Category: Tech Stuff

Inconsistency sucks (or 'How Apache ticked me off last weekend')

As some of you may know, I own and operate a small web solutions company (hosting, design, custom programming, etc.) and it is primarily powered by the Apache web server. Fair warning, what follows is techie crap and may make your eyes glaze over if you're not so inclined.

Best practice in system administration is to pare down the optional stuff running on your systems so as to free up as many of the resources as possible for the tasks that need to be performed. Uninstalling (or at least not running) services and daemons that aren't needed is a [……]

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Shell history

Apparently, there's a shell history thread making its way around the tech blogs and Dr. Bacchus put in his two cents. So in the spirit of "if you don't even really care about trying to beat them, you might as well join them," I submit mine from my web server:

[llang@jwsinteractive1 ~]# history | awk '{print $2}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn | head
274 ls
126 cd
104 vim
40 rm
32 cp
26 mv
20 mkdir
20 locate
19 ftp
19 exit

Being a remote server for a fledgling web business, I've spent [……]

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The Satellite Dish Revisited

Well - it works. And I'm not sure if I can be mad at the service provider or just at myself. I'm leaning toward them...

A week ago Saturday I got on the phone and dialed up their Customer Service number. A lovely recorded voice informed me that the wait time was currently over 30 minutes. I didn't have time for that at the moment so I decided to call back later, hoping for better results. I guess it's good to have a dream, huh?

I went about my business and, when later rolled around, I tried [……]

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The Saga of the Satellite Dish

Living out in the suburbs of nowhere, it's pretty much impossible to get many of the same services that people in the "Big City" take for granted. Being semi-geeky, The most notable of these for me is broadband internet access.

The low population density makes it economically unfeasible for the cable company to hang fiber out that far and for the Telco to put a DSL repeater twixt us and them. So my only option is satellite.

Now that the house is done, we decided that we needed to get hooked back up to the net and, since we have decided not [……]

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Oldest domain names

I stumbled across this list of the oldest 100 .COM domains this morning and found it interesting in a "Hey-look-at-that-cute-little-nostalgia-over-there" sort of way. Two observations: (1) It's not a comprehensive list of the oldest domains. It's only for .COMs and (2) it only take into account those that are still currently registered (or at least were when it was compiled.) Still it's got a bit of geek interest.

An adventure in connectivity - Chapter 1: Chasing the North American Wild Goose

It gets really frustrating trying to track down problems that don't really exist...

What seems like months ago, I installed RedHat on a box to use as a dial-on-demand/firewall type thingy for my home network. No GUI. No unnecesary stuff. Pretty much as basic as it can be. I checked the Modem HOWTO and all was well with my modem save for setting up a decent symlink to it in /dev. Then, I worked my way through the PPP HOWTO and all was going swimmingly. Until, that is, I got to the part where you start testing. I dialed out with [……]

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Lousy incompatabilities

For the last couple of days, I've been playing with the HP SureStore DAT8e (e=external) drive that I was given so that I might actually be able to do backups of my all important data. Alas, I just found out that the drive is, in actuality, a SureStore DAT8eU (U=Unix).

So, no joy in Tapeville for me today since the machine that I really need it on at the moment is a Windows box. I guess I'll hang on to it for a while and play with it under Linux, but that means a whole new set of frustrations, as well [……]

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Undocumented Features

I just stumbled over an interesting feature in my browser of choice, Opera v7.20. It seems that, when viewing Opera's help system (written in HTML, of course), a new toolbar shows up automatically. It includes choices such as Contents, Glossary, First, Next, Last, Previous, Search and some other more specialized buttons.

But for whatever reason, it is also activated when viewing an article page on some blogs. I've only noticed it on blogs that use Movable Type, but it may happen on others as well. The only active buttons seem to be Home, Previous and Next but they work perfectly.

iLoo update

Apparently, Microsoft divisions don't talk amongst themselves very well. As this story shows, they couldn't decide whether to say that the iLoo was a hoax or simply a crappy idea (pun definitely intended).

As for why the concept was flushed, company officials seem to be mum, but I'm sure it has nothing at all to do with being held up to public ridicule like they were - at least among people who have half a clue about technology.

Staying connected at all times

This comes to us from the Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should Department:

Microsoft seems to be under the strange notion that people might spontaneously combust if they take a 2 minute break from checking their e-mail or stock prices. To rescue mankind from this horrible fate, they have developed an internet enabled portable toilet. Worse than the fact that somebody actually came up with this idea is the fact that somebody in upper management at Microsoft said something to the effect of, "You know, that's not half bad!" But there is a major flaw in [……]

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