johnk's blog

Alternatives to Google Services

Though Google's services are nice (and I have a google ad on this page), it's going to become appealing to not be on Google's services, or any other company's, because in the ad-driven "free" internet, it's your clicks and postings that have value and will be commodified, and your attention sold, to pay for these "free" services.

Bypass a Password with a Proxy

This is a one-line trick to serve images from a password-protected webcam to the world.

curl -i http://admin:@192.168.111.150/MJPEG.CGI | nc -lCt localhost 10203

NAS Backup Awesomeness

We have this old Terastation NAS, and it's been solid, but I just figured out that it has support for an external USB disk, and it's easy to set up to backup to the external USB disk. Right now, we're using around 1TB of the array, and it's being backed up to the external disk once a day. The backup is done with Rsync, and it takes around 10 minutes.

Altering Some Resistors Changes One NVidia Card to Another One (and this explains the Linux driver situation)

This article explains how to hack an NVidia card to make it act like a better model. The hack is basically to modify the identification of the card, so the driver unlocks a feature to enable multiple screens. Now, allofasudden, I understand why the NVidia drivers for Linux are closed source: if they offered open source drivers, they would invariably enable all the features to all the cards.

The point of the closed source drivers isn't to provide the best performance (though they usually do that because they are probably better written than the open source ones) but to allow NVidia to disable features to the cheaper card, despite the fact the cheaper card can perform exactly like the more expensive card.

The Return of Pipes (which never went away)

A while back I wrote about higher-level programming, and jQuery's map-style programming.

Cloud Computing Costs

I was checking out cloud services a year ago, and pricing them out. The general rule of thumb seemed to be that the up-front costs were lower, but the cost over time was higher.

Photo Wall that Scrolls Forever Loading New Photos at Bottom

I was reading the code at iworkfortheinternet.org and learned how to do this "scrolling forever wall" effect. It's clever.

iSCSI on Linux

After going through some stupid contortions to use Active Directory on the Terastation Pro (meaning it didn't do what I wanted), I thought to look and if there's free iSCSI support on unix.

Minimal P3 Debian System

I got Debian to run on a very small 128MB laptop with a Pentium III processor. It's running Transmission bittorrent client, which is nice.

Branch Predication

I was reading about make, and came across a paragraph about branch predication and Konrad Zuse, who I'd never heard of. Fascinating.

Font Creators Getting Paid (Maybe?)

Typeface designers have been some of the most screwed-over artists of the modern age. Not only aren't their faces patented or copyrighted, they generally don't earn that much money. I remember reading some articles in Serif, and getting the distinct impression that they were basically working class artists. It's an elegant job, sure, but so is playing in a chamber orchestra, and just as not-lucrative. They're only a few yards short of being the cholo who writes letters, placas and tattoos for the local gangsters.

Deliverability Blues 2013

We recently had a rash of spam sending due to someone finding, guessing, or leaking a user's password. Sometimes, it just requires that, not some security breach. Well, we didn't catch it and stop it in time, and now we're suffering some deliverability problems ranging from slowdowns to outright blocking by some servers.

Sign in sheet website

I spent way too much time tonight putting together a sign-in sheet website, called, generically enough Sign-in Sheet.

Computer Professional Overtime Exemption

Under US labor rules, some computer programmers are exempt from overtime laws. There is considerable misunderstanding about this law. I'm not an expert, or even novice, about this law, but am compiling this page as a resource for study and to increase understanding. Corrections to johnk-at-riceball-dot-com are appreciated. If you would like to network and get on a mailing list about this issue, please write to that address as well.

SeeClickFix didn't fix

I put up a couple complaints on SeeClickFix back in late 2009, and left the most fixable one up, and it still hadn't been fixed in late 2012 when I moved away. What's the deal? SCF boasts that 125,000 issues have been fixed, but it seems like some issues get fixed, while other issues don't. Broken curbs in a working class neighborhood do not.

In the time I lived there, I saw residents fix the curbs twice - once was (probably illegal) modification to smooth over a cut so they could drive over it, and another to just have a curb. I don't recall seeing a City of LA crew fixing the sidewalks.

In contrast, reports of potholes to the City of LA's website were fixed in a week or two.

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