A Mea Culpa or Here’s My New Blog Url

December 16, 2005 at 4:57 am | Posted in blogging | 19 Comments

Dear Blogging Community as a Whole,

I wanted to say I’m sorry.  I’ve violated one of Scoble’s core blogging rules i.e. “Don’t change your blog / feed url” often (if ever).  Well I’ve done that all too often but I now have a new url:


And since that meets these criteria:
  1. Is using a great product that I do honestly love (WordPress)
  2. Is a domain that i control completely and runs on my own server
  3. Lets me hack on the code base
  4. Has allowed me to finally merge my old Radio blog entries (I have a Radio to WordPress plugin I’ll release soon), I’ll have a critical mass of content there, enough that I won’t change things again. And if you think I’m doing this as a forcing event to keep myself honest, well, who am I to tell you different?
So thanks everyone.  See you at the FuzzyBlog.


ServerBeach versus XLHost

December 13, 2005 at 6:12 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 25 Comments

So I’m just plain jonesing to do the podcast. That means bandwidth and that means storage. And the desire to play with stuff that TextDrive* just won’t support means that I’m going down the dedicated server route. Given that I’m an ex-Rackspace customer this really isn’t surprising at all to me. I just like having a box which is dedicated to my whacky adventures. Example: The ability to install MySQL 5 and start using it in Python. My TextDrive won’t give me that since its shared hosting. And given that I’m a true MySQL believer and my other buddy Mike says its ready then I want to be all over it. Stored procedures here I come!
So Kevin thinks I should go ServerBeach and Nick thinks I should go XLHost. XLHost is cheaper and offers remote reboot via the web which is, imho, important. XLHost also does a better job on the “Sucks” test:

So anyone out there have any direct experience with either of these guys ? Thanks in advance.
*TextDrive which both Mike and Niall recommended is actually excellent.

Busy Podcasters Guide

December 9, 2005 at 6:47 am | Posted in podcasting, Uncategorized | 34 Comments


Google Desktop Continued

December 9, 2005 at 3:09 am | Posted in Computing Tips, Uncategorized, windows | 13 Comments

So I’m on like Day 3 or so of Google desktop.   Overall I’m still happy.  Some things have changed:

  • I really want Google desktop to index my Gaim logs.  Sadly it won’t and the plug in for it has gone missing (site offline). If the owner of Wickdev.com could put their web page back I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants it and if anyone has the whole source for this (it seems like it was open source at one point), I’d be interested in stepping up and maintaining it (yes I really want IM indexing that bad)
  • I’ve reduced the sidebar applets to mostly just the Scratch Pad and the Todo list.
  • The Photos widget can be embarassing if you have any photos on your machine that aren’t work safe (or you have kids around).  Oops.
  • I discovered that double clicking the size of a sidebar panel increases its size (basically the equivalent of maximizing the window but in a vertical context).  Its very, very nice actually.

Overall I’m hugely pleased with Google Desktop.  Its small, light, fast and “feels right”.  Bravo guys.

Understanding Just Why Podcasting Will be Huge

December 9, 2005 at 2:33 am | Posted in podcasting | 27 Comments

I recently had a bit of an epiphany as to just why Podcasting will be huge. I’m sure its obvious and must have occurred to others but just in case I thought I’d blog it.

Its all entropy you see, all entropy. Entropy or the natural tendency of the universe to move from order to disorder. Wikipedia on Entropy and for the physics geeks out there I know all too well that I’m simplifying; its my blog after all. An iPod, when you get it, has no songs on it (for reasons described by Mark Cuban), and then you start putting songs on it. Each song increases the entropy by a little bit. Fill the iPod completely and you’ve maximized its entropy.  Now here’s the important part — you can’t easily pay for enough music to fill a 30 gig iPod much less a 60 gig iPod.  So something’s gotta go there — and it’ll likely be Podcasts.

