Change can be good

I think anyone who knows me would say, without a doubt, I’ve changed drastically over the last two years since moving to Seattle. I haven’t changed as a person per se, but I have definitely changed my lifestyle. Here’s a small list of things that my old friends from Michigan simply can’t comprehend.

  1. I’ve participated in multiple 5k’s and triathlons.
  2. I own a TV, but don’t have cable. I rarely watch TV and consume 90% of my media online.
  3. I rarely drive. This last summer I was quite proud of the fact that I didn’t drive my vehicle for 3.5 weeks.
  4. I don’t eat fast food for the most part.

Now reverse that list and that’s how I lived in the Midwest. The two there that my friends from Michigan are simply astounded about are not driving and not watching TV. This got me thinking as to how much of an impact my move to Seattle has had on the planet. So I took a quiz that calculates my ecological footprint to compare my two lifestyles. I’m happy to report that I’ve saved an entire planet by moving to Seattle! Well, not really, but my ecological footprint went from a score of 23 (5.2 planets to sustain my existence) to 18 (4 planets to sustain my existence).

So, this isn’t really something to cheer about, but it’s definitely an improvement. To top things off I really like the new me. I like training for triathlons, I like being ignorant of pop media and I especially like not having to drive everywhere.

Change is good.

I'm employee #20 at Digg

It’s official. As of today I’m employee #20 at Digg. I sent in my resume in September fully expecting not to hear back, but over the course of the last few months it became apparent I was being considered for a position. I didn’t think much of it after not hearing from them for almost a month, but Brian Link sent me an email around the first of the year which turned out to be an official offer.

For those of you that don’t know, Digg is the 19th most visited site on the internet in the United States. It serves up more traffic than Wal-Mart, the New York Times or Best Buy. So, as you can imagine, I’m pretty excited about this opportunity. I’ll be arriving in San Francisco somewhere towards the beginning of February. If you’re in the area and would like to get pints please let me know.

Taking the job means that I won’t be doing any contract work and my open source projects will most likely sit idle for the time being. If you’re interested in maintaining Framework or any of my PEAR packages please let me know.

Adding authentication to PEAR channels

A client of mine is taking the proactive approach of packaging all of their software using PEAR and distributing it via a custom PEAR channel. I can’t recommend this enough for people that are distributing their PHP code to a number of clients/users.

The problem is that, by default, PEAR channels are consumable by anyone with an internet connection. I sent an email to Greg asking him if there was a way to restrict this and how to go about doing it. As it turns out it’s not only available, but detailed in the free excerpt from his new book The PEAR Installer Manifesto.

There are a number of ways to restrict access. The more complicated approach involves coding a script that handles the authentication and then restricts packages on a per client basis. This is a great way to say client X can install packages A, C and F, while client Y can only install packages B and D.

The route I ended up taking involved simply setting up HTTP-Auth using and .htaccess and .htpasswd file. Once you have that set up and working you can log in with the following commands.

$ pear -d "" login

Follow the instructions by entering your username and password and you should see a confirmation that you’re logged in. After that you’re allowed to download and install.

Year in Review

  1. I started the year by telling everyone that Lauren and I were ending our marriage.
  2. I visited Dana down in San Diego, CA. The first of two trips to see my good friend and eat copious amounts of burritos.
  3. In February I released Framework and DB_Virtual unto the world. Not much rejoicing ensued, but many people are using the software and apparently quite happy with it.
  4. I found out that I have a herniated L5 disc in my back, which has happily escalated into full blown Sciatica.
  5. On March 14th Lauren and I were officially divorced. On March 15th I celebrated my 26th birthday.
  6. In April I attended MySQL UC and blogged the whole thing.
  7. I bought a road bike and started riding a lot.
  8. I ran in my very first 5k logging a time of 0:27:29.0.
  9. In July I declared Operation Fat Ass a success and started training for my first sprint triathlon.
  10. I bought the love of my life.
  11. Towards the end of August I ran in another 5k in Lynnwood logging a time of 23:44, which was good enough for 3rd place in my age division (20-29 Males) and 12th out of a field of 77.
  12. On September 17th, 2006 I participated in the Kirkland Tri-It Sprint Triathlon. I ended up taking first place out of the beginner’s heat with a time of 1:19:40.
  13. I pulled double duty and flew down to San Diego a scant two weeks later to participate in the Jamba Juice Sprint Triathlon. This time I placed 450th out of 1,480 participants with a time of 1:06:30.
  14. In late October I flew back to Michigan to attend Eastern Michigan University’s homecoming festivities.
  15. In early November my employment at came to a close. I haven’t mentioned this until now, but I’m no longer working for and am currently doing consulting for a number of clients.
  16. I spent Christmas and rang in the New Year with Rebecca in Seattle, WA.
  17. Towards the end of December my Sciatica found its stride and now keeps me from doing the most minimal of tasks.