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Messages - steeladept [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / Re: Back from Donationcoder past....
« on: September 12, 2017, 08:35 PM »
I definitely intend to.  Anytime I can give back here, I will do what I can.

Living Room / Back from Donationcoder past....
« on: September 04, 2017, 05:07 PM »
Hello all!  Been a long time.  I just checked my profile and it looks like the last time I was on, at least regularly, was over 4 years ago.  :-[

Crazy 4 years, though.  After I got my new position at work 4 years ago, I was too busy to really come back to the boards.  About a year and a half later, I got laid off, and then a new position in a growing software company where I am a DevOps Engineer.  For those who don't already know, that basically means I am part time sysadmin, part time code deployment guru for our company. I love this new position (Well, not new anymore. I have been at it for 3 years in October).  In this position, I install, configure, and maintain hundreds of servers, push services, websites, and database scripts all over the place, and lately have even gotten heavily into automation scripting and some lighter programming.

I want to put out this shout out right here to Donation Coder as a whole, and Mouser in particular as it's founder, because it is here, where I really started learning about scripting and programming.  I learned the languages, in school, but it was here that I learned how to work through actual code issues in the Code School.  I never got very good, but it was a basis that made me able to get into automation scripting very efficiently, and for that, I can't thank this community enough.

I don't know how often I will get back to say hello and participate again - it may be another 4 years for all I know; but I just wanted to say thank you while I am here.

Wow.  2 posts last December kept me out of the official Lost Sheep list.  Before that, I was out for over over 2 years (2012)...Oh well, that is close enough, isn't it? 

So what took me away from the posts in 2012?  Can't really say.  Just sort of wandered away I guess.  Maybe that was when I had my lateral promotion (if you can call it that) at U. S. Steel.  Don't recall.  Either way, they let me go a year and a half later during their draw downs (even now they are closing plants around the world).  I was pidgin-holed in a dead-end, silo position I hated (but I convinced myself wasn't all that bad because the pay and benefits were substantial - not to mention 15 years of service towards a pension - who still offers that!?!).  Woe be to me if I overstepped my boundaries into someone else's silo (which I did regularly - probably what led to my dismissal).

Anyway, thanks to the grace of God, I landed a new job at a Software as a Service company for the healthcare industry as a Devops engineer and I LOVE it.  The hours suck and the pay is on the low side of average, but otherwise it is pretty much my dream job.  I get to put a lot of time into learning scripting and have been doing mostly bash and powershell scripting.  I also do a lot of work with MongoDB administration and VMware.  For me, that is pretty much a perfect work environment; well except for the MongoDB stuff - that was a *bonus* that I am currently in a love/hate relationship with.  At least it IS interesting though.

Unfortunately home life has suffered some because of the aforementioned sucky hours.  Still, we get to see each other every day, if not all at the same time, so it could certainly be worse.  Between work, home life (read chores), and church; I have little time left for any leisure activities and spend them mostly with the kids, so sorry I don't get here much, but I do stop by on occasion. 

(Okay, okay, I am not really sorry at all.  Like others, I wish I could be here as well as doing the other things, but since I can't, I chose family over the forums and I am not sorry at all that I choose to prioritize my life that way.  If I know anything about most of the people here, I would say you aren't sorry about that choice either - well, maybe some are, but not most of you  :P :Thmbsup:)

N.A.N.Y. 2015 / Re: Ideas Wanted!
« on: December 01, 2014, 11:34 AM »
Finally made it back with what I think would be a great least for the Linux users out here.  A sed trainer/tester.  SED uses regex expressions extensively, but most/all testers I have found show the regex as not matching, when (in fact) it does.  I don't know if this is because it is a different version of regex, errors in the tester, or something else. 

Ideally, what I would like to see is something where you point to a file to upload (or paste it in if it is a windows utility, which would be fine) then type in a sed statement.  It would then show what the output would be without actually altering the file itself.

This idea came from a lot of Linux scripts I have been writing for work lately - scripts that must often alter existing configuration files.  sed is a perfect tool for this, but it takes extensive time to research the proper regex to apply, only to find out it isn't exactly right.  Moreover, once I DO find the right regex expression, making sure the replacement (most commonly), or other sed action, reacts properly is more trial and error.

