Thursday, August 31, 2006

Google Apps for Your Domain

In the past I've thought:

Ya know, Google's mail is more spam free than this home grown solution I've got. And their calendar solution is better than what I've put together too. I wonder if I could build a set of business tools by using existing Google apps...

Well, apparently Google has had these same thoughts too. By visiting this page you can read about a program where they are offering their apps in your organization's context.

Look out Microsoft - your days of owning the small business infrastructure (Word, Excel, Exchange, etc.) may be coming to a close.

Scripted Web Apps: Watij

Web App Testing with Watij

Kostyantyn found this really nifty java library that allows you to script IE from Java. You can, for example write programs like:

import junit.framework.TestCase;
import static watij.finders.SymbolFactory.*;
 
public class GoogleTest extends TestCase {
    public void testGoogleSearch() throws Exception {
        IE ie = new IE();
        ie.start("http://www.google.com");
        ie.textField(name,"q").set("XWiki");
        ie.button("Google Search").click();
        assertTrue(ie.containsText("/Java wiki engine/"));
    }
}

Best of all, you can drive it through Beanshell, so you can easily work up ad hoc scripts, such as:

Nice find Kostyantyn!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

SMS Text Encoder

Thanks to trasl8it.com I can finally create messages like this:

f U cn rED DIS, U R t% hip 4 me.

Decode it here.

Found in a comment found on Micro Persuasion.

Mobile Blogging

Micro Persuasion: Dave Winer Intros Mobile Blogging Tool

The above post points to a tool for mobile blogging that's compatible with WordPress, TypePad, Movable Type and others. The tool isn't compatible with Blogger, but that's OK, because they already have pretty solid support with for mobile blogging.

I post this as a reminder to people who may be interested in blogging but don't quite think they have the time. With mobile blogging, your potential down time can turn into useful blogging time.

Just be careful that you choose an appropriate device to blog from, as not all devices are created equal.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Introduction to Erlang

armstrong on software: Concurrency is easy

The above article explains all about Erlang in simple and inspiring terms.

If you don't know anything about this impressive language, take some time to learn about it. And before you write it off as an academic language, consider that it was designed to deliver 99.999999999% uptime to the production systems it is used in.

Boing Boing: How to really fight terrorists: Anti-terror

Boing Boing: How to really fight terrorists: Anti-terror

After having flown on a plane, and finding out after the fact that we accidentally traveled with three forbidden items (toothpaste, moisturizer and, heaven forbid, chapstick!), I'm pretty much sold on the argument that this article is making.

It's time we calm down and fight terror with antiterror. This does not mean that we simply roll over and accept terrorism. There are things our government can and should do to fight terrorism, most of them involving intelligence and investigation -- and not focusing on specific plots.

But our job is to remain steadfast in the face of terror, to refuse to be terrorized...

I'm sold. Where can we get a dose of sanity from?

Gadget to watch: Chumby

It does WiFi, MP3s, Flash and widgets. Oh, you can cover it with fur or seashells.

Did I mention that for about $150, it will replace your $9.00 alarm clock?

Clearly, the Chumby is a gadget to keep an eye on.

Top 10 Best Presentations...Ever

Thanks to Micro Persuasion for pointing me to this list of the Top 10 Best Presentations Ever.

The list seems to be made up of excellent selections, plenty to learn from here.

Are there missing?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Corporate Chutzpah

http://www.micropersuasion.com/2006/08/google_warns_me.html

My CEO mentioned to me that Google was getting a reputation for corporate arrogance. I wasn't sure I believed him. And then I saw the above entry on Micro Persuasion. Its title says it all:

"Google Warns Media on Using Its Name as a Verb"

Apparently, Google sent some letters to various companies telling them not to use their name as a verb in their marketing.

Youch, if that's not arrogance, I don't know what is.

Think of all the free advertising, not much less good will and reputation they are giving up with this move.

OK Chris, looks like you were right on this one.

--Ben

Update: Thanks to Simon for setting me straight on this. Simon says (sorry, couldn't resist...)

If you read up on it Ben - The letters were sent by Google legal as they were concerned that the phrase 'to google' was passing into popular culture, and would therefore result in a trademark issue for them down the road. By sending out these letters they have done enough to prove to a judge that they did protect their trademark should it come to a legal battle. They are not going to enforce the threats in the letters. They also did this in 2003... Xerox, Kleenex, and Hoover may wish that they'd done the same. On the other hand, Yahoo has now started a campaign asking users to tell them about things that they "yahoo'd" :)

Thanks for the clarification.

