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About A.P. Lawrence

A.P. Lawrence provides SCO Unix and Linux consulting services http://www.pcunix.com
Review: Wicked Cool Perl Scripts

Order (or just read more about) Wicked Cool Perl Scripts from Amazon.com

Hardware Routers vs. Kerio Winroute Firewall

I had a call from a customer who already uses Kerio Mailserver. He had downloaded a demo of Kerio WinRoute Firewall and said he had a few questions.

Giving in to Temptation

This analysis was conceived when the coauthors discovered we’d each been independently seriously tempted to buy a Mac Mini, and realized what that temptation implied.

Background Tasks (Why?)

A comp.unix.shell newsgroup post asked a neophyte question about how to run a script in the background.

Invalidating the Linux Buffer Cache

When you write data, it doesn’t necessarily get written to disk right then. The kernel maintains caches of many things, and disk data is something where a lot of work is done to keep everything fast and efficient.

Review: Google Comments Beta
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While browsing Google Labs, I noticed new Firefox extensions.

GoboLinux – A Breath of Fresh Air?

My very first reaction to GoboLinux was negative. The underlying idea of taming the Unix/Linux file system hierarchy with symbolic links isn’t new: heck, SCO did that way back with their 3.2v4.0 release, and for exactly the same reasons (see the Software Storage Objects- SSO section at this link).

Maintenance Tools for Mac OS X
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There are a number of Mac OS maintenance applications that promise to help you with various tasks. We’ll take a quick look at a few of them here.

Cron Isn’t Working?

Let’s just get this out of the way first: when someone says cron is not working, it almost always is, and they have just misunderstood something basic.

Handling Missing Data

I have an old Perl project that goes out to a Government web site, ftp’s some files, massages them in various ways, and spits out some output. Over time, the project grew, and now does more than it used to.

The Influence of Unix on NT

For several years now I’ve been looking for something Bill Gates said. Unfortunately I had misremembered the actual words, and every time I found someone who thought they remembered it, they had the wrong words too and I’d come up dry yet again.

Mysterious Lockups

Of all computer problems, the unresponsive hang is the most annoying and most difficult to trace. There’s no crash, no panic: everything just stops dead.

More Reasons to Love Unix/Linux

I did a lot of clean-up work at this website over the long Thanksgiving weekend. This was all due to radically changing the layout. Some of that was quick and simple do do, but for older pages I needed to do some hand editing before switching to the new format.

Controlling Disk Space w/ Symbolic Links

I’ve covered this in other articles here, but when I went searching for something to point a customer at I had a little trouble finding it, so we’ll do it here:

MacBook Pro Battery Exchange

I think I was actually vaguely aware of the 15-inch MacBook Pro Battery Exchange Program, but *I* wasn’t having any battery problems so I never looked into it.

Losing Data Over VPN

Sometimes change is good, sometimes it’s bad, and sometimes it’s a mixed bag. Such was the case recently when a customer switched a remote office from a 56K line to using a Kerio VPN over Internet connections.

Dealing with Comment Spam

If you run a web site that allows comments, you are going to get comment spam – that’s just a fact of life in the current Internet.

The Patent Ploy

Microsoft to Offer Sales Support for Novell’s Suse Linux… Huh? Did I hear that right? Yep, there it is again: Linux to work with Windows.

Understanding Microsummaries

One of the new features of Firefox 2.0 is support for Microsummaries. These are simply another kind of live bookmark, and in that sense are similar in context to RSS live bookmarks, but are simpler to implement and contain less information.

Understanding Microformats

You may have heard mention of “microformats” recently. If you investigated, you probably ran across mumbling like this from http://microformats.org/about/:

How Much is That Link Worth?

Text-Link-ads.com has a link ads calculator that purports to tell you how much an ad link on your site (or someone else’s) is worth.

Oracle Linux

At “Larry Ellison’s Linux nears release“, Ashlee Vance is unsure why Oracle would want its own Linux distro.

Terrasoft Supplying Linux for PS3

Is it really news when Terrasoft announces that it will be supplying Linux for the PS3?

Perl loop causes strange read-only error

Ok, folks: I don’t understand this. It must have something to do with anonymous arrays in Perl (no, it doesn’t, I realize now), but I don’t grok the connection.