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

Return to Index

December 2005

adaptec u320 raid sco osr5  by (various authors)
- Adaptec u320 controllers work fine, including full raid 0,1, 5, 10, etc... You just have to get a "real" controller, not the crap host-based raid models.
osr5 sar mpsar cpusar scosar  by (various authors)
- `mpsar` was initially a separate binary, added when you installed SCO MPX (SMP) on top of the corresponding release of SCO Unix.
Open Server 6.0 console  by (various authors)
- The SVR5 console driver is the driver used in OpenServer 6. This driver is not the same as the driver in OpenServer 5.
Lessons learned from Asrep   by Anthony Lawrence
- Asrep gives me information about ad clicks, though this was before Google Analytics included Adsense info.
10 million strong 
- According to http://www.bls.gov/news.release/conemp.nr0.htm , independent contractors number over 10 million in the U.S. as of February 2005, and that was a substantial increase from previous statistics.
Try it, you might like it 
- The founder of Pete's Wicked Ale didn't like the taste of beer. When he started home brewing it, his intent was to do that as a hobby.
Arrogance or confidence 
- I don't mean that you should be unrealistic. If you lack skills for a project, you should leave it for someone else. But you can't let fear of being labeled as arrogant diminish your self confidence.
Keeping sharp 
- Your brain needs exercise just as much as your body does. You may feel that your ordinary work is mentally challenging, and I'm sure it is, but it is the equivalent of doing only push-ups for your bodily exercise. Sure, push-ups are good, but you need a variety of exercises to stay healthy. The same thing applies to your mind: doing different mental activities exercises your mental facilities and keeps you sharp.
Broadband enables independence 
- That's often even more obvious when the work is part time. If you are, for example, a teleworker providing a few hours of remote work to (for example) a medical office, it's easy for you to imagine providing a few more hours of similar work to another medical office. That's an insight that can lead to true self employment and independence.
Choosing a name for your business 
- I've seen people fret for weeks over naming their business.
Champion of Capitalism 
- Who epitomizes capitalism more: Walmart or a lone wolf entrepreneur? I say it's the lone wolf, and that Walmart and other mega-corps are actually enemies of capitalism and free markets.
Reporting Income 
- I know some people think I'm incredibly naive, but that ticks me off. I report every dime of income, cash or otherwise, and I think people who don't are very, very wrong.
Coaches and Mentors 
- When I started my first business in 1983, I contacted SCORE and I have to say they didn't do much for me. The problem was simple, I think: the coach was someone who had worked as a CFO at large businesses but had no understanding of my little one man consultancy. We talked right past each other. Looking back, I realize that I should have understood that it was just a mis-match and requested someone else, but I was much younger then and I just gave up.
Communication Skills 
- Objective: To work in a company where my real good communication skills will be appreciated
Are you afraid of your competitors? 
- I probably wouldn't have joined because BNI is much too high pressure, sell, sell, sell and just doesn't match my much more laid back style. But interestingly, I didn't have the opportunity to make that decision, because I ran into another consultant there who was already a member, and he immediately black-balled me on the grounds of competition.
Contracting vs. self employment 
- There's a sub-set of the self employed that are often called 'contract' workers. These people are in a slightly different position than the rest of us: they are employees for a specific task or period of time, and then they either move on to the next contract or are unemployed. Often they work through staffing agents, though some find their own work.
Don't make it hard for your customers 
- I first got involved with this software before it was bought up by this larger company. The product was good, service was good, margins were good: no problems at all. But then their success caused their buy out, and things went down hill from there
Do you wear a tie? 
- Individualism can also signal creativity, so sometimes being "different" is just what they want to see. It can also make you memorable: your non-conformity makes you stand out from the sea of the properly dressed and coiffed.
Dirty competition 
- What you can or should do of course depends on the circumstances. Unfortunately, even if there are legal issues involved, you may not be financially able to defend your rights. Many small companies have had to swallow their anger when a large competitor has blatantly ripped them off, because even a small legal issue can cost more than you can afford. That's even more true if the issues are confusing and complicated: lawyers aren't any smarter than the rest of us, and you may find yourself spending hours re-explaining details that you thought your counsel already understood. You'll be paying for those hours, of course: I didn't say lawyers are dumb.
What's your disaster plan look like? 
- For all too many of us, just losing our cell phones is a major loss because we have no other record of important phone numbers. A filing cabinet destroyed by flood or fire would wipe out all of our historical data; loss of a computer could leave us helpless to know what our receivables are, and so on.
E-books for business promotion 
- There are dozens of ways to use electronic books to promote your business and dozens of businesses that can be built around e-books, yours or someone else's
What did you learn today? 
- All successful people have to be autodidacts. I don't mean that they must have ignored formal education entirely, but I do mean that they can't depend upon institutions to teach them everything they need to know. Indeed, most of what they need to know will never be taught in schools; they'll need to seek it out on their own. If they don't, they'll never be successful.
Having Employees - or not 
- Consider that once you have employees, you HAVE to meet payroll every week or every month. You'll have extra expenses too, like Workers Compensation and Unemployment taxes. The drumbeat regularity of those financial needs may force you into spending more time searching for new business and taking business that you really don't want: lower paying work, more difficult customers, slower paying clients. You'll also have the stress of being responsible for the performance of your employees: if they do sub-standard work, it is likely to be you that will have to go "do it right".
Attitudes toward self employment 
- U.S. seems to have a different attitude than the rest of the world
Dreams of self employment 
- Dreams of self employment often remain just that: only 4% who say they considered starting their own businesses ever do.
Firing Customers 
- Some customers just aren't worth having. This is particularly true if you are a lone wolf self employed person, but it's often true even for larger firms.
Self employment can be better than a job 
- Many of the unemployed have skills and are capable of finding work, but are hampered by other difficulties such as having to provide child care, physical impediments (lack of reliable transportation, necessary medical or physical therapy treatments, etc) and other difficulties. Traditional employers are unsympathetic and don't offer much flexibility.
The Windows back up most often forgotten 
- Backing up your computer is important. Ideally, you'll back up important files to more than one place: perhaps a network server and a tape, cd or dvd.
Where are you going to get the boxes? 
- My partner and I used to laugh privately at this. It became one of our favorite inside jokes. Whenever someone brought up some imaginary problem, we'd laugh and say "Where are we going to get the boxes?"
Embracing the unfamiliar 
- Not that we don't need the comfort of friends and family, of course. Unfamiliar people and situations may stimulate us, but they also add stress. Being able to relax in predictable surroundings is important to our well being. Just don't get too comfortable if you need to be creative.
Getting more done 
- Note that I'm not saying quantity is better than quality - just that you need to know when good enough is good enough and when efforts to polish your work farther run into the law of diminishing returns. Writing is an area where perhaps some people spend too little time polishing and buffing, but I'm convinced that most spend far too much time.
I'm not good enough 
- We can't know everything. There's always someone who knows more about X, Y or Z. That doesn't mean that you can't earn a living doing any of these things. In fact, sometimes a generalist, someone who knows a little bit from A to Z, will do better in the real world than the narrowly focused experts. Don't let your own perceptions of your value hold you back: if you are good enough to hold a job, you are good enough to work for yourself.
