New Appliances

We moved into our new condo about two weeks ago. Yesterday, Lauren attempted to wash the first load of dishes in the dish washer. I say attempted because the dishes came out looking the same way they went in. So, big surprise, today was spent at Home Depot looking at new appliances for the condo.

The condo’s stove is roughly the same age as I am and, as already stated, the dish washer is broken. The fridge is in pretty good shape, but you might as well go the whole nine yards and get everything upgraded. I’m pretty excided that the new fridge has an ice maker built in. Guess I’ll be calling Dad for pointers on installing a water hose from the sink to the fridge.

Jason Kottke Blogs Full Time

I am a kottke.org micropatron
Jason Kottke of kottke.org has decided to attempt to try blogging as a full time job. It should be interesting to see how this works out for him. Because I like to try and support the blogs I frequent I PayPal’d him some money and now I get to sport this amazingly cool button. Whatever. At any rate it should be interesting to see how this works out for him.

Pictures of the new place

To the left is a picture of the living room in the new place. Click on it to see a few pictures of the new place. The new place is much larger than our old place and we’re settling in nicely. This week I go to replace all of the outlets and switches in the new place. A few weeks from now I’ll be putting in all new trim as well.

Once we sell our old place we’ll be looking to upgrade our kitchen. After that comes the bathroom and carpet. Once all of that is done we’ll be pretty happy with the place. The kitchen is a complete catastrophe and the linoleum has to go ASAP. Can’t wait!

Hosting for Friends

I’m putting this up as a reference for friends who want hosting on my server. This does not mean that anybody on the planet can get hosting from me. I run a personal server of my own colocated in a secure hosting facility that, from time to time, I share with friends who need hosting for their web properties. If you sign up below and do not fit the criteria I outline in this entry I’ll just keep your money as long as you want to pay me, but I won’t be giving you hosting anytime now. My server is more of a commune than a business. If you fit the following criteria and are looking for hosting let me know.

  1. If we talk on a regular basis and these talks don’t include me telling you to go away.
  2. If we’re related or we consider each other mutual friends.
  3. If you don’t care that your site could be down from time to time when I happen to break something while playing with the latest version of PHP or Apache.

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By clicking on the above PayPal buttons you agree to my Terms of Service, which includes the following terms. Please read these as I’ll enforce them as needed.

  1. You cannot, under any circumstances, call me between the hours of 10:00pm and 10:00am PDT concerning hosting.
  2. I can terminate your account at any time.
  3. I do not guarantee this service, uptime, backups or anything else for that matter with regards to this service.
  4. You will not use your account to spam people nor do anything illegal.
  5. The word “unlimited” is purely subjective and based on what I deem to be resonable use of the server.

If you’re wondering, the Simple Hosting plan includes 1 domain name with unlimited sub-domains and the Advanced Hosting plan includes unlimited domain names. Within reason I will not enforce bandwidth or storage limits. Services included are SSH, SMTP, IMAP, POP and HTTP.

American Idol Finalists

Well, the finalists are here. And, being the AI basher I am, I thought you all would love to know how much I hate a few of the finalists. Yes, I hate them already. Don’t want to hear what I have to say? Why the hell are you here, this is a blog for God’s sake!

  1. Anthony Fedorov – Say hello to the new Clay Aiken. He’s skinny, dorky and wears glasses. He’ll go far, why I don’t know.
  2. Mikalah Gordon – Holy crap who the hell is this walking pile of cheerleader? From what I can tell she’s pretty much the pinnacle of every high school age girl’s hatred of what is so wrong with high school life today. Also, how many 16 year olds do you know that have a tattoo, what appears to be collagen filled lips and says that now that she’s going to Hollywood she can buy her mom those boobs she’s been wanting. If they had a phone line you could call in to specifically vote against a person I’d buy a Cingular 5-person family plan to power vote against this walking ball of hot air.
  3. Scott Savol – He’s a big man with a big voice. I like him for a couple of reasons. One, he’s got a great voice and, two, he’s not here to be cute and be a team player. He knows this is a competition and wants to win, however, that usually doesn’t translate well come voting time.

It’s also interesting that eight of the final 24 finalists are over the age of 25. If the prime demographic looked more like me rather than a 14 year old girl chewing bubble gum we might actually have a winner who wasn’t a complete idiot.

