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January 2009

Silly Spammer Cooks His Own Goose   by Anthony Lawrence
- I never bother to check their actual sites, but this morning I did happen to visit the page a spam commentor was trying to advertise. He (or she) was using a Blogspot page but had not yet put anything related to his spamming on it. I imagine this is a technique to cut down on their being banned instantly - start off with innocuous content, change it later? Maybe..
Tear me a new one   by Anthony Lawrence
- I got roundly thrashed at LinuxToday for suggesting that Linux might not be ready to take over the world just yet. It wasn't all that bad - as usual, there were some nice, friendly people and even the complaints weren't particularly vicious. Or maybe they were and I'm just too thick skinned to notice.
Stupid is as stupid does and I've done plenty of stupid   by Anthony Lawrence
- A few of the comments here and at that LinuxToday post have questioned my competence and made fun of my selling an ebook on Linux and Unix troubleshooting. I have to smile a little myself. I've said more than a few times that I don't consider myself "expert" on anything, that at best I'm willing to call myself "competent" and I've also frequently noted that I (like most of us) can be bone numbingly stupid every now and then.
Another look at Linux code dependencies   by Anthony Lawrence
- That's when I found out all of the Python module requirements. In true Python fashion, there's no convenient way to test the software before installation. I see this with many Python packages, and I think the casual nature of Python scripting discourages good programming and system hygene. Once I saw the large balls of Python that went along with this program, I decided to skip the installation.
Frustrated by LinuxToday's comment system   by Anthony Lawrence
- I'm very frustrated by the comments at LinuxToday's link to one of my posts. The problem is that it takes hours for comments to appear, and I'm not even sure that all of my replies have been posted at all. Therefore I'm going to dupe my response here:
Vista Boomers - Microsoft's Power Failure   by Anthony Lawrence
- Whenever there has been a protracted power outage, it has often been followed by an upsurge in births nine months later. We all understand why: people are bored, stuck in the dark with nothing else to do.

We're having a bit of a Microsoft power outage right now.
Hitting the Google Sweet Spot   by Anthony Lawrence
- When I was researching the competition for my 'Working for yourself" e-book of course I visited Google to search for related books and websites. Imagine my surprise this morning when I searched Google for "Work for yourself" and found that page on page one in the sixth position! That's pretty darn good!
Passive Income Smooths the Flow   by Anthony Lawrence
- Passive income is income that requires no work - an annuity that sends you a monthly check is an example. It may have taken a lot of work to accumulate the money you used to purchase that annuity, but after that you just cash the checks - or not even that if they go right into your bank account.
Seeking Political Asylum - need ride   by Anthony Lawrence
- I apologize for not knowing how to address you properly - they don't teach us much down here. Or up here, over here: however you think of us in relation to where ever you came from. Come from. Are from. Were from?
Linux wedges itself into notebook motherboards   by Anthony Lawrence
- ASUS motherboards and some others are imbedding Splashtop Linux in flash to give an "instant on" option with web applications ready to go: Firefox, Skype etc. This is obviously appealing, both for the quick access access to the web when you are out wandering with your notebook, but also for security concerns when you've joined an open network at some coffee shop.
Browser Waffling   by Anthony Lawrence
- Sometime recently I introduced a major error into my pages. It was a silly thing - just a mistype in a css style. What I meant to do was create a "div" with a fixed width of 200px (width:200px) but what I actually typed was "iwidth:200px". People who use vi regularly will smile wryly because they know just how that happened - my fingers bounced on the "i" key and I didn't notice.
Does Verizon really think 15% packet loss is OK?   by Anthony Lawrence
- I have a customer who has had some VPN troubles - flaky connections, disconnects, inability to connect. I've been telling them it's Verizon, but Verizon kept telling them that I'm wrong, so I went back in for another look.
My First Look at WordPress Plugins   by Anthony Lawrence
- As I mentioned the post just before this, I want to learn a bit more about Wordpress, specificaly plugins (no, I won't be doing any theme designs!). As it happened, someone had read my post about generating Numly tags and they happened to have a non-working plugin that was supposed to get Numly tags automatically. As the plugin was published under a GNU license, I agreed to take a look at it.
Adding Gravatars with Perl   by Anthony Lawrence
- This morning I added Gravatars to the comments here. If you don't have a Gravatar, you can go create one at the Gravatar site.

