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August 2006

The Great Gates-by   by Anthony Lawrence
- Is Bill Gates a Saint?: During coffee break at my weekly poker game, the conversation turned to the munificence of the Gates Foundation and its founder. Of course I had to be the naysayer, pointing out that Bill never seemed to have much interest in giving away anything until he got in trouble with the Justice Department. I also suggested that at least some of the money being given away had unpleasant origins in terms of ruthless business deals and so on.
 
PHP 5 in practice   by Anthony Lawrence
- As some of my readers know, I'm stuck in Perl. I started my web site with Perl and it's so completely dependent upon it now that I can't imagine changing. I don't think that's such a terrible place to be stuck, but I recognize that PHP is the lingua franca of the web.
 
Debugging a network failure   by Anthony Lawrence
- A heat wave can cause electrical problems: This morning I had a call from a Boston customer. "Everything's down", he said, "Internet and our servers. We can't get to anything. But.. the guys who came in early are still working."
 
Are we tired of easy yet?   by Anthony Lawrence
- Centrino Wireless drivers hacked on Mac and Windows
 
Apache Phrasebook   by Anthony Lawrence
- Short and to the point. I like little books like this. There's no deep explanations here, no exhaustive examination of every nuance of every Apache directive. It's the basics, the facts, a quick lunch from the fast food place on the corner
 
Insert System Disk   by Anthony Lawrence
- All righty, there is an intermittent problem here. Maybe the hard drive, but I looked in the syslog and there was nothing there. So, I put the machine under heavy load: reading and writing the tape drive, continuous "ls -lR /" loops running, copying big files to /tmp in other loops, all with random sleeps. Sure enough, twenty minutes in the disk stopped responding. Nothing in the logs still, but the machine was locked up.
 
Understanding Ajax   by Anthony Lawrence
- I enjoyed this much more than the other other Ajax book I reviewed recently right: the other book is more amusing and fun to read, but I learned more here.
 
Rigged Deal?   by Anthony Lawrence
- Do poker sites rig the deal for excitement? Random shuffling and fast play may lead to that impression.
 
A/B Testing for Adsense is often pointless   by Anthony Lawrence
- There are usually too many variables and too little to gain to bother with A/B testing
 
Don't you dare G**gle!   by Anthony Lawrence
- Google doesn't want you to G**gle, so certain words that they wouldn't like will be masked.
 
Blogging for Dollars   by Anthony Lawrence
- Work for hire as a blogger? Hiring bloggers? Watch out for low pay and FTC requirements on honesty and disclosure.
 
The vpn that wouldn't   by Anthony Lawrence
- More vpn users than expected of course leads to unexpected problems - that makes sense!
 
I'm not following SCO any longer   by Anthony Lawrence
- I haven't been paying much attention to SCO for a while, have stopped reading the comp.unix.sco.misc newsgroup daily as I used to, and have fewer and fewer SCO customers, but I hadn't consciously moved away from being interested. It just slowly happened.1
 
Why was Linux successful (and will it stay)?   by Anthony Lawrence
- That timing had a lot to do with this is obvious: the hardware was at the right power/price point, the Internet made communication possible, and even the BSD lawsuits added impetus by at least temporarily spreading FUD over BSD efforts and perhaps even moving a developer or two from that camp.
 
Troubleshooting Mistakes   by Anthony Lawrence
- The very first part of troubleshooting is identifying the problem. That's not always easy even for skilled professionals. It's definitely not easy for the typical computer user, so when you get the call (we're assuming that you are the professional who gets called with problems), what you are told may not match reality. This isn't to imply that users are stupid, or ignorant, or careless (though some are all of those things), but simply that they may misinterpret symptoms and miss seeing the real problem.
 
The Potential Dance   by Anthony Lawrence
- 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.

 
Tough Passwords   by Anthony Lawrence
- Management types hate hard passwords. Probably everyone but people who have to deal with security feels the same.
 
case conversion in bash script??  by anonymous
- Now I want to convert the content of VAR ($VAR) to lowercase. How can I do in bash.
 
Bash typecasting   by Anthony Lawrence
- Bash has typecasts - but only sort of and your scripts can easily break because of it.