General Archive

Tux Jammies

Posted 10/27/2004 By Jason

This is a picture of my son in his favorite pajamas, the “Tux Jammies”. Ever since he ask which jammies were my favorite, and I answered the Tux jammies, they are now his favorite (sometimes even to the point of demanding that Mommy wash them during the day so that he can wear them twice in a row :) ).
Caleb in Tux jammies

Anyway, a shot of Caleb in his Tux jammies for posterity, before they get too threadbare, or he outgrows them :(

Teach yourself x in n time units

Posted 9/10/2004 By Jason

Ran across this and thought I would share:

Happy Reading :)

Scientific Method Man

Posted 9/1/2004 By Jason

Wired published an article titled “Scientific Method Man” regarding Gordon Rugg’s solution to the problem of the Voynich manuscript (a manuscript written in a code that has not been broken for 400 years). His solution was to prove that the manuscript was a hoax. To do so required some creative, out-of-the-box thinking, and a challenge to the dogmatic thinking of the experts in that domain.

I was attracted to this article because I see this kind of creative thinking being required to solve many of the issues I see at work, but it seems a rare trait indeed to see people with this skill set :(

Math Tricks

Posted 8/14/2004 By Jason

Inspired by a wired article I googled for a Vedic Math tutorial.

I have always found these little math tricks interesting, mainly from the perspective of trying to figure out how they work. I think it is a kind of a mental excersize similar to figuring out a clever optimization algorithm in programming.

Anyway, this Vedic math reminded me of one of my favorite stories about a young Gauss (eminent 19th century contributor to mathematics and statistics) whose math teacher instructed them to add up the numbers from 1 to 100 on their slate to keep them quite and occupied for a while. The story continues that, much to the teacher

Not the last lastcraft

Posted 7/31/2004 By Jason

Marcus Baker, author of SimpleTest and oop/pattern guru extraordinaire at the SitePoint Advanced PHP forum has just had release 1.0 of Bryn Reuben Baker, a strapping young man of 8 lbs. 4 oz. born at 1:48AM July 30th, 2004.

Congratulations Marcus! May Bryn’s tests of you always result in a green bar :)

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Login

Posted 7/20/2004 By Jason

Wired recently published an article regarding users avoiding site registrations by providing fake data, or using a shared login (a technique which is apparently being facilitated by

My own users balk at having to sign on, hence the posts below regarding using NTLM authentication as the primary means of identifying the user. We have a major initiative going on at work deploying a package that is a network of software modules. They use a “Single Sign On” (that mostly works, except for these modules…oh, and since you’re a developer, you will be needing these other four ids :roll:). Since this “Single Sign On” is completely distinct from the NT User that each person must log into their PC with, I have started to refer to it as the “Second Sign On” 😀

My own personal technique has changed since I rebuilt my home server. Since I now run qmail, I simply set up an alias (usually the site’s name@my domain) to give them. If they sell it 👿 and the alias starts to attract spam, I will just delete it :).

Regarding the original articles premise, what ever happened to just dropping a cookie to track usage?

Time to learn about TrackBack

Posted 7/15/2004 By Jason

By mentioning me in his blog, Jeff Moore has officially welcomed me to the blogosphere!

This seems apropos, since Jeff was motivational in both my investigation of RSS (I finally gave up the notion that is was a fad, now I can no longer remember what it was like to randomly surf for information on the internet 😉 ) and his use of WordPress, along with comments from Harry and other reviews led to me selecting WordPress as the tool to host this blog.

Now Jeff has inadvertantly posed my next challenge: How does TrackBack work? I have found two links on the subject, here and here. I guess if you see TrackBack info on Jeff’s post, you will know I suceeded :)

Recover from System Failure

Posted 7/8/2004 By Jason

Recently I had a hard drive blow up. This is not a figure of speech, there are actually carbon scoring marks on the inside of my computer case, and you can see a gash in one of the IDE controllers onboard IC’s (zoomed in on this photo courtesy of Paint Shop Pro)

Hard Drive Failure

What did I learn?
That my strategy of backing up db dumps and important config files to another partition of the same drive does not do you any good if the hard drive controller goes. Note to self: time to bone up on rsync. I did have some backups burned to CD and replicated to another HD on a different computer, but they were woefully out of date.

I investigated Hard Drive recovery quotes. For this 10Gb HD, they ranged from a max of $1,000 down to the best quote of $350. Ouch :(

I found an identical model HD on ebay and purchased it for $24.99 + $7.00 SH. When the drive arrived, four screws were all that held the controller board onto the drive, and a quick swap allowed me to access the old HD contents. Critical files were quickly copied across the network, and the entire drive was replicated later that night.

What was my recovery plan?
I was running RedHat 7.2 on this system. In the past, I had run earlier versions of RedHat and Suse on it as well. Since RedHat began making noises about desupporting the consumer version of it’s distribution about a year ago, , I began investigating alternatives. I have another system here running Fedora, the successor to RedHat

First Post

Posted 7/4/2004 By Jason

Well, here we have it, Jason’s first foray into the wide world of blogging and RSS.

I intend to use this space mainly for matters related to my interests in computers, which right now centers on web development in PHP. Tangentally realted to that would be my favorite Linux distribution, Gentoo.