June 29, 2003
Engaging with the Open Source Community (Part Two)

Part One briefly outlined the benefits of Open Source software and development processes. Part Two describes the rationale for, and benefits of, engaging with the Open Source community, and suggests a high level process for deciding to deploy Open Source and how to engage with the community.

June 28, 2003
O'Reilly Open Books Project

Over the years, O'Reilly & Associates has published a number of "Open Books"--books with various forms of "open" copyright. The reasons for "opening" copyright, as well as the specific license agreements under which they are opened, are as varied as our authors.

Xbench: Comprehensive Macintosh Benchmarking

Xbench was developed to provide a comprehensive benchmarking solution for Mac OS X. Xbench is useful not only for comparing the relative speeds of two different Macintoshes, but also for optimizing performance on a single machine. Xbench is accompanied by a website that allows graphical side-by-side comparison of any out of thousands of submitted benchmarks.

June 27, 2003
IBM bets 2.9 Billion on Linux for semiconductor manufacture

So we set up three machines communicating to three pieces of equipment, using the same tool communication application on Red Hat 7.2 Linux and Windows NT/2000. We used the same setup for all six applications, and then we began a planned 90 day test. The plan was to run the applications and look at errors, performance degradation, maintenance requirements, and any other issue that might pop up.

The results were striking. The best run we had with the Windows machines was approximately six to seven days before we began to see noticeable performance degradation, and in about ten days we had a service interruption. If you multiply this failure rate times the large number of servers we wanted to deploy, you can see that with Windows NT/2000, it would have been a performance nightmare and could never have supported our overall fab goals.

The Linux servers, on the other hand, ran without incident for the full 90 days. There were no performance degradations, interrupts or required maintenance. In fact, just for fun, we kept the Linux experiment running to see what would happen. We finally shut it off after 5 months, and it was still running like a clock.

June 26, 2003
RFC-Ignorant.org Home

rfc-ignorant.org is the clearinghouse for sites who think that the rules of the internet don't apply to them.We maintain a number of lists (at present "dsn", "abuse", "postmaster", "whois" and "ipwhois") which contain domains or IP networks whose administrators choose not to obey the RFCs, the building block "rules" of the net.

June 25, 2003
Security breach

In the heart of Silicon Valley, where companies secure information as tightly as a bank safeguards money, some student records on Palo Alto school district computers have been as easy to obtain as a dollar bill left on a street corner.Like leaving a vault open, PAUSD failed to place a number of highly sensitive computer files containing student information in a locked location on its network. Using a laptop with a wireless card outside the district's main office, the Weekly gained access to such data as grades, home phone numbers and addresses, emergency medical information complete with full-color photos of students and a psychological evaluation.Unauthorized users could copy many of those sensitive files, as well as upload their own files onto one of the district's servers, Fuji, the Weekly found. Unlike the majority of the district's information, th

Installing packages from the command line

I sometimes need to install updates remotely on a server I maintain. I already knew about the command line version of softwareupdate, but I was looking for a way to install packages (.pkg) that were already located on the remote box. I finally found the installer command.

Doing It All with OpenSSH

Logging in to an SSH server is easy enough and provides you with secure communications, while still opening you up to the whole world. You could set up a firewall that allows in certain IP addresses only to port 22, but that presents another problem. If you are on the road and you need access to your own system, you might be connecting from an untrusted system with a dynamic IP. A nice iptables rule isn't going to help here, unless you've got somebody permanently standing by who can answer your phone call and enter the commands for you--somebody with root access, no less. No matter how you look at it, it can get messy.

June 24, 2003
After obscenity filters, watch for "terror filters"

But what it all comes down to is the question: who determines what is permitted and what is blocked? Some would say, "Wait till you're eighteen and then ask for sites to be unblocked." But we also know that the FBI wants to record the books we've read--tracking someone who accesses a controversial web site is likely to follow. After all, some of the September 11 flyers used public library Internet access.An important precedent has been set. With the legal and technical infrastructure in place, all the government has to do is add more and more to the banned content. I fully expect Attorney General Ashcroft to decide it's ridiculous to prohibit access to cavorting nudes but permit access to sites that advocate acts of violence against the United States. And thus the merry ride begins.

