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And this just in...

Here's the part of my site where I get to tell you what I've been up to, what I'm currently doing, what I may be into down the pike, or anything I might feel like expressing in a somewhat public fashion. If you see something here and have questions or thoughts that you'd like to communicate to me, you can use my contact form or look up my contact info here.

Note that dates and times for posts are listed using the U.S. Eastern Standard time zone, and times are listed in 24-hour format (e.g. 7:04AM is 07:04, 7:19PM is 19:19, etc.).

Posts

Broken As Designed is BAD

I was having an IM conversation today where I accidentally came upon an incredibly awesome acronym. Ever since I started working with computers, I've used the the phrase, broken as designed. I love using it because it so perfectly describes so many things in this world that are quite literally broken as designed. And to inject a current events element into this, as I'm writing, the new U.S. government's healthcare.gov website comes to mind. Anyways, back to my serendipitous discovery. Here's my bit of the conversation (edited to protect the guilty):

Me: it is so going to be fun when it becomes obvious most of [censored] processes in [censored] are BAD™ = Broken As Designed lol

Me: and Dang, dude, I just came up with a real Bad-ass Acronym!!!! rofl

What I find hilarious about this, is first of all, I had no recollection of ever having heard or read the the phrase before, to say nothing of the acronym. So I thought I was being ever so clever. Until I googled it, that is. Using “bad broken as designed” as my search terms, the very first hit to come up was this entry in Eric Raymond's Jargon File :

BAD: /BAD/, adj.

    [IBM: acronym, “Broken As Designed”] Said of a program that is bogus because
    of bad design and misfeatures rather than because of bugginess.
    See working as designed. 

Imagine my disappointment! I felt like I'd uniquely invented an acronym, though, if only for a brief while. Ay, asi es la vida. :(

UPDATE: Curious about whether or not I might have subconsiously picked up the broken as designed phrase from the Jargon File, I found an archive of historical versions. I started using computers back in 1987, and the first version to list the phrase is version 2.4.3, dated 24 January 1991. The 2.4.2 version is missing from the archive, so I can't check its date. However, the 2.4.1 version is dated 14 January 1991. So it is entirely possible that I came up with the phrase on my own, especially given that I wasn't even aware of the BAD™ acronym until today. Fascinating!

New Blog Software

I decided that blosxom just wasn't quite doing it for me as far as blogging software goes. I wanted something that would provide the following features:

  • Timestamped entries (blosxom does this)
  • Easier formatting than HTML (blosxom doesn't do this :-()
  • Easier, web-based editing (blosxom is command-line text-based)
  • Easy linking to other posts and to website (blosxom does this, but using HTML :-()
  • Tagged entries (blosxom doesn't do this)
  • Perusal by tags (blosxom doesn't do this)
  • The ability to amend entries after original edit (blosxom does do this)
  • Reading list entries (blosxom could do this, but not as easy as my custom-brewed scripts)
  • The ability to easily document projects or technical insights (HTML isn't easy :-()
  • A wiki/blog that doesn't need a database, or at worse uses sqlite (blosxom does this)

I had already used DokuWiki for various wiki needs, and after taking a look at some of the plugins available, I decided to give it a try as a blogging tool. After some experimentation in an offline environment, I was convinced it meets my needs better than blosxom. I ported my old blog entries, added this entry, and here we are! I hope you find it as much of an improvement as I do. Now I just need to move my reading list.

IPv6: The future is now!

I've been intrigued and learning about IPv6 for somewhat over a year now, and I started implementing and using it on my home LAN for some six months ago When I first started to implement it, I discovered that the Linksys WRT610n wireless router I was using as the network's main router has a half-assed implementation of a IPv6 tunnel. Normally I wouldn't print anything approaching such profanity on my web site, but it is the perfect description of what Linksys (Cisco) did: They made the router firmware so that a 6to4 tunnel is enabled, but they didn't document it, nor did they give the user the option of disabling it as part of the normal web interface. In my opinion, that merits the “half-assed” moniker.

Google's Diminishing Greatness as a Search Engine

I don't like Google futzing with the search engine home page. The folks there seem to be doing that a lot lately, and it's ticking me off! The latest change has been especially annoying. It's some kind of instant search that fades in while you're entering search terms. Today I got fed up and decided to tell the folks at Google that I'm getting tired of their shenanigans. I found their feedback page and sent them my complaint:

http://www.google.com/quality_form?q=google+feedback&hl=en&prmd=ivn

New Projects

Although I've not found a new job yet, I've been keeping busy. In addition to looking for work (of course!), I've been working on various computer projects:

- I replaced a previously-created Linux embedded system with OpenBSD. It acts as my LAN's internal DNS, DHCP and NTP server. I originally came up with the idea to create some more-reliable NTP servers for iContact. One of the problems I had with using OpenBSD for this type of system is that OpenBSD's ability to edit ramdisk contents appears to rely on a custom kernel recompile. However, the OpenBSD maintainers will only support the stock kernels. I cooked up a unique innovation that implements a RAMdisk-based system without altering the standard OpenBSD kernel one bit. I'll post the details here.


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