Articles


Follow-up on static pages

At the beginning of the month, I wrote about the move to convert Gaige's Pages to a static generation model. Today I'm following up with some performance graphs. There's absolutely nothing surprising here, but it's good to see nonetheless that things work as they should. Look to the right of …

Gaige's Pages moves to static generation

Gaige's Pages has been through a lot of changes over the last 15 years, since I did the first major revamp of the site. At that time, I was converting from a statically generated site that I was manually creating (with a little help from DreamWeaver) to Geeklog, a venerable …

Looking for a Nav system (Revisited: 2018)

If you want a good feel for the advancements in Navigation systems in the last 10 years, you should check out my piece Looking for a Nav system from 2008. The article went through my key issues that lead to my recommendation of the TomTom's in those days. TL;DR …

Codesigning ate my Sunday

I have a version of Cartographica that I need to push out before the end of the year, due to a certificate expiration on one of my long-term servers. As a bulwark against problems occuring just at the turn of the year and to make sure that users can use …

TPS Reports? (Testing PostgreSQL under SmartOS)

Rob and I are working on updating our standard envrionment in our data centers. As may be clear already, we're big proponents of SmartOS, which has been working really well for our needs. We've also big proponents of automation (and, in particular, Ansible). Due to a hardware failure this weekend …

Jumping a dead 2000 Boxster S

I'm generally extremely happy with my 17-year old 2000 Boxster S that I bought new. However, running back and forth between Atlanta means that I've not been driving it as much as I have recently (although quite a bit more than I did in the 2008-2010 period). Last year, I …

Sun SparcStation 20 vs Raspberry Pi

For those of us old timers, here's an amusing shootout between a SparcStation 20 and a Raspberry Pi, including both the Pi and the Pi2 (but unfortunately not the Pi0). For those unfamiliar with the SS20, it was a workhorse desktop in the 1990's. Early pizza-box design and pricing out …

SmartOS, Postfix and IPv6

As part of completing our shut-down of 2007-vintage Xserves at the hosting center, we're moving a lot of servers to SmartOS (or at least SmartOS-hosted VMs). We've been really happy with the system so far. Here's a quick story of the power of this environment. As part of the transition …

Replacing a RAID set under El Capitan

Over Thanksgiving, one of the two drives in my "Big Disk" RAID (it was a mirror of 2 2TB drives that I used to store large things that aren't worth having on the SSD on my Mac Pro). Generally speaking, my response to failures with SMART (especially with cheap spinning …

The Age of Deception

Occasionally, in the vast expanse of the internet there are gems from people I know and respect. I'm not going to summarize, because the entire article, The Age of Deception , is worth reading by itself. Thanks, ssh.

Obama Won't Seek Access to Encrypted User Data

Somehow in the midst of all of the craziness around here, I missed that, as the New York Times reports, Obama Won’t Seek Access to Encrypted User Data. For the time being, they appear to have agreed to the rationale that a back door provides as much entree to …

Familial DNA Searching

Wired had an article last week entitled Your Relative's DNA Could Turn You Into a Suspect, in which they describe a of using familial DNA searching to locate suspects. There are interesting implications here, especially with regard to public DNA search resources like Ancestry.com. Thanks to Bruce Schneier's Blog …

Time (Saver) Machine

Over the past couple of weeks, I once again reacquainted myself with the joy of using TimeMachine as a backup system. (Please, use more than one, at least one off-site and one on-site would be a good idea, consider CrashPlan for the offsite version, we've used it for years and …

Academia's Tug-of-war with the NSA over Encryption

There's an excellent article, Keeping Secrets, on medium today (originally from the November/December 2014 issue of Stanford Magazine) about the conflict between academic work on cryptography and the NSA's role in national security. Most of the focus is on what happened and not on who was right or wrong …

Nice retrospective podcast on Real Genius

If you have interest at all in 1980's "culture", the tech industry, and/or the movie Real Genius, you should check out the iMore Review program Review 16: Real Genius. Don Melton, Matt Drance, Guy English, and Rene Ritchie do a great job of running down the highs and lows …

Nice set of Nagios scripts for OS X

When digging around for information about Apple's new Caching Server, I happened across this informative article about Caching Server for Mavericks by Dan Barrett. Definitely worth a read if you're interested in finding out how to make the most of your network connection with your Macs. However, from there, I …


Backup Software

I'd never heard of World Backup Day before seeing an article about it in Wired today, but it sounds like a good idea, especially for those whose friends may partake in a little bit of the April Foolery tomorrow. So, it's a good time for me to discuss backup software …


New server, new design

Hi folks. We're back on the air with a new server and a new design. Hopefully this less noisy design is a bit more paletable. Any links to the old site will cease to function today, but there weren't many anyway (according to Google Webmaster Tools), but we have preserved …