Checking Out The Ariel Atom

I had the chance to take part in the half day introduction to the Ariel Atom this weekend at the Drive an Atom Experience.   Now I’ve never driven a race car before or on a real race track so this was an interesting and fun experience that I’d rank up there with learning to dogfight that I did several years ago. These events are held at the Virginia International Raceway near Danville VA which is also where TMI Autotech builds the Atoms for the US market.  I got to meet the owner of TMI and learn about the Spec: RaceAtom (SRA) we were driving and the Atom circuit they are in the process of starting up and taking national. It was hot… pushing 100 by the time we wrapped up at 11am but it was still great fun and I’d highly recommend it if you have any interest in motorsports or the Atom specifically.

Guns, Wood, and Tripods

What do these three things have in common?  They were all in my car the other day as I set out to meet with various buyers for all three.  If you hadn’t heard I’m going to be leaving Charlotte soon and heading for Seattle.  After living in the south east for 25 years and here in Charlotte for about 13 of those it’s a pretty big deal.   There are good reasons for doing it though… beyond just a change of scenery.   I’ll be joining the Amazon Web Services team once I get moved.  At first it will be in an operations role to help keep things running smoothly on their gigantic cloud platform and later.. who knows.  They are fairly secretive about their internal goings-on.. and for good reason.  You can just about count on one hand the number of companies or groups operating on the scale of Amazon.  Most people who aren’t in the biz only associate Amazon with their web store but by current estimations the store (as big as it is) is only responsible for a small fraction of their revenue… much of the rest is coming from AWS which was first launched in 2002.  From the standpoint of my career… a self taught, self proclaimed ‘linuxguy’ in Charlotte an opportunity like this doesn’t get much better.

Keep FreeNAS From Crashing Tweaks

I found these settings on another site.. reposting here for my future reference and to double the possibility of someone else not having to spend hours trying to figure this out. My install of FreeNAS kept hanging under even moderate write loads… rendering it unusable until I applied these memory tweaks. I don’t know nearly as much about BSD internals as I do linux. You can apply these through the web GUI under System->Tunables.

Fraud System: Update 2

Progress has slowed a bit on the fraud management system… other priorities have come up over the last month or so but here’s a new walk though.  The backend hasn’t changed much.  What has changed is the hardware requirements.  When I started this project I had no idea how much processing power or space or IO was going to be required so I built the system in such a way that it could be easily scaled at several points.  As it turns out.. for this size of a network (about 250k customers) that was unnecessary.

Rackable HDAMA Bios Raid Upgrade Files

I picked up an inexpensive server last year from unixsurplus.com which I now want to re purpose as a FreeNas file server.  This is all fine and good.. but the bios and embedded sata raid drivers were out of date and didn’t support the 2TB drives I wanted to use.  I spent many hours trying to track down the right bios files and Phoenix flash utility to do this update and was finally able to get it done.  The original download sites for most of these are long gone.. so it was a real chore to find the right stuff.  So for those who have this board here are all the required files in one place.

What I do: Fraud Management System -Update1

It’s been about a month since I posted the initial overview and I thought it would be good to post an update of the progress. While I’ve not been able to devote 100% to this project over the last month there have been some significant improvements.  The most visible ones are to the web interface.  I’ve added a very flexible application level authorization system.  I’ve also added an interface for managing one of the key inputs to the system with a protective 2 level approval process. I’ve also been tweaking the scoring system to better handle corner cases as I’ve seen them. Still plenty of work to be done but it’s starting to take shape.   For the overview of this system check out my first post about it.  Screen shots after the break.

What I Do: Fraud Detection System Initial Overview

I’ve been working on a big new project since just before the new year and it’s starting to take shape and generate useful results.   I can’t give away too many details on how exactly it works but I wanted to share this with some of you who are also working in telecom.  I was asked to develop a real-time system to identify toll fraud that would work for our entire voip carrier network that currently originates calls from 19 different countries for both residential, SMB, and wireless.  For those who don’t know.. I spent a year working for another telecom software company helping to run and debug a call mediation and rating platform for a tier2 carrier.  This experience was useful in that I was able to quickly develop a scalable, distributed processing framework while avoiding the cumbersome overhead I’ve observed in other systems.  Continue after the jump for more details…

Broken By Design: DirectTV and Overproduced Email

I was invited to be in a focus group for the local talk radio station recently with a focus on how they use email to communicate with listeners.  As I’ve been a long time listener of this station and especially like some of the things they do online I thought it would be good to participate.  They wanted feedback on what they are currently doing and opinions on new approaches and services they were thinking of offering.

What I Do: Broadsoft CDR Files to Radius Accounting Records

As part of a larger project I needed to generate real time radius records from the CDR accounting files of several cluster pairs of Broadsoft application servers. So I wrote a perl script to do just that. It maps the CDR fields to radius attribs and encodes the accounting packet using the Net::Radius::Packet CPAN module. In my case I’m using the Radiator radius server from OSC Software on the other end with lots of custom ‘hook code’ to clean up and store the call data coming off our network into a Postgresql database.

Site Facelift

I’ve been working on giving the site a facelift lately.. trying to make it a little more ‘light’… how am I doing? I’ll also be rotating in various photos I’ve taken in the page header. I’ll try to stick to photos I’ve actually taken myself… maybe as an incentive to do more traveling. I’m also trying out apache alternatives.. first lighttpd with fastcgi then nginx.
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