Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Why Sysadmins Suck at Documentation

Sysadmins suck at documentation. We can't be bothered. We think documentation is beneath us. We are the gatekeepers of information.

read more | digg story

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Introducing Gliffy

I hate Visio. As a Linux guy, I try to stay away from proprietary protocols as much as I can. Give me Google docs any day.

However, Visio is one of the last bastions of Microsoft proprietary formats.

Enter Gliffy.

For other ideas on software that doesn't have to run on your desktop, check out bluhalo.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

How Not to Install Linux

X86Virtualization gives a great example of how not to install Linux.

Before installing VMware Server, you should do a clean install of Ubuntu Linux, this is a step by step guide to guide your through the process...


I install Linux nearly every day. Sometimes, as many as 20 times in a day. So do my colleagues. We get it right every time. Do you know how we get it right every time? Do you think it is by following a 34 step process?


It is by following a one step process. Power cycle the box. Yup, that's it. Power cycle the box.

It's called PXE boot friends, and it is hands down the only way to do things right.

Sure, you're some guy dorking around at home with Linux for the first time? By all means, download the CD. Spend the day goofing around with it. But be prepared to do it over again. And then over again.

But if you are working with server hardware, and still installing from CD, you have already made your first mistake.

For more information on how to do things the right way, check the Cobbler project.


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Monday, January 28, 2008

And You Don't Stop Goes Mobile

Announcing the launch of And You Don't Stop mobile blog.

Brought to you by the good folks at mofuse.

Check it:

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LEGO Celebrates 50 Years of Bricks

Check out the video and also the Google homepage today for a special logo.

read more | digg story

Don't forget the latest Lego creation
E=MC Hawking.

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Ten New Ways to Use Your Blackberry

Sure the Blackberry is great for email, but you already knew that. The device has so many uses I bet you can find at least one here you haven't tried:

10. Alarm clock - Just pick a good sound.
9. GMail - Best email experience out there, now on your Blackberry.
8. Flashlight - Just turn it on by spinning the wheel, works great late night.
7. Maps - Google Maps on Blackberry now has My Location. Get it!
6. Poker - Midnight poker is tons o fun.
5. Calendar - Write stuff down and sync it to your office calendar with Google Sync.
4. IM Client - Install Yahoo Instant Messanger and pretend you are at your desk.
3. SSH Client - Idokorro makes an SSH client for the Blackberry.
2. Notes - Write down books to read, movies to add to netflix, things to buy at the drugstore.
1. Wireless Modem - Hook it up to your laptop and use it like a modem.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Golden Bell

Today in Wing Chun Kung Fu, I lead the class in the Sil Nim Tao, or Little Idea Form. I was concentrating and trying to bring energy to the rest of the students. About two thirds the way through the form, one of the students got a panicked look on her face and raced out of the class. She had just purchased a new car and was distraught when she saw another driver drive away in the same make and model. Thinking her car was being stolen, she raced out of the class. Through the commotion, I was able to continue on a lead us through an invigorating session.

Later, I requested a senior student to lead the class in my favorite drill, the Golden Bell. The story of the Golden Bell's introduction into Wing Chun begins with my Sifu, Ken Chun. Sifu Ken spend many years training in Wing Chun under Chris Chan. Later, Ken became a Sifu, or master, himself. Thereafter, he spend many trips around the country and around the world trying to learn from other masters. In most caess, he found either the instructor or the subject matter to be utterly lacking in value. It seems too many of the Sifus out there were more interested in turning a buck then in passing along true Martial Arts wisdom.

One case was a standout example of real knowledge. Sifu Ken sat in on a class with a master of Quigong, or energy work. The Sifu lead the lass through a drill known as the Golden Bell. Sifu Ken was impressed and offered to lead that class in the instruction of Sil Nim Tao in exchange.

The Golden Bell practices the horse stance, common among many Kung Fu styles. It puts tremendous strain on the quad's as your stance is very low to the ground. This type of training is said to provide vitality and inner strength. It is related to other practices on Qigong including the Iron Shirt and Iron Palm. The hands and arms are also involved as well as the breath. By practicing Golden Bell, you will develop your pain threshold and inner strength.

Doing both the Sil Nim Tao and Golden Bell in one class leads to a huge burst of energy or Qi. During the afternoon, I felt the need to recover and reflect back on the history behind how I was first introduced to Golden Bell by Sifu Ken.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

The 10 Most Disturbing Smurfs

List of the 10 most disturbing Smurfs of all time.

read more | digg story

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Great Refractor

mt-hamilton-1-20-2008 007
Originally uploaded by dmourati
These gears are used to hoist the 36 inch refractor telescope at Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton.

Lick Observatory is located on 4200' Mt. Hamilton in the Diablo Range, east of San Jose, California. Largest among its nine research-grade telescopes is the Shane 3-meter Reflector, active since 1960. The 3-meter is in operation every clear night of the year, used by many different astronomers from within the UC system for a variety of projects ranging from observations of our solar system to distant galaxies. UC astronomers, using the telescopes on Mt. Hamilton have contributed to virtually every area of optical and infrared astronomy.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

9 Reasons Why "The Digg Story" Sells

Why does the Digg story sell so well? Here's a look at 9 elements that make a good story - one that people embrace and propagate through their networks - and how Digg has taken those principles to heart.

read more | digg story

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Tricks: Digg It, AddThis, and AdBrite

You may have noticed some improvements and changes to my blog. I've been trying out some stuff lately to improve the experience. I figured out two cool tricks:

1. Add a Digg This link
2. Add a Bookmark and Share link with AdThis

Here's what I did to setup Blogger with Digg. I followed "How to Add a Digg Button to Blogger Posts-Blogger Hack"

Then, I signed up for AddThis. The provide the nifty bookmarking widget. I like it and I hope you do too.

