Category Archives: sites


Happy 9th Birthday, is now 9 years old. Thanks to all of the support over the years. I look forward to many more to come!


Mac OS X Server personal sites

Krypted In French?!?!

Aaaannnndddd, some krypted articles coming at ya’ in French, courtesy of Nausica Media at!

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 7.46.22 PM


Permalinks Finally Fixed!

When you enable permalinks in WordPress, you’re basically converting a link to an article you’ve written from something like to something like Doing so makes Google like the page more (supposedly). After my site moved, the permalinks were broken, so I turned them off until I could find time to fix them. I never did. But thanks to the glory that is @sacrilicious the permalinks were magically fixed one day.

So do permalinks matter to drive traffic to a site? Well, nothing else changed, same length of articles, same frequency, etc. But when permalinks were turned back on, the answer was in my Site Stats, courtesy of  JetPack:

Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 10.52.16 PM


Thanks again, Banks!

Home Automation Mac OS X Minneapolis sites

Control the Weather Using Curl

Wait, did I say control, I meant query… Sorry to disappoint!

I am a home automation nerd. Recently I’ve noticed that as it gets closer to warmer or cooler extremes that it takes longer for my hvac system to bring my house to the temperature I want. I’ve also noticed that NEST claims to automatically learn these factors. Not to be outdone by the Griswolds, I decided to look at building this into my system.

I had been experimenting with using the site to pull this data but then someone pointed out that NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) actually publishes this information on their site. I was able to access a simple-to-parse dump of information for the Minneapolis airport, which is pretty close to my house. The URLs are based on ICAO codes. You can find the code for your airport on the ICAO code wikipedia page. The URL to look at for information is or for Minneapolis (or for Blaine which is actually closer to me). You can actually just curl this straight with nothing special to view the text file:


The output is basically as follows:

Oct 01, 2013 - 10:53 AM EDT / 2013.10.01 1453 UTC
Wind: from the WNW (290 degrees) at 13 MPH (11 KT) gusting to 24 MPH (21 KT):0
Visibility: 10 mile(s):0
Sky conditions: mostly clear
Temperature: 68.0 F (20.0 C)
Dew Point: 48.9 F (9.4 C)
Relative Humidity: 50%
Pressure (altimeter): 29.82 in. Hg (1009 hPa)
Pressure tendency: 0.14 inches (4.6 hPa) higher than three hours ago
ob: KMSP 011453Z 29011G21KT 10SM FEW150 20/09 A2982 RMK AO2 SLP094 T02000094 51046
cycle: 15

I subtracted or added the difference in temperature to my desired temperature and am experimenting with how much more quickly I need to fire things up based on that (for my hvac system seems to be about a minute per 10 degrees of delta), but there are definitely plenty of ways to go about such number nerdery. Either way, I can now control the temperature based on the weather using curl, which is basically controlling the weather in my house, so not as untrue a title as with most front-page newspaper articles…

Finally, there’s also a REST API, available from NOAA at


Site Has Been Moved

While DNS is propagating I figure I might as well go ahead and post that the site has been moved to the machine that’s been waiting for me to direct traffic at it for months in the colo. All the graphics, pages and menus should be fixed. The plugins should all be working as well. The last thing I’m working on right now is figuring out why the permalinks aren’t all correct. However, the site loads, works, etc. Sorry for any inconvenience during propagation and the fixes for permalinks. Now that it’s moved I should be able to get back to posting and research projects that have otherwise consumed my time.



Possibly The Most Important Command On The Mac

curl -L | bash


Tip of the ‘ole hat to Erin for April fools fun for that one…

Articles and Books personal sites

A More Minimal

I’ve wanted to redo for a long time. And I finally had a good excuse: my wife and daughter went to sleep early tonight. So, phase one, a very minimal design. This kinda’ mimics my latest approach to a lot of things, but the site is far simpler, a little quicker and hopefully now that the bad design has less to say, I’ll end up getting back to having more to say. Anyway, I hope you like it and Happy 2013!


Disabling Comments

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been inundated with comments on the site. Because I do have a day job and other responsibilities, I’m not able to deal with all of them. Therefore, I’m going to be experimenting around with comments for the next few weeks. In addition to the spam filters and captcha requirements I currently have I’ll be expiring comments on articles over 90 days and a few other things WordPress makes kinda’ easy. But, in the short term, I’ll be outright disabling comments until I can get caught up. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Also, if you have a comment that you’ve posted I will get to it. Thanks for the patience!

