Neon Rocket

Even Neo is Impressed

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Flashback: Skip Intro for flash introductions

Remember when flash introduction pages were all the rage? They were ‘cool’ from the web designer‘s standpoint, but utterly annoying and off-putting to the visitor. Fortunately, most people figured out that people visited their site for the content, not the snappy graphics (unless it was a gallery site), and certainly not for the mandatory intro pages. Yet, some people still …Continue reading →

Regular Expressions Roundup

Writing some Regular Expressions? Some people, when confronted with a problem, think “I know, I’ll use regular expressions.” Now they have two problems. —Jamie Zawinski Well, not really. There are some cases where using a Regular Expression—RegEx— instead of a heap of convoluted if statements just makes sense from both a lazy and practical standpoint. When you’re knee-deep in writing your …Continue reading →

Find Something You Like and Dissect It

I’m always on the lookout for a new technique or Better Mousetrap. I admit I don’t know all that much, so I’m happy to learn. I was playing around with Wikify @ (a nifty tool that goes through a block of text and ‘wikifies’ it–that is, links all the words it can find to relavant Wikipedia articles) when I noticed …Continue reading →

The Importance of Not “Designing” your own Security

Recently, at a client, I had the opportunity to review their security implementation on their website. I realized that it is very important to never try to design one’s own security, because of the Dunning Kruger effect. In a nutshell, folks who don’t know very much about security think they know “enough,” and folks who are very knowledgable (e.g., Bruce …Continue reading →

Wicked Cool FizzBuzz in Perl


The FizzBuzz problem is a simple coding demonstration to write an application in any language that counts from 1 to 100: Write a program that prints the numbers from 1 to 100. But for multiples of three print “Fizz” instead of the number and for the multiples of five print “Buzz”. For numbers which are multiples of both three and …Continue reading →

Bulk fix a list of words to the proper case

Problem Given a long list of upper-case words (one word per line), such as: MARY JOE SCOTT FRED … (for thousands of rows) … You want to change this to Mary Joe Scott Fred (etc) Solution Use perl from the command line. Assume all your names are in a file called ‘names.txt’. We’re going to send the output to a …Continue reading →

Don’t Call Yourself A Programmer

I’ve always hated the term “Programmer.” Like a craftsman, I’m a Developer. Patrick McKenzie has a great writeup on this: Engineers are hired to create business value, not to program things: Businesses do things for irrational and political reasons all the time (see below), but in the main they converge on doing things which increase revenue or reduce costs. … …Continue reading →

What are your top commands?

Sometimes it is interesting to navel-graze. What commands do you type the most? history | awk ‘{a[$2]++}END{for(i in a){print a[i] ” ” i}}’ | sort -rn | head Here’s mine: 95 ll 93 git 67 cd 37 vi 29 identify 15 find 12 agvtool 11 history 11 exit 10 cat “ll” is an alias for ls -l Interesting that I’ve …Continue reading →

App Development in the Real World

When developing applications for mobile phones, it is easy to get tricked into thinking the emulator will accurately represent how a user will interact with the application. This is dangerous for a few reasons. I ran into one reason today: real devices move around. They rotate, yaw, pitch and jiggle. The emulator does not. Sure, you can rotate it and …Continue reading →