Encrypting email in Apple's Mail

So I was thinking it would be a good idea to finally get on the band wagon and set up email encryption. For those of you who think your email is private, you should think again. Even if you connect to your server with IMAP-SSL or POP-SSL your email is still transmitted between servers unencrypted. However, there are a few ways for you to encrypt the message before it is sent through unencrypted channels. There are two widely supported ways to encrypt email these days.

  1. X.509 works much like SSL certificates for web servers work. You encrypt your email message with a personal certificate and then send it on its way. The email client on the other end validates the certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority and decrypts the email. This is free and fairly painless to set up. This method does not require you to send out public keys.
  2. PGP (aka GPG) is supported on Mac and implemented in Mail.app with the GPGMail plug-in. With this method each person must create a public/private key pair and send each other their private keys. This method isn’t as transparent as X.509, but it’s secure and free. It’s also not as cleanly implemented in Mail.app as X.509. Finally, it’s not as widely supported as X.509 in Windows and other mainstream mail clients.

My conclusion? I set up both of them to be safe. I could easily encrypt all of my outgoing email with X.509 and then PGP encrypt emails to people that I know have PGP public keys. So there you have it, encrypted email with Apple’s Mail.app.

My Proposal for DRM

A lot is going on with DRM in regards to music and movies. The MPAA and RIAA both think that files should be completely locked up, not allowing you to play your music how you wish to play it. Personally, I think this goes agains fair use guidelines.

My proposal is simple. Software that rips CD’s and download stores like Apple’s iTunes Music Store should watermark each digital file with the user’s full name, address and phone number. I know I’d think twice before uploading an MP3 with all of my personal information onto Kazaa or another P2P sharing program.

I’m not sure how to implement this proposal, but it would be quite effective I think.

American Idol Season 4

Well this season of American Idol is officially under way. Complete the usual arguments between Simon and Paula, horrific singers and plenty of “Ya Dog!”‘s. We’re just now getting to Hollywood after a few weeks of trials across the country.

My friend Josh’s little sister tried out and almost made it to the round where they send you to Simon and crew, but missed out when she was asked to perform something random on the spot (I can’t sing worth a damn so I consider showing up and trying out a feat in itself). Which leads me to believe two things:

  1. Simon, Paula and Randy do not judge everyone that comes in the door.
  2. The producers (who are the second round from my understanding) push people on to Simon, Paula and Randy who suck ass simply so Simon will rip them a new one.

Since Clay, no season would be complete without a wannabe. I, personally, think Clay is a complete duche. The wholesale cutesie image that he’s pushing is such a pile of steaming crap it hurts. At any rate, the new Clay is that skinny little blonde kid who “overcame amazing odds” after having some procedure done as a kid that was supposed to leave him without his voice. Unfortunately, we weren’t that lucky. Can he sing? Yeah, he can, but he’s not the best in this crowd. And how can you be a pop icon if you’re 5’5” and weigh 120lbs?

At this time I have no favorites. I’ll refrain from pushing my own agenda until we’re on to the final 24 or whatever it is. Oh, and would you guys PLEASE quit posting to those old ass Idol posts from last year?

N. Korea has nukes

Iraq, Iran, the Middle East, insurgents, oil; the list goes on. Supposedly, the entire region is filled with people who want to “destroy our way of life.” But we’re forgetting someone: N. Korea has nukes. Not only do they have nukes, but they readily admit having them and wanting more.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The true threat to this country is N. Korea. They have been making not-so-veiled threats that they had the capabilities to make nukes and that they had a right to create such weapons. Add those facts to the fact that their leader is a bonafide nut job and you’ve got a serious problem on your hands.

Where is the tough rhetoric from our Secretary of State? Where are the neocons on this one? Nowhere. You know why? They don’t have anything we want (read: oil). That and invading N. Korea could cause serious problems with U.S.-China relations and you don’t want to piss off a billion consumers do you?

New Job … New House

A few weeks ago Brad, owner of enotes.com (a longtime client of mine), offered me a full time position as what can be best The Big Geek. I’ll be doing pretty much what I have been doing; programming, systems administration, database management, etc. I’m really excited to get started. We have some great products that we’re working on and I’m happy to be a part of it all.

Also on the personal front, Lauren and I are moving … again. We’ve just signed on a larger two bedroom condo. We almost don’t know what we’re going to do with all of the space in the new place. It’s over 200 sq. ft. larger than our current condo. Combine that with a better floor plan and use of space and you can understand why we’re excited. I’ll post pictures when we get the keys tomorrow.