Monday, November 24, 2014

Apple Streatches the Truth - Just a bit...


OK, new OS X has been out for a while now so I thinks to my self think I that I shall upgrade my MacBookPro to the latest and greatest.  But I did stop to read the comments.  Apple said that the comments were running about 4.2 or something out of 5.0 possible.  Cool, thinks I to m'self.  So I went to read of the glowing comments.  Here is how 17 of them lined up.

Comments on upgrades to Apple Yosimite
Score 1 2 3 4 5
Number of Ratings 13

1 3 17
Number * Score 13 0 0 4 15 32
Average Score


2 hours to install
So far so good Amazing

Chrome does not work

Great job

Missing applications

Runs great on my PC  ???

Three hous to downloand and will not install

Error in installing


Won't download for Mac Mini

WiFi disconnects evry 4-5 min

Cannot get it to download

Won't download

Bad design.  And I can't UN-Install

Won't download

Won't download

The comments under the score of 1 are how 13 of the comments lined up.  Not very flattering.  I think the one where the person said that they had missing applications was the most disturbing.  The others were that it took so long to install.  Now, admittedly, that person or persons might have had a really slow internet connection.  At any rate, what I saw (and only 17 most recent comments were viewable) was that Apple only scored about a 1.89 / 5.00.  That is a D+ or C-, depending on the curve.  (I figure that anything below a 1.0 is an F and anything between 1.00 and 1.99 is a D so that would be D+, right?)

What I did see was that those three persons with a good experience were all 5s and one 4.  No 2s.  No 3s.  Only one 4.  And only three 5s.  Well, anyway, just to prove that I do not have lot of common sense, I updated my iPhone to 8.1.1 - So far, so goo.  It took over two hours to download and install.  I am running at 15Mb from my IP so that might have something to do with it but everything else download rather quickly - even very large 250MB files take only a few minutes to download.  Maybe it is the iPhone itself that is so blinking slow...


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Benchmarks 2015


Yes, we will be doing benchmarks for 2015 with a presentation (maybe) at either Decision Camp 2014 and/or at Business Rules and Decisions Forum 2015.  In either case, I would like to have a panel discussion  of some kind after the one-hour (or less) presentation, much like we did back in BRF 2006.  Back then, it was a two-hour afternoon presentation that year when Dr. Forgy (PST OPSJ), Dr. Friedman-Hill (Sandia Labs Jess), Mark Proctor (Red Hat Rules and Drools), Daniel Selman (ILOG JRules now IBM ODM) and Pedram Abrari (Corticon) were all on the panel.  My part should be far briefer since all I want to do is to introduce the concept of BRMS/RuleBase benchmarks, show what we have done over the years, where we are today, and then moderate the panel discussion.

Maybe this year we could expand to 10 representatives comprised of the above plus Gary Riley (NASA CLIPS), Dr. Jacob Feldman (Open Rules), D/M/M X (Visual Rules), Carlos Seranno-Morales (Sparkling Logic SMARTS), D/M/M X (FICO Blaze Advisor).  The more participants the more confusion but I will do my best to moderate and not let someone "hog" the microphone nor to interrupt others until they are finished without being heavy-handed.

I will probably send out invitations to all of them and ask that they be represented.  Likely, only those blatantly opposed to benchmarks of any kind or those champions of the past years will be there so it should be a lively discussion. 

Another thing that I have done in the past was to allow only those "interpreted" version of the rulebase to run.  This year the vendor will be allowed to use the compiled Java version as well as "interpreted" version of the rulebase.  I will try and run both versions if available and will report on the difference in two different tables, one compiled and the other interpreted.  The interpreted versions will probably be a bit smaller since most modern rulebases do not run an interpreted version, only the compiled Java or Compiled-C/C++ versions.

Me?  I really like the idea of "Standardized" Benchmark(s) where everyone can compete with whatever rules they like so long as it solves the problem.  I am not a fan of micro-benchmarks since they do not measure the overall performance of the engine.  The old OPS-type benchmarks were, seemingly, deliberately designed wrong just to task the engine by loading and unloading the Agenda Table with as much junk as possible.  Probably I will still run the Waltz-50, WaltzDB-16 and WaltzDB-200 and add the Cliques and Vector Cover benchmarks.  Both of the latter are NP-Hard benchmarks and are, for all practical purposes, impossible to cheat.  And the vendors will have a free hand with the last two.

The first three are standard and will be dependent only on the Conflict Resolution Process (CRP), as so adroitly pointed out by Gary Riley at .  As Gary pointed out there, the speed of the benchmark is highly dependent on the CRP but it also dependent on the number and type of CPUs used, the Hard Drive type and speed, the amount of RAM used and the command line used in either Java or CLIPS to give the process the "correct" amount of RAM and Swap space.  The original code for all of the OPS benchmarks are at if you want to start at ground zero.

