Friday, March 9, 2007

The PDF From Hell!!

We've all had those days. We've all reached that point. Something is broken.

Everyone, their brother, and some dude name Cletis is on a conference call. It's chaos. Citrix is Down! People are eating each other alive and flinging small children out of windows. And one more MBA-sucking assclown manager wanting a status decides to ask you for an update on the crisis de jour .

"Well Frank, It's just about the same as it was 2 minutes ago the last time you asked me."

But this time the blackberry toting walrus has done it. That's it. You can't take it anymore. It's done. You f-ing quit!


But wouldn't it be icing on the cake if you could really show them all just how far down the crapper they're going to be without your able hands on deck? Of course, I'm not talking about corporate espionage or anything of the sort, rather just illustrating the cumulative impact of very inefficient computing.

Enter the PDF from Hell.

Consider the following stats: (from
  • Memory a couple of seconds after opening the doc: 80MB
  • Memory after browsing extensively: 150MB
  • Memory after printing : 216 MB
  • CPU 100% for a couple of seconds while browsing to the next page.
  • Starting a Printjob: 100% CPU for about 2 minutes
  • Printjob spoolfile size: a whopping 741MB!
Chances are that if your company is using thin computing one of the apps they're delivering is email. Get it? Imagine sending this little puppy to several thousand email users at once. If you figure about oh I dunno ~50 or so users per server the impact is immediate and ugly. In other words..tell those servers to bend over and kiss their dual core asses goodbye.

Of course, this type of thing is very useful when load testing and capacity planning too.

Play nice kiddies.


Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Deliver this.

Is it me, or this just disturbing?

Look, I get the whole podcast thing. I have a number of audio books that I follow via podcast. Really, I'm one pod-happy dude.

But please, we buy your stuff already. We spend thousands on licensing, training, and getting hammered at iForum. We've built our careers on your technology. Leave it at that and save the propaganda for the sales ferrets.

We're engineers, not corporate sluts.


New ICA Client Connection Tool

Released from Citrix today is the new version of the Client Connection Tool. You old school peeps no doubt remember the CSTK, which was a pretty decent hack for down and dirty load testing. Well this is like that, but with a little crystal meth thrown for good measure.

In our environment, it's only slightly more pleasant than rectal surgery to get users and business units to actually perform valid load testing. They're like little three year olds - slobbering all over their power ties with thick spittle that smells slightly of the lunchable that they just polished off.

They want it now and don't care whether or not it works. That is, they don't care whether or not it works as long as it works. As soon as it breaks or starts to run slow, they're the quickest to start screaming like that guy in Deliverance.

While admittedly this little tool won't help you slash you users' tires or send them threatening emails from their manager's mailbox, it will make simple load testing a little easier. The main bells and whistles include: A well constructed PDF that explains how to use the tool, an account creation utility, the actual connection tool itself, and a couple runtime files.

I'd like to give Citrix props for having the foresight to bundle all this stuff together. It's refreshing to not have to ferret out all the various dependencies that are needed to get the thing going.

So anyways, there's three basic features you can leverage with this thing:
  1. Custom Application Creator - this is the equivalent of your standard Loadrunner load generator, but with down syndrome. It does all the fundamentals, but nothing terribly intelligent. Of course for me, this is perfect because I couldn't give two shits about how to write Loadrunner scripts.
  2. Customer Application Duplicator - this is cool because it lets you basically define a template ICA session and then spawn several inbred step children from it. It automatically plugs in different user names and such to streamline the process. Kudos.
  3. Application Test Set - If you're the die hard application set kinda person, this setting can run published apps from the app set. I don't know how useful this really is since everyone I know uses Web Interface or PNAgent, but there ya go.

It's not terribly robust, but it gets the job done.. oh and hey it's free. Definitely worth checking out.