July 26, 2007
The Kelly Kettle

The Kelly Kettle or Storm Kettle or Volcano Kettle is an ingenious device used mainly to heat water and cook food. Its efficiency in heating water to the boiling point

* with a minimal amount of fuel - just a few handfuls
* using just about any type of fuel - dry leaves and twigs, newspapers, olive oil, animal dung, or what have you
* In a very short time - within two to five minutes

makes the Kelly Kettle an excellent piece of survival gear.

A Support Guide for Xen

Here's a guide to supporting Xen servers for people who are not Linux experts. If your job means that you have root access to a Xen server that someone else installed for the purpose of fixing problems when they are not available then this will help you solve some common problems.

7 Clever Google Tricks Worth Knowing

Below I have compiled a list of 7 clever Google tricks that I believe everyone should be aware of. Together I think they represent the apex of the grand possibilities associated with Google search manipulation tricks and hacks.

July 24, 2007
Xen and Bridging

The basic configuration of Xen that most people use is to have a single virtual Ethernet port for each Xen instance and have them all connected to the one bridge, and then the Dom0 will have an IP address on the bridge interface that is used for routing packets to the outside world. This works really well if you have a subnet that you are using for all Xen DomU IP addresses, if you are using NAT for communication, or if the DomU needs no communication outside the Dom0 and other DomU’s on the same machine (a common case for testing).

But if you have a collection of servers that you want to consolidate on a single piece of hardware then you end up using a single sub-net that spans some physical machines, some Xen Dom0’s, and some DomU’s. The solution to this is to use bridged networking.

Uniform Event Model

This site hosts the Uniform Event Model Javascript which makes IE handle events the same way as FireFox, Opera or any other browser which implements the W3C DOM3 Event recommendations. See the about seection for more information.

July 20, 2007
Learning from Dave Winer

The important thing to notice here is that Dave does not see blog comments as productive to the free exchange of ideas. They are a part of the problem, not the solution. You don't have a right to post your thoughts at the bottom of someone else's thoughts. That's not freedom of expression, that's an infringement on their freedom of expression.

July 19, 2007
It Works Right Out Of the Box!

I've saved the most obvious, and possibly the most ignored bit of advice for last. If you actually want your software to work out of the box, you have to do the following:

1. Package it up

2. Get yourself a clean system

3. Install your software onto the clean system

4. See if it works. If it does not, fix the problem and go to step 1

Eight Ways To Decode Makefile Hieroglyphs

Since make is likely to be with us indefinitely, I thought I would jot down the things that I say to the perplexed who stream through my office, Makefile in hand and tears trickling down their faces...

Regular Expressions In Ten Steps: Part I

Knowing how to use regular expressions is a lot like knowing how to cook: even though it is an incredibly useful skill, many people avoid learning. I've been teaching people about regular expressions for years now, and since my voice is starting to give out I thought that I would write it down. This article covers steps one through five and a follow on article will get the rest.

Sunscreen Summary What Works and What's Safe

In a new investigation of 785 name-brand sunscreens, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found widespread evidence that many products on the market are not safe and effective, including one of every eight high-SPF sunscreens that does not protect from UVA radiation. We have also identified 130 products that offer very good sun protection with ingredients that present minimal health risks to users. Find out which in our best and worst lists.

July 18, 2007
Monitoring and Resetting MySQL Replication

OK, so you have a nice replication setup, but how do you know it is actually working, and what do you do when it stops? This short article shows how to check and quickly fix replication that has stopped. This procedure takes 2 minutes and can be done remotely on the command line.


querysniffer is a MySQL query sniffer written with Net::Pcap. It sniffs the network with pcap, extracts queries from mysql packets, and prints them on standard output.

July 05, 2007
Declutter 101: Declutter Strategies

The Four-Box method forces a decision, item by item. To apply it, gather three boxes and a large trash can. Label the boxes, "Put Away", "Give Away/Sell" and "Storage." Items to be thrown away belong in the trash can.