Housing and building

First up I should mention that with my new job my phone number has changed so
if you think my number is still 027 4xx xxxx then you might have problems
reaching me ( that phone is actually plugged in and in prepay mode but I don’t
carry it around). Email me if you’d like my new number and don’t know it

I just spent a couple of hours looking at the [Sketch Pad](http://topics.nytimes.com/top/classifieds/realestate/columns/sketch_pad/index.html) column
in the New York Times. The column ( publish about once a month, no obvious RSS feed though) “*focuses on an apartment, house, loft or shack now for sale that has unrealized potential. Each month, a different architect or designer is asked to create a vision of what the place might look like. There are no guarantees that the plans would be approved by co-op boards, municipal building departments or planning boards..*” . The
articles feature commentary, photographs and sometimes plans and sketches of the
designs. I particularly like once for small apartments although New York prices are very scary. ( via [Signal vs Noise](http://blogcabin.37signals.com/posts/) )

Also on the subject of housing there is the article [Want to Know When Housing Has Bottomed? Here’s How](http://www.oftwominds.com/blogapr08/RE-bottom4-08.html) by Charles Hugh Smith. He
roughly says housing is still priced way of it’s rental value and that estate investment pros
rules of thumb is that the fair value of a property if between 6 and 10 times the annual gross rent. In this part of the world
(where mortgage rates are over 10 percent ) I would guess the average multiplier is more like 20 ( One reason I rent). Of course knowing my luck that just means rentals are going to double over the next few years.

John Allspaw ( operations manager at Flickr ) has posted his slides from his [capacity planning talk to the Web 2.0 Expo](http://www.kitchensoap.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/web20expo-capacityplanning.pdf) (PDF) .

In an interesting move a couple of weeks ago Microsoft announced that one floor of their new Chicago
datacenter will be container based. Each 40 foot container will house 1,000 to 2,000 systems with between 150
and 220 containers on the first floor. See stories in [Data Center Links](http://datacenterlinks.blogspot.com/2008/04/miichael-manos-keynote-at-data-center.html) ,
[Data Center knowledge](http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2008/Apr/01/microsoft_embraces_data_center_containers.html) and [James Hamilton’s blog](http://mvdirona.com/jrh/perspectives/2008/04/02/FirstContainerizedDataCenterAnnouncement.aspx) .

Last up [Barcamp Auckland 2](http://bca.geek.nz/) is happening on the 12th of July. I had
a great time last year and I’ll definitely be going again.