Netiquette

This document provides a minimum set of guidelines for Network Etiquette (Netiquette) which organizations may take and adapt for
their own use. As such, it is deliberately written in a bulleted format to make adaptation easier and to make any particular item easy (or easier) to find. It also functions as a minimum set of guidelines for individuals, both users and administrators. This memo is the product of the Responsible Use of the Network (RUN) Working Group of the IETF.

June 23, 2003
Wiki: PerlDesignPatterns

PerlDesignPatterns and all of its attached nodes.

Perl Design Patterns

In 1995, Design Patterns was published, and during the intervening years, it has had a great influence on how many developers write software. In this series of articles, I present my take on how the Design Patterns book (the so-called Gang of Four book, which I will call GoF) and its philosophy applies to Perl. While Perl is an OO language -- you could code the examples from GoF directly in Perl -- many of the problems the GoF is trying to solve are better solved in Perl-specific ways, using techniques not open to Java developers or those C developers who insist on using only objects. Even if developers in other languages are willing to consider procedural approaches, they can't, for instance, use Perl's immensely powerful built-in pattern support.

June 19, 2003
Tigra Hints

Tigra Hints is free JavaScript widget that displays pop-up box with notes (also known as tooltips or hints) when mouse appears over any HTML element on the page. Any HTML is welcome inside the box: lists, tables, images etc. This component makes the site more informative and easy to use while saving valuable space.

June 18, 2003
How to Manage Large Image Libraries with iPhoto 2

A question that I hear often at iPhoto workshops and user group meetings is, "How can I manage large image catalogs with iPhoto?" It's widely known that iPhoto bogs down when picture libraries swell to multiple gigabytes in size. And since 4-megapixel cameras (and larger) are commonplace these days, it doesn't take long to top off your hard drive with pictures, especially since it's already brimming full of music and movies.Fortunately iPhoto 2 includes a few key improvements to help manage large image catalogs. In this article, I'll show you how to combine these enhancements with some third-party applications to build a robust solution for handling mountains of snapshots, scans, and illustrations.

June 17, 2003
Pure CSS Popups 2

Now that we've seen pure CSS popups causing text to appear and disappear, it follows that we could cause other elements to do the same... like images, maybe? Maybe.

thefixor has css links

This page has a *great* set of links for CSS info!

Rounded corners with CSS

Now we're all using the CSS box model for page layouts and creating boxy sites; rounded corners can be done with some content-separate-from-style integrity (or not, as you will see).

Using Background-Image to Replace Text

Images aren't that bad, are they? With a few simple style tricks and a little cautious planning and testing, type on the Web can be guiltlessly beautiful and equally accessible and perfectly indexable, all at the same time. It's time to spread those wings again.

June 16, 2003
CSS Pointers Index

These links were compiled by Toby Brown, Jan Roland Eriksson, and Sue Sims. Additional information about the authors' CSS philosophies and usage may be found online. Suggestions and criticisms are welcome.

FastReport CLX

Identical reports in Microsoft Windows and Linux!
FastReport CLX edition is the first powerful cross-platform report generator for Borland Delphi 6,7, Borland C Builder 6 and Kylix 1-3.

UsingUrpmi

One of the most important Mandrake-specific tools is, without a doubt, urpmi, which allows for better and easier package management in your Mandrake box. If you master the use of urpmi, you will never again suffer the dependancy hell that many inexperienced users complain about.

Easy Urpmi

This tool will give you the right command to type in order to setup urpmi.

June 13, 2003
Macromedia On Demand

If you're just getting started with Macromedia products, you'll want to be sure to check out the new free seminars and modules at Macromedia On Demand. Go make some popcorn, turn up the speakers, and watch and listen while Macromedia shows you how to use their products to get the job done.

All you ever wanted to know about Dreamweaver

DreamweaverFAQ.com offers a variety of tutorials, answers to frequently asked questions, and is dedicated to serving the Dreamweaver Community.

