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April 2009

No Indian Support?   by Anthony Lawrence
- One of my neighbors signed up for Dell extended warranty/support. He did it because his laptop screen dies intermittently. He asked me if I felt it was dishonest to sign up when you already know you have an out of warranty problem.. well, if Dell lets you do that, they must be making more money overall, because they sure as heck KNOW that people will do exactly what he did. Apple doesn't let you do that, most other appliances won't let you..
Backing up Virtual Machines   by Anthony Lawrence
- Today's VM systems can use "snapshots" to effectively capture an image of the VM at a moment in time. Microsoft calls this "Shadow Copy" but it's all the same idea: copy on write. The snapshot software creates a file that looks like a copy of the VM image, but it isn't. At that moment, it's actually working like a hard link: it is pointing to exactly the same disk blocks as the original file. If some process writes data to any block in the original, the target block is first copied to a new block that the snapshot file will use.
Six Million Minutes, give or take   by Anthony Lawrence
- This little exercise and some comments at Brett Legree's 6 Weeks site made me wonder just what is the highest page view tally for a single "real" page. That is, a real post that people read: not AOL's home page or anything else that changes constantly, but a static page like these.
Recovery Time Objectives   by Michael Desrosiers
- The RTO is a goal or an ideal time in which you need a specific resource or service to be available following an interruption or outage. In essence, the RTO provides the maximum amount of time before an organization is negatively impacted by the interruption of one its core business processes or functions. For this reason, the task of establishing the RTO must start at the business level and not the systems level.
Learning PERL the Hard Way   by Anthony Lawrence
- The quality was about what I expected - decent, not great: no "lay flat" binding here. Paper quality wasn't bad either - I've certainly seen worse. Whether this actually represents what CreateSpace does is another question, however: the cover claims that this was published by "SoHo Books", who apparently creates books themselves and only markets through CreateSpace - if I'm following the trail correctly!
Linux fails to meet the needs of real users   by Anthony Lawrence
- For that matter, why isn't Linux smart enough to know what we don't like before it bothers to show it to us? Sure, maybe a little training is necessary - isn't that what Bayesian filtering does? Can't SpamAssassin be tweaked and repackaged into a Ninja Death Squad Daemon that would know when I no longer have tender feelings toward particular files and dispatch them quickly and mercilessly so I never have to look at their icons again?
Canonical tag for duplicate content   by Anthony Lawrence
- Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Live recently announced support for a new "canonical" tag that their spiders will recognize. It's purpose is simple: when you have deliberately created duplicate content, this tag tells the search engine where the "canonical" content lives - that is, the page you'd prefer they pay attention to for listing results.
Microsoft move stuns nation   by Anthony Lawrence
- Analysts do insist that this trend won't be stopped. "It's simple nostalgia", explained one prominent psychologist who did not wish to be identified. "People long for a simpler time - Microsoft has its fingers on the pulse of the people, that's for sure."
Be Happy - Duh!   by Anthony Lawrence
- I know that sounds odd, but there it was. I could feel the need, the words were on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn't find them. I was aphasic on this subject.
Are we ever going to get serious about Security?   by Anthony Lawrence
- That sealed my plan to switch my wife to Mac. I was going to wait for Snow Leopard, but I feel that things are getting too dangerous in Windows Land. Not that things are all hunky dory in OS X land - if Apple doesn't start getting serious about security, things will soon be just as bad here - and worse, because most Mac users don't run any A/V software at all.
Shell script used time   by Anthony Lawrence
- Suppose you have a a cron job set to fire off at 3:00 AM. That job in turn may fire off other scripts or programs but your main concern is "did it run?", so when you log in the next morning you issue an "ls -lut" on it. You expect to see 3:00 for the time stamp, but you may not.
Virtual Coin Collecting   by Anthony Lawrence
- I used to be interested in numismatics. I don't mean that I just had a collection of pennies or nickels, I mean that I was seriously interested. I studied books about the history of coinage, the history of the U.S. Mint, I learned about and even owned a few "pattern" coins (these are coins minted outside of their actual release date, usually to show to Congress for approval).
Switching to Windows   by Anthony Lawrence
- Yesterday I popped in to help an app provider with a problem they were having accessing a shared printer from a Windows Server 2008 box. When she'd try to connect, it would say "Access Denied". By approaching it from different angles, I was able to get by that, but when we actually tried to print, her app would lock up and the printer status would say "Offline".
Windows Performance Boosts   by Anthony Lawrence
- This is about speeding up your Windows computer. I'm assuming that you have sufficient disk space, RAM and that you don't have viruses or spyware running
Smart Power Strips   by Anthony Lawrence
- I was looking at Smart Switches at Amazon. These things are able to sense low power draws and shut off - the supposed advantage is to avoid the so called "vampire" devices like instant-on TV's and the little black plugs that power so many things like cell phone chargers and so on.
Spaghetti Dirty Horror Show   by Anthony Lawrence
- My intention was simply to install a new computer and transfer a few files from an old wheezer. The old computer was crowded under a desk along with three servers; there was no more room so I just set the new one up on the floor initially.
April Doldrums   by Anthony Lawrence
- April has always been a slow month for me. I have no idea why, it just always has been. Unfortunately it's also the month to pony up any taxes due and send in the first quarter estimated tax payment so when all is said and done I'm happy if there's any money left in the bank. If there's actually enough to live for a month or two, I'm ecstatic.
Corel Painter 11   by Anthony Lawrence
- Way back in 1991 I bought a Microsoft Bus Mouse. I had never had a machine with a mouse before that (although I had used mice on some customers machines). It seems kind of funny now to think of a time without mice, but really I had no compelling reason to buy it.
I'll Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse   by Anthony Lawrence
- Michael Franzese, a former Mob boss, contrasts the advice of Machiavelli and Solomon while throwing in a little mob history and anecdotes and relates all of that to general business advice.
Testing for Conficker with Nmap   by Anthony Lawrence
- The latest nmap release can test Windows machines for Conficker infection. If you are running Linux, nmap may already be installed. You can download the latest nmap for OS X from http://nmap.org/book/inst-macosx.htm
Removing duplicate files   by Anthony Lawrence
- This is a Perl script to remove duplicate files. It considers a file to be a duplicate if it has the same name and the same number of bytes. THAT COULD BE A VERY BAD ASSUMPTION.

You could do an MD5 sum to be sure the files really are dupes, you could even compare byte by byte, but THIS SCRIPT doesn't do any of that. It's designed to be quick, simple and easy for you to modify if you need something a little different.
Dealing with Duplicate IP addresses   by Anthony Lawrence
- Duplicate IP's on a network is an interesting problem that has no completely satisfactory solution, especially when malicious intent is involved. Let's leave those intentional conditions for another day; here we'll look at what happens when an IP gets duped accidentally.