Fresh Windows Install, Ouch

A few hours ago I started with a fresh Windows XP Home install for a computer for my family.

I’m still going.  I have lost count of how many times I have had to reboot the machine then get a new round of updates to install.  It is ludicrous.

Modern Linux distributions are far superior to this.  I recently installed Ubuntu on a several machines; the installer downloaded updates during the install process, so the machine was fully updated, on the first boot.

Dreamhost Out, TextDrive In

You might have noticed that this site is much faster than it used to be. The reason? I moved it from DreamHost to TextDrive.

TextDrive costs more, its “control panel” is not as good as DreamHost’s, and its bandwidth/storage limits are lower. But my site is far faster, hasn’t had any downtime or email downtime since the switch (during which DreamHost had an email outage), and TextDrive support responds much sooner.

I have a few TextDrive nitpicks though: there is no built in web-stats system (I’ll need to install one), and they apparently don’t have a backup system working at the moment (!). I’ve set up a nightly rsync to a machine here for backup purposes, but I sure hope they don’t intend this as a long term situation.

Update: Jason at Joyent/Textdrive noticed this post, and added a comment that the backup problem is long fixed.

Update: A complaint without data risks sounding like a whine. So I’ll add some data. Today I noticed that sites I still have on DreamHost are slow. Why? let’s look:

$ date
Fri Sep 8 15:56:14 PDT 2006
$ uptime
15:56:18 up 5:31, 3 users, load average: 103.41, 95.54, 181.86

Update: Some months later, TextDrive has turned out to have approximately at much, or more, downtime as DreamHost. It’s still fast when it’s up, and the TextDrive guys are helpful, friendly, and responsive. But the shared hosting they offer has frequent downtime.

Joel, you have got to be kidding

Joel seems to “play it safe” … then goes off the deep end of irony in his final paragraph:

“FogBugz is written in Wasabi, a very advanced, functional-programming dialect of Basic with closures and lambdas and Rails-like active records that can be compiled down to VBScript, JavaScript, PHP4 or PHP5. Wasabi is a private, in-house language written by one of our best developers that is optimized specifically for developing FogBugz; the Wasabi compiler itself is written in C#.”

Fortunately DHH saved me some minutes of typing about it, with a scathing commentary.

Over at Oasis Digital we use both common tools (.NET, Java, PHP, C, Delphi, etc.) and more unusual ones (Lua, Prolog, Ruby, sorry no Lisp yet), so I believe that puts us in the DHH and Paul Graham camp: If you want to win, you must be willing to do something different from the pack… such as, in an extreme case, creating your own language optimized for the task at hand, whether in the form of Lisp macros or a C# compiler for Wasabi.