9 April 2011

Server upgrade time

I have a small Linux box which serves as a home server for the house. It performs a variety of duties: Each night rdiff-backup takes a snapshot of all our web sites. There’s a file sharing area available via netatalk and SSH. There’s a home wiki for organizing recipes, Christmas gifts and other household stuff. Currently I use JSPWiki, which runs on tomcat6. I’m not wild about its aesthetics, and would prefer a Rails solution, but haven’t found one I like. ... Read more

4 April 2011

The last days of Black Tip

When we moved to our current house, we soon encountered an old squirrel who considered our back yard his territory. For the last six years he has visited regularly, gradually getting tamer and tamer. In 2006 he got mange, and we treated him. Eventually he decided it was OK to take peanuts from my hand. Throughout the years he remained Alpha Squirrel, seeing off all challengers. But a few weeks ago, I noticed he had an injury to his left front paw; some sort of swelling on one of the fingers. ... Read more

1 April 2011

The NCP address crunch

[Note: This text was posted through a time warp from 1979. Special thanks to Dan Bernstein and Avery Pennarun for their technical expertise.] Computers on the ARPAnet talk to each other using NCP, the Network Control Protocol. Each computer on the ARPAnet has its own public NCP address, similar to a street number; for example, 207. The target of each packet of data is identified by a public NCP address. ... Read more

13 March 2011

SXSWi report

I started my afternoon by shuffling to the bus stop at the end of our street, to get the bus downtown. It wasn’t long before a SXSW attendee turned up, badge in hand. The bus was on time, and quickly filled up with mothers and children who were traveling to the capitol building to protest the planned cuts in education. I chatted and expressed my support, but it wasn’t my destination. ... Read more

21 February 2011

Haute: The EZ of 2011

Groupon in Austin today was a special from a company calling itself Haute Cakes Couture Desserts. Let me explain why that’s a horrible name for a company. Firstly, “Haute” is pronounced “oat”. So it’s oat cakes. Oatcakes are a kind of flat unleavened Scottish cake. They’re nothing like the cakes the company sells. Secondly, “Couture” is dressmaking. So put together all the concepts the name brings to mind, and we have “Fashionable dry oatmeal pancake dressmaking desserts”. ... Read more

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