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Mar. 5th, 2014

When OpenID lets you down

For years I've been happily using LiveJournal as an OpenID endpoint. That facility appears to have gone the way of the dodo, stranding me without access to such things as my StackExchange account.

Sep. 19th, 2012

Calm, Collected

Django + MySQL using MacPorts on Mac OS X 10.7

Installing Django and MySQL on Mac OS X 10.7 from a fresh install.
In point form, because I'm in a hurry.Collapse )

Sep. 5th, 2012


Lowepro SlingShot 102 AW

I've been using the Lowepro SlingShot 102 AW for a month or two, and here's my review for time-challenged people: it's excellent for photo walks and can accommodate a flash and/or a few tiny accessories. At a pinch, the Slingshot is a great bag for carrying a camera and accessories on trips by plane, train or bus. The downside? Carrying a tripod is annoying, and I feel there are better options for people travelling by plane with luggage. I consider this an ideal bag for the purpose of photo walks focussed on hand-held photography.
A more verbose version of the above behind the cutCollapse )

May. 23rd, 2012

Insanity, Madness

Why Internet-connected DRM fails the customer

The short version: Diablo III is a prime example of why always-connected DRM will not work in the long run. It protects the supplier's interests while turning customers into enemies.

Full text of this rant behind the cut.Collapse )

Mar. 6th, 2012

Insanity, Madness

Professional Photographers? Professional Whingers

Read this: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/02/22/opinion/phones-instagram-apps-stern/

Then read my ranting essay in response to that guy's self-entitled rantingCollapse )

Feb. 16th, 2012

Calm, Collected

Countering Constants in Unit Tests

In Perl, some people will do funky stuff like this:
  package FooBar;
  use constant {
    CONFIG_VALUE_A = 'foo',
    CONFIG_VALUE_B = 'bar',

If I want to override those values (e.g.: while running your application on my system, or building a test suite) I have to use a construct like this:
*{FOOBAR::CONFIG_VALUE_A} = sub { 'my new foo' };

Please don't use constants for things which might vary (such as hostname, database server, database name, user name or password). Constants are for things like Pi, or G or h (and even then, the cosmologists tell us that h is not really constant in space or time).

To handle configuration variables, I recommend tools such as Config::IniFiles.

That is all.

Feb. 15th, 2012

Calm, Collected

Kobo Touch, Sony Reader or iPad?

In which I contrast the Kobo Touch, Sony Reader and iPad 2 in terms of reading books.

Let me cut to the chase: If I was forced to choose only one of these devices, it would be the iPad. But for the purposes of exclusively reading books I would choose the black Kobo Touch.No photos, sorry. I can't capture the bedazzling effect of the Sony Reader's shiny bezel.Collapse )

Feb. 13th, 2012

Calm, Collected

It's Monday 13th. Is your data secure?

Some points to consider when reviewing your backup strategy: http://www.itbusinessedge.com/cm/blogs/poremba/bulletproofing-your-data/?cs=49333

Note the last point especially: have you tried recovering your data onto a brand new computer?

And remember that tomorrow is St. Valentine's Day. You can buy a 1TB drive for the price of a dozen roses :)

Oh, and another story about losing stuff: http://www.documentsnap.com/carbonite-ceo-and-i-join-the-idiot-club/

Jan. 30th, 2012


Making O'Reilly ePubs usable on the Kobo Touch

Due to my weak and undisciplined nature I have succumbed to "more shinies syndrome" and now I have a Kobo Touch. I have a large collection of O'Reilly books in ePub format, which work just fine on the iPad, but crash the Kobo. So I set out to massage my O'Reilly books to the point that they are usable on the Kobo.

Details of my book massaging behind the cutCollapse )

A huge THANK YOU to O'Reilly for being sensible and releasing their publications with no DRM, which allows me to edit my copy as I see fit. This is why I buy your books (in addition to them being technically excellent).

Jan. 12th, 2012


On Copyright and Monkeys

Before you get to my post, here is some background reading. They're short, so please go read them now:

This rant is about copyright and who owns it.Collapse )

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