Haven’t gotten to a couple of the posts I had planned this morning, first because I got up late after being up till the wee hours of the morning playing with Zmanda, and second because I was out of the office for a client project midday. As I think I’ve mentioned before, I’m out of the office tomorrow and Wednesday for VMWare’s VMWorld conference out in LA. I’m hopping a late night Frontier flight out there, and have quite a bit I need to accomplish before then so I’ll have to wait on some of the planned entries for the day. But a couple of things possibly worth mentioning:
- Adobe Presentation Offensive?:
Some of you have inquired as to our plans – if any – for advertising here on the site. Brandon‘s comment is a good example:
I have always thought the Redmonk blogs collectively were very similar to Techcrunch, GigaOm, and others. Only the focus is on OSS, Enterprise software, etc. Have you guys considered at least partially adopting similar business model?
The answer is yes, we have, and will continue to. We’re not in the ballpark, or hell, league, as Om or TC traffic-wise – nor, frankly, do I hope to be – but advertising is a supplemental revenue source that we are indeed actively considering. Some of you might have noticed that James is sporting a nifty little graphical ad on his blog, while I’ve cut over from AdSense on my blog’s home page to Text Link Ads. We’re also talking to folks like Federated Media to see if we fit their profile. Are we going to get rich and retire off ads? Unlikely, at least any time soon. But neither are we anti-non-traditional revenue strategies.
For those of you that might be getting concerned, rest assured: everything that’s an ad will be marked as such, and we’ll keep them as non-intrusive as possible. Suggestions or concerns are, as always, welcomed.
- Speaking of Zmanda:
As planned, I gave Zmanda’s ZRM – the MySQL backup utility – a whirl over the weekend. Why? This HowTo lowered the barrier to entry effectively to zero. Or would have, if I was on Red Hat or SuSE, as Zmanda only distributes their product in RPM or source formats – not .deb’s for those of us on Debian or its derivatives like Ubuntu. Fortunately, Falko Timme had run into the same problem and wrote up a great how to for converting the RPM into a more apt-friendly .deb file using Alien. Still not ideal, but a better workaround than compiling it from scratch (was surprised to see that ZRM wasn’t in Gentoo, either). From there, it was a snap to install the package using dpkg and get going on the original howto, and true to their promise I was backing up MySQL DB’s inside of 15 minutes.
ZRM goes beyond the simple mysqldump backup I’ve been using for hicks, our production server, allowing you to configure and schedule backups by database, report on and verify backups, and restore images. Nothing that can’t be done using other tools and scripts, but it’s really quite elegant from what I’ve seen so far.
The verdict? I’ll almost certainly be using this to protect our various MySQL instances.
- Firefox Toolbar Replacement for Firefox:
Not sure precisely when this was released, but an extension I’ve been waiting to see for some time was del.icio.us Bookmarks. Simply put, this rips out your existing Firefox Bookmarks system (yes, you can restore it and your bookmarks later) and replaces it w/ del.icio.us. So far I’m ambivalent toward the plugin, because it seemed to have had problems importing my Links toolbar – the one contains all my first tier links, such as webmail, Movable Type and so on – randomly dropping those items into two different categories firefox:toolbar and firefox:bookmarks. Nor is the tool terribly intuitive (what’s the difference between the Tags and Bookmarks windows?); I’m continually stumbling across random features I didn’t know existed.
The alternative – continuing to use the archaic and vestigial Firefox bookmarks facility – seems pointless, so I’m sticking with the plugin for now. On the plus side, it’s made browsing my existing del.icio.us links exponentially faster, meaning I use the tool more.
The verdict? I guess I recommend it, if only because keeping regular browser bookmarks seems archaic. But be prepared for a bit of a learning curve, and some installation snafus. Important note: installing the plugin will disable both the existing del.icio.us plugin as well as Google Browser Sync, though you can reenable both later if you choose.
Hope some of the above is interest. Meantime, I’ve got a couple more emails to chew through before I pack up and head for the airport.