For those unaware of the ever-powerful sed utility in Linux, this seminal work by Bruce Barnett provides a great detailed overview:

That said, reading it and doing it correctly (remembering all the rules, exceptions, switches, etc) are completely different, even when working with it on a regular basis.  Hence a tool that would test, and perhaps even suggest solutions to find targeted text could be imminently helpful to linux scripters everywhere.

Been a long time since I posted, but I had to come back and post for this one.  It is too close to my experiences.  If it must be windows, I can't help you much, but if you are willing to stand up a linux/unix server (runs on Macs too), Dovecot is a winner.  Fairly simple to setup, low resource usage, runs great, support for both large and small use cases, designed for IMAP (though fully supports POP3), and VERY strong on security.  It's only drawback is it is ONLY for contact management, no calendaring, etc.  All that is handled by the client side, which means no synchronization between clients.  Of course if that is what you are looking for.....

You are having trouble understanding why was not acceptable?  Let me spell it out:  It is an anathema to Apple.  I am suprised it didn't autocorrect it to  That they could understand and even respect....

(And before anyone gets the wrong idea, donations != ripoff - quite the opposite.  But I would expect Apple would equate the two).

Living Room / Re: Just Had a Baby Girl~!
« on: June 02, 2012, 10:11 AM »
One piece of good news is that it doesn't take all that long to figure out which end to wipe first.
-cranioscopical (June 01, 2012, 04:53 PM)
At that age it is both ends, as well as front and back.  At least it was with both of my girls...Just beware the spaghetti in about a year.  Your jokes about the spaghetti monster WILL take on new meanings.


I think that is the point of making them so long.  To cover every possibility so the courts have to rule in their favor.  Remember, many/most of these are made by lawyers who's job is to protect against any possible lawsuits and clarify the owners stance on what is and is not acceptable.  So they do so in explicitly legal terms that are so long, only a lawyer will end up deciphering it.  As for you ignoring it, well that is up to you, but you clicked okay, so you are bound to it (supposedly).  I haven't seen any case where it has been tested however.

As for the law to be passed, well it never will.  Remember most politicians both in the US and abroad were lawyers first.  Why would they forsake their secondary profession on behalf of the people (as a whole - some individuals may).

General Software Discussion / Re: System tray to be on the top:
« on: March 16, 2012, 10:20 PM »
I may be mistaken, Lanux, but that looks like a windows menu.  The request was for in Ubuntu 11:04 - or is that what you used?

(If so, they have come a LONG way to mimicing windows menus - just in time for Windows 8 to change it all  :-\)

Living Room / Re: On a lighter note: A Man Said to the Universe
« on: March 16, 2012, 09:29 PM »
The condensed version of the original:

A man said to the universe:
"Sir, I exist!"
"So?" replied the universe


Sorry, I ate it.... :(

Oooooo! That's right. They did do that didn't they? (McMillan titles wasn't it?)

Thanks for reminding us Carol. That's something that "should (n)ever be forgot." :Thmbsup:

I am surprised you did forget.  Getting old aren't you. :P
Seriously though, this is the main reason I never did buy an E-Reader.  The concept is great and it is a no-brainer if there were some enforcements for consumer rights instead of focusing exclusively on the distributor rights (and by extension and to a lesser extend content producer rights).

First there was the hardware, with limited/no titles; at least none compelling enough to get people to buy in droves.  Then Amazon started producing titles for their hardware upon release.  That opened up the market, but with it's site fixed firmly in their own pocketbook, it was limited as well.  Then others finally saw the potential and the method and followed suit. 

Next is what I am waiting for - consolidation, standardization, and then real choice.  Haven't seen that yet though.

I am with you 100% 40hz.  I have dabbled in several different distros, use CentOS at work (now moving to RedHat Enterprise, because they are forcing the issue), use Mint Linux Debian Edition with xfce at home, set up others on Ubuntu, etc., etc....

