Alson Kemp


Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

Checking memcached stats and preventing empty responses

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A quick google for how to check stats for memcached quickly turns up the following command:

echo stats | nc internal.ip 11211

Netcat is a utility for poking about in just about all network interfaces or protocols, so can be used to pipe  information to memcached.  Note: you’ll need to have netcat installed in order to have the “nc” command and Debian/Ubuntu have both netcat-traditional and netcat-openbsd. Install the openbsd version.

The problem I had was that checking stats returned a blank response about 90% of the time.  The cause of this issue is that netcat sends the string “stats” to memcached, declares victory and then closes the connection before memcached has a chance to reply.  Solution? Just tell netcat to wait a bit using the “-i” flag which waits after sending lines of text. Like this:

echo stats | nc -i 1 internal.ip 11211

To check a remote machine, I wound up with:

 ssh the_remote_machine "echo stats | nc -i 1 internal.ip 11211"

Written by alson

October 10th, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Posted in Tools

NXDom rocks…

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A couple of months ago, Johann Rocholl announced NXDom.  Basically, Johann created an algorithm to build millions of likely-to-be-interesting possible domain names and then queried DNS servers to see if the servers knew of the possible domain names.  Any domains that got NX (non-existent domain) responses from DNS servers were entered into the NXDom database as available.  Johann added a nice query interface and, voila!, changed how I search for domains.

Search for Domains V1

I don’t have any particular recipe for searching for domains, but I do something like:

  1. Think about my target market.
  2. Think up a few keywords.
  3. Try the keywords at
  4. Find most are registered.
  5. Think up other less interesting keywords…
  6. Find one kinda crappy domain name that isn’t registered and register it because I’m frustrated…
  7. Dwell on the fact that I had a crappy domain name…

Search for Domains V2 (New and Improved with NXDom)

  1. Think about my target market.
  2. Think up a few keywords.
  3. Try the keywords at NXDom.
  4. See 300 results for each keyword.
  5. See lots of possibilities for great domains for each keyword.
  6. Register a great domain (making sure to click the NXDom affiliate link so that Johann gets his rev share).
  7. Dwell on my super cool domain.

The best part of NXDom is that it works very well for very popular terms.  A friend is in the CFO business, so we searched on domains ending in “CFO” and found numerous interesting domains:


I don’t know Johann and I have no affiliation with NXDom.  Everyone to whom I show NXDom gets wide-eyed and starts thinking up domain ideas, so I figured that I’d share more broadly. NXDom has certainly changed, and greatly improved, the way I search for domains.

Written by alson

March 29th, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Posted in Tools

HighCharts, Bluff, gRaphael – Javascript charting libraries

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Bumped into HighCharts today.  See here: Very nice library for embedding charts into your HTML.  Nice to see that browsers are finally getting to the point that HighCharts can be written.   Also, it’s nice to think about being able to dump Flash charting solutions in favor of a simple Javascript library.  Worth the $80 for commercial use (I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent well more than $80 of my time wrestling with an open source Flash charting library).


[Updating post to add more libs.]

Okay.  I got called out for not poking around a bit more.  There are nice open-source, liberally licensed JS chart libs.

Open Source

Bluff : Ruby’s Gruff ported to JS.  Looks pretty straightforward.

gRaphael : built on the awesome Raphael JS vector graphics library.  Limited functionality, but that’ll change.

Canvas3D : super cool, but not sure if it’s ready for a production site…

jqPlot : charting for jQuery.  I’m neither pro- nor con-jQuery, so I’m not sure that I’d pick a jQuery-centric library.

PlotKit : dependent on MochiKit.

Flot : charting for jQuery.  Again, since I use different JS libraries in different circumstances/apps, I’m not excited about having to pull in jQuery, but Flot looks nice.

Commercial License

JSCharts : HighCharts looks prettier…  $129 for a license for all of your sites (vs. $360 for HighCharts)

Emprise Charts : Very nice.  Pricing is inline with JSCharts and HighCharts.

Written by alson

December 2nd, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Posted in Geekery,Tools

Pretty Firefox: ‘Chrome Package’

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I’m comfortable with Firefox.  Stable, loads of developer tools, etc., but Google’s Chrome looks awful nice and is screen space efficient.  Fortunately, some lovely fellow has made a Firefox add-on to make Firefox look like Chrome:

Chrome Package

This add-on hides the Firefox toolbar (as opposed to Chromifox, which only provides colors and images).

Written by alson

September 26th, 2008 at 10:19 pm

Posted in Tools

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