24 Jul 2004 raph   » (Master)

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I still haven't re-caught the blogging bug, for whatever reason. So I'll just weigh in with a few bits of personal trivia.

My mom just went back home to Virginia after visiting here for a couple weeks. It was a good visit - she and the kids get along famously.

Both the server hosting Advogato (casper2) and the original casper.ghostscript.com have had various problems as of late - the latter a failing hard drive. rillian has been doing the heavy lifting on recovering these systems, but I helped out some, including a laying-on-of hands to the physical servers (located at transbay.net in Oakland).

Experiencing such server failures, I can't help but think that the future will hold self-configuring high-availability features, especially for content repositories such as CVS and blogs. There's no reason why the data can't be replicated across several servers, and if one fails, for whatever reason, it should be possible to just throw it away and have the others take up the slack.

I think a large part of what makes P2P apps so compelling is the fact that, at heart, they are self-configuring high-availability servers, albeit with limited functionality. I'm most struck by BitTorrent's ability to resume a download (or upload, for that matter) even on a laptop which hops from one WiFi network to another.

I've also been spending some quality time with my collection of type specimen books. I'm enjoying rediscovering the beauty and engineering mastery that Morris Fuller Benton put into his classic ATF fonts from the first quarter of the last century. I'll happily write a blog post about what I've been finding if there is interest.

There are a couple of other things in my blogging queue, including progress on my Ghilbert proof language and applications of formal logic to programming. I may subject my reading audience to further thoughts on the economics of free software, as well. Feedback on which of these topics, if any, you're interested in hearing (or, for that matter, dread), is always appreciated.

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