Now, put another way, and disregarding the whole entropy babble, look at it this way: Most iPods or other portable MP3 players, are basically little hard drives and when has a hard drive in your life ever stayed empty for long? People will fill up the hard drives on their players because, well, they always do. And given that music is too damn expensive to fill the player with it will be either pirated music or Podcasts. And while I’d never bet against piracy*, I’d wager that great Podcasts like Dawn and Drew will drag people into the Podcast world and that will lead to other podcasts and so on.

So podcasting is gonna be huge.

*That’s a fools bet at best.

Hardware Recommendation Requested

December 9, 2005 at 2:08 am | Posted in rant | 24 Comments

I find that, once again, I’m unhappy with my cable modem / wifi gateway.  Ideally I’d like:

  • Something with at least 4 ports since I have 3 desktops in active use and I prefer cables on my laptops honestly (i’m so damn sick of ssh windows dying when connectivity goes south; and don’t vent to me about Screen – it doesn’t work with VI well so that’s a non starter for me)
  • Ability to branch it into a switch since I need more ports (3 desktops + 3 laptops).
  • Something with a USB 2.0 port which isn’t Netgear.  I have a brand new netgear wifi gateway w/ usb hub and its as useless as tits on a bull due to firmware bugs and Netgear’s firmware fixes just plain don’t work.
  • Something with actual *gasp* working security.  I don’t care if its wep, wpa or what — I just don’t want to have my neighbors leeching my bandwidth and whatever security model it is I need it to work on both Windows and Mac.
  • Web UI w/ port forwarding.  Given that I’m working on a local dev server on my new (old) Ubuntu box the ability to forward ports to my local server is highly useful.
  • Bittorrent compatible.  I mean come on.  Like I’m not going to open 6881 ?

Any thoughts?  I’ve had mixed success with LinkSys in the past.  I actually have a perfectly good LinkSys but I can’t find the power brick so its effectively a paperweight.

Thanks in advance.

Link : How to change your AIM password without downloadin the client software

December 9, 2005 at 1:35 am | Posted in Computing Tips, Uncategorized | 76 Comments

Just go here.  And change ‘foo’ to whatever your account name is (there’s a form field; you don’t have to do it manually at the link level).

Podcasting — How to save money on your bandwidth

December 8, 2005 at 7:13 am | Posted in podcasting, Uncategorized | 24 Comments

When I was speaking at search engine strategies a few days ago, I had this wonderful discussion about podcasting with Randall (Hi Randall; hope all is well; sorry I can’t link to you but I lost your business card).  Randall is in the real estate business and they want to do a podcast.  Like a lot of real internet businesses, they own their own hardware and want to do podcasts but are concerned about the bandwidth.  Yeah I could argue about how bandwidth is cheap, etc but the simple fact is that he was right and I was wrong.

Regardless of how bandwidth is priced, the fact is that he feels its expensive so the question became to me:

How do I make him realize that there is cheap bandwidth out there?

And then, in a flash of clarity like a bolt from above, it struck me: The answer is in DNS.  DNS or “domain name system” is what matches up Internet IP addresses to Internet hostnames.  And, like many geeks, I often thing that the answer is in DNS.  And what he really needs is to do this:

  1. Start podcasting
  2. Create podcasts.FOO.com where FOO.com is the company’s real DNS name.
  3. Set up an alias for podcast.FOO.com  because people will get the singular versus plural wrong anyway.
  4. Store all of your podcast media files whether video or audio on a cheap server like TextDrive or ServerBeach or whatever.    You don’t need expensive bandwidth and 5 9s of reliablity for media files.  As different companies come out and are cheap then rotate your DNS entries onto some new hosting place.

See?  Wasn’t that simple?  Seriously tho if you’ve got a real data center and you want to experiment with something like podcasting, don’t store the data files on your SAN or use up bandwidth at in your real NOC.  Just get some cheap hosting and get on it.  DNS can isolate you from all but very temporary breakages.

Ubuntu — where is the apache root ?

December 8, 2005 at 5:36 am | Posted in ubuntu, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

ls /var/www/apache2-default/

Ubuntu – where is the apache error log ?

December 8, 2005 at 5:16 am | Posted in ubuntu, Uncategorized | 13 Comments

tail -f  /var/log/apache2/error.log

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