Finally, I have added support for AdBrite. I'm experimenting with their ad options. If you see something you don't like, please let me know and I will remove it.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

2008 Ski Season: Day 2

On Sunday I took the Bay Area Ski Bus to Kirkwood. This was my second ski day out this year. Kirkwood got over 14 feet of snow from their last storm. Kirkwood is just south of Sierra At Tahoe which I skied last weekend, on Day 1.

The conditions were pretty good at Kirkwood, if a bit firm. The snow was so hard, in fact, that at Chair 10, lifties were warning skiers and boarders to be cautious at the top. When I got up to the top of Chair 10, I saw a ominous black flag with the skull and crossbones symbol on it. The conditions were pretty tough but nothing to really worry about.

Today was another great day out on the slopes making turns.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Marketing Research

I've been learning about marketing lately. Marketing appeals to my practical and scientific side. Marketing research also makes me realize just how impressionable we all are.

This path started while I was visiting my Mom in Elmhurst, IL for Christmas. I have a friend who was interested in a book I mentioned to him in passing, "Criminal Interrogations and Confessions." While looking for that book in my Mom's basement, I came across and old copy of another book, Guerilla Marketing Attack.

I was given my copy of Guerrilla Marketing Attack by a friend when I was starting my first company. I remembered liking at and decided to re-read the book while I had some downtime. It turned out to be better than I remembered, if a bit dated. So, from there, I wanted a more up-to-date book on the subject. I was at Borders, shopping for Christmas presents for my Mom and I picked up the seminal book in the series, Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business.

Levinson, the author of the Guerrilla series, writes in a very practical and direct style. He has a ton of experience and you almost feel as though he is personally coaching you along. This is great.

From there, I went to the library and started looking for more books on the subject. I got Guerrilla Publicity, E-Service, and Cashing in with Content. I still need to read these three so more on them as I figure out what they are about.

Finally, I bought a book by Timothy Ferris called "The 4-Hour Work Week." Ferris is an out-of-the-box thinker who gave me some pretty cool ideas on how I can start to put some of this marketing knowledge to work. He addressed one of my main concerns which was: "how do I make this scale?" His idea, basically, is to outsource and automate. These are topics near and dear to my heart so I found myself agreeing with a lot of his theories.

In parallel to all this book research, I've been following some topcis online. One of them is Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. Levinson touches on this subject briefly but he realized that the best place to talk about the web is on a web and not in a book. He suggested searching for the term "seo" and going from there.

I've also been viewing some videos from an outfit called There most recent video introduced me to the topic of Social Marketing. The salient points in their video were that social media sites are a huge force on the net today. Some even outpace Google in hit count.

The video also introduced me to several new sites that are relevant for managing one's online presence in the social media context. Those sites were:


Stay tuned for more updates on the above marketing topics. I'm just getting started here.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

2008 Ski Season: Day 1

Today I started the 2008 ski season in full style. Talk about a powder day?!? It snowed the entire time I was skiing. The weather guys weren't kidding when they said to "Bring a Snorkel!"

First off, I have to give props to the Bay Area Ski Bus for getting us there at all. Route 80 was closed which blocked off our initial ascent into Squaw Valley. But they quickly realized that Route 50 was open and that Sierra at Tahoe was within range. Good thing too, because Sierra got over 4 FEET on Friday! Check it:


Last 48 HR - Last 72 HR
1. Kirkwood, California, Northern
2. Sierra at Tahoe, California, Northern

Kirkwood was closed which makes my powder day at Sierra today the biggest snowfall for the entire country. Not too shabby.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Bring a Snorkel

My snow obsession has officially started. For the next four months, please forgive the glassy look in my eye and distant gaze off into oblivion as I day dream about snowflakes falling on mountain sides around the world.

Today, I was checking one of my favorite resources, when I read the following:

Friday and Saturday -//> It looks like our prediction from last Saturdays forecast (Dec 29th), "By next weekend, the 4th onward, we see a lot of precipitation on the way in the form of multiple foot snowfall", is on track. We expect strong storms to move through Friday through Sunday morning, with absolutely epic snowfall totals expected. Bring a snorkel! We initially see somewhat high snow levels Friday, but this is indicative of the huge amount of moisture associated with this first storm. It looks like everything will be working for us weather-wise, with strong orographics, deep and copious moisture, plus other dynamics at all levels. Winds are expected to become very strong through this period, so please be prepared for that along with blowing and drifting of heavy snow, especially through the passes. The NWS may be issuing a blizzard warning for this time frame, to cover the winds and low visibility expected.

When these guys say things like "epic" and "bring a snorkel" it really drives home the obsession I have with huge snowfalls. So, I immediately went to my local ski hookup, and was delighted to learn that they have a weekend trip all setup for me that includes one day of skiing at favorite Squaw Valley, known locally as "Squawllywood" and next-door resort Alpine Meadows. With all this snow in the forecast, it is possible that some will not be able to make the treacherous journey over the Donner Pass. Sucks to be them as I roll 50 deep in a tricked out motor coach. Chain patrol? No problem. Our driver knows how to hook those up in no time while we leave all the silly snow newbies fumbling and bumbling. Even if we do get there late on Saturday, who cares? We have the whole day and night at Squaw followed by a guaranteed early morning the next day at Alpine. All signs indicate this is going to be one helluva weekend!

More to follow from the Back of the Bus!


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