Three More for the Fox

You will find that the State is the kind of organization which, though it does big things badly, does small things badly, too.

–John Kenneth Galbraith

Firefox is quickly becoming the one tool I cannot live without. While it works fine as a web browser, its plugin functionality has locked me in.  Now that I am using twitter fairly regularly, I wanted a quick and easy was to post tweets from within Firefox and, often, specifically related to the website I am visiting.  I found two:

  • TwitterFox — Is the most complete and easy to use twitter tool I have found.  Keyboard shortcuts for opening, viewing, and inserting URLs.  All URLs are auto-decoded and long URLs are automatically tinyURLed.  Even the pop-up box is attractive and unobtrusive.
  • TwitterBar — When you need an even faster way to tweet… simply type your tweet into the address bar of Firefox and put –post at the end.  POW, you have a new post.

The Weekend Update

Just a quick note to let everyone know I have updated the Scotch list by adding 4 new single malts.  I also added a couple headshot pictures of my kids to the family pictures section.

If you haven’t had a good beer in a while I have two recommendations. Konigshaven Quadruple is the only official Trappist beer from the Neatherlands. There are 7 Belgium Trappist beers; the most famous (of course) being Chimay. The second beer is about as strong but with a more of an Irish Red kind of flavor, it’s called Anchor Foghorn. Both of these beers I had after the Bon Jovi concert a couple weeks ago. Pretty good night if you ask me.

Finally, just for summer fun, Good Housekeeping proudly presents Frozen Drink Recipes.  Some of them are even drinkable when you are under 21.

No trick to being a humorist

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

–Voltaire

I just LOVE this post by Harry Browne titled The 7 Vital Principles of Government.  My favorite quote from the article comes in the conclusion:

If you really want to cure a pressing social problem, take steps outside the realm of government. If you don’t see how you can convince people to help you succeed in a non-governmental endeavor, how can you expect to control politicians who care nothing for your desires?

These principals may seem alien to many modern Americans; but it is exactly the mindset of the founders of our country.

Consistent Improvement of Oneself

I have a number of Firefox extensions that are essental to me now.  Yet, invariable, after a new computer install I always have to hunt them down and re-install them.  Well no more!  Here is MY list of important Firefox extensions:

  • Download Statusbar — Modifies the download window so it now displays as a bar on the bottom of your browser window.  No annoying download manager window, or having to switch to another window just to see how much time remains on a download.
  • FoxMarks — Synchronize your bookmarks between multiple computers.  The first run wizard helps you create an accout, and uploads your existing bookmarks to the syste.  The nice part is that you continue to use your bookmarks EXACTLY like you always have.  I started to write a plugin for Konqueror to do this a couple years ago, but never finished.  After using it for a couple days, I don’t know how I ever survived without it.
  • PicLens — Full screen 3D image viewer for websites like flickr and Google Images. It make image browsing insanely fast because of pre-loading. 
  • Snap Links — Open multiple links at the same time by right-click dragging a box around them. 
  • FlashGot — A batch-download tool for “grabbing” content.  You can specify the type of content (say just jpg images) as well.  If you are using Microsoft Windows you will also need to install a download manager like Free Download Manager.

There are more, but that will do for now. 

He who does not ask

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.

–Soren Kierkegaard

More bookmarks. I am dangerously close to becoming a referrer website with no content of my own but only Google ads and links. I suppose that is the reason I have refused to put ads on my blog; the last step off the precipice.

  • LinuxPlanet Tutorials — The complete list.
  • LinuxPlanet Backups Part 1 & Part 2 — I have been working on backup scripts for our company Linux servers. These links helped.
  • Ludwig von Mies Institute — Homepage for one of the premier classically liberal (a.k.a libertarian) think-tanks. Great articles for those who love freedom.
  • 10 Step Security — A short list on how to create you own company IT security policy.
  • Exercise, 10 Steps — This article is pretty boring until you get to the second half which lists some hints on how to start exercising.
  • Resultant Set of Policy Planning — Quick tutorial on setting Active Directory security policies for an individual computer.
  • America is NOT a free Country — An editorial by Fred Reed taking about how social liberalism has destroyed freedom in this country, only in good-old-boy terminology.
  • Fast Booting Linux — Open BIOS is a project to replace the existing IBM BIOS with and open source version that allows much faster booting, more flexibility, and easier configuration for third party hardware developers. Looks like it would be a good starting pad for a Linux hardware company.
  • Turning a flashlight into a burning laser — Like I need a description for this one.
  • Learning a new language — But not mastering it. Interesting article by Tim Ferriss about understanding the structure of a language enough to be able to ask questions and get answers. All in less than an hour.
  • Mahalo Search — A new search engine organized entirely by humans. Kinda like a combined Google/Wikipedia. Good results sets are the product. Also returns Google, Yahoo, MSN, Wikipedia, Youtube, and Flickr resutls.
  • Making invisible computer folders — A basic way to hide information on your computer. Is pretty worthless against someone actively looking for something but works well against casual observation.
  • Backup Planning for MySQL — An article by the folks from Zamanda, the people who develop the Amanda backup software.  Amanda is probably the best Open Source backup solution in existence.
  • Nagio — An open source network, server, and service monitoring tool.  Great way to remotely monitor the status of your network.
  • Nikto — An open source network scanner.  Also does comprehensive web server testing.

