Community supported Caltrain notices, one tweet at a time

If MySQL crashes in a forest…

June 25th, 2008 ravi

…people will hear.

So /var on my server filled up because like a idiot I forgot to stop logging mail.debug.  1.6G later /var fills up and then MySQL throws a tantrum.  I stop the daemon, remove the debug log, and try to start things up again, but for some reason soft updates are not updating the partition.  Also one of the tables of a DB (which I thankfully had a backup of) disappeared.  I wanted to fsck /var but it wasn’t having any part of it.  Somehow along the line my /var/mail partition flipped out and went into read-only mode.

I managed to get the partitions running, but I didn’t notice that Dovecot and Postfix lost their connections to MySQL so all my mail was being rejected for about 2 hours.  Thankfully in that time there were no Caltrain Tweets that were sent over.  I had envisioned there being a flood of them around 8pm yesterday when I finally got things back up and running.

I decided it would also be a good time to upgrade to FreeBSD 6.3-STABLE while things were hosed so that is a bonus.

And in unrelated news I sent an email to my company’s commuter list advertising this service.  It has the potential for there to be a lot of new updaters which I’m not quite certain I’m ready for.  Not so much of not bieng able to handle the load as being able to manually process key requests.  I have a user portal in the works, and the Twitter direct messaging feature is in Beta (read 1 other person becides me is using it) and actually works.  I just need to get the motivation to compelte things.

What makes a good update?

June 17th, 2008 ravi

With the increase of followers brings more updates with inconsistent content. To help guide the community I whipped up a guide of what I envisioned the content would be.

Check the guide out.

Like I said I don’t want to cramp anyone’s style, but I think it would be nice if the alerts could contain the same baseline of information and occur only when they need to.

How much is too much?

June 9th, 2008 ravi

The 295bus Blog brings up a interesting point about the verbosity of tweets to the Caltrain Twitter account.  Noting that a particular train arrived at the terminus 5 minutes behind schedule is not particularly helpful to anyone.  The key to success of the service is for each update to be newsworthy which means enough information in a timely manor.  Don’t get me wrong — I’m thrilled at the level of support from the community, but I also don’t want to frustrate people who follow the accounts with excessive tweets.

  • Polls

    Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.