Aug 302012

So as you may or may not know, I’m planning a big move soon!  I’m moving from Sacramento, CA down to Irvine, CA to attend the University of Irvine, California.  It’s a beautiful school, and the programs there are wonderful.  But the point of this post is that the move is impending.  As in I leave on Tuesday.  (As I write this, it is wednesday.)  I have a lot of work to finish before I leave, and a bit of light packing, and a lot of planning to do.  As you know, I posted an article on planning a big move, and I’ve been following it, but even so, it’s still stressful.

In the weeks after my move, I plan to write some more articles, posts, and other stuff for you guys, so keep checking back!  When school starts in a few weeks, I expect to have a lot of stuff in the life category, and a lot more in the programming category, so keep an eye out 😉

See y’all soon!

Aug 152012

We’ve all been privy to the news with regard to Samsung and Apple.  The two have been locked in an epic battle for months now, and not a single customer anywhere has benefited from it, though many have been harmed in one way or another.  I could go into great detail to discuss who’s right and whose wrong, but that would be nothing but opinion, and there’s plenty of that to be found on the internet elsewhere.  I suggest you google Samsung vs Apple if you want opinions.  What I want to bring to light is the underlying issues. Continue reading »

Aug 092012

Lets be clear, This is NOT a tutorial.  You don’t NEED another tutorial, you don’t WANT another tutorial.

I’ve recently acquired a pair of bicycles for my wife and I.  They came fully assembled, but the boobs who threw them together at the store didn’t know much about bikes, so pretty much everything has needed adjustment.  First I had to adjust the derailleurs, the things that make the gears shift.  Doing this is easy, there are guides all over YouTube.  I watched several, then I just did it.  took about fifteen minutes and required flipping my bike upside down.  Then the brakes were too loose.  I had to tighten them up.  Loosen a bolt, squeeze the calipers together, tighten the bolt again.  Quick and easy.  Well, then I had to replace the “Twist shifters” with something that didn’t break regularly.  I bought some beautiful Shimano shifters on Amazon, and the installation was very simple.  I just mounted them to the handle bars and ran the cable, then readjusted the derailleurs as before.  This most recent piece was a bit of a chore though.

I got new bike seats.  Look at the bottom of your bike seat, it’s probably got two metal rods with some sort of kerjigger between them, all held together with bolts.  The idea is simple: Loosen the bolts, swap the pieces, tighten the bolts.  In practice, getting in to the bolts was nigh on impossible, and I didn’t own any wrenches the right size.  I had to use a pair of pairs of pliers.  It was still really easy.

All around, bikes are VERY easy to maintain and service and adjust and repair and..  well, you get the idea.  I haven’t found a routine maintenance or simple upgrade task that can’t be done by YOU, the rider, after watching a YouTube video, or even more easily, by simply examining the parts to see how they fasten.  Don’t pay the guys at the bicycle store for the easy stuff, grab a wrench and a screw driver, and achieve some independence!

Aug 072012

Moving is always a difficult task.  You have to plan, pack, move, unpack, then there’s the hard stuff.  In about one month, I’ll be moving from Sacramento to Irvine for school.

There are many things to consider, and hopefully this guide well help not only me, but you as well. Continue reading »

Aug 052012

What do you run on your website?  Do you have a LAMP stack?  That’s Linux, Apache, MySQL and P{HP,erl,ython} for the uninitiated.  I normally run a LAP/LM app stack duo.  This allows me to separate the MySQL database from the web stack, and use it for other purposes as well.  I include such services as xbmc and MS Access/Libre Office Database as MySQL clients as well.  It makes sense to isolate the MySQL server.

There are also several web servers, or LAP stacks in my home.  I keep one instance for my production site (this page here), and a handful of others for testing and development.  They all share the same LM stack.

Recently I was required to produce a WIMP stack, that’s Windows, IIS, MySQL, and php, for development purposes.  The architecture is almost completely different, but it’s now using my LM stack for database as well.

There are a few things to consider when you’re deciding between a single LAMP stack (or multiple LAMP stacks) and a LAP/LM stack.

Continue reading »

Aug 032012

I recently applied to the University of California Irvine, and was accepted to the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science as a major in Computer Science.  After years of hard work and dedication I had achieved one of my life’s goals!  I nearly had this robbed from me, because of something bad from years ago in my past, from when I was too young to even control it.  I was a student in the California Non-Public School system. Continue reading »

Aug 012012

A pet peeve of mine, for a while, has been the misuse of the term “Hacker” when people are in fact referring to a “Cracker”.  This has been going on for years, and I believe if unjustly fuels a prejudice against the hacker community; and by vilifying honest members of academia, allows governments to unjustly outlaw and prosecute otherwise upstanding members of society.

What’s the difference?

There’s a fine line between a Hacker and a Cracker.  A Hacker is someone who explores, studies, researches, and learns.  Through any subject of study, the majority of innovators are Hackers in the simplest terms.  A culinary student who explores mixing two unprecedented flavors is Hacking away.  A programmer who develops new algorithms, or explores closed systems is a Hacker.  A sysadmin who builds a new service by cobbling two old services together is a Hacker.  An automotive technician who sticks a Ford engine into a Chevy is a Hacker.  It’s simply a matter of pushing the boundaries of accepted wisdom and knowledge.  Trying something new.  Ignoring the documented facts and saying “We can do more”.

A Cracker, on the other hand, may do some or all of these things.  A Cracker is usually a computer hacker.  Most specifically, a rogue hacker.  A Cracker is a person who uses their hacking skills to “Do Evil”.  There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with hacking into the Playstation Network, for example.  You explore the systems, learn how their security works, and how you might make your own better.  When you cross the border and download databases, publish exploits, or steal real money or information, however, you’ve now done something “evil” and have crossed the boundary into being a Cracker. Continue reading »