johnk's blog

Weird Network Fault Due to Unknown thing on the End of the Wire

I was called in to help fix a network that had been discombobulated. I didn't end up fixing it, but one staffer there did the trick by disconnecting a switch with a bunch of wires plugged into it.

Using Muriatic Acid (Pool Acid) to Clean the Toilet

We're in full drought mode in LA, and that means we follow the eleventh comandment: if it's yellow, let it mellow, and if it's brown, flush it down.

PHP with Less Risk

An extremely short article about how to avoid pitfalls that will get you hacked. I've been hacked, so I kind of know this from experience.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series 8+1 WS-C2940-8TT-S 10/100 +1000 Port Managed Switch

I want to get one of these.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series 8+1 WS-C2940-8TT-S 10/100 +1000 Port Managed Switch

It's similar to the little Netgear GS108T managed switch, but with slower ports. For most things that involve the internet, that won't matter. It's main advantages would be the fact there's no power adapter cube - the power supply is in the case. IOS is also useful, sometimes. I find it's a pain in the butt, but you can record your configuration into a human-readable text file, which is important to some people.

2:13-cv-2326 Rodrick Rickert v. Kurt Francis (and John Kawakami, LA Indymedia et. al.)

If you happened to come across my name in a web search, and found this lawsuit, I'm putting this page up to explain a little bit about it. For more details, contact me via johnk@riceball.com. If you're interested in the IMC and this suit, in general, I'm preparing a listserv to send updates.

Printing Is Getting Worse... and Linux is Better than Windows

I just spent an hour trying to get a single page to print... after printing around 40 pages of tax returns. What the heck? The challenging task was to print something that was probably laid out using the old Win32 drawing system, in landscape. Partial pages came out with a large gray area where it should have been white. What was gonig on?

Salsa Petition Counts with Scrapy the Python Web Scraper

I was feeling like crap, so after taking the day off and taking a nap, I spent several hours learning Scrapy. Scrapy is a pretty awesome website scraper. This example logs into a website, extracts some data, and stores it locally.

New Layout, Cleanup

Last year the theme was rewound back to Marvin, an old, minimalist theme. It's now been modified in a few ways:

  • the table layout was changed to a "div" based layout
  • the css was modified to accomodate this
  • the css was altered by the addition of fonts, and lots of aesthetic tweaks

So, there you go. It looks better. Some of the content's being reorganized as well.

Rich Text Editors for Email, in HTML Browsers

I've been working on this email layout hack, and started to build it from content, and came to the inevitable conclusion that email and web are two different media.

Radeon R5 230 on Ubuntu Linux 13

It works. Haven't bought a graphics card since the mid 1990s, but did this because Gnome 3 feels a lot smoother with some extra cycles and memory. All the eyecandy effects now seem to run at around 20 fps, and the colors are nicer. Before, they were more like 10 fps and jumpy. This shows up in lspci as VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Caicos [Radeon HD 6450/7450/8450]. Seems to be a bit of a power hog, but it doesn't use a fan, so it's not going to burn too much coal.

Infographics in Inequality for All (Robert Reich film)

I had to spend time logging a video. It's always a little bit of a pain, and always takes longer than just watching the thing... so if you care about inequality, and want some really pretty graphics, and risk some potential copyright violation (though I suspect that Fair Use allows it), here you go: List of Infographics in Inequality for All.

Inviting Pope Francis to Los Angeles

I'm working on this at work - using CSS to alter Salsa's rigid layouts. :/ Yeah, it's here because I wasn't in on the issue of building backlinks.

Inviting Pope Francis to Los Angeles

TPCalc for Android

A while back, I made a little program called TPCalc to do one of my favorite mundane activities, which is to determine the best price for toilet paper at

LastPass and Yubikey

LastPass is a password management add-on for web browsers and mobile phones.

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