moar nap time, originally uploaded by abraham.williams.

Ask HN: Sponsor my travel for Startup School

I have been accepted to Startup School (yaaaay!) but I don't have any money for travel (boooo!). So I am looking for someone to sponsor my travel expenses from SEA to SFO. According to the total cost of the flight will be between $220 and $320.

I have thought of several possible exchanges for the sponsorship but I am open to negotiations.
* Karma and a hug because you are awesome and have everything you need.
* A workday of consulting/contracting from me.
* Time spent coding or contributing to an open source project of your choice.
* An interview for a job at your company.
* A night of hacking on your project.
* A four month subscription to @'s baked good of the month club.
* Other stuff?...

Please feel free to contact me at or @. I'm actively looking for a job/startup to co-found, preferably working with a developer community and an API.

Hacker News post

Minimalism in Feature Implementation from Social App Workshop

Organizing my life

The last couple of months I have been depressed and unmotivated. This has, unfortunately, caused me to get behind on email, projects, and countless other tasks. I am working to rectify the situation and will be throwing water on burning bridges all week. If you have been waiting for a response from me, never fret. You will be hearing from me soon while I try to dig myself out of this hole.

If you are a user of any of my somewhat neglected projects, or open source code you will have to wait a little longer but lots of awesomeness is planned.


Digri presentation from Seattle Startup Weekend

I found this video from the final presentation of Digri at Seattle Startup Weekend while poking around the dark corners of my computer.

Eventr pitch from Chicago Startup Weekend

An Eventr prototype was built at Chicago Startup Weekend but has since been taken down while I concentrate on other tasks.