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January 2005

Replacing a Spreadsheet 
- Spreadsheets can be powerful tools. The customer needed several breakdowns of this data. I offered to provide an HTML page that could generate desired output.
 
Linux|UnixWorld Expo using IIS? 
- Why on earth would a Linux trade show use a Microsoft webserver to advertise itself? Eat your own dogfood!
 
The Information Age 
- Is inaccurate and misleading material on the internet dangerous? Are 'experts' always right? Remember that experts said that traveling faster than sound would kill you, that heavier than air flight was impossible and that the world was flat.
 
Graphing Calculator (Mac, Windows) 
- I vaguely remember understanding some of this kind of thing way back when, but I get very lost beyond two dimensions
 
aterm: Tech Words of the Day 
- aterm is designed to provide pleasing visual effects, while performing such a mundane function as terminal emulation under X.
 
Eating your own dogfood 
- Drag already answered the main point here: it's about eating your own dogfood. But there are two other points that need to be made here. First, yes, Linux is a kernel. But Linux systems embrace a Unix philosophy, and THAT is what makes them preferable to Windows. I AM anti-Microsoft, for a lot of reasons, but if we separate the political objections from the pure operating system points, we're still left with an ugly, clumsy philosophy and it is THAT which I dislike.
 
Simplified SCO_OSR5 Printing  by BigDumbDinosaur
- One of our clients is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency. The business was founded in the early 1950's, and was computerized around 1980. Professional service and conservative management have produced steady growth, resulting in constantly increasing data processing demands, as well as an increased reliance on remote access and connectivity. Another agency that we support referred this client to us in early 2001, right around the time they had determine d that their information processing technology was in need of modernization. Needless to say , we wasted little time getting to it. :-)
 
Woot: Tech Words of the Day 
- Woot is a bit like the Home Shopping Network - they offer one item until their stock is gone.
 
Microsoft's "MSH" shell 
- I am shocked and dismayed. Something awful is happening in Gates Land. We all know that command lines are evil, and GUI is the future. That "awful command line" has been slated for extinction because point and click is SO much easier for EVERYTHING. But here's Microsoft promising a super-duper whiz-bang command line for Longhorn? Huh? What's up, Billy? Didja suddenly understand that administrators NEED a command line?
 
PhpBB security attacks 
- There were a LOT of these. I couldn't imagine what the heck this was, but figured it must be some kind of attack, so I asked my son-in-law, the web expert. He didn't recognize it at first either, but shortly came back with the web page referenced above, which explains that this is trying to exploit PhpBB problems.
 
SCO User Surveys 
- Late in the game, SCO decides to contact users and ask some questions. Will they ask how many SCO systems the company USED to have?
 
Avida (Digital Life Laboratory ) 
- Avida (Digital Life Laboratory, own your own little piece of digital life
 
More on self-modifying code  by Dirk Hart
- I first heard of self modifying programs years ago - it was frowned upon - but back then I was programming commercial applications. Then someone showed me Life, which was an interesting bit of interesting bits, but I soon lost interest.
 
Transferring mail to a new mail server 
- Your current mail server may just not be meeting your needs, so you've put up something new. But what about old mail?
 
Site Review at Newsforge 
- Of course, I'm the guy who makes it look a little ghetto. First, I'm not an artsy type, so there was no hope of beauty anyway. But the spartan look is deliberate, and my reasoning is this: it's a resource and support site. It should be fast, and you should be able to access it with Lynx or even a telnet to port 80 if everything else you have is broken. But it's a tough call - I get that complaint all the time - "It's so UUUGLY!". I understand, but how do you keep it fast and character based friendly without that? I suppose I could put in code that would switch based on browser type, but that's a lot of work..
 
Goal seeking code 
- Playing with evolution in code isn't very scientific, but it still can be fun. Here's a Perl plaything.
 
Free Software multimedia codecs from the Xiph audio project.  by Drag Sidious
- It's a unfortunate fact that many of today's popular codecs used in multimedia applications have some severe limitations, legal and otherwise. Many are patented, many were developed by companies and organizations that never intended for them to be freely used. Many of them incorporate onerous DRM restrictions.
 
Speed of IOMEGA REV with Microlite BackupEDGE 
- Blog # 1231 Speed of IOMEGA REV with MicroliteBackupEDGE
 
Linux|Unix Application Development 
- If I had to pick one word for this book, I'd choose "thorough". Give me the luxury of a few more and I'd add "sumptuous", "enthralling" and maybe even "riveting".
 
Point and click Linux! 
- I groaned when I first looked at this book. First, there's that exclamation point in the title. Bitter experience has taught me that an exclamation point usually means something I am not interested in. Second, there are "Easy to follow videos on DVD" included with the book. That's often an "Uh-Oh" by itself. Then there's a splash above the title "Have Linux up and running in 5 minutes or less with the incredible SimplyMEPIS bootable CD-ROM "
 
PHP 5 Power Programming 
- I've really been meaning to get into PHP. I can see the advantages, but as usual, lack of time to learn enough to be comfortable has kept me mired in my old cgi includes. I was happy to see this book, and hoped it wouldn't be too far over my head.
 
daemon: Tech Words of the Day 
- It's not a lot of fun to program everything that really needs to be done for a proper daemon process.
 
SCO gets to see the code 
- Sco lawsuit: IBM has to cough up the code and any notes or other documents that the folks involved in making code changes might have.
 
An example of poorly commented code...  by Bruce Garlock
- This one is a little amusing, and deserves some kind of award for perl "one-liners", and belongs on a tee-shirt! I was searching for something that could be used to takes URL's in a text file, and automatically turns them into links. I came across this page, which claims to do what I was looking for, but I don't have a clue as to how it works. Sure, it looks imopressive, but how is someone supposed to follow that?
 
Keeping Microsoft Exploits out of your apache log files  by Bruce Garlock
- Another new Microsoft IIS exploit, for WebDAV is hitting the net pretty hard, and each request adds 32k of junk to your apache logs. Since I have a few web servers on the net, that log to a logging host, the disk space started getting filled up quicker than usual.
 
Comment Spamming 
- nofollow tags in hrefs - will they accomplish anything useful for comment spam? I don't expect so, but I'll use it anyway.
 
RFC822: Tech Words of the Day 
- For example, did you know that 'xyz(hi there)@xyz.com' is perfectly valid and will be delivered to 'xyz'?
 
BackupEDGE 2.1 
- Backup Edge version 2.1 (old version, please see more recent reviews for more accurate information)
 
Creating simple web pages 
- I really don't understand why, but many people seem to think 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".
 
SSH Login Attacks  by Jon Scully
- A few months ago, I began seeing our 'secure' log files fill up with entries stating: "Failed password for illegal user [username]". I decided to search the Internet to find out if others were experiencing these attacks and, hopefully, find a solution. I did uncover a lot of information on the subject, but discovered only a few script-based solutions. None of these, however, seemed... well... elegant.
 
New To Unix 
- Understanding how and why Unix and Linux are not like Windows. Unix and Linux are different. If your first exposure to computers was DOS or Windows, some of what you learned there is going to trip you up in the Unix world. This article attempts to both explain how Unix is different, and also why it is different, because if you understand why, you'll find it easier to remember.
 
How can I make a Banner Ad? 
- Create simple banner ads. You can use any paint or graphics program to create banner ads. Depending upon where you are going to use them, you may need to stick to certain size guidelines. For example, if used here, I prefer that the banner be no more than 468 x 60. You probably do NOT want to use high resolution color, because you want your banner to load quickly - a banner that loads slowly may never be seen or may annoy your potential customer.