July 29, 2004
Great Hackers

Economically, this is a fact of the greatest importance, because it means you don't have to pay great hackers anything like what they're worth. A great programmer might be ten or a hundred times as productive as an ordinary one, but he'll consider himself lucky to get paid three times as much. As I'll explain later, this is partly because great hackers don't know how good they are. But it's also because money is not the main thing they want.

What do hackers want? Like all craftsmen, hackers like good tools. In fact, that's an understatement. Good hackers find it unbearable to use bad tools. They'll simply refuse to work on projects with the wrong infrastructure.

If you pay people to program, you should read this article.

And know it by heart!

July 27, 2004
Visualize your data with gnuplot

Turn your data and functions into professional-looking graphs with Gnuplot 4.0, a freely distributed plotting tool. In this article, get a hands-on guide to gnuplot that emphasizes the idioms you'll need to use this tool effectively.

July 23, 2004
Mocks Aren't Stubs

The term 'Mock Objects' has become a popular one to describe special case objects that mimic real objects for testing. However the term mock was not originally meant as a more catchy name for stub, but to introduce a different approach to unit testing. In this article I dig into this difference of style to explain the difference between the interaction-based testing style favored by mock object fans, and the more usual state-based testing style.

July 20, 2004
Save Your Data from the Click of Death

The dd_rhelp script addresses this by acting as a front-end for dd_rescue. When dd_rescue finds a bad block, dd_rhelp has it jump ahead a bit, and then read blocks in reverse until it finds the tail end of the bad block group. It then continues forward and grabs all of the good blocks first. Then, after it finishes grabbing your good data, it goes back to the bad data and attempts to recover what it can from there.

July 07, 2004
Automatic Backups with rsync and Anacron

n this article I am going to show you how to quickly set up your computer for simple, hassle-free, and transparent backups using only rsync and cron (or Anacron). The premise is simple: every night your computer will make an automatic mirror of all the files you wish to backup, and at chosen intervals these mirrors will be archived and kept for a specified period of time.

July 01, 2004
A parent's guide to Linux Web filtering

A Web filter is a software that can filter the type of content a Web browser displays. The filter checks the content of a Web page against a set of rules and replaces any unwanted content with an alternative Web page, usually an "Access Denied" page. The type of content to be filtered is usually controlled by a systems administrator or a parent. Web filters are used in schools, libraries, and homes to safeguard children from obscene content on the Internet.