Category: Engineering

Elephant Mechanics

This is for wifey. Wifey likey heffalumps.

This amazing mechanic design [by Andrew Chase] was made out of transmission parts, electrical conduits, plumbing pipes and 20 gauge cold rolled steel. It is 36″ X 36″ X 18″ and weights about 85 lbs. All the joints move and lock in place, turning a gear on the elephant’s side winds a cable around a shaft which raises and lowers the trunk and the ears move back and forth and can fan out (to dissipate heat).

Mechanical Elephant, by Andrew Chase

The Planet Bad, StatCounter Good

I was affected by this outage at The Planet last week. Outage is understatement of the month, the server disappeared on Saturday, came back up on Tuesday night, was gone again on Monday morning, and stayed that way until Wednesday. The line of problems was horrendous, and although DR procedures were way off the mark, in truth The Planet had a very unlucky succession of failures the like of which we haven’t seen since… well, since a somewhat similar event in the mocky-ah capital above there on the east coast.

There was an outpouring of screaming and shouting by customers, and you can understand why: two big data floors were offline, which took down dedicated racks, dedicated servers, reseller accounts, businesses and end users. A whole vertical was shouting at them, including people that weren’t even their customers. Me, I didn’t bother, I’ve dealt with them before and I know what they’re like: I moved the last two users I had on a box in H! to a machine in CIX, wiped the box and handed it back to them. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Meanwhile StatCounter was feeling the burn. At least internally. Did they get shouted at? Not really, in fact for the most part they were heaped with praise for their actions and communications. Know why? Because they give a crap about their customers, they talk to them, and it’s obvious in everything they do. The Planet is their diametric opposite — customers come way, way below the bottom line, they’re simply an annoyance that only deserve scripted responses.

If you want to learn about the web business, come away from the YUI docs and put down the Symfony manual, and read the comments on StatCounter’s blog. Then go explore the rest of their site, and their forums, and learn why they got that reaction. That’s how you’ll create a successful web business. If you build it they might come, but they won’t stay unless you run it like Aodhan and his team.

Look At Me, In The FT!

Bizarre. I got a fair bit of coverage when I was PRO of IrelandOffline, including one moment of international fame on Wired, but the FT? Yowsa!

IT going green: Data centre boasts of ‘Intel-powered heating’: […] Mr Raftery and his business partners, Jerry Sweeny and Adam Beecher, looked at cutting energy costs, and apart from buying some of the most energy-efficient equipment on the market, they came up with several ideas. […]

In truth it’s a little bit previous, since we’ve only just ordered the components to contain the aisles and the heat exchangers are a bit down the road, but we’re not actually generating that much heat yet. 10 cabs occupied though, more reserved; breakeven hoving into view there in the distance! :)


If you’re gonna go postal, do it in style!

Wikipedia: Marvin John Heemeyer was a skilled American welder and owner of an automobile muffler repair shop. On June 4, 2004, frustrated over the adverse outcome of a zoning dispute, Heemeyer used a Komatsu D355A bulldozer modified with armor in the forms of steel and concrete to demolish the town hall, a former judge’s home and other buildings in Granby, Colorado. The rampage ended when the bulldozer became immobilized. After a standoff with law enforcement agencies, Heemeyer died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Heemeyer had been feuding with officials and individuals in Granby, particularly over fines for violating city ordinances and a zoning dispute regarding a concrete factory constructed opposite his muffler shop that destroyed his business.


Caminito del Rey

See the line about two-thirds of the way up? Look closer.

Caminito del Rey

Now check out the video. It’s long, but it gets better as it goes on. Or scarier, depending on how you look at it.

That’s one brave man. Or stupid, depending on how you look at it…

Two Day House

Cracking time-lapse video of a Huf-style house build in West Cork.

Thanks for uploading it for me Shane, and for the detailed rundown on sourcing and building one!

MMM: Tipper Trucks Are Cool

You all had them when you were kids, admit it!

This is actually quite clever too, it’s a design concept that allows the load to be tipped out the side as well as the back.

Tipper Truck