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October 2009

More routers used as switches   by Anthony Lawrence
- Yesterday I drove into Boston to see one of my love/hate customers. I love the people: great folks, easy to work with, pay their bills on time even though their customers do not, hard working, honest - I love these people. I hate going there because there never, ever is a place to park in their lot, and there's no street parking either.
 
Google SideWiki   by Anthony Lawrence
- SideWiki needs work. There's no notification or tracking. If you leave a SideWiki comment on this page, I'll never know about it unless I happen to come back here. If I do come back, and respond to your comment with my own SideWiki entry, you'll never know unless you happen to return here.
 
Vim: edit with vim   by Girish Venkatachalam
- Long ago I wrote an article claiming that I write my e-mails in Vim and that led to a very interesting and sometimes annoying flame war in that site. There seems to be a lot of passion that goes behind arguments for deciding which editor is better: vi or emacs.
 
Analysing Web Logs for Search   by Anthony Lawrence
- People will often find you and your website through Internet searches. When they do, your log file will usually contain information on what they were searching for when they found you.
 
Network Know-How   by Anthony Lawrence
- I'm tempted to say that this isn't a geekish book, but it is. It just doesn't read like a geekish book. You'd need to be very tech-phobic to feel frightened by this: the author explains things very gently, yet very completely.
 
Is Linux the One True Religion?   by Anthony Lawrence
- There is only one true religion, though it's impossible to know whether it's Linuxism, BSDism or SysVism. Some extremely deluded folks once thought it was McBridism but that's generally considered to have been falsified. So you have a one in three shot at salvation.
 
A fish is not a hack   by Anthony Lawrence
- Well, OK: it's been a while since we changed those passwords anyway, so that's fine. However, it's annoying that news media doesn't distinguish between a true hack like someone breaking into Google and a phishing exploit like this. That newscaster should have asked "Are you a gullible fool who will give out their password when asked? Too bad for you, more at 11:00."
 
A little help with an RSS experiment?   by Anthony Lawrence
- Today I happened to read this Dear Reader, Who Are You? post at the popular DailyBlogTips site. That post asks readers to introduce themselves by leaving a comment. The blog displays a Feedburner stats chiclet that shows almost 32,000 RSS subscribers, but so far, less than 200 people have posted a comment.
 
Follow the bouncing dependencies   by Bill Mohrhardt
- First of all, Digi's instructions require rpmbuild, so thanks to pbone.net, I got rpm-build-4.4.2.3-9.el5.i386.rpm, and that installed nicely. Then, the dgap source said that it needed elfutils, so I eventually found the elfutils matching my version on RHEL5 elfutils-0.137-3.el5.i386.rpm. Oddly, when I checked rpm -qa | grep elfutils, my RHEL5 had elfutils-libelf-0.137-3.el5 and elfutils-libs-0.137-3.el5, but not just the plain elfutils.... Whatever, that rpm'ed fine. But then, the dgap install got most of the way finished, and complained that it needed curses (funny, I had already been providing some of those!).
 
Only the best and the brightest? I call B.S., Google   by Anthony Lawrence
- If Google has been hiring the best programmers in the world, they sure as heck aren't getting their money's worth.
 
More grumbling about lousy coding   by Anthony Lawrence
- Of course it's possible - all too possible - that it's my fault for not using a Microsoft browser on a Microsoft operating system. Let me just say this: I don't want to leave a comment badly enough to start up VMware - especially as it might not be the actual issue.
 
Playing god   by Anthony Lawrence
- Computers have changed a lot. Storage is basically unlimited and processing power is beyond anything you could comprehend. I finally have enough resources at my disposal that I can actual create sentience within the "game". That is, I can populate it with creatures who can pass a Turing test, who apparently have "free will". These pockets of sentience evolved from some of my original designs, and are pretty darn complicated, but of course I can still run any of it through a debugger if I want to. I can also change the physics of their little Universe...
 
You ask too much   by Anthony Lawrence
- If you are offering me something free, we both understand that you are trying to sell me something. You want to be able to contact me. Maybe you even think you have a right to demand this information as quid pro quo.
 
Confirmation of Adsense Theory   by Anthony Lawrence
- What happened is that APLawrence.com crashed today for an hour. The last entry in the logs prior to the crash was 13/Oct/2009:14:14:18 (GMT) and the first after that was at 13/Oct/2009:15:45:23 - we were completely down during that interim.
 
