Jozef Nagy's blog

Not Clever Enough for the Geeks of Voyager?


The star ship Voyager has 257 rooms according to the Emergency Medical Hologram. You'd think the writers could've accomodated us Computer Scientists and made it 255. Of course, then Captain Janeway's quarters would have to be room 0. Can't have a non-zero based room assignment now can we? Otherwise we'd end up with made up IPs like CSI uses.


Christmas comes early for this geek: New ZoneMinder server parts

As you know from seeing my projects page, I've been working on building a ZoneMinder server. ZoneMinder is the software that manages the recording of multiple security cameras, streams live video over the internet, and provides all sort of analysis and other goodies. It's a robust, mature application.

Camera Setup

  • 1 usb webcam, 10 FPS, 320x240
  • 2 analog B&W cameras, 15 FPS, 640x480
  • 1 analog B&W camera, 30 FPS, 640x480

System Specs

  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 3.16 GHz LGA 775 Wolfdale 1333MHz FSB
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte EP35C-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX
  • Video Card: Cheapest name brand (Asus) PCIx x16 video card you can buy. Hey, it's a server.
  • RAM: 2x 2GB DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)
  • Power Supply: Thermaltake 750W ATX12V / EPS12V. This is a monster of a power supply.
  • UPS: APC 1500 VA 750 Watt battery backup
  • Video Encoder: Hauppauge ImpactVCB Video Capture Card 558 PCI
  • Video Encoder: BlueCherry PV-149 - 4 port video capture card (120FPS)
  • A single 80 GB 7200 RPM hard drive for the operating system and a few fans
  • Mid-size ATX case

Total Cost = $1110

New Search Engine Indexes Me As a Cross Dresser

Some of Google's former employees recently left to start their own search engine, It not only purports to have indexed tens of millions more web pages, but has a more interesting way of presenting search results. The layout is supposed to be more of a magazine style layout, with text blocks directly answering users' queries. This is different from Google's approach of putting their search effort into the quality of their index.

How end users dream up database designs (poorly)

End users tend to think of database design as a direct one-to-one mapping of their spreadsheet designs. So when you need to design a database for someone, they submit their existing Excel solution. You, the clever DBA that you are, begin mentally dividing out tables, normalizing, finding keys, etc.

Meanwhile, the user keeps talking about your database as if it were this one table, congruent with his Excel spreadsheet.

Digg and Other Traffic Spikes

Sooooo... last night I decided to submit to Digg again. I also went on some random blogs, etc. and spammed some comment sections with links to a new site I'm starting. I think the graph speaks for itself.

Don't Always Normalize Your Database

Normalizing a database isn't always the right way to go. Basically, normalization guarantees certain kinds of data integrity. But all the JOINS you'll end up using are performance suicide. For read-heavy applications you de-normalize. That's something to keep in mind for sets of tables we use that are very large and mostly used for reporting (read only). For most of our financial data we need the data integrity so we normalize and deal with the penalty hit of using JOINS. One financial app I maintain is a good example.

Are you voting for McCain? Ask him these questions.

If you're supporting McCain, here are a few questions you should ask him. Forward this along to all your conservative or Republican friends and colleagues.


Boston rain can be hell

The last week of June, 2008, was aqua-hell. On a daily basis the evening commute was fraught with flooded streets. Getting home was an adventure and a gamble. "Should I plow through this deep puddle and risk a stalled engine? Or do I go through the detour and hope it's not just as terrifying."

Using Linux LVM with ZoneMinder Open Source Security Software


With Linux LVM, you can dynamically add or remove hard drives from a server as your ZoneMinder storage needs change.
ZoneMinder is a Linux, open sourced software system to record multiple camera streams. Unlike other server services, ZoneMinder (ZM) requires massive amounts of storage. Storage needs differ with various factors such as:

What NOT to write on your resume

We've been hiring here at Blue Cross as we tend to do. This time it's for a position on my team. Given the high volume of talented people out there, I was looking forward to reading their resumes. Being the naive guy I am, I forgot about one thing: bullshit. Yes, it's out there. It's out there on a lot of resumes. In fact, sometimes you can't even detect it until the candidate comes in for an interview. Then it takes on a more amusing verbal form and you're stuck there for the full hour until it's over.


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