Ask Dossy

If you could ask me anything, what would it be? Something you’re curious about? Or, would like to know more about? Or just something that’s been on your mind and you need to ask someone about? If you want to ask it publically, go ahead and leave a comment below. Or, if you want to ask me privately, just send me an email. Note: My spam filter can be a bit overzealous, so if your mail bounces as “spam detected” just leave a comment here letting me know you sent me an email and that it was detected as spam. I’ll go look through my spam folder and try to find it.


  1. Why do you think that the Silicon Valley became such a breeding ground for technology? Do you think there is any other place in the U.S. that can become *Silicon Alley* and why?

  2. Holly:

    These are questions I’ve been trying to answer for a long time. Since I’ve always been on the east coast, I have no first-hand experience of the Silicon Valley and I definitely don’t understand how or why it started. Considering I’d like to stay on the east coast, I’m definitely hoping that such a phenomenon could happen elsewhere in the U.S., such as the “Silicon Alley” reference that refers to such a thing forming in New York City which has never panned out.

    I’m going to email this question around to whomever I can get to answer it who I think might have insight into the whole Silly Valley phenomenon and how it all started. Maybe someone has a real solid answer. I know I’d really like one.

  3. So I found this comment from some folks i met that may help answering the question above:

    Another critical factor to why Silicon Valley is the as successful a magnet as it is ready for this a significant reason is THE WEATHER. The mild and temperate climate adds another layer to the ability to kick-back and create.

    Also check out Jeff Saperstein’s book CREATING REGIONAL WEALTH IN THE INNOVATION ECONOMY. Jeff was with uscheck out the link Yvonne added in her blog item.


    Link to the comment

    P.S. I moved my blog :)

  4. Talk to me about Tcl and web development. What’s the difference between developing a dynamic web app with Tcl versus something like JSP or PHP?

    Is the architecture similar to Perl/CGI? If so, does that mean a process is started for each request that comes in to the web server? How does that affect scalability?

    I’ve been thinking about this for a few weeks, given my recent Tcl experience.

  5. Come on Dossy,I’m waiting for your answer to the Silicon Valley Question!!=)j/k…

  6. Hi Dossy,

    Me and some other people at the University Of Birmingham (UK). have read your blog posting on spotted dick pudding.

    Firstly i would like to assure you that us Brits also find humour in the name of this dessert.

    However another thing bothers us about the picture of the pudding. The two prices, as one seems almost twice the other (surely the difference cannot just be tax ?).

    we have wondered whether the lower price is some kind of bulk discount for people who like a lot of dick

    but perhaps you could enlighten us otherwise



  7. Alastair Gregg: I’m sure us Merkins don’t love the dick like the Brits, for sure. No, the two prices isn’t just reflecting tax–we got away from Great Britain to avoid taxation, right?

    The price on the left, in orange ($8.89), is the price per pound, which is 16 ounces. The price on the right is the unit price ($5.89). If you look at the tin, it claims net weight of 10 ounces. Doing the math, ( 10 / 16 ) * $8.89 =~ $5.56. Apply 6% sales tax, and $5.56 * 1.06 = $5.89.

    Still, $5.89 (just over 3 quid after doing the currency conversion) is a bargain for portable dick-in-a-can, to enjoy whenever and wherever you please. Don’t forget to buy extra: you want to share your dick with all your friends, right?

  8. Oh mighty one, why does the earth spin?

  9. Yue Zhang says

    hi dossy, I have some question about nszlib, and send email to you, please reply me as soon as possible, I am be impatient for the answer, thank you.

  10. Yue: I saw your email and have replied. Let me know if you don’t receive it.

  11. NaturallyStupid says

    Hello Dossy,

    I try to educate myself what is the “best” open cms on market now… You use Movable Type for this beautiful site. Could you share your experience? Why MT? What the benefits are vs other posibilities? Is any analitical research about this matter known for you?

  12. NaturallyStupid: I’m a big fan of WordPress, actually. The last two sites I most recently worked on, I chose to use WordPress as the underlying CMS for.

    When I started this blog, yes, I started with Movable Type 2.6 … but have gradually replaced it with my own code as time went on. I’ve actually thought a lot about moving all the content into WordPress, but I’m happier with my own code for now.

  13. Have you done any sites with aolserver+openACS? if so are they more scalable than wordpress sites? I am amazed you use wordpress, I thought aolserver stuff was way ahead of php..

  14. I was a linux admin for a few wordpress sites with apache 2.2.3 prefork on centos 5 adn they ate 20-30% of cpu per apache process….bringing the box to its knees all the time when lots of users hit the site……ever seen such behavior from wordpress? Wonder if its image magic run amok.

  15. Hey George, I have done my share of openACS sites (that’s my job) and I can tell you they are pretty scalable, AOLServer and TCL have a great multi-threading and multi-process system that makes a very good use of your hardware. You can try a dotlrn/openACS site here: (you can register and it will create a free site for you with everything set up for 30 days)

  16. I got that free openacs site and it is fast…..I just can’t figure out how to add a professor which a class I created in a course for a term requires.

  17. I am plowing through ‘tcl for web nerds’ by philip greenspun et al, do you reccomend anything else for coming up to speed on using aolserver? Next I am going to read the tcl tutorial. The memoization proc seems GREAT. I am going to also learn more about postgresql in this effort. I have an account on but like I said b4 adding a professor seems broken. Do you talk to the naviserver folks at all? The ossweb framework over there seesm nice but I haven’t tried it..


    I wrote up the aolserver install on archlinux here, and it had a config kink….maybe something that is fixed in cvs version?

Speak Your Mind