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What's On Your Mac?

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I just did a RAM upgrade on a Macbook Pro i5; it was trivial: 10 small screws, the back plate came off, and everything replaceable is immediately accessible.

Now I need to install tools on this new box; what’s on your Mac?

  • (cost) Entourage, MS/Word, MS/Excel: not by choice, and it slows down the Mac whenever they’re running
  • (free) MailDrop to work with SFDC from Mail.App and Entourage
  • (free) Skype with a workplace account
  • (free) Click-to-Flash – to avoid wasting cycles on unnecessary flash-based webcrap
  • (free) Adium (to IM non-work accounts — might not need it)
  • (free) CoRD – for RDC so long as I choose a US language/keyboard
  • (free) GoToMeeting
  • (free) sfCubed – SFDC Sync — might not need
  • (free with…) xCode
  • (free with…) TomTom Home – maintain my PND
  • (free) Visual Hub – might not need on this box
  • (free) VLC
  • (cost) VMWare Fusion (VirtualBox instead?)
  • (free with…) VZAccess Manager
  • (free) iPhone Configuration Utility – to share configs to other users rather than config on their phones

As you can see, everything but the Microsoft stuff and the VMWare is free or comes with the Mac. No Antivirus, the OS is strong enough as it is. Backup is done by the OS.

Invent a New Format for Date/Event Content

dataflow No Comments »

I saw a discussion involving showing what time various events occur, for planning purposes.

Pop quiz: how would you show when these events happened? An Excel? A text file? A GIF image showing start/stop in a calendar?

Why not look at what’s there to represent dates, events, and durations?

An Excel would hide away the content so that it needs to be re-parsed when needed, and chops out part of the audience (including when Microsoft makes itself incompatible again)

A text file needs to be re-parsed, introducing issues starting in CR-vs-CR/LF and ending in word-wrap and tap-not-space. Seriously, that stuff (plus the changes in an assumed format) consume over 50% of my time to parse random formats, including CSV (where differing interpretations exist)

A GIF image is only usable by meatware — all stop. No re-use.

Did you consider using calendar formats for date/time/duration information? The added (accidental) benefit is that there exists software to convert this to text files, GIFs, and perhaps XLSs, read, resend, and sync into mobile devices to merge with other calendar feeds Oops… I guess I wouldn’t want to accidentally gain re-use and compatibility?

What if you showed all the events, alerts, schedules, user actions as a calendar feed rendered all at once on a single big display? Would that help show what might have been happening when your date/event content occured?

nagios-plugins-1.4.15-2.el5

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Nagios is a program that will monitor hosts and services on your
network, and to email or page you when a problem arises or is
resolved. Nagios runs on a Unix server as a background or daemon
process, intermittently running checks on various services that you
specify. The actual service checks are performed by separate “plugin”
programs which return the status of the checks to Nagios. This package
contains those plugins.

This is exactly the same as nagios-plugins-1.4.15-1.el5 except a version-bump in the release.

The same logic as using uncomplicated version numbers applies to perverting the release version from an atomically-increasing release number to a X.Y.Z-relA-preX-Mike’s_Cool_Recut: the result of this comparison should be “equal” not “greater than”:

strcmp (“1.4.15-1.el5”, “1.4.15-1.rf.el5”)

Apparently “1” is not the same as “1.rf” — so RPMForge’s also causes people to upgrade from 1.4.15-1 to 1.4.15-1. There are better ways to track vanity-releases of identical packages (ie no-payload dependent RPMs, perhaps with helpful triggers)

(Challenge: make a better version-comparison function so that people can further abuse the version/release)

As ill-advised as using Epoch, I’ve bumped the release version so that “2” > “1.rf” (which — unlike Epoch — “resets” at a version-bump)

cnp-tools-20100316-35

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Misc tools on ChickenAndPorn

nagios-plugins-1.4.15-1.el5

RPM No Comments »

Nagios is a program that will monitor hosts and services on your
network, and to email or page you when a problem arises or is
resolved. Nagios runs on a Unix server as a background or daemon
process, intermittently running checks on various services that you
specify. The actual service checks are performed by separate “plugin”
programs which return the status of the checks to Nagios. This package
contains those plugins.

diffxml

dataflow No Comments »

I use XML for the obvious benefit to “I don’t have to work with ambiguous parsing” — the effect of a simple little typo down a chain of autonomous processes is rather smelly and break-y.

Because of the better parser accuracy, XML can be looser with whitespace; this confuses straight-text tools.

diffxml looks quite helpful.

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