By far, Mint is my choice, especially for the Debian editions...They just work (is this a Mac commercial?).  Once you get started you can dig as far as you want to on any distro, so learning on Gentoo or Slackware seems counterintuitive to me.  Sure you fight through it because you HAVE to, but if you want to learn it from the ground up, do it with the fallback to something you can find instead of frustrating yourself out of Linux all together.  Many find learning through that frustration not worth the effort, especially when they need/want to get stuff done.  

I have gone more the other way though.  As much as I like linux, especially Debian version of Mint, I am leaning far more heavily toward Windows, since I keep finding many of the apps I want or need are there.  Sure there are similar apps in Linux for the most part, but their quality varies far more and the learning curve FOR EACH APP is far higher (in general).  The server side is different (it is generally always high regardless of platform), but for the desktop, I just keep coming back to Windows.  AND...the apps that are for the desktop that are good and supported in Linux are generally available for Windows anyway; but that is just me.  I like most all OS's (not a big fan of System-Z) on the technical level, so I am fairly agnostic there.  Of course there is that corporate side of things - but in the end it is, as the saying goes, ALL ABOUT THE APPS.

I just typed in VBA Programming and got a ton of hits.  I even found this one:

Can't guarantee it is exactly what you are looking for, but it seems to fit the bill.  (I am behind a firewall right now and can't connect to IRC to verify).

General Software Discussion / Re: I Need DC Input
« on: February 25, 2012, 09:22 AM »
Yep.  Definite Nerd-Porn as my wife calls it....

Oh, it's not just this guy. Big publishers like EA and UbiSoft are speaking out against used games and trying their best to make it so it's not worth buying a game used.


Well that's easy.  Price them to where used games are useless - but then they can't a**rape the public for each crappy followup that is little more than a feature pack to the original...

General Software Discussion / Uhuru Software
« on: January 17, 2012, 05:03 AM »
I just read about this open source project at  Looks really cool if it works and you are a .Net developer.  It is designed to allow VisualStudio and any .Net code to work with VMware's Cloud Foundry PaaS offering, though from what I read, it should work with pretty much any service, not just Cloud Foundry.  VMware also released their MicroCloud platform - essentially it is a single machine instance of Cloud Foundry to make developing against Cloud Foundry easier.  If Uhuru lives up to it's advertising and you have the MicroCloud, you should be able to fully develop cloud based software in your own machine using .Net and deploy anywhere.

Check it out and let me know what you think.  I am curious because I am 1) not a developer per se (hobbiest at best - and a bad one at that), and 2) what I tool around with is Java, not .Net, at least not yet.

Living Room / Re: "Save the internet"
« on: January 17, 2012, 01:28 AM »
Does this mean I was just ahead of the curve?  My family and I haven't had TV (well rabbit ears only that don't work 75% of the time) at all for about 4 or 5 years now.  We cut cable completely about 3 years (no phone, no TV) and get internet through "DSL" (Not really, but it is a fibreoptic feed from the phone company so it is referred to as that).  Working to scratch that too, but I don't see cellular vendors providing a reasonable cost or speed on their service yet, so DSL is the only reasonably priced alternative at this time.

Living Room / Re: Who's up for a DonationCoder talk show?
« on: January 17, 2012, 01:17 AM »
To continue your topic derailment, yes, DC Talk is pretty awesome.  Been a fan for around 20 years now.  First heard them in 91-92 time frame when a military buddy of mine introduced me to their music.

Getting back OT, it could prove interesting.  It has been tried before, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be tried again.

Oddly enough, they are touting it as the Professional version, but it is only the standard version.  What's the difference?  No VBA support (and $20 cheaper if you buy it).

I see that the new Fotoshop by Adobé is the ultimate makeup

Amazing. Even works on videos, apparently.
Nice timing.  My wife just showed that one to me last night and I didn't get the link to post here before you did. :Thmbsup:

In the final analysis, if you don't like windows or how it operates.... don't buy it.
It is amazing how many problems would be solved if people followed this philosophy.

I've been saying as much all along, but this is a VERY different beast we're now talking about.
This is hardware.

"So what? Apple's done that for years", you might say.
This is diffferent.
Apple has their own stuff, and a niche market.
This is Microsoft.
That means everything else.
Do you not get it yet?


