Christmas is here, but at Alek Komarnitsky the Christmas party has really started, and you can take a look at it here. The setup, Alek told The Inquirer, includes 17,000 lights. That's down from the 22,000 he had in 2002 but a disasterous burn-out in 2003 means that Alek is playing it safe. Or at least as safe as 17,000 Christmas lights gets. The Christmas lights are operational from 1800-2200 Mountain time, so feel free, Alek says, to log on and fiddle. It's a fantastic way to spend an hour. On a technical note, the website front end is pretty impressive. Using a custom mod_perl module, all the modules to display the page get loaded at once, and Alek has been able to increase performance of the webcam from 4 connections a second up to 20 with only minor code alteration. Pretty impressive stuff.
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Re: 17,000 Christmas lights controlled by Perl routine
by csuhockey3 (Curate) on Dec 28, 2004 at 15:32 UTC
    unfortunately, the webcam controller turned out to be a hoax.
      You can read more technical details on my christmas hoax writeup page but Perl was used for both the front-end CGI and back-end image generator - the excellent module was key for the later.

      There was some tweeks between Halloween and Christmas/2004 so that the front-end could run under mod_perl (rather than as a CGI) which has the desired effect and using ApacheBench, I measured the five time increase in peak connection rate - hey, I got Slashdotted 4 times (starting in 2002) which is one heck of a stress test! ;-)

      Media wasn't too happy about the hoax and therefore took a few swipes at me - check out my media commentary/correction page and then form your OWN opinion ...

      Bottom line is Perl (and mod_perl) ROCK!

      alek at