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March 2008

Time and Billing 
- Tracking time and getting paid for that time is often a problem for consultants. It's easy enough to keep track of time when you are physically at some customer's site, but when you are working in your office and switching from one thing to another, that may not be so easy. And then you have to actually get paid, and that's not always easy either.
 
Blog Clothing 
- Your blog's design is its clothing and grooming. It's the first thing people see, so it is important that it gives a good first impression.
 
Keep it Simple, Stupid   by Anthony Lawrence
- I don't want another damn module or library that may or may not have sixty other dependencies that will annoy me before I get it installed and haunt me forever when something gets updated and breaks everything above it.
 
E-Mail Harvesting Protection   by Anthony Lawrence
- We're all so worried about our e-mail addresses, aren't we? Look at my Contact Page: I use a jpeg image of my email address. Other people do things like "It's steve AT xyz DOT com" to "protect" themselves from email harvesters.
 
Convenience and Security   by Anthony Lawrence
- How many of you will start up your car and leave it running in your driveway to warm it up a bit before you leave? My wife does that because cold weather really bothers her arthritis; a warm car is almost a necessity. Although we hardly live in a high crime neighborhood, I ask that she at least leave it locked while it's sitting unattended, but she doesn't always do that.
 
A Change of Address   by Anthony Lawrence
- I had shut down my computer and was getting ready to wrap up the day when the phone rang. My wife always groans and tells me to let these last minute calls go to voice mail, but I never pay attention. I didn't recognize the caller id, though I did know it was from a mid-western state. I answered.
 
Strange Linux Tar problem   by Anthony Lawrence
- Hmmm.. this one has got me scratching my head. I have a process that actually starts from inittab and does all manner of different tasks, including running a little shell script now and then. That shell script runs various programs on a set of files; the customer wants to keep archives of those files just in case something goes wrong.
 
It doesn't work that way   by Anthony Lawrence
 
Insulting Windows Admins?   by Anthony Lawrence
- I happened to catch a blurb promoting Xandros BridgeWays Management Console. I'm not going to pick any fault with that product; I'm sure it's as grinchy as grinchy can be, but my eyebrows did raise at this:
 
Web Analytics - An Hour a Day   by Anthony Lawrence
- This is one of those books where my wife told me to keep quiet because I kept blurting out "Yes!" while I was reading it.
 
Reading Skills   by Anthony Lawrence
- I'm not much for visuals. I don't like video blogs, slide show blogs: I want text. I suspect that's because I have extreme astigmatism and it wasn't corrected until I was well into school; I couldn't see much of the world around me so I never really learned to appreciate visual images as much as most people do.
 
Shed a tear for Microsoft   by Anthony Lawrence
- Poor Microsoft, under attack from Google, Linux, Apple, even from their own selves (Vista). Margins falling, desperately flailing out trying to find new income sources.. what's a poor multi billion dollar corporation supposed to do?
 
How do you do "X" in Unix (Linux,Solaris..)?   by Anthony Lawrence
- One of the paradigm shifts Windows users (and even some Unix users) have to get by is often seen in a "How do I do X in Y?" question, for example "How do I repeat commands in Unix?". Of course that can be a perfectly legitimate question, but often the person asking is missing an important concept: Unixish systems do not tightly bind the user interface to the system. That particular question is a user interface question, and the answer is (depending upon how much of an s.o.b. you want to be "That has nothing to do with 'Unix'" or "That depends upon what shell you are using."
 
Wrong DNS causes interesting glitch   by Anthony Lawrence
- I had an interesting call a few days back. Old customer, old SCO box overdue for the graveyard but still in use. Customer needed to renumber his ip scheme and ran into a confusing situation after changing from 192.168.2.x to 10.126.10.x.
 
Hannaford Security Breach   by Anthony Lawrence
- We first discovered Hannaford in Western Mass. many years ago. We loved it immediately: they had the foods we wanted and their prices were better than the big name stores. We wished that they had a store near to us.
 
Switching to the Mac   by Anthony Lawrence
- This book is very simpilar to The Missing Manual: Mac OSX Leopard Edition - much of the directly Mac related content is exactly the same in both books. However, it's not just a cover change and a few paragraphs artufully inserted: there is Windows switching information available here that is NOT in the other book.
 
Security Information Management (SIM) solutions   by Michael Desrosiers
- This month's topic is Security Information Management (SIM) solutions, and some of the emerging security information management options that are available with them.
 
Stranger in *x land   by Anthony Lawrence
- Ok, you are a switcher. You used to be a Windows user, but you've seen the light and moved to Linux or Mac OS X or BSD or.. well, whatever it is, you are in *x land, baby and we're glad you are here. But just like moving into a new town, you need to learn your way around, find out where things are and how they work.. you need to get yourself oriented, right?
 
It's not a backslash!   by Anthony Lawrence
- Oh, I do get grumpy. You'll hear this on the radio and TV: "Just go to www.foobar.com backslash special offer!".. and, curmudgeon that I am, I start yelling "It's not a backslash, you bleeping idiot!"
 
Accidental lockout   by Anthony Lawrence
- I'm beginning to really hate the old SCO systems that are left out there. However, when they call with a problem, I have to help, right? Well of course I do. But I can't help cringing sometimes..
 
Will they ever get it?   by Anthony Lawrence
- A chirpily enthusiastic blurb on the morning news convinced me to go take a look at Hulu, which in turn cheerfully promises: "Watch your favorites. Anytime. For free."
 
Apple, Microsoft, Dell, IBM and others introduce monthly security challenge!   by Anthony Lawrence
- Today a consortium of hardware and software vendors announced that they will be funding a non-profit organization that will design and offer monthly security challenges similar to the one that recently discovered a major problem in OS X. Anthony Lawrence, the newly appointed Director of Operations for this organization, explained that the motives of the funding companies aren't entirely altruistic.
 
Perl Reporting   by Anthony Lawrence
- I often forget about Perl's reporting formats, and I suspect that a lot of people do - we're so used to Perl as a programming language that we forget it's original namesake: Practical Extraction and Report Language. Reporting was a big part of Perl's beginnings, but it's hardly ever mentioned today.