Brandon Purcell's Blog

Helpful command to see disk space usage on linux b

posted: 30 Mar 2010

I was running out of space on a server the other day and was wondering what directory was full and what files I could clean up. There is a simple command that is helpful to identify usage by directory. This works from within any directory so you c...

Help with PostgreSQL commands

posted: 07 Jan 2010

We use PostgreSQL for SpatialKey and because of that I have learned a lot about system administration with PostgreSQL. While debugging an issue with tables that had ballooned up I ran into this article which has some great tips for isolating db an...

JBoss - Generating a thread dump with twiddle

posted: 16 Sep 2009

I had been looking for a simple way to get a thread dump from JBoss to see what was happening on each of the SpatialKey servers without actually logging onto any of them. After all reading through thread dumps is one of my favorite past times. I f...

Searching through many files for a specific string

posted: 16 Sep 2009

I found a helpful command today to help me search through many different file in linux. I have a bunch of log files and want to find a certain occurrence of an error.

for i in `find ./`; do grep -H "string to search" $i; done

Putting your Excel Data on the Map - Data Visualiz

posted: 16 Sep 2009

Excel is a powerfull tool for sorting and analyzing data but what if you want to look at your data from another angle. What if you want to see the geographic aspect and understand the trends both over time and geographically? Geocoding your data c...

Excellent article on Amazon Ec2 EBS performance

posted: 16 Sep 2009

With SpatialKey we create AMI's that are exact replicas of each other and can be scaled easily all of the persistent content is stored in a EBS volume allowing us to deploy a new instance from a Snapshot and easy backup with Snapshots.


Connecting to an Ec2 instance and mounting the fil

posted: 16 Sep 2009

We recently moved our website for SpatialKey onto Amazon Ec2 which has worked great but there has been one items that has bugged me. If I needed to make a few small changes to the site I was using vi to make...

Keeping a session alive on ColdFusion using Jquery

posted: 16 Sep 2009

There is nothing more frustrating than taking 30 minutes filling out some text in a long form only to submit and have your session reset and lose all of your data. Here is a simple solution to keep a session open on forms where users may need an e...

Drunk on Software episode featuring members from t

posted: 16 Sep 2009

James Ward and Jon Rose recently published the latest episode...

Linux NFS mount: failed, reason given by server: P

posted: 16 Sep 2009

This issue drove me nuts today for several hours today, to be honest I was pretty close to breaking something! Earlier in the day I had the NFS mount working fine then I created an AMI and booted up another instance from the newly created AMI but ...

Recursively deleting .svn directories

posted: 16 Sep 2009

I often need to copy code from a SVN repository to a location where I have files deployed or I may pull code from an SVN repository on the web and want to check it in locally. Both of these actions require the stripping out of all .svn directories...

Slick Example of JQuery Selectors

posted: 16 Sep 2009

I ran across this today. Examples are great when trying to understand JQuery selectors.

CFDUMP for PHP and Javascript

posted: 16 Sep 2009

In recent months I have been using PHP to extend functionality inside of WordPress for the SpatialKey site and working with JQuery as well. After working with ColdFusion for so long I have gotten spoiled by the CFDUMP tag . Here are a few options ...

Sending SMTP messages from your EC2 instances

posted: 16 Sep 2009

One challenge I have encountered with Amazon Ec2 is the sending of email from our web applications. If you try to send directly from sendmail or postfix then you might as well forget about guranteed delivery. A large amount of your email will end ...

Running applications at startup on Linux with chck

posted: 16 Sep 2009

This is common knowledge if you have been using Linux for a while but I still find it a helpful resource to understand how you set what programs are running when Linux starts. This is mainly specific to Red Hat or CentOS which I use on a regular b...

.htaccess tips and tricks

posted: 16 Sep 2009

I ran across this article while debugging some .htaccess issues on our SpatialKey server and found some helpful information on .htaccess.

Monitoring in Linux

posted: 16 Sep 2009

This is a good article on some monitoring tools for Linux. I had already used several of them before but found 'htop' and 'atop' in the comments and they are ...

Utah Senator Jon Greiner blogs about SpatialKey

posted: 08 Sep 2008

Utah State Senator and Ogden City Police Chief blogs about Spatialkey and the power of bringing together relevant data sets from multiple places. Here is a small sampling...

