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November 2006 Entries
bukimi no tani or uncanny valley

Do you remember the movie Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within or The Polar Express?  If so, you may have experienced Uncanny Valley due to the realism of the characters. 

Uncanny Valley is a psychological phenomenon describing the eeriness or discomforting feeling one gets while observing an object that mimics a "human" but is not quite "human enough".  In 1970, Masahiro Mori, a robticist, coined the term in a Japanese magazine Energy titled "Bukimi No Tani".  The article explains his observations while working with humanlike robots.  You can read the translated (English) article @ The Uncanny Valley.

Some of you may experience "Bukimi no tani" while watching the PS3 demo of "Heavy Rain" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_Rain

Image

References:
http://www.theuncannyvalley.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

posted @ Sunday, November 26, 2006 1:35 AM | Feedback (102)
Connection Pool timeout expired

A few days ago, we began to receive the following error - System.InvalidOperationException: Timeout expired. The timeout period elapsed prior to obtaining a connection from the pool. This may have occurred because all pooled connections were in use and max pool size was reached.

Of course, two days before production release we began to receive the error above.  We could not reproduce under stressed conditions. The error occurred without any recognizable pattern and manual code reviews turned up empty. We opened a support call with MS and discovered the following:

.Net 2.0 introduced a new PerfMon counter – NumberOfReclaimedConnections. The counter indicates the # of connections that have been reclaimed through garbage collection where Close or Dispose was NOT CALLED by the application code.

Other ADO.Net counters - http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-US/library/ms254503.aspx

We eventually found the code (off shore code that missed a code review).

posted @ Friday, November 10, 2006 6:06 PM | Feedback (32)