Blogging Tips Tag Meme

I got tagged by blogitude and this looks like a decent meme to I'm tagging it along.

-Start Copy-

It’s very simple. When this is passed on to you, copy the whole thing, skim the list and put a * star beside those that you like. (Check out especially the * starred ones.)

Add the next number (1. 2. 3. 4. 5., etc.) and write your own blogging tip for other bloggers. Try to make your tip general.

After that, tag 10 other people. Link love some friends!

Just think– if 10 people start this, the 10 people pass it onto another 10 people, you have 100 links already!

1. Look, read, and learn. *****
http://www.neonscent.com/
2. Be, EXCELLENT to each other. ****
http://www.bushmackel.com/
3. Don’t let money change ya! *****
http://www.therandomforest.info/
4. Always reply to your comments. ****
http://chattiekat.com/
5. Blog about what you know & love. **
http://sugar-queens-dream.blogspot.com/
6. Alt tag your images for added search engine exposure. *
http://fracas.wordpress.com/
7. You can’t please everyone — just write what you feel. **
http://www.blogitude.com/
8. ADHD Just means more topics to blog about. *
http://antonolsen.com/

-End Copy-

I'm tagging Brandon, Michael, Mark and Ed.

Das Keyboard

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I'm blogging this with a friend's Das Keyboard. So far I don't miss the letters on the keys at all. We'll see in a short bit when I start coding some Python though.dasbig.jpg

They claim 100% improvement in typing speed, and I can see how it might work that way. On the very few occasions that I am tempted to glance at the keyboard I'm not rewarded so I've learned to quit doing it.

At $90 I'm not sure I'll buy one soon, but I think it's now on my would like to have someday list. The tactile feel of the keys is reminiscent of the old IBM keyboards, but with slightly less resistance.

Cherry Bran Muffins

MuffinsCRW_5889.jpg

Here's my version of the Kellogg's All-Bran Muffins.

I'll eventually find a way to make this without the cereal (and it's high fructose corn syrup), but this method is very simple and nearly fool proof.

Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

  • 1 1/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda (optional if your fruit is acidic)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 cups All-Bran
  • 1 1/2 cup Naked Juice Red Machine
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup oil (I used Canola)
  • about 1 lb of Fresh Cherries

Toss the All-Bran and the Juice into a large mixing bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes. Mix the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside. Mix the oil and egg in with the bran and juice until you get bored mixing (5 minutes or so). Add the dry ingredients and mix til it's combined. Do not over-mix now. Let the batter sit while you prepare the fruit.

Pit the cherries until you have about 1 cup. I just pull the stem off, and dig my thumbs into the stem end to tear them in half and toss the pit in the trash. Once you have about a cup of cherries, stir them evenly into the batter.

Divide the batter between 12 muffin pan cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the largest muffin comes out clean.

95th Percentile Bandwidth Tracking

I've had a need recently to learn how 95th percentile works and found a LOT of information and misinformation on the net about it. I'll refrain from commenting much about the politics of billing on the 95th percentile, that's a whole 'nother can o' worms.

So here's the short description:

  • Store the 5minute averages of traffic.
  • Sort the samples descending.
  • Throw away the top 5% of the samples.
  • The highest number remaining is what you bill. (usually in mbps)

That isn't the same as calculating the peak bandwidth and multiplying it by .95. It's also not the same as taking the total bandwidth used and multiplying it by .95. The customer is billed on some arbitrary rate of bandwidth sometimes this is good, sometimes not.

At first it seems that you need 5 minute data for every customer for the entire month to do accurate calculations, but there is a way that you only need to keep about 37 hours of data through the month.

A month with 31 days contains 8928 sample periods. The top 5% or 446 of those will be discarded. The 447th will be what we bill the customer on. We can start out the month filling up the 447 slots. When they are full, all future samples are tested against them. If they are greater then #447 they get inserted in the list and 447 drops off.

This reduces our storage costs from 8928 samples per month per server to just 447. At the end of the month we save the 447th slot clear the buffer and start over.

Now I'm off to see if I can code that in SQL.

6 Days of Prizes Contest from The Prize Blog

6 Days of Prizes Contest from The Prize Blog

"Over at The Prize Blog, Brian is having an awesome 6-day blogging competition and is giving away cash prizes, MP3 players, blogroll back links, Bloggeries Blog Directory listings and complete site reviews. This is one of the best blog contests you will ever find!"

I've just started googling for blog contests, and it's really amazing how many are out there. This is one that I thought was interested. I'll be sure to blog about a few more later.

eBay Feedback Games

I had been using The Real Mother Goose for eBay feedback, but it was too tough finding lines that didn't have banned words like dick or pussy so I started a little alphabet game. The idea was I'd pick a fruit (or vegetable), animal, insect, and an adjective animal, all starting with the letters of the alphabet. Now that I've reached Z, I'll post the list here in case anyone else cares to use it.

As you can see I got confused a couple times about the order of the elements.

  • A is for Apple, Aardvark, Ant and Anthropomorphic Antelope.
  • B is for Banana, Bear, Bee and Basilica Bats
  • C is for Cherry, Cat, Caterpillar and Chimeric Chimpanzees.
  • D is for Durrian, Dingo, Dragonfly and Daring Dolphin
  • E is for Eggplant, Elephant, Earwig and Emotional Emu.
  • F is for Fig, Frog, Firefly and Fantastic Flamingo
  • G is for Grape, Gorilla, Grasshopper and Gnashing Gnu.
  • H is for Horse, Honeydew, Hornet and Horrendous Hyena.
  • I is for Ibbus, Ita Palm, Inchworm and Ingenious Iguana
  • J is for Jujube, Jackal, Japanese Beetle and Jumping Jellyfish
  • K is for Kiwi, Kangaroo, Katydid and Kindly Koala
  • L is for Lemur, Lime, Ladybug and Laughing Loon
  • M is for Mango, Mastadon, Mite and Meticulous Monkey
  • N if for Nectarine, Narwhal, Nymph and Nocturnal Newt
  • O is for Orange, Ostrich, Orthoptera and an Ornate Orangutan
  • P is for Pineapple, Platypus, Pillbug and a Pompous Pig
  • Q is for Quince, Quail, Queen Bee and a Quiet Quokka
  • R is for Rambutan, Rat, Roseslug and a Raucous Racoon
  • S is for Starfruit, Shrew, Silverfish and a Sly Sloth
  • T is for Tomato, Tiger, Twoleaf Tier, and a Tenacious Trout
  • U is for Ugli, Uinti, Ulysses Butterfly, and a Unharmonious Unicorn
  • V is for Voavanga, Vole, Viceroy, and a Victorious Vulture
  • W is for Watermelon, Wolf, Walkingstick and a Warbling Warbler
  • X is for Xigua, Xenops, Xyelidae and a Xenophobic X-Ray Fish
  • Y is for Yarrow, Yak, Yellowheaded Fireworm, and a Yelling Yorkshire Terrier
  • Z is for Zucchini, Zebra, Zimmerman Pine Moth, and a Zealous Zebu

If you have any ideas on other eBay feedback methods please let me know as I'll need one in a few days.