Ben McCann

Co-founder at Connectifier.
ex-Googler. CMU alum.

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Installing Windows 7


If you need to re-install Windows 7 because you got a new hard drive, you can download a copy of Windows from Microsoft here and then enter your existing product key.  ABR provides one way to get your existing product key.  You can also get a product key for Windows 7 Ultimate and Microsoft Office from Read More

Google video chat volume on Windows


I frequently use Google video chat. It was common for the person on the other end to have difficulty hearing me, which I eventually realized was because the microphone level kept being auto-adjusted to very low levels. It turns out that it was Google video chat constantly auto-adjusting the volume level and that the behavior Read More

Backing Up MySQL with Percona Xtrabackup


You can create a MySQL backup with Percona Xtrabackup by running: $ innobackupex –user=DBUSER –password=DBUSERPASS /path/to/BACKUP-DIR/ You can then restore the backup with: $ xtrabackup –prepare –datadir=/var/lib/mysql –target-dir=/path/to/BACKUP-DIR/ $ sudo service mysql stop $ sudo mv /var/lib/mysql ~/dbbackup $ sudo mv /path/to/BACKUP-DIR /var/lib/mysql $ sudo chown -R mysql:mysql /var/lib/mysql $ sudo service mysql start $ Read More

Setting up the RockMongo GUI on Ubuntu


The easiest way to get started is to install Apache and PHP: $ sudo apt-get install apache2 php5 php-pear If you need to edit the Apache ports because you already have another server running on port 80 then edit /etc/apache2/ports.conf. You’ll need to install the PHP Mongo connector: sudo pecl install php_mongo Add “extension=mongo.so” to Read More

Brewer’s CAP Theorem Explained


When dealing with distributed systems, Brewer’s CAP theorem is often brought up when discussing how a system will behave in certain error conditions. The CAP theorem means that you can only have two of: consistency, availability, and partition tolerance. Here’s what you’ll be giving up for each of the three that you may sacrifice: C: Read More

Installing Oracle Java JDK on Ubuntu


Due to licensing restrictions, Ubuntu no longer comes with Oracle’s Java JDK. The first trick to installing on a headless server is being able to wget the file. I recommend downloading manually and then placing in on a host you control, your Dropbox directory, etc. You can install it by running: sudo mkdir -p /opt/java/64 Read More

Using Python’s Pandas inside IPython Notebook


IPython is a cool shell to run Python from and Pandas is a Python library for holding tabular data similar to R’s data frame. To install the software run: sudo apt-get install python-pip libzmq-dev python-dev g++ libfreetype6-dev libpng12-dev libblas-dev liblapack-dev gfortran cython libhdf5-serial-dev sudo pip install ipython sudo pip install tornado sudo pip install pyzmq Read More

Migrating from MySQL to Percona Server


Percona Server is just MySQL with a few extra options added in by Percona. It’s backwards compatible and based off the same code base. If you’re not familiar with Percona, they are the world’s leading MySQL consultants. The main reason I switched is because Ubuntu uses an old version of MySQL. Ubuntu is about a Read More

Running Ubuntu on VirtualBox


I had to figure out a few things to get Ubuntu installed and working well on VirtualBox. I had to enable virtualization technologies in my BIOS. I have a Lenovo T520 and did this by pressing F1 during startup and then going to Security > Virtualization. If I did not do this then I would Read More

SSL on localhost with nginx


Install nginx if it’s not already installed: sudo apt-get install nginx You must have the SSL module installed. The nginx docs say this is not standard. However, it does come installed on Ubuntu. You can verify by running nginx -V and looking for –with-http_ssl_module. Next up is generating the SSL certs. Follow the Slicehost docs Read More

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