Tracking Down a Performance Problem

The Problem

The answer always seems obvious once you find it. One of our clients had one of their server start going down nearly every day. It quickly escalated to happening about twice a day.

The Process

We looked at recent commits for anything that could have caused a problem and found nothing. We verified that the code on the server that went down matched the code on the other servers in the cluster and that all of the server settings were the same. When we took down the offending server, another server started going down instead. At that point, we knew we were likely facing a code problem.

The site in question is one we inherited from the previous vendor, so we had no instinctive sense about where the problem might be. Fortunately, we have a good process for tracking down these sorts of problems.

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DataMgr 2.5 is Gold!

One would be forgiven if they mistook DataMgr for abandoned software. After all, I announced work on DataMgr 2.5 back in August of 2009 and come February (now March) of 2013 and still no official release of 2.5 and no word since DataMgr 2.5 Beta 3 was released more than a year ago. Well, that changes here.

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ColdFusion Programmer Wanted

So, my last blog entry was about my needing a developer to help me out. I found one and he is great. I just have even more work that needs doing.

At this point, I am looking for a 1099 contractor, not a W2 employee. I need someone with current U.S. residency, but I don't particularly care where you are located. All work is remote.

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Business is Booming and I Need Your Help

In less than 3 months, I will have been working for myself for 10 years. In that time, I have mostly been able to keep up with client demand on my own. This has been by a combination of hiring occasional subcontractors and turning away business.

Now, however, I have too few clients to turn away and still too much work to handle on my own.

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DataMgr 2.5 Beta 3

Happy Ground Hog's Day! It looks like I have completely stopped releasing open source project lately. Hopefully I can get back on track.

More than a year after releasing DataMgr 2.5 Beta 2, I am finally releasing DataMgr 2.5 Beta 3. So, what took so long? Neglect, basically. I have just been busy with other things.

Even so, I think this is a very good release and should be a close match for the final release of version 2.5.

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Testing Rules in a Neptune program.

I realize I haven't blogged about Neptune for a while, but I actually have been making progress on it. I have just been finding a hard time making time to blog. Hopefully I will get better about that.

What I want to cover today is the process of writing automated tests in Neptune to which you can then write your code.

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Getting Around Windows 7 "Destination Path Too Long" Error When Deleting Files

Years ago when I started learning VBA for Excel, I was reading a book by John Walkenbach and he compared learning macros in Excel to using a remote control - once you learn it you don't know how you lived without it. I would say that is true of scripting in general.

The bad news is that programming is also like using a credit card, inasmuch as you can get yourself into a depth of problem just not possible without it.

I got experience with that first hand recently when one small programming mistake caused a bit of a disaster on my computer.

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What technologies, other than ColdFusion, should a developer know?

Fusion Authority recently ran an article called What's Hot? What's Not? Where Do We Go From Here? subtitled "What technologies, other than ColdFusion, should a developer know?". Mike Henke followed up the theme with a post called "What's Hot & Where do we go from here?".

I'm pretty sure I don't have the insight that other people have who have already written on the subject. But it seemed like a fun exercise, so I thought I would toss in my two cents with:

What technologies, other than ColdFusion, am I learning?

I'm not sure what technologies you should learn, but here are the ones that I am learning:

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How to find the Perfect ColdFusion Hosting Plan

I am a ColdFusion addict. Besides programming in ColdFusion, I also spend time reading about ColdFusion (and not enough - yet - reading about other languages). I check up on CF-Talk at least every couple of days and follow ColdFusion lists on LinkedIn and sometimes on Facebook. I follow several ColdFusion programmers on Twitter and even visit the Adobe ColdFusion Forums sometimes.

In all of these forums, one question seems to come up more frequently than any other: "Where should I host my ColdFusion web site?". After reading that question dozens (maybe hundreds) of times, it finally dawned on me that this is a demand that needs to be met. People need a good resource for ColdFusion hosting.

For myself, what I always wanted was an easy way to see which ColdFusion hosting plans met my specific criteria (for example, a ColdFusion plan that supported SQL Server and allowed CFEXECUTE). Doing that proved to be quite difficult, actually - especially as the number of criteria increased. So, I built what I wanted to exist.

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A Quick Note on Text Shadows

I was recently doing some work for a client and they had a menu that would appear over a background image. The background image would be different for each page. Unfortunately, the background image on some pages made the menu text difficult to read.

The designer thought it would be a good idea to have a drop shadow behind the text. This sounded good to me, except that I didn't know how to do that. Fortunately, it is really easy.

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