Google Carbon Footprint app launch

Over the last year I’ve been involved with the guys at d::gen. d::gen have put together the AMEE (Avoiding Mass Extinction Engine) Carbon Calculator, which has since been chosen by DEFRA as the official carbon calculator for the UK, and provides back end for the ActOnCO2 site as well as providing a public repository of official carbon emissions data.
Today marks the launch of the next big thing in AMEE’s short history: Google’s Carbon Footprint application, which is available as a gadget on Google’s UK iGoogle home page.
The app was developed by Avenue A / Razorfish. My role at d::gen has been to deal with server and application configuration, deployment, hosting and monitoring, database configuration and load testing.
AMEE continues to grow in flexibility, ability, capacity and content, all while remaining a shining example of the ‘right way’ of running an open-source project.
Anyway, congratulations d::gen and AMEE, and thanks to Google and Razorfish for using us!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and deal with the prospect of being on the receiving end of a link from a Google home page….

Have I told you today how much Mac Minis rock as servers?

We’re using a cluster of Mac Minis for hosting. They’re running Ubuntu very nicely. I’ve gone on about them before (maybe not on here), but we just got a couple of new ones that use Core2 Duo rather than the older Core Duo models, and wow are they good. How good? Well, for CPU intensive stuff, we’re seeing (per core) over double the performance of our Dell PowerEdge 1850 which sports two dual-core 3.0GHz Xeons (and these are the slower 1.8GHz models!). That’s not bad for <20% of the cost to buy. They are unfeasibly small and really quite cute, plus they only pull about 120W (peak - 65W at idle!), so hosting them is dirt cheap (It'll cost you less than empty rack space - just ask Mythic Beasts whom we highly recommend, and they have minor niggles of the platform under control). Sure the disks are not too fast, and there’s no internal RAID, but who needs RAID when you can have RAIC instead?