June 11, 2003
Apache::VMonitor

It's important to be able to monitor your production system's health. You want to monitor the memory and file system utilization, the system load, how much memory the processes use, whether you are running out of swap space, and so on. All these tasks are feasible when one has an interactive (telnet/ssh/other) access to the box the Web server is running on, but it's quite a mess since different Unix tools report about different parts of the system. All of this means that you cannot watch the whole system at the one time; it requires lots of typing since one has to switch from one utility to another, unless many connections are open and then each terminal is dedicated to report about something specific.But if you are running mod_perl enabled Apache server, then you are in good company, since it allows you to run a special module called Apache::VMonitor thatprovides most of the desired reports at once.

TCP/IP Connection Cutter for Linux Firewalls

Network security administrators sometimes need to be able to abort TCP/IP connections routed over their firewalls on demand. This would allow them to terminate connections such as SSH tunnels or VPNs left in place by employees over night, abort hacker attacks when they are detected, stop high bandwidth consuming downloads - etc. There are many potential applications.This article describes how a Linux IPTables based firewall/router can be used to send the right combination of TCP/IP packets to both ends of a connection to cause them to abort the conversation. It describes the steps required to perform this task, and introduces a new open-source utility called "cutter" that automates the process.

June 09, 2003
Getopt::Janus

This module is for rapid development of programs that can equally well present a simple GUI interface or present a command-line interface. It is the 80/20 attempt (i.e., 80% of the solution, gotten with just 20% of complexity that a full solution would entail) at finding a middle-ground between Getopt::* and Tk. Wherever possible, it generates help screens on its own.This module is intended for programs that get their options (as from the command line), run (reading from or writing to files, and maybe printing a few things to STDOUT along the way), and exit. You wouldn't use this to rewrite emacs or cron -- think more of the interfaces of touch or cal or maybe even scp.

June 07, 2003
The Mythical Man Month

notes 3

Excellent summary!

The seven deadly sins

"No firewall can keep all hackers out." With these words, security consultant Bob Toxen began his sermon, or workshop, on the "seven deadly sins" of Linux security. Any IT manager who commits one of these sins will "get nailed sooner or later," he said.

June 06, 2003
JasperReports - Tutorial

JasperReports is a powerful report-generating tool that has the ability to deliver rich content onto the screen, to the printer or into PDF, HTML, XLS, CSV and XML files. It is entirely written in Java and can be used in a variety of Java enabled applications to generate dynamic content. Its main purpose is to help creating page oriented, ready to print documents in a simple and flexible manner.

DataVision

DataVision is an Open Source reporting tool similar to Crystal Reports. Reports can be designed using a drag-and-drop GUI. They may be run, viewed, and printed from the application or exported as HTML, XML, PDF, LaTeX2e, DocBook, or tab- or comma-delimited text files. The output files produced by LaTeX2e and DocBook can in turn be used to produce PDF, text, HTML, PostScript, and more.

The Traverser

Most programming projects take a long time because the same steps need to be repeated over and over: Painting the screens, choosing what tables to use, connecting to the database, specifying the lookups, sorting the data, etc. There's a pattern in there, but it usually gets lost as it is mixed in with the all the other requirements of the project.Just as you expect a consistent interface from a word processor or drawing program, you should expect no less from a relational database program. By following a few simple guidelines (see “The Main Idea�), you can develop and use database applications with similar ease using the Traverser.

Plain Old Documentation in 5 minutes

Perl source code can contain documentation in POD format. POD stands for Plain Old Documentation. You can either mix POD with code, put the POD at the beginning of the file or put the POD at the end of the file. This depends only on what you like. You choose.

June 05, 2003
The Programmers Stone

Hi, and welcome to The Programmers' Stone. The purpose of this site is to recapture, explore and celebrate the Art of Computer Programming. By so doing we hope to help the reader either become a better programmer, understand what less experienced programmers are struggling with, or communicate more effectively with other experienced programmers.

