Following the lead of my man James Archer on his latest post “Powering a Professional Web Firm” here’s a run-down of the technology we’re using inside Grid7. Colorcoded by opensource, Freeware/shareware and commercial products.
- Server platform (Grid7) - Apache FastCGI serving Ruby on Rails 1.1, Python
- Server platform (Lights Out, G7 website) - IIS 6 serving ColdFusion MX 6.1, BlueDragon, PHP 4, ASP.NET, Perl
Productivity / Administrative
What’s interesting is how central the iPod device has become as far as a platform for communication for us. We use it for capturing and syndicating the audio from meetings and I use it personally along with the Griffin iTrip to stay ontop of the latest conferences and interviews with industry experts via ITconversations and Venture Voice. I can’t comment on all the Mac applications as that’s Kimbro’s realm (hopefully my realm eventually). If you have any critical pieces of infrastructure you’re using in your company that aren’t on this list, do tell.
© 2005 Lights Out Production – All Rights Reserved Worldwide
What do Percocet, Vicodin, Lidocaine, coldpacks, physical therapy, Flexall 454, a sling and acupuncture all have in common? They’re all pain-alleviating technologies I’m using right now on my shoulder after sustaining a rotator cuff injury on my birthday last weekend. Check out this xray from the emergency room:
Unfortunately it doesn’t do much to show the knotted muscles or convey the level of pain associated with this injury. And I didn’t get the films for the MRI I had on wed (ever have a 4″ needle jammed into your shoulder socket to inject contrast dye? wheeeee). I’m fairly certain that if torture experts learned about this, the “bamboo under the fingernails” technique would be quickly replaced. We had a great time for Cinco de Mayo and took the party bus out and celebrated my 31st. Unfortunately my truck’s battery somehow died that night and even though I got it started by jumping it the next morning, it crapped out in traffic on my way to buy the battery. I guess being dehydrated, amped by the adrenaline of having cars whizzing around you and trying to push a one-ton automobile out of the road by yourself is a bad idea… I got it moved but not before ripping the muscles apart in my left shoulder.
Odd things I’ve learned this week being one-handed:
- For the first time since high school, I am able to write faster with a pen than I can type.
- Flossing is one of the more difficult activities to achieve with one hand.
- I’ve actually found a practical use for the electric pepper grinder gag gift I got for my brother for Christmas
- How much we take for granted the absence of pain everyday
On a different note, the window for applying in the 4th round of submissions for the 9rules Network is tomorrow (Wed) one day only. My friend Chris is currently syndicated through them and says it has tripled his readership so it’s worth it for anyone who uses his/her blog to reach potential clients
I’m scrambling to complete Phase I of the ABC project this week to meet their deadline. I feel like the runner that comes around the final turn only to pull a hamstring and wind up clawing his way across the finish line though- typing is waaay hindered right now and it’s going to come down to the wire. I will do an extensive writeup on what I learned and all that was involved in delivering this system once it’s live. It’s been an enormous exercise in pushing the limits of screen scraping techniques to essentially emulating a browser and writing a wrapper API for a system that had no way of exposing its internals and then to automate a bunch of business processes via the API I created. The most challenging thing is not that this company fails to provide an API to their system but that they have countermeasures in place to thwart people like me from doing what I’m doing so essentially I have to defeat those first before I can make the screenscraping work. My legacy integration stuff is all done in ColdFusion running on BlueDragon JX and entirely done using cf components and xml mapping files. What’s nice is when this company inevitably changes the formfields in their system, I only have to update an xml mapping file and the client-facing application theoretically should not have to change at all. The guys from Fivetwenty Web Services were an absolute pleasure to work with (I subbed the client-facing portion to them so I could focus entirely on all the legacy stuff). Their stuff is all .NET and we talk XML back and forth. The next phase will encompass all the financial data and involve extending the legacy integration to talk with a housing provider app that rides ontop of a FoxPro db, a custom Cobol accounting system and an AS400 that has all the data from the social workers- all this to avoid the volley of faxed patient information that is their current process. Everything must be HIPAA-compliant so it’s all stored encrypted in the db and the encryption key actually resides on a different network segment (thanks to the 520 guys)- it has been quite an experience setting it up… I will definitely share what I’m allowed to as far as lessons learned.
BTW, Pandora rocks – if you haven’t used it yet, be sure to check it out. It’s a free, flash-based music discovery service that lets you setup your personal radio stations and learns to recommend artists you like. What’s cool is you can share stations with friends. I just added their js widget to my blog on the right column to syndicate my stations. This replaces shoutcast now for me as being the music of choice during the day.
© 2006 Lights Out Production – All Rights Reserved Worldwide
Today we released a cornerstone, enabling technology that serves as a librarian/notification service to allow structured blogging content created using microcontent to be funneled to easily consumed by edge aggreator services. My partner Kimbro wrote the structured blogging plugins for both WordPress and Moveable Type which have been available for a few months. Adoption of the plugins is a chicken/egg conundrum however until there exists a compelling reason to create content using micontent definitions. MCPing is the equivalent to the “Ping-o-matic” service of blog posts and provides a central, open notification system to any edge aggregator that wishes to subscribe to a certain MCD channel. Soon to follow is the next project we have been developing, Rawjobs.com – the first edge aggregator to consume these structured posts and provide a job posting service. Read more about what’s to come on the Grid7 site and be sure to subscribe to our new podcast that promises to provide a more tangible, organic means for sharing the insights we gain through our pilot program.
© 2005 Lights Out Production – All Rights Reserved Worldwide