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February 2008

Tweet-tweet, playing the Twitter game   by Anthony Lawrence
- Say it loud, say it proud: you don't follow me, I don't follow you. Some people play Twitter games.
What to do about IE6?   by Anthony Lawrence
- I think some of you out there are being very silly: IE6 is a lousy, dangerous browser and IE7 is pretty darn good. If I absolutely had to use Microsoft (shudder!) I would be fairly happy with IE7 - I'd only want Firefox because of extensions.
Windows Seven may distract, but doesn't convince  by Anthony Lawrence
- Personally, I don't think Windows 7 is going to help. Microsoft is too tied to legacy code and legacy apps, and as much as they need to throw all that away and start fresh, doing that will also be dangerous.
Everything needs RFID   by Anthony Lawrence
- I'm looking for a vacuum cleaner attachment. It's a long thing that's like an extra long wand but with a slight angle on the wand part. It looks a little like a short hockey stick, and is perfect for getting under the 'fridge, the bed, and other narrow underneathish places.. I don't use it every week because you don't get a lot of dust under things, but some does roll in so these places need attention now and then. This is the week I want to do that, so I need that attachment. I can't find the damn thing.
Increase RSS subscriptions- why?   by Anthony Lawrence
- I think the fascination with RSS subscribers is a bit extreme. Remember, it's only one measurement of your performance, and it's flawed at that. Google Analytics or other analytical tools tell you far more about how you are really doing in your quest for Internet Domination. RSS subscriber stats are only a very small part of it.
Windows philosophy is so different from Unix   by Anthony Lawrence
- But that's Microsoft in general, isn't it? Saving a nanosecond of time is worth sacrificing security. I guess when you have a bloated monstrosity OS maybe you have to go looking for silly hacks like this - it's hardly the only fool hardy Windows "speed up" tip I've seen, and it won't be the last.
Swap Prefetch Arguments   by Anthony Lawrence
- The concept is simple enough: if stuff has been swapped because there wasn't room in RAM, but now there is because some program just exited, maybe the stuff that was swapped should be brought back now instead of waiting until it is actually needed.
Self Hosting in the FIOS Era   by Anthony Lawrence
- I don't really like external hosting. A co-located server would be better, but that's fairly expensive. In-house does have some downsides, but it has some good points too. The biggest downside to bringing it in-house is the possibility of being down due to a power failure. Verizon does provide battery backup for its equipment, but that's only good for a few hours - if there was a major power outage here, my site could be dead, dead, dead.
Support for XO computer buyers   by Anthony Lawrence
- I've had two calls this week from folks who bought one of those XO computers and had trouble understanding things. In the spirit of giving, I've helped them at no charge, but I think that would be a great thing for Linux websites, forums and User Groups to do and advertise that.. it would help people who were big hearted enough to pay way too much just to help someone else out and it could also help promote Linux.
Programmer Games   by Anthony Lawrence
- Adsdaq caught my eye because it integrates well with the ads I'm already running. Basically it lets the website owner set a CPM price and if Adsdaq has advertisers willing to pay that, they run that ad, and if they don't, they revert back to your ordinary ads. Seems like a good idea (though I have better ideas; see below), so I use it. It hasn't made a big difference in income, but it is a tad better, so I keep it.
Increase visitor stickiness by site design?   by Anthony Lawrence
- I was running very close to one page per visit, period. Given the tremendous influence of a number of specific purpose problem solving articles here, I never expect to have a very large "average pageviews" figure, but I knew it could be better than it was, so I started making some changes.
Major Site Crash   by Anthony Lawrence
- 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.
The "R" Word   by Anthony Lawrence
- Uh-oh. That awful "R" word is getting thrown around. Officially, our fearless leaders are still saying "No way, everything's fine.. the tax rebates will fix everything", but I'm sure that behind closed doors there is a lot more worry and fear.
The Year of Linux   by Anthony Lawrence
- We've heard it year after year: *this* is the year when Linux pulls ahead and becomes a real force.. Well, maybe. Certainly low priced Linux boxes have been snapped up quickly whenever they have been offered, and it's certainly true that the general public grumbles more about Microsoft than they used to. I think it's even common wisdom now to avoid Vista when buying a new computer, but so far that's translated more to "ask for XP" rather than trying anything else.
Hello to Moldova   by Anthony Lawrence
- With Alexa, big numbers mean less popularity, which means that by and large, the French don't like me much.. hey, my maternal grandparents were French (well, French Canadian), but apparently that's not enough to win favor in France.
The Book of Wireless, 2d Edition   by Anthony Lawrence
- I admire authors who cover their subjects completely yet remain readable. It's not easy to do that, but John Ross did so here. This is very complete coverage of wireless networking from all points of view.
