Tokyo: Parting Thoughts

Tokyo is a city of wonders and isolation. I wanted to wait until I left to write this up, because I didn’t want to besmirch the city. Keep in mind, I had the highest hopes for Tokyo, and expectations are everything.

Tokyo is clean and modern, perhaps more than any other city I’ve been in. What was interesting was how something had to go wrong for me to realize that everything was going right. While walking near the prime minister’s residence, I smelled something bad. Was that… the sewers? Yes, it seems so. In Bangkok, you are constantly walking past a sewer that had become ripe, but that was the only time it happened in Tokyo. Someone beeped, and I realized that unlike Cebu, people aren’t doing that constantly. The weather predictions were accurate. In Bangkok and Cebu, not once was the current weather report correct with regards to precipitation, much less what would happen in a few hours.1 A train is a minute late. Huh, that never happens. Unfortunately, the biggest timing problem in Tokyo was the cherry blossoms arriving 2 weeks early, followed by rain and powerful winds, ruining my chance of seeing them on all but one tree. Thus were dashed by dreams of walking around Yoyogi Park while listening to Cherry Blossom Girl. (more…)

  1. It was clear in Cebu that nobody even bothered checking. They just looked up at the sky and made an educated guess about the next few days. []

Web Framework Performance Benchmarks

This is making the rounds and is pretty interesting:

http://www.techempower.com/blog/2013/03/28/framework-benchmarks/

My framework of choice, Grails, doesn’t look spectacularly fast, although I already knew that. However, it is nice to see that it is notably faster than RoR (which appears to be a complete dog) and Django, and will probably improve quite a bit with v2.2 on  Groovy 2.0 and Java 7.

However, it seems a big part of the performance lag is because it’s built on Spring, and to my surprise Spring isn’t a great performer, either. It is nice to see that straight up Servlets and Vert.x are beasts, so another score for our dear JVM.

Another thing that caught my attention is that Grails’s ranking improves quite a bit once you move it from EC2 to dedicated hardware. IaaS and PaaS save you some admin work, but also costs you some dev time, but at some point it looks like you’ll get a nice gain from dedicated hardware. It could make something like Rackspace managed hosting on dedicated hardware look reasonable.

With the attention it’s getting, I also expect a shakeup as framework providers help the benchmarkers improve performance. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

UPDATE 2/2/2014

Round 8 of the web performance benchmarks are out and Grails is looking good. (more…)

Basically, I’m just gonna walk the earth.

Basically, I’m just gonna walk the earth.

I am beginning a grand adventure. Well, for me, anyway. At the end of this year, I will be flying to Bangkok, Thailand to start a 6 month (or longer) trek abroad. You know, like Caine in Kung Fu. Well, not exactly.

This isn’t a vacation. It’s an experiment in nomadic living, inspired by the likes of Expat Software and The 4-Hour Work Week. Even after the success of Tim Ferriss’s book, this is a pretty foreign concept to most people. Upon hearing it, they think I’m going on a really long vacation, and by extension, I’m some secret millionaire. I’m not (yet). Or that I’ll be backpacking and living in hostels and villages. I’m not doing that either.

I’ll simply be living in other countries, much like I would here. The countries I’ve chosen are more affordable than Southern California (I know, not saying much), although that does get offset by renting fully furnished apartments in major cities, as well as airfare. My goal is to spend the same or less per month than I would here, while making things a lot more interesting – you know, meeting people and getting in adventures. But for the most part, I’ll be coding and learning new things.

Why now? What prompted this? There are several factors: (more…)