Grow or die? 
- When you are on a growth track, you are constantly pulled by the demands of that growth: more people may mean more office space, better communication methods, more management - on it goes
Handling stress 
- Stress comes from indecision and inability. You can't decide what to do or how to do it, or something beyond your control prevents you from doing what you need to do.
Be Happy 
- There's a Dunkin` Donuts near me where the help has the most unhappy, put upon, boy does my life suck attitudes I have ever seen. These people hate their jobs, and it shows. No friendliness, no smiles: just surly, making it obvious that the customer is an annoyance, and they wish they were somewhere else.
You could have just asked us 
- A recent Canadian study surveyed the self employed and found happy, productive people.
health insurance for the self employed 
- America doesn't have any form of national health insurance. One of the big concerns I often hear from people here who are considering self employment is the cost of such insurance. I hear "Oh, man that's a killer!" and "Maybe if my wife had health insurance at her job.."
Fluctuating income 
- For many of the self employed, monthly income can vary wildly. Some of this will just be normal seasonal variations that almost every business experiences, but some of it will just be from being 'new' and not having built up momentum to carry you along.
- if you think about each one creatively, you might just come up with an idea that can get you a piece of it. If you don't think like that, then it's just another problem, and if it's your problem, it's going to cost you money and time. Maybe it will anyway, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't spend a second or two wondering if there's a way to turn that type of problem to your advantage. If you have this problem, other people do also. What can they do about it? Is there anything better that could be done? How could you benefit from that?
- Don't misunderstand: that form of incorporation may be exactly what you need. But I don't think that you should entirely rely upon your lawyer or accountant to determine that. I'm not saying that they are incompetent, but I am saying that they don't know your business intentions as well as you do.
Avoiding Employee Classification 
- Because governments are concerned both about employee rights and tax avoidance, there are laws that control when someone is self employed.
Difficulties of self employment 
- While I lean toward libertarian principles and say that you should be able to choose freely yourself whether or not you are an employee, it is unfortunately true that people can be forced into agreements that they really don't want to make, so government interference in this area is necessary. However, it can make it more difficult for people who really are deliberately choosing to be independent without coercion.
IT can be a good choice for self employment 
- One of the other nice things about IT is that you can pick a specialty or two and dive in. Your education doesn't particularly matter; things change so fast in this world that anything you learned ten years ago has close to zero value today.
The Inside Track isn't always the right track 
- Most salespeople know that an existing customer is more valuable than a prospect simply because they are more likely to buy from you. They already know that you aren't a fly by night charlatan, that your product was what you said it was, and so on. A lot of the hesitancy of doing business is already swept away.
Bill Early, Bill Often 
- "Look at this invoice", she went on, "It's useless". I peered over her shoulder, always happy to get a peek at my peer's billing rates. I noticed that Bill charges a little less than I do, but I also noticed that she was right about the invoice being useless. It had three lines on it ..
Your life partner 
- I'm usually much more pessimistic than my wife is. For example, I'm moderately good at poker, and I once toyed with the idea of doing that for income. However, moderately good is a fast road to poverty in that particular shark tank. I realized that pretty quickly, but my wife thought I gave up too easily.
IT workers unhappy; advised to consider self employment 
- I like the quotes around "consultants". Wink, wink: we can still abuse these people, but it costs us less. "Everyone wins" is corporation speak for "we still win, but here's how you can rationalize that you aren't as bad off as you really are".
Look for the itch 
- There was one particular thing that the old system did well but the new system didn't, and that was the rather mundane task of finding a customer's record by telephone number. Obviously (well, obvious if you know anything about programming) that shouldn't have been a difficult thing, but the users were complaining and asking when they'd have that ability in the new system. The programmer seemed annoyed, and had obviously had this question before. "I'll get to it", he said, "but I'm in the middle of screen design for the end of year stuff right now".
Scheduling time loosely 
- You'll be able to think more clearly, get a lot of those small details cleaned up, and you'll probably do better work all around.
Low end clients 
- Working with income challenged customers can be stimulating and rewarding. You get to be creative, and you may be able to do good for them.
Your skills aren't enough 
- Running a business, even when it's just a one person service, requires at least some business skill. Don't get too afraid of this: an awful lot is just common sense. On the other hand, don't trivialize this either: you need general business skills to survive.
- Networking groups can be very useful for the self employed. These can be purely social or heavily pushing leads, can be formed for educational purposes, or may even have charitable goals also. The membership may be large or small, open or restricted.
One foot in front of the other 
- Sometimes it just seems like life wants to beat you down. Nothing goes right, if there's a light at the end of the tunnel you sure can't see it, and there's just no motivation left.
Web Businesses 
- Once in a while a legitimate and valuable site is offered. Almost invariably, those sites are listed with a reserve that is not met. You might say that the owners have over estimated the value of their property, and that may sometimes be the case, but I suspect it is more that the high number of low value sites depresses the value of other sit
Prepaid hours 
- Prepaid time can be particularly valuable when your business is just starting as it dampen the wildly fluctuating income that often happens with a startup, but it's also useful long after those fluctuations are a thing of the past. However, many consultants I have recommended this to seem to think that it would be a "hard sell" to their clients. I have never found that to be the case at all - clients understand the advantage and like the discounts and the single invoice. As I offer it as a choice, not a requirement, it isn't anything they have to do, yet most of my clients do purchase these blocks. Try it with your customers; they probably will like it.
I hate prospecting 
- Life is too short to be doing things you hate. On the other hand, some things just have to be done. You need something that brings in new work, and if cold calling is the only way that's going to happen, then that's what you have to do. But don't resign yourself to an unhappy chore without at least trying to find alternatives.
Happiness is more than money 
- Efficiency isn't that important to me. Part of my definition of success is happiness and not doing things I don't like doing. I have other choices with leaf raking - I could pay someone else to do it, and I have done that in the past. But I just don't like the job they do, and I don't like waiting till there's enough leaves on the ground to be worthwhile. If I can do it my way, I enjoy the work and the results.
Eyes wide open 
- I knew just what he meant. When I had employees, it was the same thing: they did the work I sent them to do, but they never came back with new work, and that surprised me. When I'm at a job, I keep my eyes and ears open and am constantly looking for things where I might be able to offer additional services.
- After you have built up your business, you'll find that you have the luxury of relaxing a bit when you need to.
Retire to self-employment 
- If the alternative is low pay bagging at the supermarket, you don't have to be wildly successful to beat that. You choose your own hours, take naps when you want to, and you'll probably make more money than you would from a part time job anyway.
What's your web niche? 
- Sometimes self employment comes after retirement. That was true for my dad; he was an engineer of various sorts all of his working life. His last business was selling boilers and other industrial heating equipment, but he always did wood-working as a hobby. When he retired, he starting doing custom carpentry full time. For him, that was a natural thing to do.
Preparing for change 
- Statistics like that help us track the growth and direction` of our businesses. Dollar volume, net profit and balance sheets tell us where we are right now, but tracking the growth of other things gives us a clue to the future. For example, I know that revenue from web site advertising is about 25% of my total income now, but I also know that it's growing at a faster rate than my other income sources. That tells me that my business can shift toward that rather than the consulting and programming that is currently the main source of income.
