Saturday, January 16, 2010

Coldfusion Performance Consulting

Apart from writing applications from scratch, which I have been lucky enough to do a lot in my career, I also have done a fair bit of application taming.

Performance tuning is a technical art form and something I really enjoy, there's nothing more frustrating as a business owner as paying for some development and then being given a solution which is frustratingly slow.

Coldfusion is great to get started fast, but often this leads poor database design and other problems which can cripple performance.

A good web based application should be able to do most things under a second, post initial load of course. If your's doesn't, generally speaking, the application isn't complete, if your the client, i suggest with holding payment.

That said, it depends on your focus. Admin functionality might simply take longer to run, it's the core of the application I'm talking about.

For example opening the home page, searching for client records, viewing and editing the main record type in your organisation, these should be quick items. If they aren't, your wasting money on staff watching hour glasses.

Anyone needing some consulting in this area, please contact me, I enjoy diagnosing and fixing these problems!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Stop the cultural genocide - Save the Tote

I was initially suprised when I heard today that one of the last bastions of live rock music in Melbourne, The Tote in Collingwood was to close on Sunday. On reflection, I wasn't suprised.

There has been a lot in the media about alcohol fueled violence in Melbourne, it makes for a good story and Politicians love to be seen to be doing something. Nothing new there.

My Friends and I tend to be rather social and love going to Gigs, Bars, Art Galleries and Dance parties. We always hear about this violence, but we rarely ever see it. I think it's because we enjoy the more cultural aside of things, as compared to the 'delights' of place like the notorious King St in the CBD.

I have been lucky enough to travel around the world a fair bit and honestly some of the dodgy elements in Melbourne do shock me a bit, but honestly, there isn't much of it around.

You don't need to amputate your arm, when amputating a finger will do.

Recently I read about France allowing venues to stay open till 7am, serving alcohol until 5am. In Berlin, clubs often go until most of the punters leave. LA has this wierd 2am shutdown. Melbourne tried this with the dumb 2am lockout a few years back, which fortunately was abandoned as a bad idea.

So, back to the Tote. The first time I went there was to see a friend's band, Money Penny play back in the early 90's. It was the uni days, and this venue gave the chance for them to play. 15 years later, I can proudly say they went on to win JJJ's unearthed for Victoria.

The Tote is a incubator for young musicians in Melbourne.

I did a straw poll of my friends and none of them have ever seen any violence at the Tote, yet, in their infinite wisdom, the venue was declared a high risk venue by the liquor licensing commission. Several appeals later to VCAT, the owner gave up.

VCAT is a oft maligned body (for good reasons) which is well known for over ruling local communities in favor of money hungry developers who want to knock down what's left of the beautiful buildings in Melbourne, just to replace them with modern soulless concrete boxes.

There has been a lot of activity on Facebook about the Tote closing. Alas Lynn "Mkyi" Kosky is the minister for the Arts which means we have about as much hope of seeing anything been done from her as seeing G W Bush doing something positive for the world.

I have personally (haha) written to Peter Garrett (ex Midnight Oil front man) and now the Federal minister for the Arts, to see if he will intervene. Lets see what his staffers make of my email. I won't hold my breath waiting.

Last year we had an amazing benefit gig called Sound Relief at the MCG for the victims of the Black Saturday bushfires. It was a who's who of Aussie rock in the last few decades. These bands learnt their trade playing pub rock, something which is becoming rarer and rarer.

A lot of the modern music doesn't resonate with people the way it used to, because all the bloody pubs have been closed down due to stupid people moving into popular areas and then complaining about the noise.

How many big stadium gigs have we seen in Melbourne in the last decade? Not a lot, most of them which did are very old bands. We are losing this wonderful part of culture.

We need to embrace and protect our pubs which support, foster and nurture our young rock musicians. Otherwise, we are going to loose our cultural identity.

The loss of our cultural identity is what I believe fosters the mundane drinking and violence in our society. If you go to the pub and see a great band with your mates, your far less likely to get agro after, if your euphoric after a good gig ( and i'm not talking about drug induced euphoria, that's another story).

So if what I'm saying resonates, get on Facebook and join the Save the Tote Group, write a letter to your Local and Federal MP's and maybe head down to the last night of the Tote this Sunday and show your support.

If you love Melbourne for what it was, stand up for whats left and make yourself heard.

PS: there's a poll on the age website