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Archive for November, 2008

The history of PC hardware, in pictures

We all use personal computers and we all take them for granted in our everyday lives. It’s easy to forget that PCs have only been around for a couple of decades, and initially were nowhere near the powerhouses we have on our desks today.

For example, did you know that the first “portable” computer weighed 25 kg (55 lb) and cost close to $20,000, that the first laser printer was big enough to fill up most of a room, or that you basically had to build the first Apple computer yourself?

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Dr Pepper website crashed by free offer

Dr. Pepper decided to offer everyone in America a free bottle of soda (something they had promised to do if the new Guns n’ Roses album was released this year). All people had to do was to register for a free coupon on the Dr. Pepper website.

Now here comes the twist: Dr. Pepper had time limited the offer to just one day, and there are more than 300 million people in the United States. And we all know people love free stuff.

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Huh? Pingdom hot tub monitoring?

We ran across a very creative use of Pingdom monitoring the other day. Most people use Pingdom to monitor the status of websites and servers, but Eric Nagel uses our monitoring service to keep track of the temperature in his outdoor hot tub (complete with rubber ducky).

Keep reading to learn how he did it.

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Nine awesome computer ads from the 70s and 80s

There are lots of vintage ad collections out there, and it’s always a fun to look through them. For your viewing pleasure, we have handpicked nine of the most fun, creative or just plain weird computer ads we have ever seen.

Inside you will find classic ads from Apple, Texas Instruments, IBM, BASF, Honeywell, Maxell and more.

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Incidents on the Internet – Weekly summary

This is a weekly recurring post about noteworthy incidents on the Internet. This includes for example general network issues, ISP problems and downtime for well-known websites. It may be things that have been detected by us here at Pingdom, or written about by others.

We are not going to be able to cover everything that happens out there, so if we omit anything that you feel is important or interesting, please feel free to add this information in the comments, preferably with a link to a source (such as a news article or service status page with relevant information).

This week includes the failed launch of a major EU initiative, as well as downtime for Yousendit and LiveJournal.

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Putting the Dow Jones dip below 8000 into perspective

There has been a lot of talk this week about the Dow Jones stock index dipping below 8000 for the first time since 2003.

Now let’s put this into perspective with a very telling old ad.

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Speed up your website by optimizing files and images

Aside from uptime, website performance is something we talk a lot about here at Pingdom. There are lots of ways to improve the speed of your website, but this post will focus on ways to optimize the size and number of files your website uses, both being important factors affecting the load time.

The files we are talking about are of course the files that are delivered to a visitor when they load your website, such as HTML, CSS, Javascript and most important in this case, images.

Since images usually make up most of the size of a website, we will focus the majority of this article on image optimization.

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Linux distros and Apple beat Microsoft’s homepage uptime

All Linux distributions have their own home base: their homepage. How well is this homepage taken care of and how well does it perform? To answer these questions we have monitored the uptime and load time of the homepages for 16 Linux distributions for a month.

And since it is a question we can’t resist asking: how do they compare to the homepages of corporate OS giants like Microsoft and Apple? We included those in this survey so that we could answer that question as well.

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LiveJournal moves to new server facility

LiveJournal was unavailable for 2 hours and 45 minutes yesterday, Tuesday, while the social network migrated to a new server facility.

The migration seems to have started just after 5 p.m. CET (11 a.m. US EST), which is when the site went down.

Directly following the migration, the website was significantly slower than normal for some time, something which was also explained as a side effect of the migration on the LiveJournal status page.

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Yousendit down for 5+ hours

The website of the digital content delivery (file sharing) service Yousendit was unavailable for 5 hours and 15 minutes yesterday (November 17).

The downtime was divided into four outages happening over a six-hour period that started soon after 7 p.m. CET (1 p.m. US EST). The shortest outage lasted 30 minutes and the longest lasted 2 hours and 25 minutes.

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