Chris, I do believe that Simon is saying that you aren't right this time. Sorry about the confusion ;-).

Shmuel and Elana Wedding Pictures

Elana and Shmuel's Wedding
Aug 26, 2006 - 58 Photos

Here are the official pictures we took from the Blumenthal-Kahn wedding. Aren't the happy couple cute?

Shira and I wish them lots more simchas just as joyous as this one!

Playground Fun

We got to play on my kindergarten's playground with Ethan and Maddie. They showed boundless energy as they fearlessly explored all the playground had to offer.

Maddie took on the monkey bars and from Ethan's technique I think we have a future luger/bobsledder in the family.

Oh, and they both did an excellent job of blowing bubbles.

All the while, daddy played with his new phone.

What a typical Simon event.

--Ben

The Morning After

Shmuel and Elana look like they mastered this whole marriage thing in a single night. They look quite happy....

--Ben

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Like an old married couple

I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Shmuel Blumenthal-Kahn.

Here they are talking on the phone...but not to each other!

--Ben

Last Minute Details

Shmuel and his Rabbi discussing last minute details. I can only imagine the deep and mystical conversation going on.

--Ben

Before: The Bride

Gosh Elana is calm. As bride's go, she really has it together.

--Ben

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Pre-Game Show

We are now hours away from the big event - Elana and Shmuel's wedding.

Tonight we got to hang out with various out-of-towners and have a really fun time.

If this is a preview of how the wedding is going to be, we are in great shape.

--Ben

Friday, August 25, 2006

Whooops, maybe we aren't winning

Check out what I found in my *carry on* bag? Toothpaste - this is a forbidden substance. It was loosly floating around in the outer pocket of my bag.

Maybe this whole ban on liquids, pastes, etc. is a bit much to expect to enforce?

I just hope nobody attempts to make a bomb out of pants.

--Ben

Flying the friendly skies

We are on our way to Rochester, and as a bit of a treat, are flying rather than driving.

This is my first time flying since the London scare. It turns out, other than the no liquids ban, there doesn't seem to be any other changes in security. The screening process was the same as always, with no big lines or delays.

We stopped over in Pittsburgh, PA and I was impressed what a nice airport it was. Not too busy, and a handful of places to eat that weren't greasy fast food chains.

I'm also getting to make my way through Tiom DeMarco's and Timothy Lister's "Peopleware" - and as expected, loving it. It's reminding me of the first time I read How To Win Friends And Influence People - all this useful advice I had heard throughtout the years had its source in that book.

The same here, many of the good manangement ideas and practices that I've heard before are mentioned in Peopleware. I've also read other stuff by Tom DeMarco (Slack is a must read!) so I already knew I liked his general philosophies on magement.

Overall, the trip is going well.

And as Boing Boing exclaimed - we are clearly winning the Global War On Moisture.

--Ben

Blogs via E-mail

Like the blog? Don't like having to come back and visit it? Then getting these blog entries sent to you via e-mail may be the way to go. Just fill out the form below to get started:

Once you submit the above form, you will start getting (in theory) my blog sent to you via e-mail, instead of having to remember to come back and visit the site. If you aren't a geek, and don't have a lot of time on your hands, this could be a good thing.

Oh, and I should mention that I was looking for this service so that I can setup an e-mail gateway to the Local Search Marketplace blog. This site is maintained by Simon and he uses it to keep us all informed of interesting happenings in this space.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Spooky Note

Shira parked in a reserved spot today accidentally, while being offsite. She ended with a spooky note on her car. It reads:

"You are parked illegally. I have your license no. Don't park here again. Your little trick does not work."

If that's not the words of a disgruntled psychopath, I don't know what is.

--Ben

Nordstroms Adventure

We ended up spending three hours at Norstroms tonight (hence the four blog posts) dealing with Shira's dress for the upcoming wedding.

Things didn't start off well as the emergency corrections that were made to a bad set of alterations made the dress worse, not better. Instead, we got lucky and a woman from alterations came to the rescue and redid the work in a rush job while we waited.

While waiting for the job to be complete, we hit the Clinque counter for a quick beauty session.

