So previously I posted about a problem one of our customers had parsing the DNC. The solution was done in perl and you can read about it in the Perl Edition of this. And it worked rather well and very quickly. However it presented a support issue: They didn’t have a linux box nor the inclination to install perl on a windows box just for that meaning each month we needed to parse it for them.
Recently, one of our customers had a unique problem. The national Do Not Call (DNC) list they pay $15,000 (yes, that’s a comma and yes those are zeros after it) per year for access to exceeded the 2Gb limit imposed by older systems they were running. Specifically, fox pro couldn’t handle 2Gb+ files. So they asked if we could make something for them that would separate the file into smaller files that could be consumed by the out dated system.
I have received this question many many times over the years as an internet … person… most recently from our new graphic artist contractor, a fine young man from Joseph Turner Graphics. And it’s a very valid question, since people are often told things like “Your website won’t be up until DNS propagates which could be as long as 72 hours.” 72 hours! This is the age of the Internet! 72 hours is an enormous amount of time. Why does it take so long? Why is the range so gaping? I mean if it was EXACTLY 72 hours, that’s more believable than “could be one hour, could be 12, could be 39, could be 72”.
Unfortunately, there is a reason. And it’s one that no one has control over. Continue reading →
The world of online marketing is split into two separate and occasionally difficult to distinguish groups: The first has legitimate products and services and attempts to spread the word about their products and services to the attention of the masses. The second sprays the internet with unsolicited garble and hopes that enough suckers will click thereon to justify their sad existance. Predominantly, they peddle pills, porn, or poker.
Recently, one of the local radio stations here in town wanted to stream their stuff live over the internet. Being their ISP, we helped them quite a bit. You can read about that and how it was done here: Multiple parallel audio streams from multiple audio sources on one Wirecast license.. Recently, however, we have uncovered a huge flaw in Wirecast: it’s inability to recover from pretty much any error automatically, start automatically, or automatically broadcast. If you don’t have a 24/7 technician who can sit in front of the server and watch Wirecast around the clock, this presents a problem.
A HUGE problem. And Wirecast’s official answer is “it’s on the wish list”.
The other day, several clients from up north came to visit as we helped them launch a new marketing product. As they sat watching me pound out code on my computers, they were quite curious about my three monitors. They watched me flow back and forth amongst the three, changing this, checking that, saving here, reloading there… normal operations for me, but not for them. One, who had some previous programming experience, asked if I preferred Linux to Windows. I replied that both had their uses and so I was using both. He was somewhat taken aback by my statement and looked closer at my monitors.
For those of you who follow our blog, Brett does a lot of articles about PowerShell and how great it is. So the other day when I need to do a mysql dump of some data on a Windows 2008 server, I fired it up. The deep blue background touched my inner California beach bum, and the verbose bright red error messages made my inner programmer smile.
“This is pretty neat,” I thought. “Maybe Windows has finally made something to compete with Unix’s shell in a real and meaningful way.”
We were recently presented with an interesting problem by a long time local customer and friend to many of us here at High Speed Web. WRHI is a local media center running some 6 radio stations. They stream these stations over the internet with us currently via RTMP, Adobe’s proprietary streaming protocol. This works great when streaming to flash enabled browsers, but when their customer base increasingly demanded mobile device compatibility, WRHI had a problem. With Adobe and Apple, the maker of the famous iPhone, iTouch, and iPad, in a pissing match over the future of streaming mobile technology, WRHI needed to be compatible with both. After some research, Wirecast was chosen as the streaming encoder and Wowza as the streaming server. These were chosen based on their flexibility and inter-compatibility. The bigger issue was streaming 6 streams from the same box. Their original solution had them running 6 separate streaming servers.
But that didn’t sit well with my inner nerd.
Plus Wirecast is $500 per license, and 6 licenses versus 1 didn’t sit well with my inner banker.
In a world of increasing SPAM, IP reputation has become a must-know statistic if you want to be able to send an email to a customer, prospect or even grandma. So if you are running an ISP, as we are, maintaining a good IP reputation isn’t some nice frill that makes you feel good, it’s a necessity. The problem is, no one wants to tell you what the reputation is. Sure, you can monitor the hundreds of various block lists out there, and probably should, but that only tells you when the IP’s reputation has reached a critical low. Luckily, most big email providers are turning to ReturnPath their spam complaints, feedback loops, and all those other tedious tasks that need handling when dealing with customer level email delivery. This places ReturnPath in a unique position where they can monitor, generate, and, more importantly, display the IP reputations of our IPs.