Brown trousers time :~

Simon Wistow simon at
Thu Oct 11 00:14:31 BST 2007

On Thu, Oct 11, 2007 at 07:24:44AM +0900, Simon Cozens said:
> If you've really been hired to deal with that kind of load, then you
> *already* know about mod_perl and FastCGI and squid and probably the
> Danga stuff and everything else. That's why they hired you. If you don't
> already know that stuff, something's wrong.

In general I agree with you but, that said, way back when i was first 
starting out, I worked for a small company that barely had any money.

They couldn't afford to pay for anyone *really* experienced and I was 
willing to work for less because I wanted experience. I very quickly got 
out of my depth as our clients got bigger and bigger and was often 
asking either stupid questions or questions like this on c.l.p.m or 

In fact the OP gave me flashbacks since I had a click counting project 
on a machine where I couldn't install CPAN modules that very quickly got 
up to 1000s of clicks a minute IIRC.

Thanks to people on this very list I ended up with a ~/cpan/ directory 
and a wrapper script to cpan(1) that made installing new modules a 
breeze and wrote a simple fork()ing web server in perl that spooled 
clicks to a file and then offline processed them using, I believe, 

My point being is that it's all too common to hit your limits by 
accident (hell, I've *always* taken jobs deliberately to do that) and 
that I'm particularly glad to the denizens of this august institution 
who took me under their wings, gently guided me in the right direction, 
fed me beer, patiently answered questions and then made me organise a 
pub for them every month.

As an aside this led to me writing an ever more elaborate log processing 
tool called Lumberjack that could do various things with log files both 
remotely and locally. The config file got to the point where it 
supported variables, scope and looping with a proper RecDescent grammar 
(I'd just done a compilers course at uni) at which point I realised I 
could write .lj files with the shebang line 

#!/usr/bin/env lumberjack 

and realised I'd accidentally written an interpreted language. Then I 
got scared and never touched it again.


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