It took some amount of work to get Linux up and running on my laptop, but I just got a new computer ($50 from Peter's workplace - let me or him know if you are interested, there might be some more left) and installed Linux in an hour two, including copying all the old data from the old computer.  There aren't any interesting notes for people following in the future, because everything worked, without any technical skills.  Hibernation, sound, UPS, display resolution, hot keys, all just worked.  Pretty nifty.  Linux might actually be getting to the point where non-technical end-users can install it, let alone use it on their desktops.

Posted by Jon Daley on April 14, 2008, 6:10 pm | Read 21065 times | Comments (4)
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It seems to be the idea this year to release the April Fool's day jokes early, perhaps to give them more credibility, or maybe simply to join with the Australians.

I hadn't heard of the spaghetti tree joke before, but that is a pretty good one.  I showed Jonathan and Noah the picture, and they both said that couldn't happen, though Noah thought it was pretty funny.  Wikipedia also mentioned the left-handed whoppers and Taco Bell purchasing (and renaming) the Liberty Bell.

Perhaps Google's reason for releasing their joke early was due to the content of the joke. I thought the comment about it being old news was pretty good.

And famous people have it so rough.

For those of you with more time than I, you can read the top 100 jokes. I think its pretty funny when the TV and radio stations report stuff, and get more calls than for any of their regular news.

Posted by Jon Daley on April 1, 2008, 10:39 am | Read 5515 times | Comments (2)
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After a slightly hectic day yesterday, when I noticed some strange behavior on one of my servers, we released a new version of LifeType.  While I am not impressed that the bug existed in the first place, I think it is pretty neat that a development fixed was released within 4 hours of the bug being discovered, and an official release within 36 hours.  The last time we had a security issue, we released the fix in less than 24 hours, but it is harder on a Sunday.

The security issue itself wasn't all that interesting - we were checking a blacklist in a case-sensitive manner, and so filename.PHP was incorrectly allowed to be uploaded, and filename.php was correctly blocked. (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on March 30, 2008, 8:38 pm | Read 54722 times | Comments (2)
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Copying the rest of you cool bloggers, I installed feedjit a while back.  I originally thought it wasn't going to be very useful, since I assumed that all of the international hits were the many search engines that like crawl the blog all day long, or worse, spammers trying to post comments.

But, as I looked into it more, they look to be valid individuals finding the blog via search engines, mostly on the technical posts, particularly on the Test Director post.  Humorously enough, I gave up on Test Director a long time ago - too much work to keep it running for what it gives you.  Perhaps I should erase the post to help people not waste their time on it, as my information is most likely out of date.  It is unfortunate that Mercury doesn't support their own product, and so people have to find places like my blog for technical support.  It probably needs to be open-sourced in order to get better support.

Posted by Jon Daley on March 28, 2008, 3:17 pm | Read 4964 times | Comments (0)
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I am sure this will excite many of our normal readers, but I have finally (after four years) switched my laptop to Linux.  Now that I am using it everyday, it is much nicer to be in this environment, instead of having putty windows all over the place.  Perhaps if I had a better window manager for windows, I would have been alright, but anyway...

I have a Sony PCG-V505DC2 for those search engines to help other folks trying to figure out any issues with installing Linux, and Debian specifically.

Posted by Jon Daley on March 28, 2008, 11:56 am | Read 30468 times | Comments (3)
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"Oh, why are we not more holy!", he would exclaim with loving insistence.  "Why do we not live in eternity, walk with God all the day long?  Why are we not all-devoted to God, breathing the whole spirit of missionaries?

"Alas, we are too much enthusiasts, looking for the end without faithfully using the means.  Do we rise at four or even five in the morning to be alone with God?  Do we fast once a week, once a month?  Do we even know the obligation or benefit of it?  Do we recommend the five o'clock hour for private prayer, at the close of the day?  Do we observe it?  Do we not find that 'any time' is no time?

"Oh let us stir up the gift of God that is in us.  Let us no more sleep as do others.  Let us take heed to the ministry that we have received in the Lord, that we fulfil it. 'Whatsoever thy findeth to do, do it with thy might.'"

-- John Wesley, as quoted in Hudson Taylor's biography, "In the Early Years". 

