Archive for September, 2005

September 29th, 2005

Content down due to the database

Some of the more regular readers may have found out that there has been hickups with content. I experienced this yesterday by myself when trying to manage the posts — I got a WordPress error message instead of the list of the posts.

WordPress documentation instructs to repair MySQL tables, but I ran check table and repair table commands for the main post table, but everything was ok from the MySQL’s point of view.

The problem went away suddenly and I shrugged and continued to hack something else…

This morning, the content was down again. Now I digged deeper, first with WordPress and then tried to run the same query in MySQL command line client, and got same error from the database. The nice folks at WordPress didn’t mention that the error code 28 is in reality from the database itself and not generated by WordPress.

This discovery led me to the MySQL site that instructed to check whether the temporary disk space is full. And there was the real problem. OnSmart fixed this fast and now seems to be alive and kicking — hopefully for good.

It’s sort of sad (and also unacceptable) that the absence of space for temporary files can cause such drastic effects. I was merely reading data, not writing it. Of course, database engine needs to have some space for spilling out stuff from the memory, if the datasets grow too large. So at the end of the day, the problem is in WordPress that relies to the database in every operation.

Maybe I should investigate on having a disk based cache mechanism for the content. The delivery would be speedier and hopefully more robust — I know that there are problems with this approach, too, when Linux disks get full; files get truncated and so forth. But at least the majority of the pages would be available…

Stylish computers and electronics

San Francisco is known for the Apple flagship store, but the other stylish computer manufacturer — Sony — has its outlet Sony’Style in the downtown. The store is located in the Metreon center next to Yerba Buena Gardens park. Metreon itself is an entertainment complex with shops, restaurants, cafés and movie theaters, including IMAX.

Getting back to Sony’Style, it has full selection of Sony apparel, including (but not limited to), laptops, desktops, televisions — both flat and tube, walkmans, discmans, memory card stuff, cameras and video cameras.

Sony is not the most inexpensive model in the market, but otherwise the store follows the street prices quite ok., 101 Fourth Street (in Metreon), San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 369 6050

Stylish and functional luggage

Tumi is the premium luggage manufacturer in USA. Recently their product line has been tilted towards high-end of travelling, and thus they are competing with Victorinox in style and functionality.

There are two Tumi shops in San Francisco, one in San Francisco Shopping Center on Market Street and then a flagship store on Grant Avenue. Both shops have the same selection: luggage cases, trolleys, computer cases and backbags.

The service is excellent, bar none. The lady browsed through their whole selection when trying to find a suitable bag for my laptop and camera, and was genuinely sorry when there was no perfect match — I have too small laptop…, 100 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 402 0820

Full selection of foods

Whole Foods Market in SoMa area is different from the most grocery stores found in the downtown San Francisco: it has full selection of fruits, fish and meat, and no sodas. They stock organic foods, too.

Whole Foods on Fourth Street in San Francisco

For travellers, the fruit selection is especially nice; you can pick a lot of good stuff that does not need fridge in the hotel room. The store has an abundant selection of ready-made salads, sandwiches and other snacks, and the taste is much better compared to the usual plastic wrapped junk found in the grocery stores or 7 Elevens.

The store has a sushi counter with a chef and a bakery café., 399 Fourth Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 618 0066

September 28th, 2005

Family travelling

Sanna and Aapo left to the northern Finland this morning and now the usual travelling arrangements of me on the trip and they staying at home have been reversed.

They will drive to Kuopio today and to Taivalkoski tomorrow. Aapo is still too small to stand sitting almost ten hours in the safety seat. Return trip starts on some day next week, the plans are sort of hazy — the weather can force them to come to south earlier or captivate them to stay longer…

In the meanwhile somewhere else, I’ll clean up our storage spaces and hopefully have some time to code various bits and pieces for leisure. I had a couple of good ideas to ponder on, but they need to be validated with the code.

European clothes for kids

If you want to have a bit of European charm in your children’s wardrobe, but consider Burberry too expensive, check out Murik at Geary Street. They stock several European brands, for example, from the Nordic countries and Belgium.

Murik of San Francisco

The clothes are of good quality and the prices are also somewhat high. If you are from Europe, you do not save buying the clothes here — quite the contrary.

The service is friendly, but a little bit pushy. I was given so many clothes that I really could not select anything, and thus I had to backtrack from the store.

Murik, 73 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 395 9200

Trendy Italian fashion

Diesel, the Italian fashion brand, has a largish store in the San Francisco downtown fashion district on Post Street. The Diesel garments have ultra-hip design and someone may find the garments repulsive. Others love them.

Diesel store in San Francisco

The store has several floors and the selection covers all Diesel lines. The variety of garments and shoes is especially good.

There may be a live DJ playing music; you can spot him on the second floor balcony. The music may be too loud for some of us, and it makes shopping harder. I wonder how the staff tolerates it — or are they already deaf?, 101 Post Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 982 7077

It’s an urban jungle

Paul Frank, the designer with cute monkey insignia, has a store in the downtown San Francisco on Sutter Street.

Paul Frank store in San Francisco

Do not be afraid, all clothes do not sport the monkey and are not childish at all. There are also “zoo type” garments and accessories, especially bags seem to have a lot of animals in them.

The store is not very big, but the selection is still okay., 262 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 374 2758