WARNING: This blog contains random thoughts on technology, software engineering, and general all-round nerdery. Read at your own risk. Nerd is contagious.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Skype pwned by Patch Tuesday

This is one of those things that makes us realize the fragile world of software. Skype's servers went down during Patch Tuesday (when Microsoft releases major updates to Windows through Windows Update). The sheer number of computers simultaneously restarting and reconnecting to the Skype system was enough to bring the Skype servers to a resource-deprived crawl.

Of course, a bug in their code to deal with the issue didn't help either. Apparently their algorithm for "self-healing" network resources had a bug which caused, um, not much "healing". Arstechnica has more here.

Skype is what I use to call into AOL meetings and keep in touch with my family in Bangladesh. At $30/year (yes, YEAR), I get unlimited calls to phones in the US/Canada, plus the cheapest international calling rates EVAR. Something like 6 cents/minute to call Bangladesh. Unbelievable yet awesome :).

Skype works best with a USB headset (so much easier to plug in than having to reach behind your computer to plug in headphone/microsoft jacks). This is the one I use: Logitech USB 350 Headset. It doesn't hurt that the headset is also awesome for games like Battlefield 2, either.

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