Please understand this, I don't want to get angry.
.. yet.

Um, yeah, except Apple isn't a niche market anymore.  Besides, with all the holes Microsoft always bakes in, I see this as a potentially good thing.  Why?  Because Apple has relied on the very same UEFI to lock software to hardware and viseversa.  If people break it for Microsoft, and they will...eventually, don't you think it would be a pretty good bet the same or very similar hack will break OSX and the Apple monopoly.  I am not completely certain that isn't a side goal of Microsoft.

Now, with all that said, I really only see this as another step of Microsoft out of ideas and "me too"ing Apple.  It works for Apple, and they have no ideas, so let's do it too and lock everyone in again.  The thing is, lock-in is how Microsoft beat all the competition in the late 80's...namely they didn't when everyone else did.  Therefore while it will suck for a while, either they will use it to break competition again, or someone else will.  Yes, it will take time, but it will happen.

I can tell you one thing, if they keep following Apple like they have been, my next machine will BE an Apple with VMware installing all other OS's (unless I can find a reliable way to virtualize OSX and it's ancestors).  Microsoft doesn't have the balls to lock Windows out of a virtual environment.  It will alienate way too many IT shops.

Living Room / Re: Best USB/Bootable recovery and "utility" tools
« on: January 12, 2012, 06:20 PM »
I have used Hiren's with some success.  BartPE is great, but I have never been able to create my own collection, I have only ever used one someone else created to good success.  UBCD?  No. Never have.

40Hz - That WSUS Offline Update is interesting, but it does limit you significantly in a heterogeneous environment.  If everything is Windows, I can see it.  Where I work, not so much.  Like you Josh, I yearn for the days of Winternals ERD Commander.  THAT was a great tool during XP's heyday.

Not that I can speak from experience per se, but I do suggest the VPS option if you don't use your own server(s) to their fullest.  It can be significantly cheaper than owning your own server, and is often backed up by enterprise features you couldn't afford with your own server.  Things like automated backup, failover, clustering (potentially), etc.  Yes, most charge extra for those features, but not a lot compared to the costs and hassles of doing it yourself.  Specific companies, however, I cannot recommend due to lack of experience with any of them.

As for the email server, I have heard a lot of good things from Open-Exchange.  Don't know anything about it from an admin standpoint other than that hearsay, but I can say it is functional enough from the client end (My ISP uses it).  It isn't great, but I don't know many/any that are anywhere near Exchange in features/compatibility/stability.  Two of the three, yes, but not all three.

Server OS?  I am partial to Debian, but that is only because I really like Mint Linux and the LMDE release.  Yes, this is designed as a desktop edition, but keeping the desktop and the Server the same base OS does make some things marginally easier.  Otherwise I have been told by many that SUSE is by far the easiest for most people to learn coming from Windows Servers.  CentOS is also quite popular and I use it at work everyday (as a user, not an admin) - it is also quite functional.  The one thing I learned with Linux is don't worry too much about the flavor, just choose a popular one and dive in.  You can figure it out and learn as you go.  By and large, the changes are in the shell and not the OS itself anyway, which makes them relatively easy to rip and replace as needed.

Lastly CMS.  Can't say.  My only suggestion here is WordPress is the biggest general purpose CMS deployed (measured by number of deployments).  There has to be a reason for that...I will leave it to your own research and conclusions as to why, but that is why I would start there.

N.A.N.Y. 2012 / Re: NANY 2012 - Pledge: PerceptualDiff GUI
« on: December 28, 2011, 12:34 AM »
I'm just glad we can help  :D

I think this may prove a VERY useful program.  Though I don't have as much need for it now as I used to when I worked in a print room.  Everything sent to me was a TIFF or PDF, and few, if any programs could diff TIFF programs reliably.  PDF's were better, but it was still cumbersome.  What we needed was a visual, or as Hector calls it, perceptual diff engine.  I didn't even know it was developed as I couldn't find anything at the time that would do what we wanted.  Now that I know, and better, know where a good front-end for it is; I can see this as a very useful tool.  It is, however, a very niche project and as such I hope you get a link on his page at least.  It is something that people using his tool should know about so they can decide if they want to use it or not.

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