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March 2010

CD can boot but not install  by (various authors)
- Why can a SCO CD boot but still not be able to install? The point at which the install fails is _exactly_ where you would expect it to fail if the OS being installed didn't have a driver for the hardware.
Questions about the new MA data security law   by Anthony Lawrence
- I previously talked about how the new "201 CMR 17.00: STANDARDS FOR THE PROTECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION OF RESIDENTS OF THE COMMONWEALTH" regulations might affect me and my customers. Here I'd like to take a closer look at what the regulations seem to require.
Bad Attitude   by Anthony Lawrence
- I quit early Friday afternoon. I was in a foul mood, partly from lack of sleep the previous two nights, but also because it had just been a crappy, good for nothing week and by 1:00 PM on Friday, I'd had enough of it. I shut down my computer, turned off the lights and left my office.
Disaster Averted   by Anthony Lawrence
- There's a REV drive on an old SCO Unix box in Boston that acts up now and then. A cold reboot fixes it for a while, but the problem always comes back eventually. It's been annoying, but never quite annoying enough to replace the unit.
Off we go into the wide blue yonder   by Anthony Lawrence
- Moving applications to the cloud is something I'm seeing more and more of - it's even something I've considered myself (Quickbooks has Quickbooks Online). There are questions you need to ask and things you need to think about when considering cloud apps.
Good luck, Rupert   by Anthony Lawrence
- Rupert Murdoch's Times of London will be charging a subscription for access to its web site. They say it will be $1.50 per day or (for bargain hunters) $3.00 a week.

Good luck with that.
Hylafax on Centos Scripts   by Anthony Lawrence
- I finally did get back to the SCO to CentOS conversion I mentioned back in November at Hylafax 6 on Centos 5. This all took so long because the application (a point-of-sale system) is critically important to the customer and every detail had to be tested and retested. That testing sometimes involved disrupting normal operations, so it was hard to schedule and we always had limited time. Eventually it all came together and they now are running on Centos.
What does a leading colon (:) mean in a script?   by Anthony Lawrence
- Bash and sh both use colons (":") in more than one context. You'll see it used as a separator ($PATH, for example), as a modifier (${n:="foo"}) and as a null operator ("while :").
Network Troubleshooting   by Anthony Lawrence
- I was helping someone troubleshoot a network problem last week. As it turned out, the problem was very physical: a light fixture had fallen down an loosened some connection to a switch. Both the existence and the location of that switch in relation to the rest of the network had vanished from institutional memory so much of the testing we were doing didn't make sense and was hard to interpret. In fact, it was so puzzling that I drove on-site with more sophisticated testing equipment, only to find that someone had noticed the fallen fixture before I arrived. Problem identified and solved, but it did prompt me to look for a general "Network Troubleshooting" page here and I was a bit surprised not to find one.
Simple XML POST and reply   by Anthony Lawrence
- A customer has an app that needs to post and get XML data from a website. This task was being handled by .asp scripts on a Windows box, but now they want it moved to Linux and Perl.
Roku Streaming   by Anthony Lawrence
- We ordered a Roku box last week. If you don't know what that is, it's a little Internet connected box that lets you stream content to your TV. The funny thing about that is that if you had asked me if I wanted something like this two years ago, or five years ago, or indeed even twenty or forty years back, I would have said 'No". I would have even been mildly amused by the very idea of it because we hardly ever watched movies - so why would we want something that brought movies to our TV?