Category: Technology

Shell Scripts For Preschoolers

February 10th, 2012, 5 Comments

It probably comes as no surprise to anybody that Jacob has had a computer since he was 3. Jacob and I built it from spare parts, together. It may come as something of a surprise that it has no graphical interface, and Jacob uses the command line and loves it — and did even before […]

Weather Station Excitement

August 24th, 2011, 4 Comments

I’ve sort of wanted a weather station for a long time. Lately, the ham radio hobby has intensified that, and I finally got one. When I finally got the serial link cable yesterday, well I was perhaps irrationally excited. Terah accused me of running all around the house while gathering up stuff for it. That […]

A 4-year-old, Linux command line, and microphone

July 30th, 2011, 4 Comments

There are certain times when I’m really glad that we have Linux on the house for our boys to play with. I’ve already written how our 4-year-old Jacob has fun with bash and can chain together commands to draw ASCII animated steam locomotives. Today I thought it might be fun to install cw, a program […]

Geeks, Hobbies, and Free/Open Source: Feedback Wanted

July 5th, 2011, 8 Comments

I’ve been thinking lately about ways to improve ways in which I interact with Free Software projects, and ways in which they interact with me. Before I proceed to take steps or make suggestions, I’d like to see if others share my traits and observations. Here are some questions I have been thinking of. If […]

APRS: World’s Best Social Mapping and Wide-Area Ad-Hoc Wireless Mesh Network

June 17th, 2011, 3 Comments

That was quite a headline, and I’m going to try to back it up below. APRS is the Automatic Packet Reporting System. It’s a system for exchanging brief packets of information. It is most frequently used for mapping applications, but it really does a lot more than that. It has its biggest home in the […]

A Proud Dad

March 16th, 2011, 12 Comments

I saw this on my computer screen the other day, and I’ve got to say it really warmed my heart. I’ll explain below if it doesn’t provoke that reaction for you. So here’s why that made me happy. Well for one, it was the first time Jacob had left stuff on my computer that I […]

How do you hire programmers and sysadmins? How should employers evaluate you?

February 14th, 2011, 23 Comments

Reading job listings for any sort of IT job is depressing. It’s been quite some time since I’ve had to do that, but how many times have you seen something like this: “5 years of Java experience required.” “3 years of Java experience with modules X, Y, Z required.” “6 years of experience administering Linux […]

Unix Password and Authority Management

January 31st, 2011, 6 Comments

One of the things that everyone seems to do different is managing passwords. We haven’t looked at that in quite some time, despite growth both of the company and the IT department. As I look to us moving some things to the cloud, and shifting offsite backups from carrying tapes to a bank to backups […]

rdiff-backup, ZFS, and rsync scripts

January 25th, 2011, 17 Comments

rdiff-backup vs. ZFS As I’ve been writing about backups, I’ve gone ahead and run some tests with rdiff-backup. I have been using rdiff-backup personally for many years now — probably since 2002, when I packaged it up for Debian. It’s a nice, stable system, but I always like to look at other options for things […]

Research on deduplicating disk-based and cloud backups

January 20th, 2011, 19 Comments

Yesterday, I wrote about backing up to the cloud. I specifically was looking at cloud backup services. I’ve been looking into various options there, but also various options for disk-based backups. I’d like to have both onsite and offsite backups, so both types of backup are needed. Also, it is useful to think about how […]

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