I’ve just finished a cursory read of this months Java focused Dr Dobbs magazine (number 362, July 2004). Not being a Java person i wasn’t expecting to get too much out of it but what surprised me was the sheer number of adverts. This issue has a pull out poster (sponsored by Microsoft) and a total of 50 full pages of adverts. This doesn’t include the half-page or multiple quarter page adverts found on another couple of dozen or so pages. Read on →

Its the little touches that makes certain products stand out. If you click on the ‘trash’ folder and its empty you see: No conversations in the trash. Who needs to delete when you have 1000 MB of storage?! The first time you see it is amusing (or i need a life). When you think about it the message itself is actually positive reinforcement for the service. It implies careful thought has been given to the storage requirements. Read on →

Service banner grabbing is no longer the prominent issue it once was. Todays fire and forget worms probe large IP ranges so quickly that they just try to brute force compromise any servers they encounter and hope to get lucky without checking the product name or version of the target. While these are the most common attacks you will see on your Apache server its also worth noting that they are the easiest ones to defend against. Read on →

The Unixdaemon site is undergoing some design changes as and when i get time. Surprisingly its gone from being a short set of links pointing to a few bits to code to something that actually gets unique visitors every day; and its not just my mum! On the left of the home page I’ve added a small set of navigation links and while working through the CSS i thought I’d try adding access keys. Read on →

A couple of my book reviews are now up on London PM’s review section, the two books are Coder to Developer and XForms Essentials. The first, Coder to Developer by Mike Gunderloy, is a great book for less experienced software developers looking to become more professional. The second is an older but still valid book focusing on the XForms spec. Its a little dry and academic but if you need to understand the principles XForms Essentials isn’t the worst option by a fair way.

Author: Mike Gunderloy ISBN: 078214327X Publisher: Sybex International For those that live in the land of the magic LAMP the name Mike Gunderloy might not ring any bells. For those in the Windows world it’s more familiar, the author of too many books to count, articles in Microsoft Certified Professional magazine (among a fair few others!), his own Larkware site and now Coder To Developer. The book draws upon the author’s years of experience to cover the areas that coders new to the real world of development will find themselves unprepared for, especially if they have come from a hobbyist or purely academic background. Read on →

Author: Micah Dubinko ISBN: 0596003692 Publisher: O’Reilly & Associates HTML forms are a necessary evil, outdated and overworked they are prime targets for a long awaited overhaul. From out of the shadows we have the only contender to step up to the challenge and push forward; XForms. XForms Essentials has an enviable pedigree, with Micah Dubinko an editor and author of the XForms specification itself, writing the book the information is almost straight from the horses mouth. Read on →

I stumbled across this site yesterday when looking for some FireFox plugins and i have to admit i can see me getting a lot of use out of it. The basic premise is pretty simple: BugMeNot.com was created as a mechanism to quickly bypass the login of web sites that require compulsory registration and/or the collection of personal/demographic information (such as the New York Times). The FireFox BugMeNot plugin provides nice and easy right click access to the site but while I’m at work i have to use IE so i decided to write my own version, imaginatively titled BugMeNot IE Update: The people behind BugMeNot have included a link to my version of the plugin on the FAQ page. Read on →

Author: Tony Bourke ISBN: 0596000502 Publisher: O’Reilly & Associates I like concise books, no one wants a 1500 page breeze block which has long winded examples and rambles through the subject matter (cough Wrox cough) but this book sets new standards in small. With eleven chapters and three appendixes in just under 170 pages you get a nagging suspicion that the meat of the topic is going to be left uncovered. Read on →

Is this thing on? With a little luck you’ll be seeing a spiffy UnixDaemon mosaic across the top of the screen and me blathering on underneath it. I finally decided to stop just reading blogs and start writing my own. I’m not sure how its going to go update-wise but i should be able to stretch to a couple a week. I’m using the quite excellent Blosxom so expect the site to go through a lot of small changes while i get everything just the way i like it.