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Day 1.2 of University of Perl
Today saw my mod_perl class, Michel's XML class, Damian's OO, the closing part of Brian's introductory class, and Dan's CGI class. They all went well, despite Damian getting about 4 hours sleep, and getting 8 hours but between 2:30 and 10:30. I don't seem to have left Colorado time.
I had some good discussions with students in the class. Two were from an applications service provider (ASP), an industry which I'd long thought to be fictitious but apparently they do really exist. They wanted to know whether mod_perl could withstand millions of hits a day. There are some million hits/day sites, for sure, I said, but you can bet they're not serving those hits from a single Pentium 133 box in their basement. As with everything, hardware required is commensurate with hits expected. Too often I hear people frustrated with mod_perl because when they open Apache up to run with 150 child processes, their box runs out of memory. Well, duh.
I caught the end of Damian's OO class, where he presents his Klingon module. The bit I saw deals with overloading string constants so that when you write numbers in Klingon (words with lots of consonants) Perl's parser turns them into actual usable numbers. It's terrifying.
For dinner, Dan Klein, Damian, and I went up to the top of the Westin hotel here in Atlanta and had dinner on their rotating restaurant. It was surprisingly disorienting, although the food was delicious (and pricey!). The view was astouding, and we could see everything from the CNN HQ to Stone Mountain (which we decided was Atlanta's version of Ayers Rock). Mr. Visa is probably going to spank me for it, but it was a classy and fun way to end our time in Atlanta.
No improvised comedy tonight, unfortunately. Damian and I were both exhausted and on hideous early flights tomorrow. So an early bedtime for us, listening to the dulcet tones of Larry's Atlanta Linux Showcase talk (http://www.technetcast.com/).