Scott Berkun’s Mindfire: Big Ideas For Curious Minds – Book Review

I had the pleasure of reading Scott Berkun‘s newest book – Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds. I was also forunate to get it for free in the short period of time where Scott gave it for free on his site, but this is not a guilty book review of getting the book for free.

Mindfire is a collection of 30 essays which Scott wrote in various places, mostly on his blog. The essays got cleaned up and preped for the book which made the reading very clean and flowing. Scott’s writing style is very flowing and funny and while it may seem at times as a self emporment / self help book it really isn’t.

I look at it more as a collection of percise and clear set of obersvations on the human condition and behavior alone and in a group. Some of the essays specifically talk about work related situtations, but in most cases  you can apply some of the tips and wisdom of this book to almost any interaction with other people.

I really enjoyed reading it and in some situations fully sympathize with the eassy’s topic and resolution.

Twitter’s Kestrel init script for Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid

Twitter’s Kestrel is a cool scala based queue server (based on Blaine Cook‘s (@blaine) Ruby based Sterling).

The two main features I like about Kestrel are:

  • Sort-of-transactional – If I take an item I can make sure others can’t get it. If the connect drops it will go back on the queue.
  • Read behind mode – If a certain queue reached a maximum pre-configured amount of RAM or items it will stop storing messages in RAM and will write it directly to the queue log file.

If you happen to be running it on Ubuntu 10.04 and want to use the provided init script ( you’ll notice that it just won’t run.

Below is a link to an updated script that works on my Ubuntu 10.04 installations.


  • You are using the paths as suggested in the init script (/usr/local/$APP-NAME, /var/log/$APP-NAME /var/run/$APP-NAME, etc)
  • You are using the openjdk-6-jre-headless package. The script defines the JAVA_HOME directly to where Ubuntu installs that package. You can remove it if needed or change it to suitable values
  • You’ll need to update the JAVA_OPTS parameters for RAM (xmx, etc) for your needs
  • You’ll need to download, compile and install “daemon” from here. It supports Ubuntu 10.04. I don’t know if it has a package, but it was too damn easy to compile it on my own and use it.

Download the script