Self Discipline for the Self-Employed 
- Much advice has been given about the necessity of self discipline and motivation if you expect to be successfully self employed.
What's your business worth to you? 
- Sometimes people who don't know much about self employment view it in one of two ways: it's either something to do in between real jobs, or the whole point is to build it fast, sell it for a lot of money and repeat if a lot wasn't quite enough to buy that private island.
Junk marketing 
- Junk marketing and get rich quick are as strong as ever
Showing up 
- It amazes me that somw small business service folk will just ignore commitments they have made, leaving customers angry and frustrated.
Sick Days 
- Be smart about your health. Self employment can be demanding, so you need to be healthy. Pushing yourself when you really shouldn't isn't smart.
Suspicion and fear about self employment 
- Governments seem to feel the same way. Part of that is concern about lost tax revenues; there seems to be a belief that the self employed are more apt to cheat on taxes than larger corporations. I think it's probably the other way around in reality, though the large scale cheating may be done in other ways (like getting special laws passed, twisting the intent of existing laws, etc.), but the self employed are often viewed with suspicion.
Squeezing time out of the day 
- I get a kick out of the kind of advice articles that ask you to list your priorities, categorizing them into such types as "critical", "today", etc. or that have you keep track of what you are doing so you can spot time wasters. I'm especially amused by the multi-tasking advice; books on tape, having small projects with you to tackle during unexpected downtime and so on.
Websites for the self employed: part 2, content 
- Websites for the self employed: part 2, content: brochure, store front, or article site?
Websites for the self employed: part 1, creating your site 
- There are three kinds of websites that the self employed can consider: a brochure site, an article site, or a store front site. Ideally, your site will be all of these things.
Self Employed 
- Somebody once said "I've been rich and I've been poor, and rich is better". I feel that way about being self employed. I've been self-employed since 1977, and although I did take a few years here and there working as an employee, I wouldn't have it any other way.
You don't have to own the world 
- Steve Ballmer allegedly said he's going to kill Google. Apparently Steve just hates competition, and Google has not only been doing well in areas Microsoft wants to play in, but they've been hiring away Microsoft employees. These things make Mr. Ballmer angry, or so it seems. I wouldn't dare say it's fact, because the emotional CEO of Microsoft demurs, saying that his supposed reaction was exaggerated greatly.
Is it worth it? 
- That's the good side. On the other hand, he's morbidly obese, has had part of his colon removed, and admits to not feeling well most of the time. He's away on business many week days, and when he is home, he's often exhausted and spends whole weekends sleeping or just lying in bed.
Get your own ball 
- The Mature Market reports that the number of older folks starting their own businesses is increasing. That makes sense, it's easier to do a startup when you are a little older; the kids are grown, maybe you've put some money aside, you have more skills - it all adds up. But there's another reason people seek self employment, and that's when the big kids won't ever throw them the ball.
Podcasting as advertising 
- If you have a small business, you probably do some advertising, even if it's nothing more than handing out business cards every chance you get. Maybe you have a web site, but unless you are in the tech field, you may not do much with it. There's something new that you can offer with or without a website: podcasting.
Blogging Personality 
- Real people have doubts, concerns, confusion. Real people interject opinion, their feelings, their emotions. It's those things that make their blog interesting and attractive, and it's mostly those things that will cause interaction from the readers.
What's your blog worth? 
- this is based entirely on Technorati links. Many sites ignore Technorati entirely.
Nobody cares about money 
- Only around 5% of bloggers list generating revenue as their main reason for blogging. Of course that doesn't really mean that bloggers don't care about money; it's just that their primary reason for blogging isn't that.
Independent Bloggers 
- Independent bloggers doing reviews or other commentary can have a large influence on the products and companies they write about.
How to find inspiration for your blog posts 
- If you want a popular blog, one of the most important things is to post regularly. That's important for two reasons: search engines like active sites more than inactive sites, but even more importantly, whatever readers you may attract will get bored and never come back if you don't have regular fresh content.
Should you join a Blog Network? 
- I've been asking around trying to understand why people are forming these networks. I don't like some of the answers I have had. I think there probably are valid reasons to join a network, but I also think that many who join aren't thinking very clearly about any of this.
Dead blogs 
- you can't be sure a blog is dead until DNS tells you it is, but a blog that isn't posting regularly isn't really a blog.
- A blogroll is a collection of links to other sites. It's usually found on themain page of a blog, and supposedly represents content the blog author likes and wants to recommend to you. At some blogs, that's exactly what it is, but at others, the blogroll is just a form of link exchange with other blogs, and thus is of dubious value to anyone.
Traffic vs. Readers 
- Building readership is different. A reader is someone who wants to be at our site, and they are the audience we write for. Of course, we all get accidental and misdirected traffic; that's a natural effect of search engines misunderstanding our pages.
Website Infrastructure - Building your web site 
- If you are not using a Content Management System, you will be doing all work that yourself. It's your decision where your pages will live, whether they will be static or dynamic or something in between, whther you'll be using Perl or PHP or something else entirely. Expect to make mistakes.
Chitka Mini Mall Ads 
- Not only is this exciting because of the ability to specify the type of ads you want to run (right down to specific products if you desire), but Chitika is very aggressive and very interested in your success. Not two days after I had signed up, my account rep sent a long email where she had analyzed each of my sites and had specific suggestions for improving ad revenue.
Taking out the trash 
- Our web sites accumulate junk too. Some of it is real junk that just needs to be deleted, but when it comes to actual pages, you need to tread more carefully.
Flip this Blog! 
- Some recent private correspondence made me wonder if we are going to see blogging used as the business plan for start-ups that intend to build up to a certain degree of success and then sell out.
Copyright abuse 
- So, I've changed my policy. I'm not going to allow that any longer. I'm leaving old articles as they were, but everything from this point on is NOT free to copy or use without permission.
Creating simple web pages 
- I really don't understand why, but many people seem to think creating web pages with HTML is much more difficult than it actually is. Amazingly, people who have enthusiastically jumped into learning Perl or Python have told me that HTML is too hard.
Understanding del.icio.us tagging 
- Like Technorati, del.icio.us is a social bookmarking site. In fact,Technorati picks up some of its tagging information from del.icio.us, but del.icio.us doesn't provide any interface for web sites themselves to provide tag info for specific pages other than a confusing API that seems more designed for reading than informing. They provide a way to "claim" a website, but it is much more complicated and difficult than Technorati's simple and rather foolproof scheme.
Advertising Strategy for Bloggers 
- Most Bloggers aren't going to make money from site advertising, whether it's Google's AdSense or anything else. Fact is, most blog sites count themselves very fortunate if they get more than a handful of visitors per day. Unfortunately, you probably need thousands per day.
Small Business Advertising Advice 
- Quite a few of the folks who read this website are small, independent computer consultants, full or part-time. Most of those readers probably have an ad at our Unix and Linux Consultants listings. Here's the interesting thing: some tell me they do very well with that and get leads from it often, others tell me they've been there for years and have never had a nibble. That seems odd, doesn't it?
