APLawrence.com -  Resources for Unix and Linux Systems, Bloggers and the self-employed


snapshot: Tech Words of the Day

snapshot: A filesystem technique that allows leisurely backups while continuing to use the system. This magic is accomplished by making a special copy of a directory or filesystem (the exact mechanics will vary with the product you are using) that doesn't really copy anything unless and until data changes at the source. Here's how it works: Let's say that you have created a snapshot of some directory in /snap. If you read files in /snap, they look just like the files they were created from. Actually, you are still reading from the original data blocks at this point.



Title Last Comment
Does Common Core Math really teach what it wants to?  
- Does Common Core Math really teach what it wants to or is it still rote learning? -

A cool product in search of a market  
- It's hard to believe that such a cool product like aerogel hasn't found a real market yet -

Self driving cars? My wife says no  
- So many people think self driving cars will be the norm in a few decades - not if my wife's feelings are common! -

Aereo TV   2013/10/04 BigDumbDInosaur
- Aereo TV access comes to Boston but I still can't cut the cord -

The best advice I can give for buying a new computer   2013/07/27 anonymous
- Everything you really need to know about buying a new computer, from make andf model to how fast and more. -

A Perl script for tracking nutrition   2012/09/11 BigDumbDinosaur
- This is a very simple Perl script designed to track nutritional information. I wrote it because I got a very bad cholesterol test result recently. -

Google Authorship Links  
- If you are an author here, we can now help Google know that. Google recently announced that they can display information about authors in their search results. You may not have seen or noticed these yet because not a lot of people have created the needed links that let Google know who you are. Here's how to link your content here. -

Roku Streaming   2012/10/01 BigDumbDinosaur
- Roku Streaming:: We ordered a Roku box last week. If you don't know what that is, it's a little Internet connected box that lets you stream content to your TV. The funny thing about that is that if you had asked me if I wanted something like this two years ago, or five years ago, or indeed even twenty or forty years back, I would have said 'No". I would have even been mildly amused by the very idea of it because we hardly ever watched movies - so why would we want something that brought movies to our TV? -

Facebook Poker   2011/08/15 bk
- Playing poker on Facebook can be fun in spite of the Bingo players - but you do need patience. -

Geek attitude  
- geek personality: There is a certain commonality to be found amongst geeks, nerds or hackers. I know people like to differentiate between these different words but we are talking about really smart programmers and technologists. It could also mean scientists, engineers or individuals who can create great technology. -

Update Publishing FAQ  
- guest posting at aplawrence.com I hope that this is a sign of good things to come for our U.S. Basically, the deal is this. If you guest post here, you'll always get a (nofollow) link back to your site. -

Disqus Comments  
- I tried Disqus and found it unsutable for my needs. Your needs might be different, of course. -

Beauty Treatments  
- Choosing good looking fonts and font sizes is not something I have any clue about. There is a business opportunity here. -

Loose Ends  
- stuff to know: These are just some random things that came up in the past few weeks email. Some of it surprised me because I thought it would have been easy to find the answer at Help and Resources or my Rates page, but some of it made me groan and think that I have to find a better way for people to find THAT. -

How I quit smoking  
- I thought my heart had stopped.. and strangely, that was the moment when I actually quit for the very lat time. -

Wassup?  
- Wassup? Nothing much, you? A little destruction by way of a 'registry cleaner' - when will peope learn? -

Why I returned the LG CU515 Cell Phone  
- The LG CU515 doesn't work for me - design matters, even for a 'dumb' phone - maybe especially for a dump phone! -

Finally, a new phone!  
- After doing a Charlie Chaplin routine kicking my phone down Boylston Street, I had to get a new phone. -

REM Sleep Behavior Disorder   2013/03/03 BigDumbDinosaur
- Not so sweet dreams: REM Sleep Behavior Disorder has plaqued me since my teens or before. -

 
 











 
 
Lung Cancer Fears  
- My brother-in-law died from lung cancer a few years ago. We shared a cancer related problem: we were both exposed to asbestos. -

New Phone  
- I really need a new cell phone, but I hate the "buying experience" -

Bad day all around  
- A bad day: I've been having some strange problems with my Mac Book Pro lately. Nothing very serious; it just doesn't always go to sleep when I tell it to. The screen goes blank, and the little "sleep" light comes on, but it doesn't blink, and the hard drive and fans are still running. Sometimes it will complete the transition after a few minutes, but often I've come back after hours to find it still halfway there. -

What is this?   2014/11/19 Abhishek
- What is this flying around my butterfly bush? They looked like tiny, tiny hummingbirds to me. -