Posted by Jon Daley on March 28, 2008, 5:38 am | Read 7317 times | Comments (0)
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I woke up this morning to find Taiwan's Yahoo server rejecting emails that were supposedly sent using my server.  I originally figured it was the regular old spammer trick of using invalid return addresses until I noticed that it was one of my servers who was reporting the failure, rather than an external machine. (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on March 18, 2008, 11:55 am | Read 5094 times | Comments (0)
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I hadn't ever thought of putting motors on an etch-a-sketch.

Posted by Jon Daley on March 13, 2008, 12:08 am | Read 21650 times | Comments (0)
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I found a nifty application (watch the youtube video for an idea of how it works) for playing around, and Jonathan and spent at least a couple hours today playing with it.  It simulates gravity, friction, inertia and things like that.  Jonathan enjoyed it and asked about it when we got home today.
Posted by Jon Daley on March 8, 2008, 8:33 pm | Read 8603 times | Comments (2)
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Shortly after I posted the first analysis of my time, I realized that my hours per day calculation were kind of off, since I was counting 7 day weeks, and I basically never work on Sundays.  As I am redoing the calculations, I see that I must have been doing something strange to try get the days to line up correctly - ie. I restart the worklog in the middle of a day usually, and so I must have tried to move some hours to the previous month, rather than reporting the same day twice, but as far as I can tell, I can't do arithmetic correctly.  So, here are the revised numbers: 

November: 7.6 hours/day
December: 6.6 hours/day
January: 6.6 hours/day
February: 6.9 hours/day

Posted by Jon Daley on March 4, 2008, 11:58 am | Read 15230 times | Comments (14)
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I finally decided to buy a wireless card for my laptop that uses the cell phone network, as opposed to plain wi-fi.  This will allow me to have more/better access when I am not in range of a wifi access point (say, hypothetically, if one were to travel to Middleburg, Virginia to a house that only has dial-up access), and it will probably be useful in other places too.

Posted by Jon Daley on February 23, 2008, 5:19 pm | Read 4189 times | Comments (3)
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Some people have asked where my time is spent, now that I am working from home.  I don't keep track of non-computer time, but I do keep track of when I am on my laptop, partially to see where I am spending my time, and partially for billing reasons. I found this handy software called worklog.  The author's site appears to be down, but since I get it from Debian, I never actually looked up the author's site until now. (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on January 28, 2008, 2:15 pm | Read 9739 times | Comments (4)
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One of my customers gave me an Amazon gift certificate for Christmas, and so I bought a geeky toy for myself (One for All URC 8910 Universal Remote Control), and a book for Heather and I (Teach Them Diligently: How To Use The Scriptures In Child Training).

I haven't opened the book yet, but I have played around with the remote a bit and am quite happy with it. One of its neat features is that it is upgradeable over the phone.  When I first got it, it could only talk to my VCR, and none of the rest of the systems.  So, I called up tech support, and gave them the model numbers, and they said, "hold the remote up to the phone and we'll download the new commands."  Now my remote can talk to all of the devices, and I only had to do manual IR learning for a couple commands.  Lots of fun!

Posted by Jon Daley on January 27, 2008, 12:05 am | Read 11177 times | Comments (2)
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I assume that the EETimes is paid by their advertisers based on how many active readers they have in certain categories, etc.  Hopefully, the advertisers know that those numbers are inflated, since I think it took me a year of calling and emailing them to get them to stop mailing me the magazine.  They finally figured that out, but continue to email me, and ignore the unsubscribe messages that I send back.

I suppose it would be nifty if our blog was popular enough for the advertisers to notice and tell EETimes to stop doing that, but that is pretty unlikely, I think.

Posted by Jon Daley on January 17, 2008, 10:52 am | Read 5079 times | Comments (0)
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I have been looking through my web access logs trying to track down a pesky LifeType bug.  And I came across someone who had used my Krypto solver one day and then tried to come back a couple days, but mistyped the URL as kyrpto, which of course didn't work.  So, then he went to root of the site and ended up at the blog, searched again (using the same bad spelling) and went away for a while, and then remembered how to spell it and found the correct page.

Since I wrote the solver years ago, I looked up how many people still use it... Last month, 279 people used it to solve 2633 puzzles. I think that is pretty neat.

Now that I am working on Facebook applications, we'll see if any take off - it is pretty crazy looking at the statistics for some Facebook applications: a million people using a different applications every day.

Posted by Jon Daley on December 15, 2007, 3:05 pm | Read 54774 times | Comments (8)
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