Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Night

I usually flee from the lounge as the title theme of "Strictly Come Dancing" plays, but today I stuck around long enough to boo Anton du Berk's entrance. Call me cynical, but I think the media storm may have turned him from being a racist to being a slightly more careful racist. I do hope in six months time, nobody will remember who the heck he was. Plenty of other good dancers can be employed with my licence fee money - why be stuck with this one ?

I'm now in my home office watching Channel 4 News on Channel 4 +1, surrounded by a lot of wires. I've been experimenting with a new database technology called "Hadoop", which involves connecting a whole bunch of machines together to work on hard sums. So, I've got it installed on any old, broken computers I've got lying around the place, and they are all running in one small room, connected by a pasta of wires. These are seriously outdated machines and they make one heck of a lot of noise. How did we ever put up with it ? I would have suggested installing it on every one of my kitchen appliances, but that's too much like the plot of the animated 3-D car-crash of a movie, G-Force.

Hadoop has enormous potential - if I were one of the big database vendors, I would be extremely worried. It's free, it holds the current record for sorting data, it's used for the biggest computing challenges on earth, and it will run on any hardware at all - down to my headless laptop and superannuated Pentium Zero tower.

It's not trivial to install - having tried it a few ways, I would definitely recommend going with Cloudera's distribution - although you do still need to make sure you've got the right version of Sun's JDK - if it doesn't have "rpm" in the file name, it's the wrong version.

I do not have the slightest idea how to end this posting - I'm actually keen to get back to my playing with my computer cloud, so I'll just suddenly stop typi...

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