Oh, and just as an FYI. Did you know that if you Ctrl-Click on a Mozilla bookmark it will open in a new window. Same for middle click.

And thus it Never Ends

The forceps of our minds are clumsy forceps, and crush the truth a little in taking hold of it.

–H. G. Wells

The problem with failing to archive all my bookmarks for the last year or so, is that all my posts seem to nothing but bookmark lists.  Unfortunately this may continue to be the case for a while.

  • 20 Things To Know — This is a short list of things that the author wished he had known when he was younger.  These kind of “if I could do it again” lists are pretty common but this one hit a couple bells with me.
  • Website to Know — A list of 9 websites you haven’t probably heard of but should check out.  Or that is what the title says anyway.
  • Building a Life on $25 — A really amazing story from ABC News about Adam Shepard who decided to test the American Dream.  After college he gave up everything (including his associations) and started living on the street to see if he could (within a year) have a steady job, a car, and $1000 in savings.  He stopped his experiment after 10 months; but had an apartment, a steady job, a truck, and close to $5000 in savings.
  • Object ARX manipulation in AutoCAD 2008 — A drop piece covering the new API interface for AutoCAD.  The new .Net interface is actually externally available and doesn’t require AutoCAD to be running.  This allow for more flexibility in customizing the system; especially during deployment.

My Bosses Computer

Quick Link, will update this post later as I have a couple others to put up:

  • Diploma Guide Linux — The link is to free Linux training but the site looks interesting for itself. Provides links to useful course ware in a variety of disciplines.
  • Montana Kaimin’s Ron Paul Apology — A couple days late, but at least they did better than most of the media.
  • The Invisible Candidate — Another story about the overall media blackout of Ron Paul. I had a hard time finding return results for Ron Paul on Tuesday; even when he came in second or third they would often skip over him when discussing “the three Republican candidates” returns.
  • 10 Year Old Reporter — Check out the 10 year old girl working to get a question to Ron Paul after the Reagan Library debates. Go get’em kid!
  • Nintendo Online — How many of you used to own (or like me still own) a Nintendo Entertainment System. Well now you can play all your old NES games online. Not the same without controller but still pretty awesome.
  • WordPress Automatic Upgrade — WordPress is the content management system I use for Vault.  It is very powerful, really easy to setup (well… easy for me anyway,) and has a huge list of custom plug-ins that do everything from tracking reading lists to filtering spam comments.  The link is to a new plugin for WordPress that allows you to install the newest version automatically.   It even creates back-ups before doing so; just in case.

Three For Feburary

We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.

–Arthur Schopenhauer

I had an insane couple days last week and never got around to posting these links.

  • 101 Desing Patterns — GREAT link. This website provides a list of common application development design patters and includes sudo code, flowcharts, and full process descriptions. A computer programmers best friend.
  • Linux Commands — A list of 77 Linux command line applications. A surprising number of them I didn’t know. Check out cmp and od.
  • Linux Home File Server — A Linux Journal article on building your own home file server on the cheep with Linux. You can configure NFS, Window File Shares, web management, FTP/HTTP access, and tons of useful file server stuff; all will old hardware you have lying around. I have two of these in my house (that I configured without this article) but this is a good tutorial for those who haven’t done it before.

Finally, I hope everyone who can, votes tomorrow. In spite of “Change we can believe in” there is really only one candidate that would bring about any meaningful change; and amazingly enough it’s a Republican.

A Belated Holiday

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

-Martin Luther King Jr.

More links to unload from my bookmarks folder. It is always nice to clean up my bookmarks and putting them on the blog makes them very easy to find in the future. Why is it that I always have more to read than time to read it?

  • Destruction in Black America -This editorial by Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe talks about the reality of violence in black America.
  • 100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know -I know this is basically a publishing gimmick but it make for some interesting dictionary diving.
  • 75 Words Every Sci-Fi Fan Should Know -Now this is an interesting list of words. Something to appeal to the geek in all of us. Psychohistory is probably my favorite in the list, but I am a little bias towards Isaac Asimov.
  • How Software Companies Die -Software development is part art and part science. The “art” part of that equation takes special precedence when talking about cutting edge software engineering. Unfortunately those who do not understand IT (or even software development in particular) often fail to comprehend this fact. The tools of our past are often inadequate for the projects of our future. I run into this problem at my own company where those in charge are used to churning out a “product” and getting paid for that product
  • LISP, The Comic Book -I know the title doesn’t make sense but the link provides a very nice “high level” introduction into the most powerful (and unusual) programing language ever created.
  • Telephone Hacks -Nice list of features available to the telephone power user. The link is worth it just for the “tricking phone bots” tip.
  • A REAL Media Center Edition -Looking for a home media solution. Windows Media Center treats users like thieves, and Tivo is limited inflexible. Without exception LinuxMCE is the best home media management system in the world. If you don’t believe me check out the demo video. It will absolutely blow your mind. There is NOTHING like it anywhere else in the home entertainment world.