life is a rum go guv’nor, and that’s the truth

Getting started with Hadoop on Amazon’s elastic mapreduce

After playing with Hadoop a bit in the past, I’m now trying out some things on Amazon’s Elastic MapReduce.
I signed up for a new AWS account and ran their sample LogAnalyzer Job Flow using the AWS console. That was easy enough. Next I attempted to run the same sample from the command line using the [...]

Solving aggregation problems

In Folksemantic, we run into the following problems:

Duplicate entries. Search and recommendation results that list multiple entries for the same resource.
Catalog pages. Search and recommendation results that link to catalog pages for resources (people would rather go directly to the resource, but the metadata providers want people to go to their catalog entry for the [...]

Configuring Apache and Tomcat to serve my java web application through port 80

Default Tomcat installations run on port 8080 so you get urls like:
Some firewalls block port 8080 so I wanted my site to be available on port 80 so that it uses urls like:
One option was to modify the Tomcat configuration to listen on port 80. However, I already have Apache installed and listening on port [...]

Compiling bcrypt-ruby gem for Windows

I am a heretic. I develop Rails apps on Windows. I own a Macbook, but I usually boot it into Windows. Justin thinks I should just should just move to developing on a Mac. I keep holding out. But periodically I try to install a gem that needs to compile native extensions for Windows, and [...]

Multilingual Google search mashup

For sometime I have envisioned a web browser that allows me to search and browse all of the web-pages of the world and view them in English. I figure there have got to be lots of cool things going on in the non-English speaking world that I would be interested in but I never hear [...]

Moved to slicehost

I recently moved from hostgator to slicehost. I signed up with hostgator because it seemed to be a cheap place ($10/mo) to play with rails. It turns out that hostgator doesn’t really do rails (they offer it via cgi, not even fastcgi). They didn’t allow me to install things like the Send2Wiki perl module or [...]

Lucene and Multi-Lingual Updates to OER Recommender

Last week I posted an update to OER Recommender. The source for the project is posted in Google code projects: oerrecommender, recommenderd, and aggregatord. The biggest change was moving OER Recommender from my home-brewed indexing and recommendation engine to using the super fast, super easy, open source search engine Lucene. I made the move because [...]

Debugging browser incompatibilities

Every time we update the NLVM website like we did a few weeks ago we receive email from people that are no longer able to access the applets. Often times the causes are somewhat mysterious. Some of the problems are caused by proxy and browser caching; some of the updated files arrive at peoples’ browsers [...]

OER Recommender Released

Here is the updated OER Recommender White Paper.
Yesterday we released the OER Recommender system that I have worked on. There are still many things that could be added or tweaked, but it does something useful already so out the door it goes! I’m concerned that we are calling it a recommender as the “recommendations” [...]

Scaling Rails (Debugging Ozmozr)

Justin and I have been debating whether or not we really believe that Rails can scale. As we talked about this issue, we realized that ozmozr is probably a good test case. We stopped working on ozmozr months ago, realizing that it needed additional work. We needed to move on to other projects we had [...]