I worked at three very different startups (two of which are still doing well) and I have a lot of fond memories of the challenges, environments and people I was fortunate to work with. While I was in the trenches it was very hard to not know about, and to a limited degree get involved in, the other aspects of the business. From gearing up for a week of presentations (in a different time-zone) in an attempt to get more funding that would be hitting the system quite hard to the moments of desperation when almost a dozen people were laid off simultaneously (a sysadmins life is not always a pleasant one). Read on →

I get a lot of email, personal, mailing-lists and other, odder, sources (CVS commits for example) and the only mail client I’ve ever felt productive in is mutt. It’s a very simple, easy to use, client that hides a staggering amount of power behind a few key-presses; the fact it lets me use vim as my editor is also a killer feature. What makes mutt a joy to use is that every now and then I’ll stumble on to something new that I’ve never noticed before; today that was tab-completion when saving mail. Read on →

Author: Mark A Sportack ISBN:1587050676 Publisher: Cisco Press When I first received IP Addressing Fundamentals my first reaction was “340 pages of hard back book to explain subnetting?” but I’m happy to report the books title is a little misleading; it also covers a number of related topics such as multi-cast, DNS and NAT in a clear, accurate and unfortunately overly dry style. The book itself is broken in to five parts: "Introduction to IP Addressing" which explains binary math before covering fixed length and variable length subnet masks. Read on →

I’ve added a whois.sc search to the Mozilla Searches page. It works fine in FireFox or Mozilla but doesn’t work in the sidebar as it will typically return a single result. I’ve also added some Koder.com searches. The Koders.com website crawls and indexes source code from a number of different sites and projects. It then lets you run queries based upon keywords, specific languages and/or licenses, returning the code that matches. Read on →

I’ve been loath to type about the GMail changes made today just in case they were another April Fools-day ‘joke’ (I hate April 1st!) but it does seem they are serious in both raising the storage per person to 2GB per person. This morning, UK time, I was discussing the gradual rise in available storage with a friend and neither of us knew what was going on. The counter on my logged in gmail session just keep increasing for no apparent reason, you have to admit that turning a very basic upgrade in to a puzzling conversation topic is a neat way to get some free PR; oh look, it worked! Read on →

While it’s often handy to be able to look up the ownership details of a domain name a lot of the online services have implemented little graphical images which you need to read and then type into a text box before you can actually get the results back. I recently found a new one, Whois Source that allows you to specify the domain in the URL. This makes the service both simple to use from the browser and easy to integrate in to third party programs. Read on →

Every now and again there seems to be a small uprising in the geek Mac using community. Paul Graham seems to be man behind this iteration of the uprising but he’s getting a lot of support from a number of smart people like David Heinemeier Hansson (Rails) who has a couple of choice quotes, this one is my favourite: I would have a hard time imagining hiring a programmer who was still on Windows for 37signals. Read on →

I have my own Pragmatic Investment Plan that I’ve been (remarkably slack) in following. It’s the first one I’ve done and it covers a whole year. Which I’m starting to think is a mistake. My circumstances have changed a fair bit since I wrote that PiP and a number of the tasks, such as learn Mono and write a CPAN module, are no longer very relevant to me and where I’m heading; although the fact I couldn’t pick goals that were valid for a whole year might say something about me :). Read on →

Over in my Pragmatic Investment Plan I have two items under the topic of vanity. To put something on my site worth reading and to get my site into the first 100 results returned by google. Once my traffic hit a 100,000 unique (not obviously bots) visitors in under three months I considered the first one fulfilled. I’m now, and I realise how sad this is going to sound, very happy to report that at least for this very moment unixdaemon.net is in the top hundred results for the search phrase Dean; 99th to be exact. Read on →

Most people know you can change the readline settings to either vi or emacs style key-bindings, but far less people know you can actually open the current, or a previous, command line in your editor of choice using ‘fc’. If you type ‘fc’ on the command line then the previous command will be open in the defined editor; if you want to select a further back command you can use ‘fc pattern’. Read on →