About Anything

The personal blog of Al Stevens. Focus is overrated.

Archive for the ‘cloud’ tag

Rackspace Cloud

with 2 comments

I’ve been buried in a new project that requires moving our company servers onto a more flexible platform. After a little investigating, we decided to use the Rackspace Cloud.

So far, so good. In a couple of weeks we’ve created and configured 6 servers, running Java, Tomcat, Apache and Postgres all connected to Boston and our existing London site using OpenVPN. It’s been remarkably easy. We’re currently running a beta test, with selected customers on this configuration.

Now that things have settled down a bit, I’ll add some details over the coming days describing what we did, and how we did it.

Written by Al Stevens

January 21st, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Into the cloud — office apps first

without comments

Since office apps are ones that get used a lot, and could be a make or break for this project, I’m starting with them. I’ve already experimented with Google Docs. For simple documents of a few pages, they’re fine. I’ve produced a few 3-5 page word docs, spreadsheets with a few cells and simple presentations.

Earlier in the week, I signed up for zoho and imported a 4-page word doc and a simple power point slide. I also created a simple 1-page, 100 cell spreadsheet. Overall it looks a lot more powerful than Google Docs.

Microsoft has announced web versions of their office apps, but it’s hard to believe they are serious. Besides, they aren’t going to be available until later this year.

My next step will be to take a hard look at Zoho’s word app. …but it’s late, I need to head home, heavy laptop in my bag. And the evening is spoken for. Tomorrow I’ll begin.

Written by Al Stevens

April 9th, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Into the Cloud — taking inventory

with one comment

Step one of the project to move my laptop data and apps into the cloud is to take a rough inventory. To help organize things, I’ve created a few broad categories. In some cases, where I thought it might help, I’ve also listed apps I use that are already in the cloud.

As I put this list together, I began to see a few challenges.

On My Laptop

Photo Apps and Data

Several thousand digital photos in jpg and psd format. Adobe Photoshop CS, Picasa 3, Panoramio, Silkypix Developer Studio 3.0.

Office Apps and Data

Several hundred Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. A handful of Access db apps. A handful of Publisher files. Access 2003, Excel 2003, Word 2003, PowerPoint 2003, Publisher 2003. A google calendar.


Ten years of email in Eudora format. Eudora 7.0.

IDE’s and development Utilities

SVN checked out versions of about a dozen java and php sites. PDT-Eclipse, Easy Eclipse Server Java, GNU Emacs 22.3, Macromedia Homesite 4.5, Cygwin, WinMerge, Stylus Studio 2007, TopStyle Pro 3.0, VIM 7.1, cygwin svn client

Drawing Stuff

Macromedia FreeHand 8, Dia, ImageMagick

Development Support

Several postgres and mysql databases. PostgreSQL 8.2, MySQL 5.0, JBoss 4.2.1.GA, Apache 2.2, Tomcat 5.5.


Navicat PostgreSQL, Navicat MySQL.

Other stuff

Website-Watcher, Seesmic desktop, twhirl, Blackberry Device Manager, WS_FTP Pro, Google Earth, Putty, Adobe Acrobat Standard, Password Manager XP.


IE 7, Firefox 3.0.7, Google Chrome 2.0

On my home server

Ubuntu, apache, ftp, mysql, samba.

On my virtual private server

About a dozen websites. Apache, mysql, php, sftp, wordpress, mediawiki, phpbms, phpbb, Joomla.

In the cloud already

Google calendar, Google news reader, Google docs, Gmail plus a few hundred messages, A few hundred messages on a squirrel mail server, a few Zoho docs, a few quickbase apps.


MS Flight simulator, Second Life client.

Excluded for now

My company’s hosted applications running on a set of Rackspace servers.

Written by Al Stevens

April 8th, 2009 at 3:31 pm