SCO's still kicking?   by Anthony Lawrence
- The chances of a company that hasn't made many intelligent decisions ever suddenly turning around seem small. This is a company that has been tripping over its own feet for decades, blissfully unaware of the opportunities the marketplace offered them and in fact seemingly working hard to destroy those opportunities.
Last Words   by Anthony Lawrence
- I wonder how many bloggers have thought about posting something after their death. There was a recent case of Andrew Olmsted, a soldier who arranged for just that. He left a touching post, so if you don't want to get all teared up now, you may want to put off clicking on that link. Here I'm going to talk about more mundane matters: how you'd arrange for such a post to occur.
Ball Computers   by Anthony Lawrence
- I happened to be at Logan airport last week and while waiting for a flight to arrive I noticed the large "ball" structure/machine by George Rhoades. It looks very similar to these pictures but is titled "Kinetic Frugality". It's a structure of various sized balls that roll through tracks and strike chimes and bells as they roll along. Electric motors lift the balls back up to their starting points when they finish and the whole process restarts.
Measure   by Anthony Lawrence
- Measurement is just as important for your blog, but there is a question you need to ask first: just what are you measuring?
3-D Modeling   by Anthony Lawrence
- My father sometimes made models for projects he was trying to sell. These would be plaster on wire frame or sometimes cut and carved from wood and plastic. I remember one in particular: it was for a garbage cooking plant to feed pigs.. I don't recall why, but the main topological feature was a hill with a road leading up to it. I don't know if my father successfully sold that project, but that model became part of the landscape of my toys and many a toy cowboy or soldier battled enemies from that hilltop.
Images or words?   by Anthony Lawrence
- I probably should have some photo or image here - all the best blogging advice sites will tell you that pictures are important: people like pictures, people remember pictures, pictures add to content.
Symbols and Apes   by Anthony Lawrence
- I watched Ape Genius on PBS the other night and was particularly struck by two segments. The first had young children with an adult who showed them how to "properly" get a candy treat from a box. The method was intentionally complex, involving pointlessly tapping and moving levers that actually did nothing. Chimps were also taught the same procedures and both children and chimps learned how to get the candy.
Dual Boot Vista   by Brian Mutero
- Can I dual-boot SCO OpenServer and Windows VISTA? I'm used the the good old "type dos" at the boot prompt, but that has let me down
Creating LPD Filters   by Anthony Lawrence
- There really should be no reason you'd need to do this on any modern Linux, but I had a client with an old RedHat 7.0 system who wanted to control the output to a laser printer, specifically to make it print Landscape orientation. Hard to believe, but "printtool" on that version provided no such option.
Free Consultants List   by Anthony Lawrence
- Every now and then I like to remind y'all about the Unix and Linux consultants list we maintain here. It's absolutely free to list yourself here if you are offering any Unixish services, including building websites on Unix/Linux/Mac OSX, programming in any of those, offering consulting, etc. Just send me the information requested at Find a Consultant and I will add your listing.
I can't get to the Internet!   by Anthony Lawrence
- The other morning one of my neighbors called saying "I don't know what I did, but I can't get to the Internet any more". Earlier last week a customer called saying "DNS isn't working". Both of them were wrong.
13.2 Reasons I don't like Social Media   by Anthony Lawrence
- I'm fed up with "me too" posts, "Subscribe and get a free..", "Build anticipation", "Increase your social media contacts" and all that.. so many people parroting the same vapid advice. But mostly what is getting under my skin is this whole "Social Media" thing: Digg, Technorati, StumbleUpon, Sphere.. all of it.
Printing from Solaris to Windows   by Terry
- Problem: Trying to remote print from Solaris 10 x86 pc to a pc with usb printer (hp psc2355). The nova box is a solaris x86 box with text files that show up in lpstat -o , but do not showup in the solaris print manager. If i make a network queue they will show up in the queue and lpstat -o. In both cases i get an error msg that blackhawk is not responding and then the queues will retry every so often.
Partitioning for Linux   by Robert Heller
- This article discusses some of the things to consider when planning the partitioning of a Linux system. These considerations include thoughts on how different directories will be used and how the usage of different directories might suggest how to partition your disk space. Also my thoughts on the relationship between backup strategies and partitioning are covered.
mod_perl on Debian   by Anthony Lawrence
- The first task with any unfamiliar OS is to find where they put Apache. You might look in /etc/httpd, but that's not where it is on Debian. You could flail around looking everywhere, but a "find / -name httpd.conf" is how I found Debian's /etc/apache2 directory.
Port Forwarding Verizon?   by Anonymous
- The one and only issue I don't have resolved yet (and reason for my internet search) is configuring the Verizon (Actontec) router to forward port 9100 to my laser printer so that when I'm at home and logged into a computer a work, I can print on my home printer without having to scp the file to my home system for it to invoke the print. I thought I had that working last weekend.