Oh, one other thing:  Later (probably in June or July) I will publish what I have so far on the benchmarks and try to get some suggestions on improving them, discarding them or adding other benchmarks that are more "real world" (as some have suggested.)  If you want the full nitty-gritty please request such in the comments section and I will send you one.   I do not plan on publishing them until the conference.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Not Really Appropriate - Part One


By "Not Really Appropriate" I mean that this is not the appropriate blog for this subject.  But, since I have WAY more readers on this blog than the "Nothing Technical" blog, and since I feel the need to get information out, I am using my technical blog.  There!

A long time ago, my step-son developed Phlebitis, an inflammation of the leg vessels.   Eddie was both a high-line worker (HV lines that run across the country) and later a truck driver, and this was extremely painful, but he endured it for many years - after all, he was a Country Boy and everyone knows that Country Boys are tough.  Eventually, he had to quit both jobs because of the pain and seek treatment.

Since he did not have health insurance, and, at the time, I had a bit of extra cash, I tried to pay for his treatments.  I even found a clinic in Southampton, UK, where they specialize in this one problem.  But he was fiercely independent and he went to a "Charity" hospital in Monroe, Louisiana, where he could get treatment and not have to pay for it.  It was there where a "quack" doctor from India ripped out the clogged veins.  He agreed to the procedure because the pain was excruciating and the doctor had assured him that this was the only solution.  Unfortunately, that was not a good idea.  It was a TERRIBLE idea.

He still had the pain and now his left leg would swell up to twice the size of the right leg.  It was normal size when he woke up in the morning but from the time that he got up and walked to the kitchen for coffee it had swollen and pain started for the day.  "The Pain" was constant and there was little relief, not even from the machine that they provided that "squeezed" the blood from heel to knee.  He had to wear size 3X running pants and his left leg filled up entire leg part in the left side.  It was a miserable life.  They (the quack doctors in Louisiana) gave him Hydrocodone 5, three times a day, for the pain but never did "fix" the legs.  But the Hydrocodone 5 didn't cut it.  That stuff is just a bit stronger than asprin.  He asked for more or something stronger but they said that they did not want to get him addicted to the pain killers.  (I take Hydrocodone 10 for migraines and it is not addictive!)  So, in his own youthful wisdom, he supplemented it with Jack Daniels three times a day.  Not what you would call  a "drunk" or even a "drinker" but not good when mixed with pain killers and cirrhosis.  

For many months he lived hand-to-mouth and with assistance from myself and his mother.  Finally, the State of Louisiana declared him to be disabled and he began to receive about $650 per month.  This barely covered his rent, gas for an old pickup, and food.  No movies.  No going out to supper.  No dates.  None of that.  Whenever I had a good month, which was frequent during some years,  I gave him what I could in cash. I tried and his mother tried to get him to move to Fort Worth where he would live with and the rent and food was free, Texas has MUCH better doctors, etc.    But, he had many friends out where he lived in Farmerville, LA, an he really loved living on the lake.

Eventually, as his health began to deteriorate, his mother bought a mobile home and moved near where he lived so that she could help take care of him when he needed it.  After about living there for three years, Eddie finally had to move in with his mother so that she could take care of him.  His weight over the years due to water-retention went slowly from  225 to 250 to 300 to 350 and, near the end, something over 400 pounds.   At the end, he could not walk without a walker to help him get around.  I won't bore you with the details, but eventually he had to be hospitalized for his problems again.  And, again, his mother cared for him even in the hospital because the hospitals there were pretty much third-world quality.

The State of Louisiana did send a technician around once a week to check his vitals and, on one visit, the technician told his mother that if Eddie did not get to the hospital right away he would die.  After many rounds of antibiotics  and bed rest, he made it back.  But the doctor told his mother that he probably would not live out the year due to the cirrhosis problem.  Sure enough, about three months later the paramedics had to take him to the hospital again where he lived only until the next morning.  By this time his kidneys had shut down completely and he was not in his right mind.  He never regained consciousness while at the hospital; which was a blessing for both him and his mom.

What was the solution?  First, not hiring quacks at public hospitals.  Secondly, had they given him enough pain killers (Norco-10 or equivalent) he might have developed a dependency on it but he would not have had to turn to Jack Daniels for help.  Think about this for a moment:  I am dependent on Metformin 1000mg twice daily for my diabetes - am I addicted to Metformin?  I sincerely believe that had they counseled him correctly, given him enough pain medication to kill the pain (or severely reduce it) then he might have lived a much longer, much better life.  I still believe that the doctors in Louisiana killed my step-son.

So, what should you take away from this little diatribe?  Don't trust doctors!  Get a second or third opinion if one of them recommends any kind of procedure that involves cutting anything on your body!  This includes backs, knees, necks and any other part of your anatomy.  Secondly, pain killers are here for a reason - to reduce pain.  When my wife had her knee replaced, they kept her on pain killers in the hospital, again in the rehab facility and still some more here at home.  The new theory is that you cannot heal as quickly while you are in pain.  Lower pain means faster healing.  Had those quacks in Louisiana followed that line of thought for Eddie, he might still be alive and very well today.

And, yes, there is a part two of this diatribe which will come later.  But, for now, trust no one!  Especially doctors who do not speak English very well or who look like they should be in high-school.