In the end, Nordstroms earned an above average rating for tonight's adventure. Yes, they screwed up, but they fixed it. In fact, I think they would have given us a totally new dress if it had come to that.

It's easy to complain about big faceless companies - but tonight, the hard working and caring employees came to the rescue.

--Ben

Open Source Inspiriation

http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2006/08/ten_questions_w_2.html

Check out Guy Kawasaki's interview of Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL. Not only does Marten make Open Source software and companies seem like the way to go, he makes you feel like buying closed source is the risky option, not vice versa.

Well done!

A good read to send to your boss if he's on the fence about open source.

--Ben

Digg Mobile

http://mobits.com/digg/

Micro Persuasion [1] pointed me to a mobile version of Digg. It looks great on my sidekick, and I can imagine it will get lots of use.

I'm always on the lookout for sites that will point me to fresh content while being SK friendly. That way, I can read and blog cool stuff while doing various activities.

Like, say waiting for Shira to pickup her dress at Nordstroms, which I am doing as I type this.

[1] - http://www.micropersuasion.com/2006/08/digg_mobile.html

--Ben

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hard at work

My ITE students looking through my gadgets - trying to figure out makes a computer a computer.

--Ben

A Way Out

Superstitious FAQ Writers

Joel talks about what happens if you, gulp, explain to your customers how you can cancel their service in a clear and easy way.

You lose gobs of money, right? Not excatly:

It's like they're all subject to the same bizarre superstition ... if you don't tell people how to cancel, maybe they'll lose interest and keep paying you.

Since we started the company in 2000, the moneyback guarantee has cost us precisely 2% of revenues, which also includes chargebacks, credit card fraud, and people who accidentally ordered twice.

It's a nice reminder that you can't fool your customers, so why bother trying.

SMS to AIM Hack

How to send an SMS from cell phone to an AIM user

This is a cool hack for sending an AIM message to someone via an SMS message. I'm not exactly sure what it's good for, and I'm not sure I fully trust sending off messages to some random gateway - but it works right out of the box.

The hack boils down to sending a SMS message in the format:

Recipient: 265010
Message: AIM_screen_name: message text

Thanks Dave for publishing this one.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Course Prep - ITE 115

Tomorrow I begin teaching ITE 115 - an Intro to computers class at NVCC. If it's anything like ITD-210 it should be lots of fun.

Any topics, examples, ideas or websites that you think desperately belong in a Intro To Computers class?

I won't be teaching them emacs, but I do hope to show them a bit of programming, as well as cover the topic of Wikis and Blogs.

Have ideas? I'd love to hear them.

Skinny Books

My Amazon.com order came in today - a collection of classics (Don't Make Me Think, Non-Designers Design Book and Peopleware).

I just love how all the books are skinny. There's just something to be said for a concise book that packs a punch. Forget the 1000 page "Learn X in Y days" book, I'll take the 230 pages of Peopleware any day.

--Ben

Monday, August 21, 2006

Shira finally managed to get us into Writely - and I have to admit, as word processors go, it's pretty impressive. You can do all your word processory type things as well as...
  • Do the whole collaboration thing - editing documents in near real time (and for all I know, real time)
  • Easily see your revision history
  • Save the document as Word, OpenOffice or even PDF
  • Publish the document to the web trivially
  • Get a fairly clean HTML version of your document
  • Tagging capabilities
  • You can e-mail your documents to writely for easy upload
  • Get an RSS feed to your document

And even the ability to blog directly from writely. Which is how I composed this post.

Don't get me wrong, it's no LaTeX, or LAML - but it's impressive stuff.
-Ben



Review: Copy This!

I just finished listening to Copy This! the story of Kinkos, by its founder Paul Orfalea and Ann Marsh.

In many ways Copy This! is your typical business biography: the unlikely hero manages to pull off a business of unimaginable success and spends a good deal of the book educating you on his philosphies and other keys to Making It Big.

There were a few aspects of Paul's story that I found really interesting.

First, he succeeded in business despite, and perhaps because of, a severe learing disability. Being a fellow dyslexic (though I theoretically have grown out of this odd disease), I can imagine how hard it was to not be a star in school. But rather than simply stand by and accept what everyone thought he had coming to him, he turned himself into the person he wanted to be. On one level, it's a very inspiring story.

