Archives For Original Writing

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I have written a lot of non-fiction in my life. Documentation, tutorials, sales brochures, reports and more. Since I was a teenager I’ve wanted to write a novel, and recently I did. That novel is very rough, naive in so many ways, and probably needs a full rewrite.

I am continuing to write non-fiction, but while I am do so, I’m studying writing fiction, and as an exercise I wrote the following as a reason why I want to write: Continue Reading…

Big Performance from Apache on a Small Server

I’ve published another article for DigitalOcean on performance, this time focusing on Apache. They apparently didn’t like my catchy name and simply called it “How to optimize Apache web server performance,” which is too bad, but hey, that’s how it goes!

Apache is an amazingly powerful and capable web server. In order to make initial setup as easy as possible, it comes with numerous modules pre-installed. This makes it a great choice for new projects when you need to quickly be productive. However, as your site grows you may start to bump into performance problems.

What first attracted me to DigitalOcean was the low cost to get started. The smallest and cheapest droplets have 512MB of RAM, which doesn’t seem like much in today’s world of big frameworks. However, you’d be surprised what you can do with a small server like this if you take a little time to tweak the settings.

If you’re running Apache on one of the smaller sizes of droplets, or if you want to maximize your performance on the bigger droplets, here are a few things you should do. I’ll be using Ubuntu 12.04 in the examples but the principles I’m demonstrating are applicable to other versions of Linux as well.

Read the article on DigitalOcean: How to Optimize Apache Web Server Performance

How to scale Django: Finding the bottleneck

I’ve published an article for DigitalOcean on scaling Django. This article focuses on isolating performance problems. This is the first of several articles on performance, particularly targeting resource constrained configurations.

Django is an excellent Python based platform for building modern web apps. One of its biggest strengths is that it helps developers work faster.

You’ve built your awesome app and deployed it. Things are great, but now that you’re loading it up with larger amounts of data and you’re starting to have several people use it at the same time, it’s not as fast as you’d like.

It’s a common problem. Fortunately, we have some tools to help alleviate the problems. First, let’s check for a few of the more obvious issues:

Read the article at DigitalOcean: How To Scale Django: Finding the Bottleneck

Variations on a sunset #6 : Chemical explosion

This is an original, ultra-short, science fiction story I wrote in April of 2012 as an exercise. Those of you who know me understand that it is no problem for me to prattle on and on. I wanted to challenge myself to write something very short. This story clocks in at just over 700 words.

The plot, in short, is this: The first man to breathe extra-terrestrial air reels in shock as his commander orders the destruction of an alien beauty.

I’m not going to kid anyone and say that it is an awesome story. It was a battle to write. There are two distinct parts to the story and it was very difficult to connect them without being confusing. I’m not certain I succeeded. But the story is not bad, either. I enjoyed the challenge in writing it and I hope you enjoy reading it.

Read: The Destruction of Allurtris, original ultra-short fiction by Matthew Nuzum. Continue Reading…