Monthly Archives: February 2008

WYSYWIG Users Don’t Save Their Work

I just figured out why my users just can’t learn to save their work every couple of minutes. It’s not really them – it’s the system they are working in. I personally have my fingers trained to automatically hit either … Continue reading

Posted in technology | 14 Comments

Name That Movie or TV Show 2

The first time we did this it was kinda fun, so I decided to do it again. Below you will find an image which contains snapshots from 25 different movies and/or TV shows. Your mission, should you choose to accept … Continue reading

Posted in entertainment | Tagged | 25 Comments

What Programming Language Should we Teach to CS Majors?

Yesterday I went on some sort of massive rant about Java, and programming languages in general. It’s actually kinda ironic that it took me a little over 2500 words to essentially say “I somehow always knew Java was to verbose … Continue reading

Posted in school and teaching | Tagged | 16 Comments

Let’s talk about Java and keeping the damn kids of the lawn…

I found this gem mixed in with some old Java code of mine. There is nothing inherently wrong with this class by itself and I bet each and every one of you has a copy of exactly the same class … Continue reading

Posted in programming | Tagged | 2 Comments

Using CPAN version of WWW::Mechanize with ActiveState Perl on Windows

I end up doing this each time I reinstall windows, and every time I forget how I did it, so I figured I’ll archive the process here. Perhaps it will help some of you. And I know, someone will say … Continue reading

Posted in programming | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Blinking Dash: The Video

I still have no solution to this problem. Will Sheldon had some useful suggestions for me yesterday, but messing around with boot.ini did not do anything. The /sos option did not display anything. I also tried stuff like /safeboot, /safeboot:minimal, … Continue reading

Posted in sysadmin notes | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Digital Sales Expectations: Customer vs. Copyright Holder

Let’s talk more about digital distribution. I don’t know why but I suddenly have a lot to say about these things. We already established that distributing data online can be profitable if you approach it the right way. We also … Continue reading

Posted in technology | Tagged | 5 Comments

Blinking Dash: The Sequel

Remember that one time (at band camp) that my computer wouldn’t fucking start, because it was busing blinking a little tiny dash in the upper left corner of the screen? That was the end of December (just before Christmas). You … Continue reading

Posted in sysadmin notes | Tagged , | 7 Comments

I Was Wrong about HD Format Winner

It appears that I was dead wrong about the winner of the HD Format war. Since Toshiba officially declared stopping production of HD-DVD players on Tuesday it seems that Blu-Ray is going to move in as a market leader. It … Continue reading

Posted in technology | Tagged | 12 Comments

Your First Steps With Linux: Revisited

When I was writing Your First Steps With Linux I really wanted to mention Wubi as an alternative to live CD but somehow it did not make it into the post. Human memory is funny this way sometimes. It’s really … Continue reading

Posted in sysadmin notes | Tagged , | 4 Comments

It is not theft!

I said it before, and I’ll say it again: downloading copyrighted content without author’s consent is not theft. It’s copyright infringement! It doesn’t make it any less illegal, but it is a very different crime. Please get it right, otherwise … Continue reading

Posted in technology | Tagged | 13 Comments

Client Side Table Sorting with JQuery

For a while now, I have been searching for a good Javascript framework to mess around with. I think I finally found one that I really like. JQuery is a 15 Kb bundle of pure fucking magic. It is tiny … Continue reading

Posted in programming | Tagged , | 6 Comments

E-Books and File Sharing

Have you noticed that while book scans are as abundant on file sharing networks as other media, people in publishing industry are not really crying that much about piracy? Ok, I take that back – they do cry about it, … Continue reading

Posted in technology | Tagged | 13 Comments

The Foreach Inconsistency

It is interesting that most programming languages have almost identical syntax for the most commonly used set of flow of control statements. There are variations of course, but for the most part the if/else blocks, and the for, while and … Continue reading

Posted in programming | 4 Comments

Teaching Web Application Design is not Easy

Here is a hypothetical situation: I introduce you to a total n00b – some dude who is completely green, and has no programming experience whatsoever. Let’s give this hypothetical construct some generic name – for example Guy. I bring this … Continue reading

Posted in programming | Tagged | 7 Comments

How do you sell data when information is free?

The old hacker motto used to be “information wants to be free”. This was the driving philosophy of the 80’s and the 90’s when the Internet was going through it’s awkward onset of puberty, and turbulent teenage years. We currently … Continue reading

Posted in futuristic musings | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Installation Wizards are not allways User Friendly

Installation wizards have their place. For example, when you are installing and configuring an operating system a wizard is your best friend. The design of the wizard is paramount as it is often the very first thing your user sees. … Continue reading

Posted in sysadmin notes | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Comment Notifications Are not Working

Comment notifications are not working. Or rather they are working but with like a 48 hour delay. So if there was a comment posted today, you may get it Wednesday or something like that. And there is nothing I can … Continue reading

Posted in meta | 7 Comments

What is this “address bar” you speak of?

I noticed a disturbing trend recently among many users. This includes my coworkers, students and family. See if you noticed it too. I can for example tell someone to go to some website – let’s say I want to point … Continue reading

Posted in technology | Tagged , | 17 Comments


I finally got to see Cloverfield few days ago, but I never got around to writing up a review. I have to preface this review by saying that I went to see this movie clean. I did not really pay … Continue reading

Posted in movies | Tagged | 16 Comments

Those pesky PDF files

At some point in the past we sent out an email to the staff saying that we can assist them with file conversion services. Very often they get large data files (agings, inventory, sales receipts) in various formats. Some are … Continue reading

Posted in geek humor, technology | Tagged | 6 Comments

File Format Overhead for Data Storage

I’m not sure if I ever did this experiment here or not. I might have touched on this subject in the past but I don’t think I ever committed a full post to the issue. But let’s start from the … Continue reading

Posted in technology | 17 Comments

Is it ethical to sell sofware suite that can be replaced with 1 line of code?

Here is an interesting question. Is it ethical to sell someone an expensive software suite the functionality of which could easily be replaced by simple 2-3 line shell script or few lines of code in the right place? Note that … Continue reading

Posted in programming | Tagged | 29 Comments

Yet Another HTML Email Rant

I came to accept HTML email as somewhat necessary evil. Or rather, I’m wiling to acknowledge that it has legitimate uses. For example HTML links are much nicer and convenient than those 5 mile long URL’s. Most email clients will … Continue reading

Posted in technology | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Download All Documents from Blackboard’s Digital Dropbox

Blackboard sucks. This is the opinion shared by roughly 95% of faculty at my university. But this is what we have, and a crappy course management system is still better than no course management system. So we are stuck with … Continue reading

Posted in school and teaching | Tagged | 10 Comments