Advertising is a shameful thing 
- I make no apology: I write to make money. Whether the money comes from consulting gigs or advertising, that's why I'm here. I may have other reasons too: it's cathartic, restful, it helps me understand things, it's a source of reference for me just as it is for anyone else, and so on. But money is my primary motivation.
Dumb comment spam 
- It was hand done, and they pasted the same bragging and link on several of my pages. I use anti-spam software that kicks in if you make too many comments in too little time, so they got blocked after four posts, but that wasn't what was stupid.
The Blog according to John 
- Probably my biggest departure from John's view of the way blogging ought to be is in his insistence on structure. John seems to be saying that a blog must present several articles on its home page, in a top-down, newest to oldest manner, and that certain specifically named elements must also be present.
FasterFox puts extra demand on servers 
- The most effective of these (from the users point of view) is prefetching of all static links on a page. If you then click on one of those links, it will already be in cache and of course will load very quickly.
Due to the fluid nature of the Web.. 
- Ahh, that scurrilous Web, always sneaking in and rearranging the furniture while we're sleeping. Bob (or whoever wrote this page) is much too kind. A more accurate warning would have read
More frightened journalists 
- This is yet another example of the fear spreading in those quarters. I used to subscribe to Forbes, Business Week, Time, Newsweek and more.. but now I use the web for everything.
Millions of voices 
- You can find any number of pundits who are saying that the present media are dead men walking, that the future is millions of independent bloggers.
Google Off Base? 
- Google's new 'Google Base' is confusing the world and apparently confusing Google itself also.
Google Blog Search 
- What the heck is a blog anyway? Is it still a blog if you haven't updated it in months? Apparently Google sometimes thinks so, but I sure don't. Does a blog HAVE to have rss? I'd say no - it's better for everyone if you do, but I don't see that as part of the definition.
An inside peek at Google 
- I think there are going to have to be tough laws and regulations here. We have to see this as a whole - that the combination of Google's reach into our lives could enable tremendous invasions of privacy.
The Google Operating System 
- I don't say this lightly at all: while it may be too early to worry about it now, Google may need to be regulated in the same way we regulate public utilities. I don't think I'm being excessively paranoid about this, but would like to hear other's views.
Is the solution for privacy openness? 
- Sometimes I think that openness is the only final answer. If you don't have privacy anywhere, your privacy can't be abused. Your behavior might change: if you know that video cameras are watching you wherever you are, you won't be breaking littering laws.
Google promises, but doesn't deliver. 
- Every done a Google search that tells you there are millions of result pages? I'm sure all of us have. But are those pages really available? Let's try some tests:
Google Goofs 
- Wow. When Google introduces something new, it's usually at least 'ok' - rough edges, maybe less functionality than we'd like, but usable and often interesting because of new possibilities.
Where's the Google sandbox when you need it? 
- Google should do better than that, I think. It should have been easy to see the activity that created these blogs and realize it was suspicious.
Google Pricing Rumors 
- Chitika seems to be a bit more open, but neither YPN or Chitika deliver the punch that Google does for me. I understand some folks are doing very well with Chitika, but for me it's a few dollars a day at best. YPN pays well, but it's so unpredictable - some days it is great, other days it is next to nothing. Google delivers consistently - they may frustrate me because it's so hard to tell what works and what doesn't, but at the end of the day the dollars are there.
Google and Sun and Microsoft resume writers 
- Massachusetts requiring open document formats and the growing popularity of Mac and Linux, but Google is the big scary monster that clunks around the Internet scaring the heck out of everyone (that's the same Internet that Microsoft ignored for years, of course).
- Gvisit uses ip lookups and Google mapping to provide a visual map of where your site visitors are coming from. I can't use this at my main site because Gvisit can't handle more than 5,000 page views a day at this time, but for smaller sites, it's just a little Javascript that reports back to the Gvisit server. You can visit Gvisit to see the results, or use another little piece of Javascript to bring it back to your own site.
Sitemaps: Influencing Google for Web Site Promotion and Adsense Revenue 
- There really isn't much you can do directly with Google in the area of web site promotion. However, there are a few tools you can use.
Internet TV 
- I'm not against video. I watch TV, and I enjoyed watching a couple of episodes of RocketBoom. But I don't have time for a lot of this. It's too..damn..slow.
Is Google Watching You? 
- If the site runs Google ads, then it's certainly possible that they could track someone through your site, though I've never heard anything that specifically says they do..
Late to the party? 
- "In the old days what?" I interrupted. "Every blogger starts out with no traffic. It takes time. It has always taken time."
Review: LinkMetro.com 
- Exchanging links can be useful. If you link to good, relevant content, you are helping your readers find other sites they may be interested in. Likewise, appropriate in-bound links may bring you new readers and increase search engine rankings.
- I'll give that a qualified yes. I've found some interesting things here that I might have missed otherwise. On the other hand, I can't help but think that if this were really popular, it would degenerate to a circle of self referencing insignificance.
You really can post too much 
- Blog readers today may visit several other blogs in addition to yours. They scan for posts they want to read, and move on. If you have too much new content, they feel pressure to get to the next blog; they are spending too much time in one place.
Natural language search 
- The reason is simple enough: those of us with at least a vague glimmer of intelligence quickly observed that long phrases either gave us too much or too little, while the right lone word would kick back better results.
- http://www.netratings.com provides interesting and useful statistics about home and business use of the Net. It is, in itself, a popular site, and is a bit slow at times, but contains such information as how many pages folks visit in a month (twelve or thirteen hundred, apparently) and the popularity of ad sizes.
Nothing to say today? 
- I don't know if you can have GREAT ideas or posts every day, but I've done at least daily posts at my main site for years now, and recently added two more sites (this is one of them) where I also do daily posts. Not all the posts are shining examples of the best in blogging, though in more recent years I have forced myself toward higher quality standards than I might have had originally.
Google adds "Advertise Here" ability 
- This lets Adwords advertisers target ads to specific sites on a cost-per-thousand basis.
One not so great apple 
- Maybe you first came to some blog because of a Google search or a link from some other blog. The post you read was interesting enough that you checked out a few things in the archives, and that was interesting enough that you bookmarked the site and came back another day. So far, so good for the site owner: maybe they are about to gain a regular visitor.
Page counters 
- But here I am with page counters. I don't use them for bragging, and I'm not concerned with anyone thinking the numbers are weak. My main reason for having them is because I have guest bloggers, and guest bloggers like to know how their articles are faring.
Can you afford to be a peacock? 
- Biologists think that adaptations like the peacock's flashy tail feathers are genetic bragging: in effect the male is saying "my genes are so superior that I can afford to carry around all this useless stuff that would be dangerous for a lesser bird". A peacock's tail sure is pretty. So are some websites: loaded up with flash animation, fancy javascript tricks, maybe theme background music too. Quite the fancy tailfeathers at some of these sites.
Picking your subject for best Adsense results 
- No, this is not about going out and finding high paying keywords and writing copy designed to attract ads for those words. Well, it's a little bit about that, but without the soulless mercenary aspect.