Articles and Books Mac OS X Mac OS X Server Mac Security sites

More Visitors Than Ever

The past 3 days have netted between 15,000 and 20,000 unique visitors per day, with each day seeing a bit more traffic than the previous. Given that most of my readers are at work (according to the stats at least), I’m guessing that will slow down as usual come Saturday. But that’s still 2 of the 3 top days ever for, so thanks for caring and I hope you’re enjoying the articles! Bandwidth overages for are one of those things I find myself always happy to pay! :)

Articles and Books personal sites

2,000 Posts And Going Strong

In December of 2004, in response to a request from my publisher at the time, I started this site in its current form. I kept the domain from my personal tinkeration site, which was a glorified file service, some static html pages for me to remember things (I can be a bit forgetful at times) and some .htaccess files to keep parts of the site private. I’d been using the domain for awhile, but started tinkering around with a few blogging engines and eventually settled on the one I’m using now.

The total number of posts now sits a little over 2020, with a few being drafts on upcoming products currently in beta and a few written by other authors. This puts me at a little over 2,000 posts that I’ve written personally. Some have been very short and just little tidbits for me to remember. But over the years there have been many that were around the depth and size of chapters of books as well (in fact some have been chapters I cut out of books and others have ended up becoming rough parts of chapters for books later). I started out writing about whatever it was I was thinking about. During the fall that meant a little football here and there (the University of Georgia Bulldogs seem to always disappoint me). During the spring it occasionally turned to surfing or cooking. And sometimes I even meandered into business stuff. But overall, it’s mostly been technical writing.

There have been sprinklings of humor (which I should clearly stay away from), pictures (again, something I should stay away from), I even dabbled with trying to branch into making it a bit more of a social type of thing. It almost feels like 2,000 posts flew by. During that span I have remained at 318 (where i’ve written around 500 posts on the company site), cobbled together 8 or so books for a few different publishers, written articles for magazines and other sites and authored tons of technical documentation for various vendors in the IT industry (most of which you wouldn’t know I wrote unless a screenshot accidentally has a SSID or something in the sidebar, etc). There has been a lot of writing.

The site is steady at around 150,000 uniques per month, with a solid distribution of visitors from all over the world, comments from all over the world and the site is starting to get article submissions from around the United States. Hopefully the submissions will continue to increase, as nothing makes me happier than editing the content of others and seeing more than what I work with on a daily basis, which invariably ends up teaching me more – and connecting others to the community.

A lot of people ask me how I can write so much. The answer is pretty simple: I am surrounded by amazing people who are life long learners, whether it’s in the communities (or circles) I am in, at home or in a very concentrated sense, at the office. Much of writing is figuring out how to do things. Occasionally you find a better way later or someone comments on an article and tells me a better/more efficient way to do something. In fact, hopefully you are always looking for a way to make things better. Writing is no different than making a script, the more you do it the more efficient you get at it. And when friends (or strangers) comment on the site for corrections, hopefully the more information becomes available to the community. With repetition, the pace of writing quickens. But the number one reason I write so much is because it obviously makes me happy.

As I’ve mentioned, I’d like to make into more of an outlet for others as well. Given the amount of traffic that the site gets, I feel it’s not a bad outlet for others. I’d also like to re-skin the site and move it to a better host at some point in the future. I can say that I’d like to make the site more charitable (which I honestly would like), to make it more “social”/community (I have mixed feelings on that, but whatever) or to make it more useful for non-technical tasks. But over the years, I’ve learned that the site is what it is: technical content. No one wants to read me yammer on and on about football, my various travels, the great food I eat (mostly because I tend to eat at Subway more than I should, which means notsomuch on the great food thing) or even news about this site (although you’re reading some now, so maybe…). People want to see the titles in a news feed or a Google search and decide if they want to read an article. That’s it. So that’s what I’ll keep doing, perhaps making it more of a ‘we’ than an ‘I’ moving forward!

So 2,000 posts. Hopefully the next 2,000 will be better. Thanks for reading and visiting and keeping me goin’!