yesthattom: (Default)
I’ve decided to not read LJ for a week and instead use that time to learn the Python programming language. If there is something you specifically want me to see, please email it.

I may be posting little “oh my god that’s so cool” kind of ramblings. here's an example )
yesthattom: (Default) It’s pretty neat! (about 10 minutes long)
yesthattom: (Default)
The email server relays its email to because the IP address range that it is on is marked as “DSL or dial-up” in some of the RBLs. Yet, AOL and Comcast sometimes block email leaving my system. The recent complaint was email from a user that sends his email as, but since he uses mutt to change the From: line the ISPs aren’t fooled and the bounce goes to

Can people that understand these things more than I do check my SPF entry? IN TXT “v=spf1 ip4: ip4: a ?all”

Any thoughts?

yesthattom: (Default)
=sumproduct(array1, array2, array3)

Damn that made my life easier!
yesthattom: (Default)
Government Computing News reviews Lumeta’s IPsonar product. They explain what it does better than I ever did. If any of you were wondering what I was doing from 2000-2003, read this review.
yesthattom: (2000formal)
Something I learned at M.J. Dominus’ LISA2004 tutorial was about cleaning up code with too many parentheses. Beginning programmers like to put in excess parentheses. This is because they are afraid of precedence effects. M.J. Dominus says, “Don’t be superstitious”. Perl has a function that will re-write your code without the superstitions. Check it out:

Perl Geeks Only )

I wish I had known about this years ago.

yesthattom: (Default)

  • End with the phone number, nothing else. I once was told that if you end a message by saying your phone number followed by "goodbye" or any other words, it's more difficult for the person to remember your number. The last words interrupt the person's memory-recording process. Therefore I always end with the phone number, even if it means saying, "I look forward to hearing from you. xxx-yyy-zzzz " It only sounds odd the first 1,000 times you do it.
  • Record the phone number early in the message. Most voicemail systems make it difficult to surf around the message, and even users of the systems that don't have this problem usually don't have the training to know that the feature exists or what buttons to push. However, re-playing the message from the start is easy. I hate having to listen to a 3 minute message to catch a number at the end. (Ever notice that the longer the message, the more likely someone will try to interrupt you right when the critical bit of information FINALLY plays again?). Therefore I usually start with, "Hi! This is xxx at xxx-yyy-zzzz."
  • Avoid phone-tag by saying why you called, or by asking for something. If phone tag means your goal won't be reached until the 4th iteration of calls, save yourself one iteration by saying what you want in the message. I often record a message like, "I have a feeling that we're going to play phone-tag, so to save one iteration let me say that I need xyz." Now the person can call me back prepared.
  • Keep is short. I find that over-sharing on a message bites me in the future, or I end up leaving message after message with updates. It's difficult to find the ballance between leaving too much info and too little. If I'm going to ask for something that needs a lot of explanation, something complicated, don't try to do it in a non-interactive medium like a recorded message. However do say what you are calling about. "I have question about the xyz. I need to get your advice about who the right person to talk with is. Can we talk?"
  • Always leave a message, even a no-op message. In business, I'm often caught in the situation of claiming, "but I called and you weren't there!" with no audit trail to back me up. So, instead, I always leave a message. However, if I'm leaving a message just to prove that I called, I just leave a no-op message: "Hi! This is xxxxxx, please call me at xxx-yyy-zzzz." Otherwise, I may over-share and get in trouble. It's really just a timestamp, so just leave a timestamp. "Hi. It's Tom trying to reach you at hh:mm."
yesthattom: (Default)
Summary: I had to set up a second WiFi basestation but instead of running a wire to it, I bought 2 "ethernet over powerline" boxes and, while it was very expensive, it works really well. I think the price of those things is going to come down dramatically in the next few months, so this advice will become a lot more economical by, say, this summer.
The long version, with a surprise at the end. )
yesthattom: (Default)
Need to throw away or sell 500 or so PCs? Don't want the buyer to be able to read the data from the hard disk?

