Philips AmbientLED PAR30 Floodlight

October 7, 2009

While shopping at Home Depot, I came across several Philips LED bulbs, including this Indoor Flood.  It was about $49 but I was curious, so I picked one up.

The first thing I noticed about this was how heavy it was.  It weighs 12 ounces (compared to 3.7 for my CFL Flood and 1.9 for my Incandescent Flood).  It’s also relatively small.  Check out the gallery below for the pictures.

This particular model can’t be used with dimmers but my Kitchen doesn’t have a dimmer so I’m quite alright with that.  It consumes 11 watts, which isn’t anything to write home about.  I was more concerned with getting the full brightness as soon as I turned the light on.  I can’t stand CFL warmup, especially when it’s cold (I live in New England).

After installing and hitting the switch, it took about one half of a second to turn on — which was a little weird.  It would be even more weird if all my kitchen lights were these LED Floods as you’d still have pitch black immediately after hitting the switch.  After a moment of weird, you’d be presented with 100% power, however.

This thing is bright, in the area it shines in.  You’ll notice in the gallery below that it doesn’t radiate like CFLs or Incandescents do.  Notice how much darker it is to the sides of the bar — especially the background area.  It’s also extremely white — not nearly as warm as any of my other bulbs.

The assembly gets rather hot — which was surprising.  However, it doesn’t radiate heat like Incandescents or even CFLs do.

I’m not entirely sure I’ll replace all my kitchen lights with these (another $150) — I’m worried I’ll have dark areas between each of the lights.  Besides the price, I think getting these things to radiate light better is important.


October 4, 2009

memcached has been a topic of discussion for me recently, so “How I learned to say ‘No’ to SQL, NoSQL” piqued my interested.  FTA

I imagine most developers are familiar with memcached and products such as Oracle Coherence when it comes to caching and data grids. There is also Berkely DB, a persistent key/value store. However, Dynamo is both distributed and persistent.

Thinking OCZ SSD? Don’t.

October 1, 2009

I got two good friends of mine sucked into the idea of running an SSDs.  They chose to use the OCZ Vertex 250 GB.  This was back in April.  This is when their version of Hell started.

I’d posted about these drives before and these looked like a great alternative to the super-expensive Intel drives.  Well, the short version is, stick to the Intel drives.  These drives self-destructed repeatedly in their Macbook Pro’s.  The data would simply get corrupted.  Months of back-n-forth with OCZ proved fruitless.  Their RMA process was the worst I’ve ever seen, taking over a month to move a drive from customer premises to vendor or vice-versa.  Their tech support was slow, clueless, and never bothered trying to ask how to reproduce the problem.  A new set of drives were shipped, and they exploded just the same.  OCZ continued to claim they can’t reproduce the problem, but never took up the offer on how to reliably reproduce the problem using the customer’s input.  At this point, $1600 tied up, my friends are understandably irritated, and asking for a different solution — ship a different model or refund the money.  OCZ of course first opted for a different model.  Well, after another month of waiting for turnaround (they have my friend’s drives during this time) and constant “where is my drive? what’s the status?”, OCZ finally comes back and says “sorry, the model we were going to ship you is discontinued.”  So, they shipped a third set of Vertex drives — tested, formatted, etc.  My friend plugs it in, and after writing the directory entry for “/” during the OSX install, the drive puked.  It doesn’t even show up as formatted anymore.  Naturally my friend is furious, and wants a refund.  He pulls the drive out, and comes to find that the “warranty void” sticker is pierced and the screws were clearly “used” — strange to say the least.  My friend learns the engineers were manually wrangling with the drive for some reason prior to shipping it — presumably to make sure the drive was OK.   At this point, we’re into September —5 months into the ordeal.   My friends managed to convince OCZ to issue a refund.  It will probably be another 2 months before they see the check.

Maybe their other products work fine.  Maybe the Vertex works fine on a Windows PC.  Who knows.  But I can tell you I’ll never buy OCZ (obviously neither will they) after that disgusting excuse for customer support.

I’m sticking with Intel.  My X25-e continues to perform flawlessly (I’ve had it since ~March).

Fearless Bytes VI

October 1, 2009

I’ve been slacking on this site because I’ve been ridiculously busy supporting what’s going to turn into something huge.  The Intuit Partner Platform is unleashing the ability to create RIA’s by leveraging Flex, an Intuit-developed framework, Intuit services, and the enormous Intuit customer ecosystem (think QuickBooks).  The resulting apps live on the AppCenter.  Check out the coverage.

Now, back to our regularly-scheduled programing …

Develop Flex inside Visual Studio

October 1, 2009

“Ensemble Tofino for Visual Studio is a plugin that enables .NET developers to create Flex front ends for their applications in the same IDE that they normally use.”