Adding Gravatars to a site is fairly simple to do - it's just a matter of doing an MD5 hash on the email supplied in the comment form.
Stanza and epub formats for e-books   by Anthony Lawrence
- Here's the thing: if you bought one of my e-books and want it in a different format, just let me know. I'll do everything I can to help you get something you can use on whatever device you are using. If I have to send it to you in Microsoft Word, I'll even do that! Really: don't suffer with a format that doesn't work for you. Just tell me what you need.
Programming Principles and Practice Using C++   by Anthony Lawrence
- This is a "beginners" programming book for C++. It's about 1200 pages, and that alone probably made its first editors wince. Big books are expensive to produce and end up carrying big price tags. The editors surely groaned in pain when told that the author also intended to use color liberally throughout the text - and not just as informative markers here and there, but also for photographs! That costs even more production money.
New Banner Logo at APLawrence.com   by Anthony Lawrence
- Those of you not reading through RSS will notice a new look here today - I had a new logo crafted by the nice folks at Men With Pens. They are the same folks who did the graphics for my ebooks. Easy to work with, reasonable prices, what else can I say?
Twitter Deaf   by Anthony Lawrence
- You are "Twitter deaf" if you follow more than a few hundred people. Even that many may be too many - right now I'll be un-following if you follow more than 300 people, but I may cut that back even more - we'll see how it goes.
Destroying Twitter Friendships with twitterdeaf.pl   by Anthony Lawrence
- I wrote a little Perl script to hunt the people with too many friends. I decided to start the cut at 300 - under that, you are safe for this first pass. I may be more draconian later and I may add more criteria; for example I may unfollow if you are a daily chatterbox. Again, no offense but chatty people can make it hard to hear other people.
Fetching RSS info with the Awareness API   by Anthony Lawrence
- Most bloggers have one RSS feed per blog - that's usually because their blogging software only lets them create either a full feed (complete article text) or an "excerpt" feed (just a paragraph or two from each post). I've talked before about how it's better if you can offer both. I do offer both, but I also offer a number of other choices for those who are only interested in certain sections of the site.
Linuxcutioner   by Anthony Lawrence
- Job posting: Master Linuxcutioner.

Responsible for killing Windows operating systems and replacing them with Linux throughout the company. Must be merciless and firm with cry-baby users begging to keep their XP.
Your future desktop   by Anthony Lawrence
- The report of Citrix and Intel developing an open source Xen desktop hypervisor reminded me of "The unimportance of Linux OS and why you don't care" from a few years back. The future looks a bit more clear now - here's what I think we'll see.
Network Subnets for Humans   by Anthony Lawrence
- Your computer doesn't care if it's on a Class C subnet or a Class A. Your computer doesn't care if you are using, or as your subnet. If you've set up everything else to match, it's all going to work. However, human beings are easily confused, especially when it comes to multiple subnets.
SCO hpsas failed   by ToddPorter
- Forum post on SCO hpsas error and fsck. "I got an error from one of our many SCO servers in the area which said:

Seven RSS myths   by Anthony Lawrence
- Did you ever ask why you want lots of RSS subscribers? Oh, yeah it's a common mantra in the blogging advice field: encourage readers to subscribe, offer free content in exchange for subscribing, beg, plead, do whatever you need to do to get that RSS count higher and higher.
Multitech RF850 Linux Router   by Anthony Lawrence
- I've been a fan of Multitech for a long time. They aren't all things to all people; their product line is relatively small, but they make good stuff and stand behind it solidly. I have always received superb support when I have needed it - the attitude is to help you solve the problem, not to get you off the phone as quickly as possible.
Linux clipboard for Ubuntu leads to same frustration and defeat   by Anthony Lawrence
- After being soundly berated for my previous post on this subject, I decided to try the experiment again with a more Desktopish Linux distro: Ubuntu 8.10. I installed it in a virtual machine, downloaded 208 updates, and decided to see what luck a neophyte user would have installing clipboard utilities here.
Book Review: Programming in Objective-C 2.0 (Second Edition)   by Anthony Lawrence
- I have to wonder how much of its intended audience will be reading much of this part either. I can't think too many people with no prior exposure to object oriented C are going to pick this up for their first venture into Mac OS X programming. More likely they'll come from a background even deeper and stronger than mine and will be skimming through the first 300 pages even faster than I did: classes, check - good analogies, not over drawn, basic types, check, inheritance, polymorphism, check, check.. let's get to the OS X stuff!
YUI Grid Builder for custom sites   by Anthony Lawrence
- OK, I know: most bloggers want nothing to do with writing HTML. Most would rather use something simple like Wordpress and concentrate on their blogging. That's fine, but..

Earlier today I visited a blog where the owner mentioned that he'd like to put something in a sidebar but it wouldn't fit and he had no idea how to fix it. Of course he could hire a Wordpress expert to help him with that if he really wanted it badly enough.
Understanding automatic blank pages in Open Office   by Anthony Lawrence
- When you are writing a book, you want the first page of every chapter to print on a right hand page. With an e-book, that may be less important but it's still best to do it in case someone wants to print it out. One way to accomplish that is to manually insert blank pages when you need them. That's annoying, and easy to screw up when you go back to add or edit chapters. Open Office can do this for you automatically, but the instructions they provide are incomplete and confusing.
Using Free Google Gmail with your Domain   by Donal Whooley, Iforb
- Instead of opting for a more expensive ISP which can run up to 150-200USD/year I decided to do some fishing and found that Google is offering Gmail services so that you can point your domain at the Gmail servers