July 04, 2003

Barry White is Dead

Story on Yahoo News.

Meanwhile, I'm packing, cleaning, and finally writing my presentations for the conference. Leaving tomorrow. Driving up to Portland by way of Crater Lake. More on that later.

Posted by jzawodn at 04:41 PM

July 03, 2003

Laid off Morons

Kasia's right. Karl's blog has good stuff in it. (It's been on my blogroll for a few weeks now.)

Face the fact that if you were any good at what you do, you would be employed right now. Maybe a career change is in order.

Excellent. Go read it.

The funny thing is that I was just having a similar discussion--about how a lot of job seekers got laid off from jobs that they really weren't cut out for in the first place.

Great minds think alike.

And so do we, I guess.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:31 PM

July 02, 2003

Java Bashing

Everyone enjoys a good language bashing now and then--especially when it's a shining example of how the language makes it hard to do something amazingly simple, like reading a file.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:58 PM

Stupid Corporate Procedures

You know, I've never really felt like I've been at Yahoo long enough to say things like "This is really stupid. You know, I remember back when..."

Over the last few years, things have been changing. As companies grow and evolve, they develop and enforce processes and procedures--often complex. They do this for a variety of reasons, and we're no exception. So far many of the changes have happened slowly and they often haven't affected me directly.

Something that used to be done in a matter of a day or two has become a drawn out ordeal that can result in weeks of waiting. And, of course, the number of people in the path from point A to point B is a little stupid.

Dumb corporate policies.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:33 PM

Learning Time

Sometimes you end up fighting a problem and realize that you have two options. First, you can "give up" and start over (reinstall). Or you can keep trying, knowing you'll eventually come up with a solution and likely learn a lot along the way. The tradeoff, of course, is time. The first may take an hour, while the second can consume much of a day.

I opted for the second yesterday. I didn't get to bed early at all, but I did manage to fix a very odd problem on a server. In the process, I replaced the 2 80GB software RAID-1 disks with 2 120GB disks and undid the raid. I also converted the ext2 root filesystem to ReiserFS, my filesystem of choice.

Along the way, I learned a lot more about partitions, filesystem recovery, initrd/mkinitrd, and various other tidbits. I'm happy I did it. I didn't lose a single bit of data despite one of the disks seeming to be funky.

Later today, I'll haul the server to it's new home in a colocation facility in Santa Clara. (It used to live in Palo Alto, but I had to move it, thus killing the 520+ day uptime.)

Hands-on experience can be one hell of a teacher.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:04 PM

June 30, 2003

Fun with mod_rewrite

A while back, I discovered that someone was embedding one of my photos in their own web site. It showed up in my referer logs pretty frequently. I contacted the owner and asked him to stop. I never heard back.

So I decided to have a little fun with him.

If you're easily offended, stop reading right here. I don't want to read your complaints if you think I've done something crude. Go elsewhere and take your judgments with you. Thanks.

Anyhoo, the image he used was this one. It's the house I owned in Ohio before I moved to California and decided to pay twice as much for a crappy apartment. He linked to it from this page. So I decided to use mod_rewrite to serve a different image to his visitors and only his visitors.

(You may see the wrong image on his site if your browser decides to cache it. Just force a reload (shift-reload on most browsers) if you do.)

How'd I do it?


Added this to the right VirtualHost block of Apache's httpd.conf file:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://members.asianavenue.com/I_am_that_guy/$
RewriteRule ^/pics/house/DCP00047-320.jpg$ /images/babyshit.jpg [P]

Tested it, and restarted.


Go forth and spread the mod_rewrite love.

And don't use my images without asking. It's just rude.

Posted by jzawodn at 02:18 PM

It pays to be an eBay exec

From TheStreet.com:

With the full approval of its board, eBay is issuing ever-increasing amounts of stock options, transferring an unusually large portion of the company's market value to corporate insiders. And many of these insiders have wasted little time in cashing in, selling hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stock, even as other investors, especially mutual funds, have bought up the shares.

And it seems that even the peons might benefit:

Despite these concerns, eBay shareholders last week overwhelmingly approved a proposal that would increase the number of shares available under its latest stock plan by more than 50%. The proposal would allow the company to give away an estimated $1 billion worth of options, about $250,000 per employee, this year alone. This year's handout is more than four times eBay's net income last year.

Nice. A little more of the mini-bubble, perhaps?

Posted by jzawodn at 12:03 PM

Google API Offline Aagain, MT pissed

This sucks.

MovableType is great, but...

Every time that api.google.com times out (like now), MT decides that it can't build pages anymore. Therefore, I cannot post.

500 Can't connect to api.google.com:80 (connect: timeout) at /home/jzawodn/public_html/mt/lib/MT/Template/Context.pm line 1749

I know that's because I use the Google API search results in my pages, but shouldn't it just timeout and gracefully continue as if the call returned no results?

Yeah, I thought so. The only options offered are "Close" and "Go Back." Given that this stuff is all loosely coupled, it really ought to be designed to deal with failure--not just give up.

Has anyone patched MT to work around this problem? I'm sure this problem isn't specific to me.

This will get posted eventually, I hope.

Update: Yup, had to post this a day later.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:28 AM

June 29, 2003

Don't call me, UNLESS...

I'm starting to wonder if this whole Do Not Call Registry isn't just a bunch of bullshit that the government put together to make us think it matters.

Over in jwz's journal he enumerates the many exceptions to the new rules. Looking at the list, I'm having a hard time figuring out how this new service (which still hasn't sent me e-mail confirmation) is going to help. Yeah, maybe it'll stop 1-2 calls a month.

It's too bad that our government doesn't have the balls to give us a real solution. (Hint: an opt-in list seems more appropriate.)

Posted by jzawodn at 12:35 PM