Copyright and plagiarism 
- I only go after these kind of people if they have taken content and haven't attributed it back to be. I've had that happen fairly often, and most of the time it's easily straightened out though now and then there's some jerk who ignores me and keeps on doing it.
proof-reading your posts 
- We all make mistakes in composition. Typos, actual spelling errors, incorrect punctuation, bad sentence structure, or just general confused writing: there are lots of ways to screw up your posting, and that's especially true in the heat of creativity. You are concentrating so hard on content and it's easy for mistakes to creep in.
Not interested in SEO? 
- Not concerned about search engine rankings? I don't know, but I sure don't get that impression from the blog reading I do. I could agree that many bloggers may not care about making money from blogging (or have just given up trying), but popularity is something just about everyone wants. If you are writing about the mating habits of South American lizards, your general popularity might not be much, but you'd certainly want to get traffic from people with similar interests.. if not, why on earth would you be blogging at all?
What's your niche? 
- My sister is getting close to retirement age. You wouldn't know it; like most of my family, she looks much younger than she really is. She's under no particular pressure to leave her job; they aren't likely to lay her off orforce her to retire anytime soon, and she does still enjoy what she does, so actual retirement may be several years away. Besides, there's always that question of money. Most of us nearing retirement didn't have 401K's for the greater part of our working live, and few of us saved enough to live very comfortably. Social Security doesn't pay all that much, does it?
Revealing Ad Income 
- If you read Google's terms of service, you'll see that you are prohibited from revealing details about the performance of ads on your site.
RSS feeds and advertising 
- You have choices when creating RSS feeds: you can put in the full content of your articles, put in an abbreviated description, or even nothing at all. You can also add advertising directly to the feed
Search Engine Gripes 
- I use search every single day. It's almost exclusively Google, though I will use others when Google doesn't give me results. There are things that really annoy me about web searching, and I'm sure there are things that annoy you too.
Site security and all that 
- Some bloggers take the ostrich approach to security: head in the sand, somebody else does that, I'm not going to worry about it. Then one morning you wake up to find your web site has been hacked and all your pages are gone or replaced with graffiti. It's an ugly situation.
Search Engine Marketing Test 
- So explain to me again why I should worry about Ask Jeeves or Microsoft in any way at all? There's only so much time in the day; I can't read everything, and frankly Msn and Jeeves are very, very low on my priorities. How about you? Do you care about how Ask Jeeves sees your pages?
Is There Value in Search Engine Optimization Firms? 
- I spent some time over the past year or so talking to various SEO firms and Adsense consultants. These are people who offer to increase the visibility of your web site or increase Adsense revenues for a fee. Other than pretending to be interested in their services (I'm not), I was completely honest about my site, my present statistics, and my goals. We'll cover all that, but first a statement you probably won't find surprising: There's a lot of snake oil out there.
Blogging style needs a change? 
- Just what am you supposed to be writing about? Blow off some steam, do something daring, take a chance, push on the walls a little. It will be good for you and your readers.
Less is more 
- There are times when the break it up advice isn't good advice. It has become almost sacrilege to say so, but some subjects are simply too complicated to squeeze into a few hundred words, and you will risk annoying your readers if you artificially break a complex piece into sections.
SME Server 
- The SME server is a Linux based, open source web, email and file/print server. It can also function as a firewall. If you want a simple in-house server for any reason, this is a great way to do it.
How spammers use link farms 
- http://www.seomoz.org/articles/link-spam-alliances.php is a paper that describes how spammers build artificial search engine rank by building networks of inward pointing pages. If you are a legitimate web site, with real content, these folks steal search engine traffic from you by their tricks.
Get out the tape measure 
- Advertising Dollars Earned = (Traffic Source * A magic number * Unique visitors)
There it is. Simple, right? So how are you doing? Oh, right. That "magic number" thing. Umm..
Blog Sites 
- Certainly geek sites were the first on the map. After all, the geeks were the ones that built all this to start with. Many of the current crop of bloggers wouldn't have been technically capable of putting up a web page ten years ago. The geeks were capable, so naturally their pages were popular: geek pages were almost all there were, and the majority of Internet users were geeks or near geeks themselves.
Just Two Posts A Day 
- At Do you see Ads on this page?, the author paints a grim picture of the likelihood of bloggers making money from advertising. By the way, he or she also violates their Google Adsense agreement in at least two ways in that post, but that's not my purpose for pointing you to it. First - the prognosis isn't necessarily inaccurate. I've said as much myself at Advertising Strategies for Bloggers: most bloggers probably aren't going to make much money from ads.
You aren't important 
- So - do you consider your site 'unimportant' if it hasn't garnered a bunch of Blogline subscribers? Or (as I do), perhaps you think it's maybe Bloglines that isn't all that important?
Validating your html 
- Validating your HTML pages is important, but it also can be frustrating and annoying. It's important both for your readers and for accurate search engine indexing or contextual ad display: if your HTML is broken, you may not get the impact or results you expect.
Is Web 2.0 really anything new? 
- When it takes five pages to explain something, the "something" doesn't exist. That doesn't stop people from pretending it does, though: already we have people pitching new browsers as being for "Web 2.0 savvy users".
Web site promotion and popularity 
- Site popularity. Anyone who has a web site wants it, because what's the point otherwise? If you build it and they don't come, why bother? Getting folks to come is web site promotion
Eleven Billion pages on the Internet 
- One interesting thing in this report is the estimate that Google, MSN, Yahoo and Teoma only agree on a little more than a quarter of those pages, which means that there are a lot of pages you wouldn't find at all unless you checked all four.
What is Tabbed Browsing ? 
- I admit that I was a little slow to appreciate the attraction of tabbed browsers. At least part of the reason for that is that Mozilla pages don't explain tabs very well.
www.yourdomain.com vs. yourdomain.com 
- Netcraft has a nice little anti-phishing toolbar that also happens to show relative site popularity. I'd been running that toolbar for about a month when I noticed something I thought was odd: the Netcraft ranking for my main site had suddenly dropped by 33%. How could that be? A minute ago I was in the 16,000 neighborhood and suddenly I was near 20,000 instead.
Yahoo "My Web 2.0" 
- I like the easy interface for adding sites and tagging them at the same time, and immediately being able to see what other people have marked with the same tags. I don't like that there is no RSS integration (or if there is, I can't spot it!).
Yahoo vs. Google 
- A post at JenSense compares Yahoo's contextual advertising to Google's. The author reports that YPN brought in about the same money with a far lower click through rate. I think that she correctly analyzed the most likely reason: the YPN ads are different than the Adsense ads that browsers have probably already seen at other sites. As YPN matures, their contextual matching will improve, their CTR will increase, but at the same time their payout will decrease. At the end of the day, nobody should expect that YPN income will be any better than Adsense.
- Perhaps more unsettling from some views is that Zabasearch also maintains publicly writable blogs: anyone who registers an email address with them can scribble whatever they like about anyone else.
10.4.3 Update 
- Updates always worry me. Even though it hasn't happened to me in a long, long time, I'm always afraid that an update will kill me. Unbootable machine. Nothing to do but reinstall. Nooo!...
APSL (Apple Public Source License) 
- Quite a bit of Mac OS X is open source covered under the APSL (Apple Public Source License)
Review of AWS and ACP Web Services - a useful addition to your Mac 
- This is poorly documented, but extremely useful. The reason for the horrible documentation and installation instructions is that it's all really very simple, but the people who wrote it are uber-geeks who can't explain simple things.
