That 70s Computer: The People's Computer Company

The first computer book I read was "Teach Yourself Basic" by Bob Albrecht. It wasn't a really good book - at least not for a child - but there it was. Mr.

Mass Convert IP Addresses to Domain Names with a Filter

A PHP script to convert many IP addresses to domain names.

Buy It Now! Research on Impulse Buying and Ecommerce

This is a summary of articles found during cursory Internet searches regarding impulse buying and ecommerce.

A more attractive printable version is posted here at Docstoc.

Most of these are “newbie” articles because I lack marketing experience. This list has been filtered in based on quality. Star ratings ranging from 1 to 3 indicate perceived quality.

Interstitial Ad in jQuery

Normally, you should use canned Javascript or canned PHP modules to implement web features, but sometimes, that can suck. Typically, these products, if they're popular, start to suffer from feature bloat. Such was the case with some code for "interstitials", which are those ads that pop up on some web pages, interrupting your reading. Popups have been around a long time, and the drop-in code is just really huge.

How to Make Unix Backup Scripts with rsync

Rsync is a good way to create and maintain a "mirror" of specific folders on your unix system. It's not good for archiving, for cloning disks, or running a "full/incremental" backup system.

What rsync does is compare two folders, and syncrhonize them.

The following command will backup my home folder to an external disk called "/media/extdisk".

rsync -a /home/johnk/ /media/extdisk

Preserving Your Users' Privacy

If you operate a website, or wish to retain privacy while visiting websites, you need to be aware of how websites share their traffic data with other sites.

Shredding Leaves for Compost or Leaf Mold

On numerous articles it's recommended that dried leaves be shredded to compost them more rapidly. The argument made is that it increases the surface area of the leaf.

That doesn't make sense. Most of the leaf's surface is flat, and chopping leaves only increases the surface area along the edges of the cuts.

Protect Your Website from Malicious Input: Validation with Filters

For years (and years) we've done data validation in PHP "by hand" either with string functions or with regular expressions. The problem with PHP has been that, well, PHP programmers aren't so great at regexs. Also, unlike Perl, there's no data tainting feature that forces you to validate your inputs before they're used in expressions. (Correction, there is a tainting extension.) The upshot is that a lot of bad data gets through. PHP finally added some data validation functions, but it seems like nobody is using them. It still lacks tainting. The former problem, we can address.

Perl Mechanize Screen Scraper Makes it Easy to Copy Data from Web Pages

This is something I wrote to learn some of the latest Perl tech to scrape pages. What's cool about this demo script is that it doesn't use regular expressions that much. Instead, it uses HTML::TreeBuilder::XPath to treat the HTML as a queryable hierarchical data structure. How cool is that?!

Gora Hotel, Hakone National Park

An excerpt from On the Edge by Bill L. Disbrow, writing about the Gora Hotel during the occupation of Japan:

VI and Ctags Makes Browsing Code Easier

Vim/GVim has great features to make it easy to read C (and PHP and Perl) code. They treat your code like a hypertext or web page, where you can jump between files easily.

First is the "go to file" feature. If you move the cursor onto a file name, and type gf, you'll be taken to that file. To return to the previous file, press Control-o. The file opens are kept on a stack, so you can drill down into file, and climb back out.

Bean and Cheese Burrito KML file

This was a map I created on the now defunct Platial. It maps places where I ate a bean and cheese burrito. It's kind of pre-yelp.

The Citibank Memo Take-Down

Citi contacted Doug Henwood of LBO demanding that a memo from early 2009 be taken off his site. They cited the DMCA. Econ blogger Bradford DeLong argues that the document is part of the historical record, of how Citi perceived the government's response to the economic crisis.

Attached to this blog post is another copy of this memo. It basically says the Citi analysts thought the government was going pretty easy on banks, and that they were predicting high unemployment in 2009 and 2010, along with huge price declines in house prices. So, they knew what was happening all along.

Andrew Leonard at Salon has an enriched telling of the story.

Update April 3, 2011: Citibank has sent a takedown notice (a DMCA thing). So to avoid a lawsuit, I'm going to comply. I'll post more information about the specifics of the takedown later. Hopefully, someone else has a copy of this document to share.

Cloning Many Windows 7 Computers Quickly

(I did this before learning about Clonezilla and Fog. It was all done within two days. If I were to deal with this again, I'd get Clonezilla. See: USB Booting System for Clonezilla SE, Diskless PC.)

What Kind of Monitor Should You Use? sRGB, Adobe RGB, the new wider Adobe RGB, or what?

I was looking for monitors and got into the whole color thing. Here's my summary of findings.

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