Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Amici Back Online

After 3 days of backing up our commercial website from a shared hosting provider, choosing a new VPS provider, and doing all sorts of configurations in Linux to make our small website run a bit better in just 360mb of RAM, we're back online.

Actually, I don't think visitors noticed any technical problems in our website the past few weeks, since the problem with the previous host only occurs when logging in our website to administer it.  But the past 3 days of tinkering have brought frequent downtime.  (I'm very new to web server administration.)  Hopefully, the current setup will work better now, and provide smoother usage of our site.

p.s.  For the technically curious, the frequent downtime yesterday and today were due to thrashing, out of control memory and disk swapping, due to improper configuration of the Apache HTTP server under minimal RAM.  Last night was a little better as the memory resources of Apache were minimized.  This morning, I was able to setup nginx to work on top of Apache and reduce dependency on Apache.

Website Woes

For the past two weeks, our company website is having problems for logged in users (which is usually me).  The problem is with the seemingly recent policy of our host on maximum PHP script memory, set at a paltry 32MB, not enough to run a full duty Drupal installation.

While updates in the website are far in between, not being able to log in means new updates will be farther still.  It's time to try a new host.  Budget needed Year 2010.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Party

Last Saturday, we held our arguably greatest yet Christmas party.  I hesitate to call it greatest because it was but our fourth.  From here on, like those press releases of events and achievements from more sophisticated companies, we might start calling every little latest the greatest of all.

It wasn't a fat budget that made it the greatest.  I would surmise on a per head ratio, we spent much less than last year.  This despite us renting a playground this year.

Perhaps, it's more that this year has been filled with so many challenges, us in our growing adolescent age as a company, feeling each and every pain, from capacity problems to unprofitable channels, from government assisted corruption to terrifying acts of God, and to everyday challenges sometimes subsisting in chores to trying to do better.  And with all that, we're ending this year with such a remarkable Christmas celebration.

First of all, it's a costume party.  I'll have to say it's the first time I went to a costume party wearing a costume.  It helped that I didn't have to spend for the costume.  ^^

Then, we had a departmental contest.  My team could have done much better, but for the lack of leadership, planning, and time management.  That may sound incredulous, given that as I belong to the admin team, our department is supposed to foster those same on this event we announced our lack of.

The exchange gift program brought many to panic over finding time to make their purchases.  Still almost everyone participated in this simple take on sharing.

The food could have been much better, if only there were more selective palates to plan ahead.  But we shouldn't complain too much on blessings.

The games were fun.  Maybe.  I unfortunately wasn't able to join the games.  But us spectators had our fun and laughter along with the winners and losers of the game.

Lastly, we had a grander raffle prize selection this year, courtesy of generous suppliers and vendors.  It's actually the first time our company solicited raffle prizes from our suppliers.  Before, despite receiving barrages of sponsorship requests from different companies year after year, we refrained from asking for sponsorship.  But we've been trying things out differently this year.  It's after all a season of sharing, and we are always grateful for the smallest things that our suppliers may offer.

It's been a great Christmas party.  Most importantly, I think that this year's have put much more emphasis on the spirit of Christmas, of sharing.  We give gifts of myriad sizes to our loved ones and friends and company.  We also receive from people, companies, partners who may care for us enough.  We share our talents and perform for laughs or enjoyment.  We share our time, in or between meals, or in doing things together.  For the blessings we receive, and the joy we give, we are grateful. To the Amicis, our friends, thank you.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


The much feared year of 2009, introduced as a harbinger of bank closures and economic downturn, is finally at its end.  Never mind that the economic and political challenges are all very much alive to welcome us in 2010.  For a moment, stop thinking that after two months, we are still rearing from the ebbing throes of Ondoy, still feeling the consequences of the mighty deluge that fell towns and cities and brought people not to their knees but struggling painfully, gasping, grasping for air.  It's December.

Car parking is just a bit more difficult in the the malls bustling with families gifts-a-hunting.  The up scale villages impress with proportionally impressive decors.  People flocking at festive bazaars jumping all around town every 3 days.  The church adorned with more colors and symbols than ever before.  It's Christmas season.

And our office is in dire need of renovations.  Just a few days ago, one of the office light gave up on us and brought Amici nights a dingy mood.  Since the Florida bus (who have conveniently forgotten us) wrecked our only signage of 7 years, a wall painted blue with the letters a-m-i-c-i, our office gate has been uncooperative to less energetic tugs.  Population growth remains unabated, and tables grow smaller.  Our garage is yet again teeming with junk and a family of cats (much better than those days of rodents and roaches).

But there's hope.  Always.  There's the security guard cleaning the front, hopefully with a smile to greet you.  And a bundy clock showing some premature aging.  The repaint of a year back is still the vibrant blue, albeit now accompanied by cozy corner webs.  An emergency light hangs by the center clock glowing pristine antiquity.  And then, there are the smiles.  People.  MWF still bring imagined terrors and then some actually terrifying moods.  But with a little help from cuddly babies, a lighter, springier surround can still be had, if we can wait the while.

We still have our problems.  I mean challenges.  Let's not hope for more scammers from the side of the government.  Let's not make too many faces, wondering where to get funds for the Christmas spirits of our customers.  We hope they can be more forthcoming with our receivables.  We still have our own little party at the haunted house to prepare.  And we still have an office to shade green and red.  And white and gold and all the colors of Christmas be.

It's December.