The "cloud without an API" is about to become a real cloud with an API! (Sorry Rackspace guys, I just couldn't resist!) Rackspace posted a blog entry asking for feedback a little over a week ago and it's looking pretty good! One item they solved nicely is passing personalization data into a new server. In the API you get to tell it to put some arbitrary data into any file you want on the root partition. This way it's possible, for example, to set some environment variables in /etc that get picked up by various programs on the server. Nice!