Adam Fields (weblog)

This blog is largely deprecated, but is being preserved here for historical interest. Check out my index page at for more up to date info. My main trade is technology strategy, process/project management, and performance optimization consulting, with a focus on enterprise and open source CMS and related technologies. More information. I write periodic long pieces here, shorter stuff goes on twitter or


Pink something

Filed under: — adam @ 1:43 pm

I have no idea what this is about, but it is… pink.

(Via Doc)

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Not terribly impressed with the flickr redesign

Filed under: — adam @ 9:53 am

Flickr got a big redesign this week. Some of the visual tweaks are good, but overall, my feeling is “really? that’s it?”.

The thumbnails are bigger, and there are more per page by default. Brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that?

I don’t understand why the sets moved from the left to the right, but there’s still a whole bunch of wasted white space on the page.

The new organizational structure doesn’t really seem to make navigating the site much easier, except that the archive page is easier to find. That’s good.

The new Organizr is AJAX instead of Flash, and it doesn’t work in Opera. Ditto for basically all of the other new dynamic elements on the page. Thanks for that, I guess. Everyone else seems to be able to make AJAX pages that work fine in Opera. Why can’t you?

Where’s the large version slideshow? Where’s the setting to view all pictures from your contacts? Where’s the ability to navigate your contacts’ pictures as if they were a set or a group?

Flickr’s still great, of course, but I’m thoroughly underwhelmed by the changes.

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It’s like a heatsink for your head – in praise of the Chillow

Filed under: — adam @ 7:59 am

It sounds stupid.

Okay, it sounds really stupid.

But it works.

I’m a big fan of the Chillow. It’s a sealed foam pad that you fill with 10 cups of water. The pad then acts as a heat sink to draw heat away from your body and release it to the air. I was given one a few summers ago by a friend who ordered one and got a free one as part of a promotion, and I was immediately hooked. When I’m hot, I don’t sleep well. With a chillow, I sleep a lot more soundly, and often I fall asleep almost immediately upon laying my head down on it.

It’s not without its problems – it’s very dense, so if you don’t like the feeling of a big weight under your head, it may not be comfortable for you. It doesn’t bother me. It also may tend to bunch up if the pillow under it isn’t supportive enough to keep it in one place. I’ve never had a problem with leakage. The previous ones I’ve had didn’t last forever – they each developed a stale smell after about 6 months and I tossed them. I’m not sure if that’s the water or the plastic casing, but the newest one I’ve just gotten seems to be made out of a slightly different material, so we’ll see. The instructions do not say to periodically change the water, so I may also try that. Even still, at around $20 per six months (at, the recurring cost is easily worth the benefits to my sleep patterns and comfort.

It’s a stupid-sounding product that I probably would never have even known I needed if the decision had been left to me, but I’m a total convert.

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Good articles on using RAID1 with linux

Filed under: — adam @ 7:29 am

I have my big data drives on a RAID5 array, but they can’t boot individually if the array fails. RAID1 addresses that problem.

These links are helpful for migrating an existing system to using a RAID1 boot/root disk setup.

That first is particularly good, as it details how to set up the array with a failed member initially so you can get it set up, copy your data to it on the new drive, then add your existing drive to it, without overwriting your existing contents. I haven’t tried it yet, but the instructions look right. The others are about using grub with RAID1 drives.

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