Darik's Boot 'n' Nuke is a mini-Linux distro (image for Floppy and CD-ROM). You boot on it, it erases every disk on the computer. You get one chance to say, "No, I didn't mean to do it."

I tried a package called "Autoclave" but this was much faster and betterer.

Plus, "Boot 'N Nuke" is a much better name.

yesthattom: (Default)
"Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability"
by Steve Krug
This book is specific to making web sites usable. It teaches excellent principles. Most importantly, anything you do to make a user have to think... "gosh, what's that do?" is a mistake. While it looks good to list on your resume that you invented cool new paradigms for web sites, the people that you want to hire are people that say, "Hey! I used the accepted web idioms that users already know and are used to so that they don't have to think. They can just use my web sites without any problem."

"The Non-Designer's Design Book, Second Edition"
by Robin Williams
This is about layout (designing paper flyers, etc.) and really opened my eyes to understanding what's what. The sample pages on Amazon alone taught me a lot. I want to read other books by her. I never realized that the placement of things like whitespace was so important. I was also surprised to learn that centered text is the formatting choice of the weak. Her examples are excellent.

yesthattom: (Default)
  • Rule 1: If I watch all the way to the end of the program, I have to delete it. Don't give me any of that "oh, I'll want to watch that again" bullshit. You don't have enough time to watch everything that gets recorded, let alone watch it a second time.
  • Rule 2: No marking things as "keep forever" except the 4-5 programs that I currently care about. "24", South Park, The West Wing, Sunday night's Adult Swim (just the first half), and any episodes of HBO's Sunday night lineup.
    • Sub-Rule: If you add anything to the list of programs, you have to delete something of equal length.
  • Rule 3: If it's about to get old enough to be automatically deleted, let it be deleted. No extending the date. Archiving it to tape "because I really want to see it" (see rule 1 about how much free time you have). Dude, ya just gotta learn to "let it go".
These are my personal rules. They were devised to help me use Tivo to reduce the amount of TV that I watch. You're mileage may vary.
yesthattom: (Default)
I need to print from my mac to a Windows print server. However, it's on a different workgroup so the server doesn't appear in the menus. There's no place to enter "\\servername\printername" so I thought I was screwed. However, I found this tidbit:

The real goal of posting this is so I can mark it as a "favorite" so I can find the info later.

yesthattom: (Default)
Stupid sysadmin tip of the day: Actually READ the error message.

The long version: "Windows Update" on my box was failing to work for the latest 4 security patches on this one machine. I tried and re-tried them. Each time I saw the bold, red, letters I just threw up my hands and closed the window, assuming that I would have time to fix this some other day, or just assuming that this ancient box has just plan degraded to the point where Windows Update wasn't going to work any more and that it was fruitless. Then I went away for 2 weeks, leaving the box powered off. Today I re-ran them and they still failed. Lo and behold, this time I actually read the entire error message. They were failing due to lack of disk space. Ugh. I cleaned out about a gig of crap files and re-ran Windows Update. All fixed.

Sex Boggle

Feb. 8th, 2003 03:09 pm
yesthattom: (2003extreme)
This morning I invented a new game. I call it Sex Boggle because it's a lot like the word game "Boggle".

You and your partner each make a list of 5 sex acts you haven't done, or haven't done in a while. Do each do this in private before you come together to play the game.

Now meet somewhere (possibly a bedroom) and go over the list. Take turns reading out items. If the other partner's list also had that items, everyone marks this item with a checkmark. If the item was unique, leave it unchecked.

When you are done going over the lists, you will have items that are "checked" and items that are "unchecked".

Now trade lists. In private, each person circles one of the unchecked items that you'd like to do. Now re-join and do both of those items... tonight.

When you are done, run to LiveJournal and post about your experience in a reply to this message.

Less kinky version: Each person picks a checked item.

A lot less kinky version: just giggle about your lists and don't do anything.

Have fun!

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