Monthly Archives: July 2006

Clean Jeep

Surface rust is a common problem with owners of old Jeeps.  Now, if you are looking for good tutorials on restoring your Jeep; the best place to look is at hot rod’ers and their websites.  Which gets me to this link.  Its a simple and effective tutorial on removing surface rust with some hard work and a product called “Navel Jelly.”  NJ come highly recommended to me; so this tutorial covers the bases for me on its effective use .

Misc. Linux Commands

  • finger – Prints user information in a human readable format.
  • pwconv – creates a shadow entry for an existing passwd user. Even if shadow entry is missing. Check out grpconv, pwunconv, and grpunconv for related functionality.
  • pwck – Check integrity of passwd file.
  • hwinfo – Program generates and displays a list of specific information about the devices installed on your system. (Suse specific?)
  • iostat – Display CPU and IO system statistics.
  • id – Print UID and GID information.
  • cut – Remove sections for each line of a file. (ex: cat /etc/group | cut -d: -f1,3)
  • newgrp – Log into a different group. UID stays the same but rights are changed to reflect new group membership. User must be a member of said group or a group password must be set for this to work. sg is an alias to the newgrp command.
  • passwd – Make changes to a users password. Actually this is a commonly used (i.e not misc) command but two options it has that I didn’t expressly know about. -l will lock a user account (when issued as root) and -S will display users password information (expiration date, warn before lock days, maximum number of allowed days with same password, etc.)
  • chage – Print or change a user accounts password information (expiration date, warn days, etc..)
  • wall – Sends a message to all system users. Root messages are the only ones displayed if user has blocked user-to-user messages.

Three Little Links

Ok, I have had these links waiting to be posted for a couple days now hoping I would find something to “match” them with. Unfortunately it seems like it will not be.  So without further excitement.  Here are three totally unrelated links:

  1. Database Normalization – A great introduction into relational database normalization and the normal forms.  It is fairly common that I tell people about our database structure and I am amazed at how often they don’t understand normalization.  This is here to help explain it.
  2. 71 CSS/ AJAX Tools – Who wants to re-invent the wheel.  Here are 71 commonly used CSS and Ajax interface elements for web development.  Think you need Flash to do anything useful in web design, check this out.  It uses NO Flash and is entirely XHTML compliant.  It is 100% text indexable.  It requires no plugins and it even will degrade gracefully on text only browsers (it shows up as a list of links to the photos.)
  3. RPG Inspirational Posters –  I think Jason will love this one.  It is a gallery of motivation posters (think Successories) for roll playing games. This one and this one are probably my favorites.

When Life is Fair

Looking through the old digest articles from the Hoover Institution has uncovered this article by Thomas Soxwell titled “When Fairness Is Unjust.” My personal history has a strong educational influence; both from an educators perspective as well as an administration one. “Fairness” as a scholastic idea has been one of the most destructive forces in education, especially for the unprivileged and poor. Yet for some reason that continues to defy logic; the public school system (in many places) has continued to pursue a policy of “leveling the playing field.”

Here are a couple facts for those who have not experienced life. “Life” is NOT fair!  It will never be!  And if you attempt to make things “more fair” by expecting less of people; you will get it.

Quick Links: RSS & Mailman

I need a place to store these links.  We are using mailman at work to do anouncement mail-lists and wanted to extend it to auto-generate RSS feeds for those same announcements.  These are a couple of examples of that functionality that other people have already done: