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November 19, 2005, by Léon Krijnen

Playing Google Base on the Grid   

In real life - at least in summer - I'm playing second base in a friday night old geezers softball team. Now, almost winter - and like Snoopy I can only hope that my summers are not starting to look like winters, from a pitchers point of view - I'm playing Google Base.
I've uploaded, batch uploaded, and created a Google ftp-account. While doing all this because sooner or later I'll be writing about it over here, or in our newspaper, I'm starting to live the life of a Google Gridder more each day.
It worries me to see how about ninety-five percent of my colleagues probably seem to think that Google is a search engine - though that's only my guess, and that percentage might be even lower. Anyway, I'm pretty much sure about the fact that more than ninetyfive percent of those who do know that Google is a search engine, think that it's just that: a search engine.

Since I first read about Google while living for eight months in San Francisco, during my latest sabattical, (march 1999 - may 2000, US, Mexico, Canada, Western Samoa, Hawaii, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Australia, parts of Asia), I've always kept a keen interest in Google.
There a Google lovers, and Google haters, Google warners, and Google addicts. Official and unofficial Google Blogs and columnists like Bob Cringely are trying to analyze and predict what Google is doing.

Like Bob X this week: a fascinating story about another secret box Google is building: Google Mart. (Sam Walton Taught Google More About How to Dominate the Internet Than Microsoft Ever Did).

Cringely: There, in a secret area off-limits even to regular GoogleFolk, is a shipping container. But it isn't just any shipping container. This shipping container is a prototype data center. Google hired a pair of very bright industrial designers to figure out how to cram the greatest number of CPUs, the most storage, memory and power support into a 20- or 40-foot box. We're talking about 5000 Opteron processors and 3.5 petabytes of disk storage that can be dropped-off overnight by a tractor-trailer rig. The idea is to plant one of these puppies anywhere Google owns access to fiber, basically turning the entire Internet into a giant processing and storage grid.

According to Cringely - read him always, by cripes!- it's game over for the competition, and he's going to write more about it next week. Feed his feed to your feeder!

Now do I like or dislike what Google is doing? Should we be worried about the fact that most journalists and governments are not interested - yet - in what Google is doing, do not know or care, while Google keeps on building the Grid?

We don't know yet, while Google keeps on building it's digital Babylon, so as the Grid grows, I'll play my Google base. I can always change teams - if there are any other teams left in 2014.

To be honest: right now I haven't got a clue what Google Base could do for me, but I'm playing anyway.

Five or six Google things do work for me: of course the search engine, where it all began with. Perfect GoogleMail, alsways fast, up, working, so much better than my bosses Outlook exchange servers, a constantly pain in the ass. GoogleGroups, set up as an experiment for the communication for my softballteam, works perfect. GoogleAdsense of course, wich will never make me rich, but the monthly revenues top my Verio HP Unix 11i 3000 hosting plan bills, wich is good enough for now.

Signed up for the Adsense program came the Google SiteSearch Box, wich works so much faster than the Movable Type search script, that I've stripped MT search from my MT installation. If you search something on my blog, Google will find it for you, and one of the things I haven't got time for so far to check out is the Google Blog Search. No more trackback attacks, no internal search, have dramatically improved the performance of the blog. Google Earth, because it is so much fun, an addicting application in itself, and only try to imagine how that will work in another ten years!

Thinking and speaking about performance and stabilty, trackbacks, comment spam, Movable Type and Google; I could strip the comment system from Movable Type, and use GoogleGroups as a standalone comment system.

It could be done in a minute or so.

All you have to do is kill the mt-comment.cgi, and/or change a few lines in the mt-config. Second step is to replace the <MTComments> . . . </MTComments> with a link to the GoogleGroups account that you've created.

Set the access settings and the posting and delivery settings wide open (or apply any rules if you like) and there you go: all comments stay far away from your server, as well as comment spam. If comment spammers are starting to trying to flood your GoogleGroups, it's Google who will take care of counter attacks.

Or, maybe create a Blogger account (owned by Google), and use that as a comment base for your Movable Type installation.

Mmmm, I'll think about that one. My time is up for today, gotta do some real life renovations. In the meantime I'll keep thinking about the Grid.

Posted: November 19, 2005 12:58 PM (871 words).   

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