Hypermiling   2012/07/12 TonyLawrence
- Saving money by increasing fuel economy - a mpg display, no matter how accurate, can improve driving habits. -

A Golf Cart is not a Computer   2015/03/29 anonymous
- You can't let batteries discharge over the winter, so when it got cold I moved it out back near an electrical outlet where I could plug the charger in. -

What's your game?  
- I don't have a game plan, really, no mission statement, no elevator pitch, no unique selling proposition, no Vision Statement -

3-D Modeling  
- I wish my dad could have seen what is possible today in 3D modeling and printing. -

Ball Computers  
- Computing without electrons - ball computers, wooden computers and other mechanical devices. -

Major Site Crash  
- site crash: We had a major site crash at 9:15 this morning and were down most of the day. When they brought it back up, two years worth of posts were missing, which shows the folly of depending on anyone's backups but your own. -

Reinstating Site Forum  
- You can use this for questions and articles. All submissions will be moderated before appearing on the site. If your post is inappropriate but not spam, you will get a response as long as you included your email. ANY POSTS TO THE FORUM WITHOUT A VALID EMAIL WILL BE REJECTED. -

New Comments Code  
- New comments code at aplawrence.com: Just a quick note: I've updated the "comments" code here to allow you to track new comments. -

Not loving Mastercrd   2012/07/12 TonyLawrence
- I don't heart Mastercard - they seem to go out of their way to be non-competitive. -

Byte April 1985  
- Boy, it's been a long time since computer magazines were this thick. Not counting the covers and the Reader Service Card, it was 496 pages. The inside front cover and page one were an Apple ad for The Macintosh Office. That ad said that IBM PC's could use their new (just a few months old) LaserWriter printer and promised that "Later this year we'll be introducing the AppleTalk card that fits into an IBM PC, allowng it to trade information with Macintosh and access file servers." -

The Effects of Career Goals on Students  
- The value of studying the differences between students with career goals, and students without, will help us learn why students who set goals early have more self-confidence. The purpose of this paper is to analyze, compare, and interpret numerous research studies on the effects of career goals on students. I gathered my data from periodicals, and research studies. Although studies have different methods, modes, and measures, the results are almost unanimous that students, who are certain about their career choices, are more likely to be successful and self-confident than those who are uncertain. -

Gambling and Government  
- The U.S. Government has recently made online money transfers to and from gambling sites illegal. There are three entirely separate forces driving that: one is the moralists who believe that gambling is evil, period, second are the people concerned about the problems of gambling addiction, and finally we have states who think they are losing money that should be spent at their own gambling venues. -

Bear with us while we redecorate  
- Changing page layout at aplawrence.com - I'm no artist, no web designer and am no HTML jockey - but I'll try. -

The Potential Dance  
- Ed and I first worked together at the Tandy Computer Center in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. That would have been around 1981 or early 1982. I was a CSR (Customer Support Rep) and Ed was a salesman. Tandy computers were at their peak of popularity and were not yet threatened by the soon to come IBM PC.

Ed did well at Radio Shack, and was soon given his own store in Waltham. It was just a corner in an older Radio Shack store; one so old that "Tandy Leather" was still part of it. The IBM PC had already been introduced, but Tandy sales were still good. That IBM machine didn't kill Tandy's computer business instantly, but it did start to affect sales, and many Tandy salespeople found themselves selling less and less over the next few years. Ed did better than most. -

Publishing on demand  
- But before that there's getting approved by a publisher. Unless you are already well known, you start by contacting a publisher and submitting a tremendous amount of information that tries to explain why your book is going to be interesting to other people, why you are qualified to write it, what else has been written like it, why you think you have anything more to add, and so on. It's serious stuff and will take a fair amount of work by itself. If you are lucky, whoever reviews your submission will both understand what you are pitching and agree with your analysis. If not.. well, try another publisher. -

Terms of Service  
- Have you ever read your ISP's terms of service? You might find that you are technically in violation. -

Ancient Unix   2011/01/02 TonyLawrence
- Running ancient OSes on Mac OS X simulation - it's fun to go back in time to the beginnings of Unix. -

More RAM, please  
- Windows XP needs more than 256MB now: Most of the Windows XP machines I see in my travels are fitted with 256MB of RAM. A few have more, and now and then I'll find a very unhappy soul suffering with 128MB, but 256 is the most common. It's not enough anymore. -