SpatialKey Law Enforcment featured on the cover of

posted: 08 Sep 2008

			<h3><a href=Losing your blog - the importance of backing thing

posted: 05 Sep 2008

If you have been working with computers very long you have probably experienced that sinking feeling when you realize that you have a dead hard drive without a recent backup of your important files. Well this happened to me this weekend with my bl...

1101 - del

posted: 02 Sep 2008


1106 - del

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1102 - del

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1108 - del

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1107 - del

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Introducing SpatialKey and the team behind the tec

posted: 08 Aug 2008

After leaving Adobe in November of 2007 I joined Universal Mind as the director of Technology. UM had been working on a product that was called LaunchPad. At that time LaunchPad was a proof of concept built for the San Francisco PD with basic hea...

Flash Player H.264 and a whole lot more for video

posted: 03 Aug 2008

In recent years Flash video has taken over the web and the latest beta release of the player opens up a whole new set of features. Tinic Uro...

From Start to Finish Building the Family Pool

posted: 03 Aug 2008

A large majority of my summer has been spent working in the backyard on a large project. It started in April and although I have more to do I am going to attempt to enjoy the rest of the summer and get back to work in late August. It all started last...

ColdFusion enabled MySQL driver available

posted: 03 Aug 2008

A new version of the MySQL driver has been released that detects ColdFusion when it is running with Coldfusion MX 7 (and 8). This should result in much better performance for CF/MySQL users.

Setting "useDynamicCharsetInfo" to "false" now c...

Wiki for Device Central CS3

posted: 03 Aug 2008

These days I spend most of my time in the mobile world so I do not get the chance to blog like I used to. For those of you that have worked with Device Central in CS3 here is a Wiki where you can share your tips and techniques.

Obtaining a users geographical location based on t

posted: 03 Aug 2008

Early this year I wrote a blog article about using IP2Location to identify a users location and ISP based upon their IP. You can find the previous articles here:


ColdFusion 8 shows error IP license restriction is

posted: 03 Aug 2008

I ran into a confusing issue with ColdFusion 8 that could affect users that install the enterprise version with the evaluation option and are using multiple instances.

Here is what led up to this issue occuring for me

  1. Instal...

    Our Little Bitter Dog

    posted: 03 Aug 2008

    Obtaining a users geographical location based on t

    posted: 03 Aug 2008

    In my last blog posting I discussed the advantages of using MaxMind GeoIP to obtain a site visitors geographical location based on their IP. In this posting I will show...

    Open Source Flex Development Frameworks

    posted: 03 Aug 2008

    This article highlights the many different Flex development frameworks available as the Flex community has grown by leaps in bounds in recent years.

    Getting started with Amazon Elastic Computing Clou

    posted: 03 Aug 2008

    I was recently introduced to Amazon's new Ec2 services. The idea of cloud computing really intrigued me after I heard about it so I decided to take the dive. There is a bit of a learning curve with getting s...

    We Lost Our Cat

    posted: 03 Aug 2008

    UPDATE: After seeing paw prints on my deck in the snow for a few days we decided to stake out the area late on Friday night. Around 2:30 AM he showed up but ran off after we tried to quietly op...

    Amazon EC2 New Features: Elastic IP Addresses and

    posted: 03 Aug 2008

    If you had a chance to read my getting started with Ec2 article I highlighted some of the challenges with deploying applications on the cloud. One of these challenges can n...

    How to change the behavior where Firefox 3 opens p

    posted: 25 Jul 2008

    Something has really been annoying me with Firefox 3 where it would open a new tab for pop up windows. It was particular annoying when I was using a Content Management System that normally opens an HTML editor in a popup window and resize the popu...

    Safety first replacement battery for Kidtrax Corve

    posted: 17 Jul 2008

    Last year we purchased the Safety First Kidtrax Corvette for my son from Toys R Us. After having it only a few months the battery stopped holding a charge and it would run down after a few minutes. I went to Toys R Us to find a replacement battery...

    Suggestions for Preso at Max 2008 Architecting Col

    posted: 09 Jul 2008

    I will be presenting again at Max this year in San Franscico on the topic of "Architecting ColdFusion For Scalability And High Availability". I want to take a new approach this year and solicit input on specific areas to cover during the...