A Small Overload

For people like me, a good reward for a job well done is, well, more work. I respond rather well to a 20% program. Of course, near their conclusion, 20% projects usually become 60% projects. In any case, one such project of mine was recently rolled out for some preliminary testing. Without letting too much out of the bag, it involved some pretty extensive server-side processing and has a spiffy lightweight client side interface. The two talk to each other using the acronym of the year, AJAX.

To make a short story even shorter, it failed pretty miserably after more than five users were present. Just didn’t scale well enough. So I decided to take a look under the hood of my hosting server.

cat /proc/cpuinfo revealed this:

model name : Pentium III (Coppermine)

Excuse me? We’re paying for that? I think to myself, maybe it’s something else that I’m not seeing.

uname -r corroborates my suspicions:


No sophisticated I/O scheduler there, no wonder my repeated disk access and server-side MD5 hashing is paralyzing the machine!

I will tolerate no such abuses, the hosting company has no upgrade path and so I begin shopping around. Before long, I remember a server company that some other geeks were lauding a few weeks ago. It’s called A Small Orange and from what I hear it’s terrific. I begin to check it out and complaints seem to be minimal. Then I notice a pattern in the server names: Desmond, Claire, Jack, Vincent, Libby, Charlie, Walt. Server companies should get bonus points for clever allusions to pop culture, as we all know us geeks never get time to actually participate in said pop culture.

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