Mac and Linux on Campus 
- I don't know anything about the value of this software, but I bet it's the Linux users who have given the admins the most gray hair and pale complexions. But now Macs are increasing their numbers, and while most are probably well behaved students who themselves want a safer computer environment, today a few are probably rogue hackers interested in seeing just how much they can get away with.
Clix is a learning opportunity 
- What's great about it is that it shows the command line to you, which I would hope would inspire you to further investigation of the actual tools being used. Think of Clix more as a learning tool than something to avoid typing and you'll get much more from it.
Cloning Mac Volumes 
- If you'd rather roll up your sleeves and do the work yourself, OS X's Unix roots and some special Apple software give you what you need for cloning Mac volumes.
DTV: Internet TV on your MAC 
- DTV takes the pain out of this stuff, allowing me to subscribe to channels, downloading clips in the background, and deleting content automatically. DTV also runs through my subscriptions automatically;once I've started watching, it keeps on going to the next channel.
Deleting duplicate files 
- cleaning up the mess of accidentally creating files where you don't want them and how to get rid of them.
Fat Binaries (Universal Binaries) 
- It is interesting that this is the method chosen to handle the transition. There has to be pain somewhere: either fat binaries, or separate compilations, or a virtual machine - none of these are ideal, but you have to face the music somewhere.
Fix it yourself 
- I'm a bit of a klutz with tools. I suppose there are people more inept than I, but I'm pretty sad. It's not that I can't use a screwdriver or any other tool..
- You probably know that if you do Apple-K in the Finder, you can type in an ftp address (ftp://...) and then point and click your way through a public ftp server. You can do the same thing at the command line with mount_ftp.
Google Wifi (Mac Hack) 
- I wish Google would pay more attention to Mac and Linux users. Microsoft can't be ignored, but they certainly aren't Google's pal, so you'd think that at least giving token attention to the rest of us would make sense.
Growl if you want better notifications 
- Bouncing Dock icons are annoying enough, and notifications that must be clicked on before you can do anything else are even more so. Growl is designed to help with that, though unfortunately none of the apps that annoy me the most are among the Growl-enabled applications. Too bad for me, but maybe your app mix is different.
What's a haxie? 
- OS X haxie: A haxie is a Mac OS X hack - generally some small thing that adds
Hogwasher Mail and News Reader 
- If you are going to use Hogwasher for news, pay very close attention: the default setting is to download 30,000 messages from each newsgroup you subscribe to. While the groups may not have 30,000 messages, they may have far more than you want, and if you get too many, you'll end up with a spinning beach ball for just about anything involving the newsgroups.
Waiting for Intel 
- Three years is an eternity. Aside from it being technologically out of date, the keyboard is just about beaten to death, the Return key cracked and broke off ages ago, and no matter how much I clean it, it's starting to look very, very old
Disabling iPhoto 
- There's nothing terribly wrong with iPhoto, but I don't need all of its features, and do find some of it a little annoying. You don't need iPhoto if all you want to do is copy photos from your camera to your computer.
Laptop Batteries 
- Apple tells you that you should discharge your iBook or Powerbook battery once a month. You may have thought that this is because batteries have a "memory", but that isn't really the reason. Actually, your lithium battery likes a partial discharge and recharge much more than a full - so (as Apple suggests) the ideal situation would be someone who uses there laptop unplugged on a train on the way to and from work, and then is plugged back in the rest of the day.
Blocking outgoing internet connections 
- Fortunately the Mac world doesn't see as much of this as the poor Windows users do, but any application can open up a connection back to its home base. That may be for legitimate reasons, but "phoning home" can have its darker side.
Ballmer needs love 
- Nobody ever liked Microsoft. People used Windows because it was cheap and that's where the software was, but nobody ever felt any love for Microsoft.
File names 
- Mac file names can include characters that are illegal on other systems. You can even create file names that can cause problems for other Mac programs. There's an old saying that applies here: just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should
Mac OS X on Intel 
- Why do I want MacTel? Because my interest isn't just OS X; I also like Linux and while there are Mac distributions, those often lag behind the Intel Linuxes, and there is much more choice in the Intel versions anyway.
Macity builds 
- I use Google Alerts keep myself updated on various topics I follow. Some of the alerts come in rarely, some every day, and some will list one or two items while others will list more. Lately, I notice that the alert 'Mac OS X' is becoming more active.
New Mac User 
- A friend went out the other night and bought a Mac mini. This is going to be a Xmas present for his kids, who use Macs at school.
Mac Viruses 
- I get really tired of hearing the old 'If Macs were as popular as PC's, they'd have just as many viruses'. That's completely wrong. Popularity might bring more viruses (as Mac viruses are effectively at zero right now, that's a pretty safe bet), but it would never reach PC proportions.
Memory leaks 
- I don't do any C programming any more, but I certainly remember that tracking down memory allocation problems was a large part of my debugging work. Obviously I'm not the only one who makes such programming errors; a Google search in that area will turn up all kinds of tools and debuggers to help track these things down.
- Netinfo is Mac OS X's way of bringing order from the chaos of Unix configuration files. While I understand the motivation, it was and remains a horribly bad idea.
Opera Browser 
- Although not as well known as Firefox, Opera is a popular choice for the geekier crowd. It's small, fast, and has the important features you expect like tabbed browsing and popup blocking. It also has RSS feed capability, a menu choice for quickly switching browser identification to IE, Mozilla or Opera, and some other neat features.
No more crontab? 
- It will if your computer is never shut down and never goes to sleep. But for most of us, whose systems do sleep now and then, the actual start time will vary. Launchd apparently starts counting time at the last reboot, and counts nothing while sleeping.
Protecting your data with RAID 
- That review concentrates on tech specs and performance, but here I'd like to talk about the other reason you want RAID: data protection. RAID means 'Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks' and it's the 'redundant' part that I'm talking about. The simplest RAID is RAID-0 or mirroring, which simply writes the same data to two or more disks. If your primary disk failed, the mirror could take over and have no loss of data. RAID-5, which is the other most popular RAID configuration, spreads data over multiple disks and keeps the ability to reconstruct data from any single drive loss 'on the fly'
Remote Desktop Client  
- You can cut and paste between your Mac and the remote windows machine (although the server policy can prevent this), and you may be able to print to your own printer or use your local drives in the Windows session (see 'Help' in the Mac RDC for details).
Backing up with rsync 
- Rsync copies data to another directory, another disk volume, or another machine. It only copies what needs to be copied; that is, if a file hasn't changed since the last time you backed it up, rsync won't bother copying it again. Even better, if only part of a large file has changed, rsync only copies those bytes.
I wish I could use Safari 
- Safari, on the other hand, does a much, much better job of . rendering pages. But.. those darn extensions.
