Monday, September 5, 2011

Comparing Amazon S3 and Google Blobstore API

Last week, Google announced that they are moving the Google App Engine out of preview status and changed their pricing model. The general buzz is that the new prices are significantly higher and people are disappointed with Google. Here's a comparison of the prices between Google and AWS specifically looking at storage.

Google offers the Blobstore API, which is somewhat equivalent to Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3). Google's free tier offers 5GB which is same as Amazon's free tier except that Amazon offers that for just a year while Google has no time restrictions. In the paid tier, Google charges a flat $0.17/GB/month. Amazon on the other hand has a tiered pricing scheme based on three factors - amount of data, location of the S3 bucket and, redundancy. Amazon's prices in the US Standard region range from $0.14/GB/month (for less that 1TB) for the nine nines redundancy and reduced redundancy storage is even cheaper ranging from $0.093/GB/month to $0.037/GB/month.

Here's a graph showing the pricing differences between the Blobstore API and S3 focusing just on the US Standard region for S3. Comparing Blobstore API vs Amazon S3

For the free tier (under 5GB), Google is cheaper, but once you exceed that threshold, S3 is the way to go.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Windows 7 on Virtual Box: Error 0xc0000225

I was trying to install Windows 7 Home Professional (64-bit) on a Virtual Box (4.1.2 r73507) VM. With the default VM setup, I kept getting an Error 0xc0000225 while the Windows 7 installer was starting. After reading some sites that stated that this was likely a BIOS issue, I edited the VM configuration to change the Chipset to "ICH9" and "Enable IO APIC". With this change the Windows installer was able to start without errors.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Android Experience

Interesting article about someone’s experience with an Android phone – the Samsung Charge: Why My Mom Bought an Android, Returned It, and Got an iPhone. This is an article by someone who loves Android. I think for anyone who doesn’t want to root their phone, the Android experience is hit-or-miss. Between Google and the various carriers, there’s no consistency and eventually that leads to a diluted brand.

This comment by JamesKatt sums it up perfectly:

The problem with Android is that the hardware manufacturers do not want to be generic phone device makers.  They want to differentiate themselves in order to compete successfully in the smartphone market.
However, to differentiate themselves, they have to muck up and lock down the Android OS, install their own version of the user interface, and install crappy apps that you can't remove.  They also encrypt the OS so you cannot modify the system.
This is why the experience is so poor for Android phone users - other than the ones who use the generic Android OS, which is few and far between.
I wonder why the author did not purchase a Droid Incredible for his mom since he likes it so much????
Oh.  It is no longer available. 
The other problem with Android is that there is a new version of the smartphone every single month.  It is the flavor of the month phone.  Thus, over time, incompatibilities occur between the new versions.

With Honeycomb, Google pretty much threw out the openness argument. There’s no 3.x release at Another interesting data point is the absence of Android phones in Flickr’s most popular cameras list. (The only Android phone shows up in the cameraphone segment.)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Shimano PD-A530 SPD Dual Platform Bike Pedal

  As a first time rider with “clipless” pedals, I picked up the Shimano PD-A530 SPD Dual Platform Bike Pedal from Amazon. These are hybrid pedals that can be used as platform pedals on one side or clipless on the other. This makes them ideal for someone new to clipless pedals and shoes with cleats. The package comes with two pedals (left and right) and a pair of Shimano SM-SH51 SPD cleats. The pedals are a trivial replacement for existing pedal sets and just need a 15mm wrench. A 4mm allen wrench is all that’s required to attach the SPD cleats to biking shoes. The pedals are weighted such that the clipless side is on top.

Definitely recommend these pedals for someone getting into clipless.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Touch Responsiveness

MacWorld has a pretty decent review of the HP Touch Pad. Seems like a pretty decent entry by HP into the tabled market. However I wanted to highlight one piece from the review:

The TouchPad’s specs are state of the art, right down to the dual-core Snapdragon processor that powers it. Yet at times I found the TouchPad puzzlingly sluggish. (I had the same complaint when I used the dual-core Motorola Xoom Android tablet, to be fair.) Sometimes I think one of the most important achievements of Apple’s iOS development team is completely overlooked by most reviewers: the fact that on iOS devices, when you move your finger, the on-screen objects under your finger move along with it. No lag, no judder of dropped frames, just a pure illusion that you’re physically manipulating an object. Almost every time I have tried a new Android phone or tablet—and when I tried the TouchPad—I am surprised to find that the interface just isn’t as responsive as Apple’s.

This is something I have observed as well with Android devices. Most recently I noticed this with the Verizon Thunderbolt. There’s something the Apple is doing different which gives their devices much better touch responsiveness. Odd that companies with millions of R&D dollars have not been replicate that aspect of the Apple devices.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mark Haines R.I.P.

Mark Haines passed away last night. As a long time CNBC viewer, I’ve watched him many times on Squawk Box. May his soul rest in peace.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

HTML5 Demos – HTML5 Community Night

Some really cool demos were presented at the HTML5 Community Night event at Microsoft on April 26th 2011. Here are a smattering of the links to the demos.


Cross-platform multi-player games built using HTML5. Supports browsers as well as iPhone and Android.


PowWow: A HTML5-based multiplayer game showing off WebSockets and WebGL.

Vision Explorer

VisionExplorer – 3D exploration of the National Museum of China. Built with JavaScript.


Classic Pac-Man extended to a multi-grid Pac-Man. Built again with JavaScript.

SVG Girl

SVG Girl: a Japanese anime “video” implemented completely in SVG!


IE9’s Grid System in CSS.

There were many other demos but these were the URLs that I managed to snag during the presentation. Will update my post if I find links to the other demos.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Pi Day!

Happy Pi Day!

One of the readers of the blog, Lauren Jackson, discovered my post from 2008 on Pi Day and sent in an interesting info-graphic on Pi: check out Visualizing Pi.