How many bytes are in a megabyte? Really?

By | March 21st, 2008

This seems like a mathematical question, but is actually one of philosophy or perspective, and continues to cause confusion in its ambiguity. The Confusion Originally megabyte was used to describe a byte multiple (220 = 1024 x 1024 = 1,048,576) in computer programming. However, several international organizations and most storage media (including hard drives and….

160,000 clovers of luck

By | March 18th, 2008

Edward Martin Sr. should be pretty lucky by now. He has worked hard to generate that luck for nearly all of his 76 years by finding and collecting four leaf clovers – 160,000 four leaf clovers to be exact – earning him a world record. It seems that “luck” is what many count on for….

Forced discipline isn’t just for the military

By | March 13th, 2008

I attended a presentation a couple days ago by Udi Manber, vice president of engineering for Google core search. Manber demonstrated why search is difficult, giving interesting example queries such as “how many calories in a pound”, for which the answer is 9000 trillion, since calorie is a unit of energy and pound a unit….

Is EMC the next Coca-Cola?

By | March 12th, 2008

EMC made an unsolicited bid for Iomega. While Iomega refused it, choosing to stick with the share purchase agreement it struck with ExcelStor Group Ltd. in December, it begs the question: Why was EMC interested in Iomega? CEO Joseph Tucci has long stated exploratory interest in the consumer market: “We’re thinking about it. There are….

Backblaze hardened against disaster

By | March 10th, 2008

This weekend we moved into our new datacenter - 365 Main – a facility we share with companies including Sun Microsystems, Esurance, Ticketmaster, and Cnet. It has all the high-tech wizardry you can imagine to keep our customers’ online backup data safe: raised floor with seismic pedestals in case of earthquake 16 data carriers independent PG&E power feed….

Light as a brick

By | March 7th, 2008

Our PCs are more powerful than ever, so why do they feel so slow? It might be our expectations have increased. Or it might be the applications installed on them. A new PC today has 1 million times (4GB vs 4KB) more RAM than the earliest computers. Creating a program back then meant optimizing every….

Shaping a logo

By | March 5th, 2008

When we were thinking about a logo for Backblaze, we knew we wanted an iconic image that could be connected easily to the software. That meant creating something simple enough that could scale to 16×16 pixels for an icon placed in the system tray. Logos are probably the most difficult for me as a designer….

Ziff Davis CTO loses his backup

By | March 4th, 2008

Robyn Peterson isn’t a computer newbie – after all, he’s in charge of technology for tech publisher Ziff Davis. So how did he lose his backup? Using a popular techie solution for online backup: FTP-ing his files to a web hosting provider. A perfectly reasonable, if somewhat tedious, solution. But as he found out, not….