- It's going to be a crying shame if Firefox is abandoned. Whether you call it Mozilla or Seamonkey, the monolithic Mozilla never caught on with the public, while Firefox definitely did. Whatever the reason for that, it's unimportant, and what IS important is that having a confusing and overlapping product line is always stupid.
srm (Secure rm) 
- You've probably noticed the Secure Empty Trash under the Finder's file menu. What you may not know is that this came from an open source project called srm
Tiger's Smarter Folders 
- A directory (Folder in Mac-speak) has no particular connection with the type of data you intend to store in it, but you can tag it with anything you like using Spotlight comments. If you choose Get Info for a Tiger folder, you'll see that you can add Spotlight searchable comments to the folder.
Mac applications are not like Windows 
- If you are a Windows user, you know that installing software is quite a production. There's special "Installer" software that runs, and if you ever want to remove the program you have to run a special un-installer. It's all very high tech and full of voodoo, so when you first see a Mac install telling you to just drag something to your applications folder, you may feel like you must be missing something or that dropping something in Applications triggers some mysterious "installation" event.
Special Keys 
- New Mac users are sometimes confused by graphical depictions of special keys.
Terragen - the most fun I almost had this week 
- I'm not known for my artistic abilities. However, my family is full of artists, some of whom were moderately famous. While I can draw stick figures, they did such things as murals in the Lincoln Memorial and cover graphics for the old National Geographic.
Tiger's Spotlight 
- The Spotlight search tool is often described as the best part of Mac OS X Tiger. So how come I never use it?
USB and Firewire confusion 
- If you have a new Mac, you have the full 480 Mbs USB capability. You also have Firewire, which is either 400 Mbs or (newer) 800 Mbs.
The way to their hearts is through their iPod? 
- But if you were going to do that, why not sell the same thing (without the 60 day expiration, of course) for PC use? Price it to make up for the lost hardware sale of a real Mac, and let 'er rip. Or don't even price it that high, because people will realize that VMware emulation is slowing them down and will buy the real Mac if they like what they see.
More thoughts on virtualization and Intel Macs 
- I'm no expert on virtual machines, but I would think it would be less difficult to virtualize Windows on Mac than vice versa, even after the change to Intel.
Don't be over confident about viruses 
- Some software seeks permission it really doesn't need; again that's probably inoccuous but how would you know? The author of that installer could be up to no good, and once you type the password, it is all out of your control. At that point, you may as well be running Windows, because you have no more protection.
Why use the command line? 
- f you aren't quite that prejudiced, the command line is Power Central. This is where you can do complicated tasks with a few keystrokes, things that would keep you and your mouse busy for hours any other way. Even Microsoft, long a champion of the GUI way, has recognized the power of the command line and although I feel they messed it up, they are adding more powerful command line shells to their new server products.
Why I love my Mac 
- I bought my Mac iBook simply to review it for my Unix/Linux website. I wasn't totally unfamiliar with Macs; I've been doing computer consulting for a long time and had some exposure to the older Mac operating systems. I at least knew what the Finder was, knew what Set Startup did, and so on. Most of my experience has been Unix, though, and of course that was what attracted me to OS X.
- I don't like Apple's Widgets. The biggest problem is their isolation from the rest of the system: they are a part of the Dock more than anything else. If you haven't used them for a while, they tend to get paged out so can take a long time to switch to.
Is Windows Vista an opportunity for Mac? 
- You can read that whole thing if you want, but the nub of it is that Microsoft threw away everything they had done with Longhorn (their next Windows OS) and made a clean start with Vista. The reason was simply that the existing Windows code is too buggy, too messed up, too complex: they had to start from square one.
X Windows 
- When I first got OS X, I did install X11, but after playing with it briefly, never used it. Part of that is that I just don't need it. I have a perfectly good Linux machine sitting to my right, but I don't use X11 on that box either.
OS X for older Macs 
- XPostFacto is a partially open source app that purports to allow you to run OS X on older Macs. I can understand the motivation; some people have spent a lot of money on Apple hardware and the idea of tossing it in a recycling bin is painful to contemplate. It's that pain that XPostFacto seeks to eliminate.
Watermarks   by Anthony Lawrence
- Watermarks don't sound like a great answer to copyright protection
Will dead media ever end?   by Anthony Lawrence
- At some point we reach the limitations of physics: we can't pack it any tighter, can't read or write it any faster. At that point, there is no more innovation or change. You might argue that you never really know when you have reached those limits because basic theories could be dead wrong, but that just moves the argument: somewhere, sometime, the theories are correct, the universe really does work this way, and you can't do more than what the theory says are the limits
Terabyte, tebibye   by Anthony Lawrence
- Terabyte storage is getting very close to 'good enough'
Googlezon and Epic   by Anthony Lawrence
- Googlezon is the fictional (so far, anyway) merger of Google and Amazon. Don't blame the Internet for dumbing down the population. The masses are already uninterested in intellectual challenge or considered analysis.
Dubya-dubya   by Anthony Lawrence
- As is common now, the real estate agent put up a redirect for 37harold.jhurwitz.com. He said a lot of business comes through the web nowadays, and I believe it: people search MLS listings, compare prices and features. The web is obviously a better way to shop for real estate.
Fedora time bug   by Anthony Lawrence
- Fedora doesn't sync time with some intel motherboards. To fix, you don't use UTC on the hardware clock, and you add CLOCKFLAGS=--directisa to the /etc/sysconfig/clock file.
Controlling concurrent runs with Perl   by Anthony Lawrence
- Sometimes you have a program that can't be run by more than one person, or that must run frequently but you are not sure how long an instance of it will take.
SCO OSR 5: Backup Compression  by mqcarpenter
- Is there an easy way to tell if that is a compressed total or uncompressed?
Disaster Recovery   by Michael Desrosiers
- Disaster recovery is an integral part of any organizations overall information security strategy.
Are your Servers Secure?   by Blessen Cherian
- No Server connected to the Internet can ever be 100% secure. That's simply reality, but it doesn't mean that you should give up trying.
AV companies security flaws   by Anthony Lawrence
- Heap overflows and file overwrites? For crying out loud, shouldn't AV vendors do better than this? At least Microsoft can use the excuse (valid or not) that it has to work with a lot of crappy old legacy code; these AV guys have a blank slate any time they want. How can they possibly be excused for these kind of sloppy programming mistakes?
Tiger's Automator 
- Automator is Mac OS X Tiger's drag and drop programming thingy. I've never been a fan of such tools - they are almost always billed as No Programming Necessary, which of course is nonsense. Any time you are telling a computer what to do, you are programming. Tell it something stupid, and you get lousy results. So you have to have some intelligence to get what you want - drag and drop doesn't change that a bit
ODB Editor Suite 
- What it does is allow integration of an external editor with the ftp client: when you save your changes, the editor gets signaled to automatically upload the new version and write it back.
AppleJack for easier Mac OS X repair tasks 
- AppleJack is a script that bundles together all the common maintenance tasks that you might have to do to fix a misbehaving Mac. It is just a shell script (albeit a long and complicated script), so it does nothing you couldn't do yourself, but it conveniently bundles it all into a menu driven interface.
HFS+ file system 
- By default. Mac OS X uses the HFS+ file system. You can force the install to use UFS, but you'll miss out on many features. The only thing I don't like about HFS+ is its arbitrary attitude toward case in file names. HFS+ is case preserving, but case insensitive. It's not fully integrated with the shell and that can cause confusion. If I
Watching File or Directory Changes 
- Many modern systems provide a way to watch a directory for events (new files, reading the directory, modification of a file in the directory, etc.). This facility can be done in various ways, from providing hooks in the filesystem code itself to something that watches for inode changes. Linux and BSD have several possibilities in that regard, but Mac doesn't give us much.