Second, he reminded me that the business you are in may not always be obvious. One would think that Kinkos was about copies, or technology or even about convenience. Nope. Kinkos was about helping people during their most stressful times - whether it's an exasperated professor, a newly laid off worker or even a kid who's lost his dog. It wasn't about the copies. It was about delivering a service to people who desperately needed it.

Third, don't be afraid to try the unexpected. What happens if you had a closed office door policy at work instead of an open door one? What if you took 3 weeks of vacation a year no matter how busy the schedule was? What if you didn't answer your own e-mail, letters or calls, but had someone do it for you? These, and many other concepts are all things that Paul makes clear contributed to his success.

Are they all worth doing? Probably not, but the thought exercise alone in thinking them through make them worth considering.

Fourth, I learned an interesting tidbit about making your business available. You know how Kinkos is open 24hrs (or used to be)? They did this not to make extra money at night, but because of the credibility the 24hrs claim gave them that it actually increased daytime traffice significantly. Interesting, eh?

This was hardly the best business book I've read. But, as an easy listen, and one that was thought provoking, I'd give it a 7.35/10.

Oh, and feel free to copy this post, it's all about servicing my readers.

--Ben

Performance Tuning PostgreSQL

Performance Tuning PostgreSQL

Here's a useful article that explains how to tune PostgreSQL. It seems to cover many issues, from tweaking the server configuration to getting your table layout correct.

Programming Practice

SICP Programming Assignments

Want to be a better programmer? Then you need to practice! A while back I stumbled across these sample programming projects for SICP and was really impressed. They strike me as a good balance between being tricky and interesting.

One of my favorites is the adventure game you create out of a hand rolled OO infrastructure. It's amazing to me how much of a game you can create in a few pages of Scheme code. And the freshman advisor bot seems like it would be great practice for all sorts of tricky problems.

While it's a useful exercise to do these projects in the recommended Scheme, I suppose it would be an even better test of your skills to recreate the answers (and supporting materials) in your language of choice.

If you are looking for some programming practice, or perhaps some incredibly difficult interview questions, then this is a great place to start.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

On the road to recovery

Someone finally bought the "house" across the street from us. Slowly but surely the house has been going from bad to worse, back to bad and hopefully to good again (got that?).

We spoke with the guy who bought the house. He's decided to not rip it down, but to simply gut it and patch the heck out of it.

You can even see a difference in these before and after pics, so he may very well be on the right track.

When the house is done, it should be a nice 1 level, 3 bedroom house, with new everything.

It won't have much of a yard, but should have a very nice size driveway.

Just think, this could all have been yours for $416,000, but our new neighboor beat you to it.

--Ben

Programmatic Authoring

I needed to create a bunch of HTML documents for an NVCC course I'm going to be teaching. As usual, I was left scratching my head as to the best way to do this. Should I use plain o'l HTML? If I do, then I can't build up any abstractions and am left cutting and pasting tons of code. Sure, CSS helps, but it's still not enough.

I could use LaTeX and simply convert the documents to PDF and HTML. But that seemed overly clunky. And besides, I really wanted to be able to develop my own short cuts for writing these documents - and while LaTeX has a sophisticated macro language, it can get unwieldy pretty quickly.

I could just treat these documents like any other web application, and simply use JSP, PHP or of course SISCweb. However, the School's web server only offers ASP which means that my language choices were too restricted. Besides, I wanted an approach that would be oriented towards documents, not programs.

For a long while, I've been keeping my eye on LAML, a system for writing HTML documents in (surprise!) Scheme. The LAML system coins the phrase programmatic authoring to describe the process of writing a static document in a programming language, instead of simply a markup language. This sounded like exactly what I was looking for, so I decided to take the plunge and use it.

What's always kept me from using LAML in the past is that the setup seemed tricky. But this time I toughed it out and got the package installed. The actual install turned out to be quite easy - what through me off was all the different combinations of OS types and implementations of Schemes to account for.

Sure enough, LAML worked just like it promised right out of the box.

What makes LAML a better choice than say rolling my own solution is how much thought the author has put into making documents easy to write in LAML. Little things like how attributes are specified, or how whitespace is handled, or even how you can create functions that produce markup, have all been really well thought out. So writing a document, and creating new concepts to represent that document, are really easy to do.

LAML even provides a level of safety that I'm not used to having. I referenced a document that didn't exist yet in an a tag, and I got a warning about the fact that it was missing. That could have saved me a huge headache if I had actually thought that document was correctly linked.

