Author Archives: Grease Monkey

About Grease Monkey

Computer nerd since the 80's. Data nerd since the 90's. Generic nerd for a lifetime.

T vs. V and W Shaped People

We talk a lot about hiring T shaped people at my current gig and I think it’s a misnomer for a couple of reasons. First, it implies a ratio of depth to width that is askew. Developers and Admins in … Continue reading

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System Administration Rules to Live By

I’ve had a variation of these running around for a while. Tweaks may come and go with trends, but the concepts are the same. When they say “Go Big!” they don’t mean it. Start with optimistic scripts. Finish them defensively. … Continue reading

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A wonderful, ugly script that just keeps working

Today were going to look at parts of a complex “nudge” script as I’ve described previously. It has a few more bells and whistles and constantly amazes me how well it adapts. I’ll show the good bits in sections so … Continue reading

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The 3 Question Test

A burger and fries costs $1.10; the burger costs $1 more than the fries. How much do the fries cost? 5 servers can sort 5 TB of data in 5 minutes; how long would 100 servers take to sort 100 … Continue reading

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Experimenting w/ Neo4j

Graph databases are a really neat concept. We’ve started playing with Neo here as we attempt to link customers with visits and actions based on those visits. It seems like a really good fit at first glance. Our challenge is … Continue reading

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Just give it a nudge.

The second definition of nudge, according to Webster, is to “prod lightly: urge into action.” We use that concept in our data environments for various long running processes; for things that we want to happen frequently, but with an unknown … Continue reading

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Redshift ups and downs

AWS Redshift has been popular lately around my current gig. We’ve got a couple of clusters in use and a few more in POC mode. The in-use clusters are easy to justify pre-paid instances. A few thousand dollars and you … Continue reading

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Quick Split to Fix data silliness

We have a vendor sending us daily updates on shipping info. We have a well known and defined structure for each type of data and those types map neatly to tables in our database. We have about 9 tables that … Continue reading

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MapR is a better base?

I’ve heard about MapR for a long time and haven’t given it much consideration vs. OSS stacks. I reconsidering my position and conduction some evaluations. Why? MaprFS is a real POSIX File system that runs on Raw devices, not atop … Continue reading

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Ubuntu sucks and so does Debian

Full disclosure, I cut my teeth on Slackware and Redhat in the mid 90’s.  I even tried Yggdrasil once.  That being said… I fully fail to understand the allure of Ubuntu or it’s Mommy distro, Debian.  Yes I know Ubuntu … Continue reading

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