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.

Gmail Delay Problem with STARTTLS and Exim4, and a Quick Fix

I've been bitten by this Gmail STARTTLS problem, oh, at least twice, maybe more. Deliverability is affected; gmail.com says there's a delay. This time, it was at work, where I have a server to accept incoming mail. We use EXIM4.

Directory Listing Tricks and Tips for Unix (ls, tree)

I learned a new command: tree.

% tree Album
Album
├── config
├── src
│   └── Album
│       ├── Controller
│       ├── Form
│       └── Model
└── view
    └── album

The difference between pets and meat, in Java

enum Pet {
    DOG, CAT, PIG, RAT, FISH, COW, CHICKEN
}

enum Meat {
    DOG, CAT, PIG, RAT, FISH, COW, CHICKEN
}

class animals {
    public static void main(String[] args) {

Debian and Ubuntu style /etc/network/interfaces with a Static IP Address

This is easy to find anywhere, and it's here too. This one includes the dns-* lines that will be read by resolvconf(8).

root@server:/etc/network# cat interfaces

Migrate to a New Server for Exim4 + Spamassassin + ClamAV

I've done this three times now, and it's pretty simple. If you're using a VM environment, 1GB RAM and 5GB of disk are enough.

An Outlook Script to Save Spam for Training Spamassassin

On the spamassassin box, set up Samba and create two shares spamassassin-spam and spamassassin-ham. I created them in /home/Spamassassin/

TeraStation 2: adding usb hard disks for backups

We got one of these at work years ago as a backup unit, and it's been working well. Exactly one disk error in years and it fixed itself, basically. However, as disks age you know they are going to fail, taking your data with it. So the only fix is to proactively replace them, and also run backups. I thought that it would be easy to add a backup disk, because there are USB ports on the terastation. That was not the case.

Washing Machines: Costs and Saving Money

I've always been a huge proponent of washing machines as a way to save money. Unfortunately, many apartments don't have laundry rooms, so lower-income families have to wash at a laundromat.

Water Filter Choices: What type to get?

There are basically five types of drinking water filters to get slightly cleaner tasting drinking water.

RIP Slaptech Framework

Slaptech framework was a PHP 4 based framework that never got released into the public, that we built to do projects.

Ubuntu Linux 12.04 on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V

The latest Ubuntu comes with drivers for the Microsoft Hyper-V virtual devices. Installing it is pretty simple.

Download the Ubuntu Server ISO.

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