Flexing Your Modules

Weak typing and late binding contribute to the lucid and flexible nature of Perl. Properly used, these features can enhance the clarity, expressive power, and functionality of your modules.

Perl Module Mechanics

Perl Module Mechanics & Related Phenomena

Shareware Amateurs vs. Shareware Professionals

Why is it that some shareware developers seem to be hugely successful in financial terms, growing their sales from scratch to generate tens of thousands of dollars in income, while the vast majority struggle to generate even a handful of sales? The answer can be found by exploring the difference in mindsets between both groups. For convenience we'll label them as the professional and the amateur.

June 04, 2003
Ballmer memo targets Linux

"Noncommercial software products in general, and Linux in particular, present a competitive challenge for us and for our entire industry, and they require our concentrated focus and attention," Ballmer wrote.

Wow!

Talk about out of touch!!

Like... what part of the "entire industry" doesn't include companies like HP, IBM, Dell and Apple... all of whom embrace, and offer Open Source support and products in one way or another?

Linux, and Open Source are not a "challenge"... they are an opportunity.

They are a choice.

Which is what worries you most, Mr. Ballmer... isn't it?

Criticism of Blair Over Iraq Reaches a Roar

Tony Blair failed today to quiet the roar of criticism over his insistence that Iraq is hiding weapons of mass destruction, with the opposition leader declaring that "nobody believes a word now that the prime minister is saying."

I wonder how long before the Bush administration jettisons this guy...

Bush is, after all, proving time and again that you can't trust the American President's word for squat...

Microsoft's browser play

"Lack of updates for older Windows operating systems such as XP or 2000 would...require customers to upgrade to Longhorn to gain the latest browser functionality," wrote Jupiter analyst Michael Gartenberg in an instant message interview.

That's right folks... the OS you buy *today* is already going to be forced out the door so you can give MS more money.

You didn't really think they would let you use that computer for three years, did you?

June 03, 2003
UserFriendly Strip

Too funny for words...

Snort Security Holes and Strategies for Safe Network Monitoring

In this article, I will review the attacks that have been launched against Snort in the past, as well as the recent (and more serious) buffer overflows. In each case, I'll discuss the ways Snort developers have responded to the attacks, and the strategies system administrators can take to minimize the risks. Furthermore, I'll show that Snort's vulnerabilities extend to other security-monitoring tools, implying that we need to be careful when we use them, as well. Finally, I'll summarize techniques to do just that: secure monitoring.

Criminal Charges for Martha?

Shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE: MSO) are down 18% today after the company issued a statement indicating that its namesake is the target of a criminal investigation and will soon be indicted by a grand jury. The SEC is also still pursuing its civil actions against Stewart. Her lead lawyer said she'll plead innocent and go to trial if indicted. In addition, Stewart may resign her positions as chairman and CEO as early as Wednesday, according to CNBC.

Meanwhile... "Kenny Boy" (aka Ken Lay, Enron) is free as a bird.

I wonder how many families he ruined... and how that compares to Martha's toll on America...

WebFX - What you never thought possible!

No matter if you're a site builder or just someone surfin' for something cool, you've reached the right place.On this page you'll be able to find Dynamic HTML samples that you can use on your own pages, all the samples may be used freely for personal use or you may change the source code for your own applications.

June 02, 2003
US finds evidence of WMD at last - buried in a field near Maryland

The good news for the Pentagon yesterday was that its investigators had finally unearthed evidence of weapons of mass destruction, including 100 vials of anthrax and other dangerous bacteria.The bad news was that the stash was found, not in Iraq, but fewer than 50 miles from Washington, near Fort Detrick in the Maryland countryside.

DVDRHelp.com / VCDHelp.com

This site will help you to make your own VideoCDs, SVCDs or DVDs that can be played on your standalone DVD Player from video sources like DVD, Video, TV, Cam or downloaded movie clips like DivX, MOV, RM, WMV and ASF. We also have an extensive list of standalone DVD Players with compatibility information such as CD-R/W, DVDR/W, VCD, SVCD, MP3 and more.