Job Satisfaction  
- What are the challenges facing a transformed organization? What should companies do to attract and retain "the right people"? The answer might just be giving people what they want. As many studies have shown, satisfied employees tend to be much more productive, creative and committed to their employers. After all, high levels of absenteeism and an increased turnover can profoundly affect a company's bottom line. Jensen (2000) defines job satisfaction as: "a sense of personal growth most often measured by the extent of new challenges and learning situations experienced" (p. 1). Amazingly, only a few organizations have made job satisfaction a top priority in their overall strategy. Perhaps they fail to understand the significant link between job satisfaction and productivity. Transformed organizations must create a positive workplace for their workforce to increase satisfaction on the job (Syptak, Marshland and Ulmer, 1999). This paper describes the challenges that a transformed organization faces in order to keep their people satisfied as well as discusses methods an organizational psychologist would suggest to increase employee satisfaction. Further, it outlines different ways our learning team motivates itself to be more productive. Finally, this paper will focus on things that keep employees satisfied in the workplace. -

Preventing Discrimination   2011/06/17 BigDumbDinosaur
- America is a nation of immigrants. The cultural diversity of America is what makes this country so unique. Recognized worldwide as being the land of opportunities, the United States continues to attract many people from all over the globe. Immigrants come to the United States searching for the American dream. People believe that America is the place that allows them freedom and opportunity for all. In order to prevent discrimination against legal immigrants, the government of the United States created some specific laws. The purpose of this paper is to define laws protecting against national origin discrimination, explain actual court cases, and educate Human Resources managers on how to avoid national origin discrimination. -

Old Technology  
- Calculators with tapes, asterisk for total - but why? How did '*' and diamond come to mean that? -

VMware Virtual Appliance Challenge  
- VMPlayer challenge - win money for creative ideas for virtual appliances. VMware is out for blood! -

Translators wanted  
- We get a fair amount of visitors from all around the world. Most are from English speaking countries, but there are a fair amount of you from other places, and I'd love to be able to offer you at least some of these articles in other languages. -

Roomba   2010/01/27 TonyLawrence
- The first thing that bothered me was the paucity of printed material. The Roomba Discovery I bought came with three very small, very terse manuals which really didn't tell me much more than how to charge it up and turn it on. As the initial charge takes several hours, that left me thirsting for more information: how does this thing really work? What do I need to know? Why are these manuals so short? -

I'm not retiring  
- I'm not retiring, just moving: my wife's joint problems will be helped by single floor living, for one thing. -

Intellectual property revolution?  
- The ridiculous extremes of bad patents, never ending copyrights, and the seeming willingness of courts to grant exclusive use to quite obvious ideas is one of the more disturbing aspects of our current society. -

We sell our souls so easily  
- With mortgages and other consumer transactions, we usually have at least some protection from laws that try to protect us from outright chicanery. With EULA's, outrageous terms may or may not be enforceable, but we seldom even know what terms are stated at all. -

 
 
Samepage - Redefining how people create and share information
 
 
Sony vs. Microsoft - the mighty sword of Unix  
- Sony's PS3 competes with Microsoft's Xbox, but that's not the only place the two are bumping heads: 'Showdown In The Digital Rights Corral' explains how Sony is trying to prevent Microsoft from dominating Digital Rights Management. So blowing a raspberry at Bill and the boys with Unix on PS3 is a pretty small part of this sumo wrestling match. -

My first venture into Usenet (1991)  
- Admit it: you just love Unix. You sit there in Emacs, like a spider in its web, piping your greps out to sed's and expr's, maybe tossing in an awk script now and then.. -

Pictures on the wall  
- Our oldest daughter was sixteen then, and she painted this on one wall (plagiarized from the Radio Shack Color Computer manual cover). -

Computer Fax Software.. circa 1991  
- Patriot combination Fax/Modem : Computer Fax Software.. circa 1991 -

VMware Workstation - a chance for hobby OSes?  
- 2005/07/14 VMware Workstation - a chance for hobby OSes? -

Spring into Technical Writing  
- I have read more than a few books on writing style: Strunk's Elements of Style, Bernstein's The Careful Writer, and The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage are a few that spring to mind immediately. Perverse though it may be, I have enjoyed these books, and will sometimes pull one or another down from the bookshelf just for pleasure. Even though my own writing cannot live up to the lofty standards of these guides, I have an appreciation for order and rule, and probably most especially for nuance (Bernstein is one of the best in that regard, I think). -

KVM over IP - Why so expensive?   2011/03/19 TonyLawrence
- I don't understand why KVM over IP is so expensive. I don't find anything under $500.00, and that just doesn't make sense to me. -

Health and Exercise  
- Computer folk often have sedentary lives. Some of the brightest people I know are the most stupid about their own health. Your body needs exercise - do it! -

Compression  
- He claimed that he could take already compressed data and compress it again, and then again, and so on with no data loss. I laughed, and he became angry. -



More Misc. articles
















Have you tried our Tests?