Action Replay? Coding demos the hard way..

It looks like Justin and myself have something in common. I coded all my C64 assembly stuff – demos, games and tools, using the Datel Action Replay. Actually, I still have it at home. It survived the binning of my C64 last year!
I still remember when I wanted to move a chunk of code from one area of memory to another I’d display the code on-screen, type the new address over the first line and hit RETURN over each of the following lines to renumber them.
Ah, them were the days!

Fianna Fail – From the Horse's Mouth

Justin MacCarthy’s email to the ILUG this afternoon is worth repeating for wider distribution if only because it reflects the attitudes of not only the ruling party in Ireland but also hold the EU presidency. Worrying.

I had a FF councillor on my doorstep on t night who wanted to know why I wasn’t going to vote for FF. So I told him.

One of the many outrageous things he said:

“software patents are NOT a NATIONAL issue”,
” that I’m an intellectual snob for thinking the referendum was rushed”
” …”most” of those in the antiwar march WERE anti-american. “
“of course we’ll call another referendum if this one goes the wrong way – we can do what we like , we’re the government”
“but india used e-voting”
“the current e-voting machine WILL be used – its just a matter of time”
” of course I don’t trust computers that banks use”

Who will you be voting for tomorrow?

PHP Accelerator – Cache Size Issues

In this email to the ILUG Webdev list I pondered the effect of deleting the cache used by PHP Accelerator on our Apache webserver.

In my ramblings on my blog I (very?) occasionally post something useful.
We use PHP Accelerator( http://www.php-accelerator.co.uk/index.php ) at work and last week I played around with tuning our webserver: link

We saw a dramatic increase in traffic but I wasn’t sure which of the ideas I tried had affected our server so much!
Yesterday I deleted the PHP Accelerator cached files, and lo and behold, we hit another spike in traffic!

“Remember I did some tuning of our server at work? Well, traffic has returned to normal again, but I was told this is a quiet time in the futures market right now. As an exercise I deleted the php Accelerator cached files again and I am seeing another big jump in requests served!
It might pay to remove those files on a daily basis!”

I setup a cron job to remove the phpa files in the morning and if I see the same level of traffic today I may set it up to delete the cached files on an hourly basis tomorrow. I expect the traffic to the site to be slightly less today than yesterday simply because the cached files were deleted much earlier on in the day (4am) so by the time our server gets busy there’ll be a larger cache.

And, shock, horror, I might even try it without the cache at all!

Donncha.

ILUG Web Development
http://mail.linux.ie/mailman/listinfo/webdev/

Well, I can confidently say that deleting the cache does improve performance. In further discussion with Kae on the issue I guessed that:

  • All php files are being cached, probably using the URL of the request as a key to the cached file. This isn’t useful in a very dynamic site.
  • The cache directories can become very large with many thousands of files in one directory. That makes it much harder for the operating system to scan through the file list. Different filesystems handle this better than others.
  • Once the cache is deleted, filename traversal of the cache is faster and core include files are quickly cached again.

It’s worth using the cache despite the obvious cache problems as it makes Smarty templates much faster and we have a lot of shared code that benefits from the caching.
I’m deleting the cache every hour now and expect to see a marked improvement in the web server logs and adviews!