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tech

High performance WordPress in 512MB

I’ve been experimenting with migrating from a 2 gig VPS server to a much smaller 512MB server for hosting this blog and a dozen or so other small sites. I have had great experiences with Linode over the years, but wanted to try Digital Ocean as they have the small inexpensive servers which seem perfect for hosting personal sites like this (those links are referral codes; if you use them I get a small credit on my hosting, thanks).

Initially, just setting up an Ubuntu server with standard LAMP configuration on Digital Ocean runs as expected and WordPress is simple to install. The only trick is, when you’re done with the default configuration, you have a server that will run out of memory when faced with anything but a few simultaneous users. And it’s slow. So let’s see if we can fix this.

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film, tech

Things I learned as CTO at Sony Pictures

For the past few years I’ve been the CTO of a division of Sony Pictures heading up Imageworks, Animation, and more recently Colorworks and Post Production. Before this time, I’d had opportunities to lead large teams on movies, but had never served in an executive position. These notes are mostly for myself, but hopefully someone else will benefit as well.

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ed-catmull
film, tech

Creativity Inc.

A few great quotes from the excellent book by Ed Catmull, Creativity Inc.

“There is nothing quite like ignorance combined with a driving need to succeed to force rapid learning.”
“Believe me, you don’t want to be at a company where there is more candor in the hallways than in the rooms where fundamental ideas or matters of policy are being hashed out.”

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asides

Trick Work

“What a vista opens before us at the very mention of trick-work! There is hardly a single fantastic idea which cannot be given existence upon the screen. The masterpieces of the magicians and wizards form the simplest problems for the cameraman. Trickery in one form or another is possibly the greatest single factor in the success of the modern film.”

You would be excused for thinking this was written in response to this years amazing visual effects bake-offs hosted by the Academy in which the 10 selected films wowed the audience with the most spectacular effects exhibited to date–all of which demonstrated near technical perfection. Rather, this quote is from The Handbook of Motion Picture Photography by Herbert C. McKay A.R.P.S.,published in 1927. Continue reading

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