February 08, 2003

Gallagher is coming to town

After far too long, I get to see Gallagher live tomorrow at 7pm. He's coming to the Marin Center. Now I just need to figure out where, exactly, that is so I can find it tomorrow night. (I bought a ticket on-line a few night ago without bothering to check where, exactly, it was. I knew it was in Marin county somewhere, so how bad could it be?)

Ah! They have directions on their site. Excellent.

Hm. It's in San Rafael. That's gonna be a bit of a trek. Oh, well. I'm sure it'll be worth it.

If only I could see George Carlin tour again. He's also excellent live.

Posted by jzawodn at 05:35 PM

More Couch Humor

I stumbed across two more funny pieces at The Avocado Couch. The first one, A note to the obnoxiously self-absorbed is one of the best rants I've read in a long, long time. It goes all out. The second one, Step one: admitting you have a problem is an amusing confession of addiction--to sexy pants. I love it. :-)

Read and enjoy. Better yet, add it to your aggregator.

Posted by jzawodn at 05:25 PM

Dr. Soy sells on-line

I'm a big fan of Dr. Soy bars--especially the Chocolate/Peanut variety. I was eating one this afternoon and got to wondering if they were a public company. Maybe I'd like to buy some stock.

I see on the wrapper that their web site, easily enough, is www.drsoy.com so I head over. It turns out that they are not public. But, I'm thrilled to see that they sell directo to consumers via their web site and it ends up costing less than my local grocery store charges.


I ordered two boxes on the spot.

I suspect that few other "healthy" snack food makers do this. Hm. Actually, it seems that you can get Clif and Luna bars on-line too. Excellent.

I don't eat Clif bars often, but if I did, I'd probably buy somet too. Even if it wasn't any cheaper, it helps to encourage companies like this to sell on-line.

Posted by jzawodn at 02:30 PM

February 07, 2003

SMART Disk Monitoring in Debian Linux

As noted in Disk Goes Boom, one of my colocated machines had a nasty disk failure. The disks arrived today. I hope to figure out how bad the damage is, replace the bad disk, and ship them back to get installed.

In the meantime, I've done something that I should have done a year ago. I installed the smartsuite package on my two remaining machines. It comes wtih a command-line tool named smartctl that provides various options for poking and prodding at your SMART aware disks. (You can read more about S.M.A.R.T. technology here.) It also comes with a daemon that keeps an eye on the health of your disks and puts messages in syslog to let you know what's up with them.

Now all I need to do is figure out which messages to watch for in syslog. Once I do, I'll setup a cron job to alert me if any problems show up.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:38 PM

February 04, 2003

Po Bronson should be pissed at me.


If you perform a google search for "What Should I do with My Life" (the title of his book), you'll find that the official web site for his book is in third position. His article in FastCompany is first and one of my blog entries is second.


This cracks me up.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:22 PM

I need OSCON talk ideas...

As Jim notes, it's almost time to get submissions in for this year's OSCON.

What should I submit this year?

I've got a selection of stuff on my MySQL Stuff page. I could update/recycle some of that. But it'd be fun to do something new, too. Any ideas?

Posted by jzawodn at 08:15 PM

February 03, 2003

A SPAM DoS Attack and Corporate Responsibility

Craig points to a K5 article about SPAM DoS Attacks, or what happens if a spammer forges your address on thousands or millions of mail messages.

The result is that you'll get a ton of bounces, complaints, and a gernal flood of e-mail traffic. It's a flood you may not be able or willing to deal with.

I find this rather timely. Just last week, several of us were having a discussion at work about the SPAM problem. One of the ideas tossed about was to implement a system that would make it easy for any MTA (Mail Transfer Agent--the programs that deliver e-mail on the Internet) to verify that a message that claims to be from somebody@yahoo.com really is from a yahoo.com user.

This is technically doable. And it might be a good idea. Especially, as I argued, if one of the other big players (AOL or MSN/Hotmail) jumps on board and uses the same technique. If either one began to do the same, I expect that a domino effect would follow. Boom. Instant adoption.

That'd go a long way toward ending the perception that Yahoo Mail accounts generate lots of SPAM. (Yes, they'd still attract SPAM, but that's a different problem.) However, one interesting objection was raised during the debate...

Wouldn't that just cause spammers to prey on domains that are less equipped to "swallow a few million bounces per hour without breaking a sweat"? (To paraphrase a co-worker.)

Maybe it would. But maybe that would simply be necessary (in the very short term) while other ISPs and companies worked to adopt the same techniques that we'd use? (They're not difficult at all.) Or maybe when Yahoo was no longer "shielding" the small guys, users would truly be outraged by the sheer size of the SPAM problem and finally motivate the govenment to do something about it?

You can argue either way, but the core issue seems to be one of corporate responsibility vs. technological evolution.

What's Yahoo's responsibility? Or MSN/Hotmail's? Or AOL's?

What would you do? What do you think?

Posted by jzawodn at 08:45 PM

Porno and Stalking

A google search on my previous entry led me to an entry on The Avocado Couch that made me laugh.

The Internet was made for two purposes: porno and stalking; and blogging was made for one purpose: unlimited, uncensored bitching and moaning, 24-7. Not your business? I'll make it your business. Just one right click, one Control-V, and I have pasted my catharsis into a Moveable Type entry and shared it with the universe.

Funny stuff. And rather accurate in many ways (if you read the whole thing).

Posted by jzawodn at 08:26 PM

Joel and MySQL

Excellent. Joel's software now works with MySQL in addition to SQL Server. Why he linked to his own content only and not the MySQL home page is beyond me.

Anyway, it's good to see more software adding MySQL support on the back end. There's a lot of interest in moving from Oracle or SQL Server to MySQL to save money. It comes up all the time.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:13 PM

htm vs. html

I know it doesn't matter, but I still cringe every time I see a .htm extension on a public web site. I still remember the first time I saw a .htm file. I had been working with web content on Unix machines for a while and had always used .html. It never occurred to me that anyone would need to bastardize it. But then came Windows 95.

Ever since then, I haven't been able to get rid of that feeling. I instinctively lose respect for folks who publish .htm files. (Yes, you'll find a few on my site, but they are just that: few.)

Anyway, I don't know what I thought to blog this, but I have. So there.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:09 PM

A Case of the Mondays

I just have to provide a link to Russell today. His blog quotes one of my favorite movies.

If you don't know the movie, I'm not telling. Everone needs to see this one.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:48 PM

February 02, 2003

My only regret today...

It was during that time that I realized my only regret of the day: I didn't bring my camera up. I was really kicking myself inside.

Read all about it in my flying blog.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:11 PM


Let me explainify the war against Iraq a little bit in Texas terminology.

Posted by jzawodn at 03:44 PM

Fly without ID. Legally.

Apparently, you can legally fly without ID. Thanks to Derek and jwz for the link.

I may just have to try that out myself. I think we all should. Perhaps if enough of us do, the airlines will get the message and stop inventing laws to make their lives easier.

Posted by jzawodn at 06:42 AM