Warning – lots of ‘F’s ahead.

June 5th, 2003

Terry says I should write that series of books I’ve always meant to do. Maybe it’s time, I dunno.

Have you ever seen some thing and said to yourself – “How the f*ck did they do that? – I’d like to implement that if only I had a frickin clue about such sh*t”. Don’t kid me, you have.

Tim Aiello and I have always said that we need to write a series of books not that just generally tell you about technology so that you can apply it in abstract ways, but books that distill real popular technical solutions down to the steps necessary to replicate them. It’s called the “How The F*ck They Do It” series.

E-Commerce Shopping Baskets – How The F*ck They Do It.

Secure Shell and Tunneling on Windows – How The F*ck They Do It.

We could do like the Dummies and Idiots series and expand beyond technology to other topics:

Beer Butt BBQ Chicken – How The F*ck They Do It

or for the few that are REALLY seriously in need of a clue,

F*cking – How The F*ck They Do It


Nice thing about standards is there’s so many to choose from

June 2nd, 2003

My friend Dave of OmegaBid fame sends me this image of the text ad he got from google when searching for info on Perl’s ‘ord’ function.

While I’m on about Dave, here’s a story about complete bastardly brazen fraud on the net:

Dave wrote OmegaBid, a really neat piece of software that allows you to keep tabs on last-minute bidding opportunities on eBay. He packaged it up and sells it online via credit card service provider, provides support, all that.

So then some completely brazen bastard comes along and sets up a site thats EXACTLY the same, selling Dave’s very product, along with cracked passwords, all the while pretending to be the official site with a very similar name. It’s all done through enough international anonymous middlemen that Dave will have a hell of a time fixing it, and will have lost all sorts of dough in the process.

What a loser. The effort it took to set up this scam could have been spent making a legitimate buck.

I’m not going to put a link here, but you can find the rat bastard fink at omegabidsoft d0t c0m. Be sure to give him my warmest regards. Anyone who can provide info that might help Dave fix this bugger’s little red wagon, I’ll be only too happy to pass it along.


Cool tool

May 29th, 2003

Busy as a freakin bee for the past while. But you knew that, because I’ve been quiet.

A couple of years ago, my JSRS library won a contest at Planet Source Code. I selected CodeCharge as my prize. Because of this reason and that, I never got around to spending the time to get over the hump with it.

Lately I’ve been working on a project where a colleague uses CodeCharge to generate database maintenance screens, so I was motivated to have a second look, and then to use it myself in another project I’m working on.

Wow, what a great tool to do all the gruntwork associated with building database screens. Simple yet powerful, and it generates code for a whole bunch of environments (asp/jsp/perl/php/cf) and connects to many different databases both design side and runtime.

I’m liking it!


Down with the Windows, time to get cruisin’

April 28th, 2003

Inspired by Chris Double’s success running Radio under Wine, I finally managed to get my home Windows 2000 box turned off. Radio was the last always-on application keeping that machine humming away 7×24, and now I’ll only turn that machine on to get old email out of my outlook PST file.

I still have Win2k on my laptop (dual-booting with Mandrake Linux), and I still use it every day. I still haven’t found a Linux editor to rival UltraEdit (don’t start me on emacs) and I have a Windows-based accounting package for my business that I still have to run. My clients still run Windows networks that I will happily connect with via both Windows and Linux as necessary. I’ll continue to have plenty of Windows-based projects – right now I’m doing some Exchange / Outlook Forms development and some Installshield scripting.

My primary desktop machines now, at home and at my main client are Linux boxen. All the servers I use daily run Linux or BSD.

I’m still riding along with Windows in the car, but I’m not locked in the trunk, I’m in the driver’s seat, shifting gears at my own pace, in full control.

Where do you want to go today?


Finally a useable tiny PC.

April 26th, 2003

I’ve never been one for a PDA or a Palm machine. Even the highly-useful iPaq doesn’t cut it for me. I never carried a daily planner or address book, and that’s all they mean to me despite their capabilities.

I think the Mini PC (via zenarchery) is what I’ve been waiting for. As soon as you can run Linux on it, that’s the handheld for me.


Knoppix – CDROM Linux distribution

April 20th, 2003

I’ve spent some time lately playing with Knoppix, the bootable CDROM image that fires you up into a full featured Linux setup, complete with X-windows, Open Office, Mozilla, and a raft of utilities including nmap, Nessus, airsnort… the list goes on.

Wnen you boot up, it automatically detects your hardware, including screen and networking (well, I have to type fb1024x768 at the boot prompt on my Toshiba Satellite laptop to force it to use a 1024×768 framebuffer because it uses 640×480 otherwise). Once booted up, you’re logged in as the knoppix user and there on your desktop are shortcuts to your hard disk partitions – including NTFS and FAT as well as Linux partitions. Fabulous rescue tool.

Here’s a hint for you – rather than prefixing “sudo” to everything you want to run at superuser level, just type “sudo su” in a shell to give yourself a root prompt.


Onset of Sunset for the American Empire

April 17th, 2003

Terry Frazier points out that Senator Orrin Hatch is looking to remove the sunset clauses from the Patriot Act.

This is without doubt the scariest news I have seen come out of the US. If this comes to pass, I truly believe that the seeds of America’s decline and fall will have been well and truly sown. I’m really not overreacting here. This reeks of lessons that should have been learned from late 1930s German history.

Sunset clauses are absolutely necessary for any legislation that falls in the “notwithstanding” category – legislation that overrides constitutional freedoms – to ensure ongoing review of “temporary” legislation made to deal with special circumstances.

Mark my words – if this stinker proposal passes, it’s time to corner the market on handbaskets.


April 6th, 2003

Via Matt Mower, we witness the first visible signs of America’s self-destruction.

Not that it hasn’t been happening already, but that we’re now starting to actually see the concrete consequences of the Patriot Acts I and II.

Is America’s descent yet inevitable? What group will be gutsy enough to stand up and tell it like it is? Certainly not the media I’ve seen covering the war in Iraq.

I talked about this before. I’m still convinced that it’s a pretty slippery slope and that America is losing its grip.