Now, if only LAML could also generate the content of the documents...that would be perfect!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

How to Remove Spyware and Malware from a Windows computer

How to Remove Spyware and Malware from a Windows computer

I'm off to go help a friend repair his computer that is no doubt paralyzed by spyware and virii. I found the above link, which seems to point to all sorts of useful programs. Hopefully, it will all be of some use.

Do you have a preferred way of cleaning up a hosed machine? Mine is to install a small package known as Fedora.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Eager Comprehensions for Black Belts - An SRFI 42 Tutorial

Everything Scheme: Eager Comprehensions for Black Belts - An SRFI 42 Tutorial

Eager comprehension sounds like a really complicated and obscure principal. It turns out, however, it couldn't be more basic. It all boils down to generating a sequence of some kind, and then iterating over it.

In the typical spirit of Scheme, the language spec barely includes a looping construct. However, using the macro facility and tail recursion, you can develop really sophisticated libraries for loops - and this is one of them.

This tutorial walks you through the process of creating and working sequences (of numbers, characters, etc.) that end up being really terse. Such as:

(require (lib "42.ss" "srfi"))
(list-ec (: i 5)
        (* i 2))
; => (0 2 4 6 8)

Here, list-ec created a sequence from 0 to 4 and multiplied each element by two.

It's cool stuff, and it demonstrates how you can take a language with a tiny core, and build on top of it elegant abstractions.

I sure hope Jens Axel Søgaard keeps on publishing goodies like this.

Chad Vader Episode 1

If you are even remotely a Star Wars fan you should find this movie about Chad Vader hilarious.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

CRC Cards - Lightweight Design Tools

Lately I've been thinking about ways that I can have my team spend a bit more time designing our coding solutions. One tool that came to mind was CRC cards.

What are CRC cards? I'm glad you asked...

As we currently use [CRC cards], all the information for an object is written on a 4" x 6" index card. These have the advantages that they are cheap, portable, readily available, and familiar. Figure 1 shows an idealized card. The class name appears underlined in the upper-left hand corner, a bullet- list of responsibilities appears under it in the left two-thirds of the card, and the list of collaborators appears in the right third.

And here's kinda what they might look like:

In other words, CRC cards are just a note card with a bunch of info about an object written on an index card. Once you have a stack of cards, you have a potential design. Then the fun really begins, as you validate various scenarios by using your cards. Naturally, as you work with your cards, you'll add, delete and edit them.

CRC cards appeal to me for a whole bunch of reasons. A few of which are:

  • They emphasize responsibilities of an object. Thinking about what an object is responsible for, to me, is probably its most critical aspect. It's the one guiding element that I find myself using to dictate what code should and shouldn't be present in the object, and whether I'm on the right track when coding.
  • The concept is lightweight. After a few minutes of playing with the idea, any developer should be able to crank out cards.
  • It's portable and accessible. Carrying around a stack of cards is so easy, everyone on the team can play along.
  • The technology is right: they are the perfect companion to my notepad, and are more portable than a whiteboard.

The other key aspect of CRC cards, besides their physical nature, is the notion of scenarios. It's one thing to have a stack of cards, however, what you need to make them useful are sessions where test out use cases by using the cards. The design sessions seem like they could be really valuable, and if all the CRC cards do is to provide a useful prop to maintain the discussion, they are probably worth the trouble.

I still have a bit more brainstorming to do before I'll have it sorted out as to how this can be implemented on my team. But my folks better watch out - they could end up with a stack of index cards on their desks before too long.

One parting question - how does the concept of CRC cards apply to other paradigms of programming? Say procedural, or functional. Could you extend the concept work with those approaches?

Better BlogThis!

Better BlogThis!

I find the BlogThis! bookmarklet to be really handy. It gets more use than the TinyUrl bookmarket which I also find very handy.

So, it was nice to stumble across this blog article that talks about making this feature even nicer.

Check out the article, and get inspired to improve the software you use everyday thanks to a bit of hacking.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Craftzine.com blog

Craftzine.com blog

This one's for you Mom. Here's a blog custom made for you! I can't wait to see you make some of these projects.

Make your own motivational poster

Click on the image to see the full size version
Make your own motivational poster - Lifehacker

Make your own today.

Anyone know where the quote is from? Anyone?

