Archives for the Month of April, 2012

Queueing Theory for the Busy PowerShell Admin

The biggest scripting event of the year is getting close to wrapping up - Scripting Games 2012! There have been a ton of great challenges, a ton of great competitors, and a ton of great commentary.

As one of the guest commentators, I was asked to write a script to monitor uptime on servers in the environment.

To make this as efficient as possible, the solution leveraged WMI jobs to process 32 computers at a time. What’s most amazing about Windows PowerShell jobs running 32 tasks in parallel is not that it makes things 32 times faster. It’s that it makes them even faster than that! The reason is a branch of computer science called “queueing theory.”

For the surprising and cool reasons why, see the blog post here:

MakerBot Replicator Rainbow Color Pack Group Buy

If you own a Makerbot Replicator, you might have seen some of the amazing colours they offer:



Unfortunately, trying to get a full colour palette (13 colours in stock) means having so much plastic you'll never get through it all. Makerbot tried offering rainbow colour packs before, but they are now no longer for sale. I suggested it again via email, but it sounds like they’re pretty slammed with making Replicators :) 


Here’s the idea:

Standard Variety Pack – $100

Silver, Dark Brown, Yellow, Green, Red, Magenta, Orange, Blue

You get 1/8th of a spool (~ 150m) of each – for 1kg in total.


Electric Pack – $100

Light Brown, Fluorescent Yellow, Nuclear Green, Fluorescent Red

You get /14 of a spool (~ 300m) of each – for 1kg in total.


In searching elsewhere online, the only alternative I’ve found is Faberdashery – where the same deal would cost about $250 USD. I’ve done some back-of-the-envelope calculating, and I think a group buy would be an effective way to get a rainbow colour pack at cost-effective prices.

If you’re interested, mail me: makerbot @ this domain.