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A Victim of our Success and How I fixed it

June 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Quick


People are often telling me how much they like the website. I built the site upon the WordPress publishing platform. WordPress has thousands of feature add ons, and like a kid in a candy store, I may have added too many. And there are more that I want to add. The site looks pretty good, but page load times can suffer. I was living with the trade off, but more and more people are using the site. As sometimes happens in a crowd, you will find the one person who uses your site in a way it can’t handle. I am not sure what they are trying to do, but it is the equivalent of a thousand people visiting my site at once. The solution is to add one more feature to the site. If you care about the details, I have added the Hyper Cache plugin. The end result is my strange visitor is welcome to return. The site should be much quicker for everyone else too.

In addition, I have setup a system to call me on my iPhone any time the site slows to a crawl. I can diagnose and fix the problem right from my phone.

You can’t always prevent problems. Life is too complicated. But you can learn from the problems as you handle them, put systems in place to prevent the ones you can, and for the rest you gracefully deal with the challenges ahead.

Photo Credit, th.omas. has more RAM

May 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Quick


Ecuadorian Navy Tall Ship - "Buque Escuela Guayas" at the North Vancouver Pier - Source john.d.mcdonald has had a lot of downtime lately. The problem was too little computer memory. I have now upgraded the RAM. RAM for a computer is like spinach for Popeye. Please email or call me if you ever find HelpShop isn’t working properly.

I have a known issue: There are problems using the search with Safari on a Mac and Google Chrome browsers. I have created a workaround just for these people. I hope to have this fixed. Go to to use the alternate search page.

Photo credit, john.d.mcdonald.

Two random things about myself

February 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Quick

Rubik's Cube SolvedPerry Marshall challenged his twitter followers and blog readers to “Tell me 2 random things about yourself – takes 2 minutes.” It took me longer than that, but I posted two things as a comment to his blog. I thought I would share them here too:


1) I have always had an entrepreneurial streak. I was selling cupcakes or something as a child in Soho New York, when Herve Villechaize (Tattoo on Fantasy Island) was packing to move to California for what became his big break in the Man with the Golden Gun. He gave me a harmonica, and a pile of Sad Sack comic books which I still have somewhere. During high school in New York, I would buy novelties in the wholesale district, and sell them as a street vendor on 8th street in Greenwich Village. I mostly sold Rubik’s Cube knockoffs. I figured out how to solve the cube, and would solve them while selling them to drum up business. I once solved a cube in 47 seconds in a high school contest, beating in that round the eventual winner of the contest. He won with 17 seconds. I can still solve the cube in usually less than 2 minutes.

2) I met my wife playing volleyball in a tournament for charity on the National Mall in DC. We were both on the same team of six. I was pretty shy about it. We started playing as doubles partners in a local sand volleyball league. It was only after some months of that, that we started going out. I used the Bruce Willis line in Hudson Hawk, where he leans forward and whispers that he has a secret. I leaned forward and kissed her. A risk well worth taking.

Photo credit, Danie van der Merwe and Bram Van Damme.