Online drawing lessons

MAKE: Blog: Online drawing lessons

Here's a really complete drawing course that you can take online - for free. I poked around the first few lessons and it seems really complete. It contains both some warm and fuzzy stuff to get you motivated, as well as actual, concrete, drawing lessons.

When I get free time, or maybe when I take a nice healthy vacation, I'd love to learn to draw. And this site seems better than most books I've browsed through.

Of course I can't actually draw yet (unless scribbled UML diagrams on a whiteboard count as drawing - yeah, didn't think so). So for all I know, these lessons are useless.

Homemade sandal bottle openers

MAKE: Blog: Homemade sandal bottle openers

We saw these at Mark & Tonya's wedding - a pair of flip flops with a bottle opener built into the bottom of them. And no, Tonya wasn't wearing them.

They seemed like the perfect college accessory - and now you can make them really cheaply (yet another thing that goes well with the college lifestyle).

Lets face it - nothing is going to impress the chicks like being able to open beer at a moment's notice.

Right David?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Blogger Improvements

Google Operating System: The New Blogger

Simon has pointed me to the above list of cool new features in Blogger.

I'm especially looking forward to using the labels.

Thanks Simon!

5 HTML elements you probably never use (but perhaps should)

SEOmoz Blog | 5 HTML elements you probably never use (but perhaps should)

Here's a list of useful HTML elements that I should be using. I remember playing with nearly all of these elements years ago, only to find out that that while the spec talked about them, they weren't implemented (yet).

Well, sure enough, they got around to implementing them.

Ian says:

The <q> tag seems to have been depracated in IE because it doesn't work.

So, consider yourself warned.

Thanks to Simon and Ian for passing this along to me.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Wedding photos

Tonya and Mark's wedding was incredible. On the beach, barefoot, sun shining, ocean waving in the background. We had a great time. Here are some highlights and the rest can be seen on flickr.

Three Men and a Baby

It was great getting to hang with Paul, Sam, Zach, Amy and Smitty this morning.

It's an awful shame we have to head back to reality. I think I could find a way to learn to live with this beach lifestyle.

--Ben

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Mission Accomplished

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Mark and Tonya Helmstetter!

--Ben

Paradise Found

Shira and I arrived at the Outer Banks just a few hours ago for Mark and Tonya's big event.

The house is incredible, and the beach is just perfect.

Stay tuned for more pictures of the main event...

--Ben

Review: The Codex

The Codex, by Douglas Preston probably doesn't qualify as great literature (or even literature?). But you know what? Who cares!

Yes, you can guess how the book is going to end from reading the back of the CD box. And yes, there's the requisite love story as a side plot. And overall, the characters evolve just like you want and expect them to.

But, it was fun to listen to. It was just the kind of story I needed to take my mind off a cruddy commute or looming deadlines at work.

If you want a fun action/adventure story that isn't too deep, give this book a try. It's a fun read.

I give it a 8/10 for being what I needed, when I needed it.

--Ben

"Yes" Hack

So I tried rebooting a Linux box that hadn't been restarted in 300+ days. And of course, the fs check failed and the server wants me to manually step in and fix it.

Fine.

So I run /sbin/fsck - and it starts asking me questions about ref counts and nodes. Each question requires me to simply hit enter, saying yes to the question.

This is essentially the same exercise Homer Simpson went through when he worked at home.

Anyway, to help allow me to blog about this task, instead of actually doing it, I needed to find a way to hold down the enter keys so I could answer yes to the thousands of questions it asks me.

My solution? Take the plastic tube out of my ballpoint pen and cram it into the keyboard.

A good old fashion pen saves the day again.

--Ben

Update: Before doing the above hack I tried using -p and -a to get fsck to simply say yes to every repair request. After poking around further, I learned that -y was what I was actually looking for. So:

  fsck -y /dev/hda4 ; reboot

will run the file system check, say yes to everything, and then reboot the server (which, theoretically, will come up correctly next time). This is useful if you have lots of repairs to do.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

First steps

There is nothing more precious than watching a baby take their first steps. In this case, the baby got a running start on all fours, and then walked on two, and then landed on one (her bottom). We had a great time playing with her, and she liked my challah! She's invited for dinner anytime.

Friday, August 11, 2006

More Management Tips

Last night I blogged about management and today we got the following spam faxes.

I found the course for "Managing Employees Who Have Rottent Attitudes or Lousy People Skills" especially humours.

Is this just a coincidence - or is fate trying to tell me something?

--Ben

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