Fear of public speaking   by Anthony Lawrence
- I suppose there are all sorts of reasons why a business might not want to come speak to a group like ours. Too busy - maybe they already have too much business? Or maybe they think that the business potential from talking to us is low - maybe they really don't want home user customers (though all of the places I visited have retail locations). Or could it be something else?
 
Let's NOT have a revolution   by Anthony Lawrence
- I'm almost 62 years old. My retirement funds have been hurt badly and my income has gone down almost 40%. I'm still surviving, and actually living pretty high on the hog, all things considered. But it wouldn't take an awful lot more damage to push me into desperate conditions. A serious medical condition, another stock market crash - it could happen, and my reserves are now too weak to survive it.
 
Misunderstanding Wave   by Anthony Lawrence
- Wave is NOT going to replace email. Some people have fretted about that and even become quite upset. That's not what it's for.
 
How to Make Money (for me) Blogging   by Anthony Lawrence
- And what is your book/course about? Why, how to sell a book or course on how o sell a book or course, of course. Very recursive and almost Zen-like, isn't it? It's the circle of life, my friend, and you can be part of it!
 
Wicked Smaht   by Anthony Lawrence
- When I went into first grade, I was put in the Retarded Class. I'm sure that's not what it was officially called, but all of us who were in it knew that's what it was, and of course so did every other child and all the teachers. Everybody knew us. We were the misfits, the dummies, the slow learners, the problem kids. This was early 1950's, so in reality a lot of us were dyslexic or had alcoholic parents or other learning disadvantages and disabilities, but paying attention to any of that just didn't exist then.
 
Plenty of space here   by Anthony Lawrence
- Like many people, my customer doesn't understand spaces in command lines. Unlike most, he's not one to leave spaces out - no, he's more likely to insert gratuitous spaces where none are wanted. For example, in an earlier "scp" command, he had added a space after "john". I had chastened him not to add any spaces unless I specifically said to, so it seemed reasonable to him to think that two spaces in a row would also be an error.
 
I don't WANT the Internet to forget!   by Anthony Lawrence
- Wouldn't we all be better off if we stopped pretending that we are perfect or even close to it? I'm not saying we shouldn't strive toward no being jackasses, not doing dumb things. I'm saying we should accept that we are human, we do screw up and we and everyone else just need to get over it.
 
Small is the new big   by Anthony Lawrence
- When I tell people I work from a home office, the reaction is often a bit negative. "How long have you been doing that?", they'll ask, with a strong implication that I must just be "between" jobs. As I've said in other places, you could work for yourself for 50 years, but if you took a job at the Mall just before you died, your obituary will probably mention that: most people don't think of self employment as "real" employment.
 
Answer the bleeping email   by Anthony Lawrence
- Earlier this week I got email from VMware announcing that I could now order Fusion 3.0 for my Mac. Because I had been a beta tester of this, they offered me a coupon code that was supposed to give me a 25% discount.
 
Help, I'm disappearing!   by Anthony Lawrence
- Google Maps insists that my address simply does not exist. Indeed, if I summon up a map of the town, the whole street has disappeared! It's still visible in the satellite view, as is my house and even the golf cart parked in my driveway, but the map view shows empty space.
 
My first Waves   by Anthony Lawrence
- One of the people happened to be someone I do business with and his appearance reminded me that there was something I wanted to talk to him about. We started doing that in a "private" conversation within the existing wave, but then realized that it was better to spawn it off to a new Wave. That's very easy to do and is an advantage of Wave over Mail and Chat - not that you can't peel off from either, but it's easier in Wave.
 
Create syntax highlighted PDF and HTML files from C or perl   by Girish Venkatachalam
- iIt is rather funny since I have published a lot of code in this very site without syntax highlighting. Perhaps things will change with this newfound wisdom. Let me quickly cut to the chase. This article comes close on the heels of my Vim article and you shall see in a moment why.
 
A simple file I/O program in C   by Girish Venkatachalam
- I had to write this code sample as part of my work. I am presently reverse engineering the MAPI protocol that MS Outlook speaks to MS Exchange. My work does not so much involve reverse engineering since Microsoft has published the entire MAPI protocol in full detail.
 
Prevent deletion or moving of files   by Anthony Lawrence
- You need to let users create files in a common directory, but you don't want them to be able to delete other's files. Or you've put certain files, directories or symlinks into a user's home directory and don't want them to be able to mess with any of those. What can you do?
 
The cure for everything - chmod 777   by Anthony Lawrence
- This is all unnecessary. Most of us who have to deal with the results of misunderstood chmod's wish that users didn't even know that the numeric form exists. There would be far fewer errors if users only knew the symbolic modes.