- "mdfind" is the command line version of Spotlight. It has much more flexibility and power than the GUI Spotlight does, but before we get to that, let's look at where Spotlight (and mdfind) stores its index. We need a root shell to get to the Spotlight directory:
Mac OS X security keychain command 
- Mac OS X has a 'security' command that apparently can manipulate and display Keychain information. I say 'apparently' because the man page is a little less than enlightening
Menu Bar Applications 
- There are a variety of mail checkers, launchers, clocks, weather forecasts and the like. There are apps to run shell scripts, and more.
The Art of Troubleshooting  by Jemshad OK
- Yes, troubleshooting is an art!. The key points to mastering this art is knowing the system in and out, using the right tools and, of course, googling. Troubleshooting a problem is not something that can be spoon fed or taught with precise steps. It has to evolve from logical thinking and thorough knowledge of the system.
Mac OS X Uniform Type Identifiers 
- One of the problems computers have is identifying data. Given a random chunk of bytes in a disk file, how can anyone (you or the computer) know what their purpose is? Is it a program? A configuration file or other data for some other program? How can you tell?
Mac OS X install disks from Ebay 
- More often is that someone is selling a set that originally came with a specific Apple model. You will not be able to installusing those disks if you have a different model.
Set the Master Password 
- If you look under System Preferences->Security, you'll see 'FileVault', which lets you encrypt your home folder. That seems very dangerous to me, so I never paid much attention to it.
Shell vs. Applescript - getting input 
- Of course there are things easily done with Applescript that aren't so easy with a shell script. However, the opposite is also true. Too often I see people writing complicated (and slow) Applescript for things that the shell can do very easily.
Setting hourly rates for Consultants and service providers 
- If you are doing anything that includes an hourly or daily rate, you probably have some idea what similar businesses in your area are charging for the same work. There's usually a range, and you need to decide where in that range you want to be.
- My companion went on. "I've got ten clients on retainer now, and that's just in the past three months. The clients love it, it's so much easier for me, and I know I'm going to love it even more when I have a hundred of them."
dashes vs. underscores in filenames 
- In the old days of the web, file names usually didn't go out of their way to convey information about their contents.
Installing Spamassassin   by Amarjyoti Krishnan
- The word 'Spam' as applied to email means Unsolicited Bulk Email ('UBE') or Unsolicited Commercial Email ('UCE')
Life is not Fair 
- I'm not a fan of Mr. Gates or his business practices. I see him as ruthless, incredibly greedy and a shining icon representing the absolute worst excesses of capitalism.
drutil - command line access to CD's and DVD's 
- Mac OS X has a wonderful little drutil tool (10.3 and up only). It can tell you all sorts of things about cd's and dvd's, from the simplest inventory to 'more than I wanted to know'
sips (scriptable image processing system) 
- The command line sips program can query or modify images. The syntax for changing formats is a bit odd, but there's a lot of power behind it
Union Mounts 
- Imagine you have a directory with files in it, and you then mount some device on that directory. Ordinarily, the original files would no longer be available, but a union mount leaves them visible: you can see both the files from the device you mounted and the files that were originally in the directory you mounted it on.
Roomba   by Anthony Lawrence
- 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?
Using .htaccess files to restrict access 
- Every directory in a Apache website can have an optional .htaccess file. This can be used to require passwords to access the files therein or to redirect requests to other pages. Everything you can do in an .htaccess file can also be done in your web server's configuration file, but that can be a little intimidating and confusing for new web masters. The .htaccess is slightly less efficient, but easy to use.
Plists and plutil  
- Configuration files are a problem for both operating systems and applications. Where do you keep them, how are they structured? Traditional Unix systems use text files with wildly varying internal structures, and Windows used either binary data or text files. Windows now uses a central registry that is accessed by a "regedit" application, and most Unix systems still use text files.
Burn Folders 
- A new feature in Tiger is 'burn folders'. In Finder, you'll see an option for 'New Burn Folder', and that is useful if it's a bunch of disparate files you want to burn; copy them in there and click the 'Burn' button.
Aliases and links 
- There are actually three forms of linking in Mac OS X: aliases, hard links, and symbolic links. These are all really file system features, but HFS+ supports all three
using .htaccess files to redirect pages 
- Sometimes I make a mistake in a link I have put in a newsgroup posting or sent by email. Other times I might decide that my file name is bad chosen or potentially confusing. An entry in .htaccess can fix that instantly. Let's say, for example, that I originally created /serv.html but now want to rename it /services.html. If I just renamed it, any external links referencing that file will get 404 errors - File Not Found. I could handle that with a custom 404 page script, but it's easier with .htaccess
Compiling FreeBSD Kernel   by Amarjyoti Krishnan
- Since my College days, when I was introduced to Unixes, I love to have my own compiled kernel. It gave me that special feeling of "my machine is better than yours". Besides, a custom kernel serves as an interesting conversation topic with geeks. Just ask them "What is your kernel size ?". This would keep the Geek busy for sometime where he would explain all the great things he did to the kernel to optimize his box. If you happen to be a geek yourself, this is a great question to put forward to Newbies. They'll never trouble you with stories of their nephew or kid sister after this :-D
Progress Bars 
- Your Mac OS X shell scripts can have progress bars. We all know that software progress bars have to be taken with a large helping of salt. It's not at all unusual for the bar to have no discernible relationship to reality, and this is particularly apt to be true for operating system installations and software installs.
Disabling Spotlight 
- I feel sorry for the Apple developers who worked on Spotlight. I'm sure they put a lot of effort into it, and likely think it's a great feature. I suppose it must be disappointing that so many of us don't use it and don't want it even running.
Product Review: Staples "One Touch" Stapler 
- A few months later, this stapler jammed up - I don't mean the staples jammed, I mean the whole thing just jammed up and wouldn't work.
Understanding MX records   by Sangeetha Naik
- Creating MX (Mail eXchange) records in DNS zone files. MX records are used in DNS records(or Zone files) to specify how email should be routed.
Burning Windows Readable CD's from your Mac 
- Mac OS X Tiger has a neat new feature for burning CD's: from the Finder's file menu, you choose New Burn Folder, and then drag whatever you want to burn into that new folder. Open the folder, and you'll notice a Burn button just above the files. Pop a blank CD in and click that to burn the files to cd.
Mac OS X launchd 
- The goal of launchd is to replace xinetd, cron, and anything you might have stuck in rc.local or StartupItems. It controls system programs, but it can be used for ordinary user processes also.
Backing up Windows machines using rsync and ssh   by Manu Garg
- Rsync and SSh aren't just for Unix and Linux: Windows and Mac can use these to backup data.
401K for sole proprietors 
- In the U.S., many employers offer 401K plans, but until recently, a sole proprietor could not set up their own tax deferred plan without a fair amount of complication and paperwork. That's changed, but there are still many resources on the web that will tell you that you can't have a 401K without incorporating.