Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Latency and meat cleavers

OK, now that I have your attention... Actually two totally unrelated subjects tonight, hopefully a trifle more logical than yesterday's when I was operating on fumes. Nothing like at least a partial night's sleep!

With the first, I begin with a wit-bit from Mediocrates:

Adding more lanes does not solve the traffic jam.

The above, according to traffic management theory, is true. If the same bottleneck exists before and after the lane addition, you solve nothing. A similar situation is potentially true at work, where a major system realignment might be forthcoming. This will in effect give us two servers instead of one. However, these servers must communicate, and thus we create a bottleneck where one did not before exist. When these systems can't communicate, the traffic between them wants to go but can't. In techno babble the waiting time is called latency. With enough latency built up, communications just stop. Adding more bandwidth won't cure it, either, in fact it could make the situation worse. And yet we are just plowing ahead, as I sit on the sidelines saying "But, but, but...". I guess my head is up my but.

With the second, sweet friend Jessi and I yesterday began a wild tangent of a conversation about authors, books and the hideous movie translations to be endured. As we finished up, she said she might dedicate a book about the subject to me. I was flattered and honored that she would think such. As an addendum, and entirely appropriate to our conversation, I told her to add at dedication's end: "Sorry about the meat cleaver." I know it's one of those "you had to be there" moments, but the laughter on both phone ends was rollicking.

And now to get out of work-mode thinking by frying my brain with an extreme-level Sudoku. 'Til we meet again, everyone!

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