Monthly Archives: September 2006

At Web Apps Summit

I’m here at the Web Apps Summit,one of the few folks online thanks to EVDO. The presentations have been really great thus far, and they only look like they’re going to get better. The venue (Palace of Fine Arts theatre) is really big, there must be 500+ people here.

New Servers

We’re looking to expand into a third datacenter for WordPress.com and related Automattic stuff. I’ve been asking around for quotes, but it occurred to me I should blog what we’re looking for because someone reading might be able to provide what we need, or know someone who could. One line summary of what we’re looking for: 22 boxes, AMD 3800 or similar, cheapest HD, 1-2gb of RAM, Debian AMD64 (this is important), private and public 100mbps network. I’d be happy to post more info in the comments if anyone wants it. A per-server monthly price including space and bandwidth is what we’re looking for.

Plaxo Revisited

It recently became more important for me to sync my address book across several computers on various platforms. Solutions like LDAP seemed like a pain and had bad support in Thunderbird. I don’t want to go to a hosted app like Joyent or Zimbra, and I need to be able to work offline. Anyway in my searches I came across Plaxo. In the past I grew to hate the Plaxo contact update spam I used to get every day, so I had pretty much permanently written it off.

However this time when I saw they had support for Thunderbird, Mac OS X address book, and Yahoo and I got pretty excited. I tried it out, and I am now syncing a Mac Mini, a Powerbook, a Macbook, my Windows desktop, and a Vaio laptop to a single address book. It cleaned up dupes pretty well, and the online interface is surprisingly usable as well. This is also the best way I know of to get Thunderbird to use the OS X address book, so you get integration with all the other apps like Adium which feed off that.

What could be improved? Sync is really hard, and few do it well. My experience with Plaxo has been pretty good thus far—I think I’ve avoided spamming anyone for contact updates—and I’d love to connect other bits and pieces into the Plaxo cloud. They should open up their API so developers can start to integrate the system into other products and services, and it can become a de facto standard.

Update: They do have an API, I had just missed it. Cool!