Brother Printers on Raspbian

It turns out that Brother doesn’t seem to be very serious about publishing driver packages that work for ARM machines. The easiest way I’ve found to deal with this so far– and still have quick, good-quality color printing– is to use the MFC-9840CDW PPD. Verified working on HL-3170CDW, MFC-8480DN, and I’ll test it on HL-2170DW […]

Oddly missing core functions

MSSQL is terrible for lacking some seemingly straightforward functionality- like the ability to drop a table only if it exists and has no rows. Salt to taste: — TODO: accept an array of tables, check all of them for existence and zero rows, then perform drop CREATE PROCEDURE DropTableIfEmpty(@t as nvarchar(max)) AS BEGIN SELECT @t […]

Strong self-signed SSL certificates for development on IIS

openssl req -newkey rsa:4096 -nodes -keyout key.pem -x509 -days 3650 -out certificate.pem -sha256 openssl x509 -text -noout -in certificate.pem openssl pkcs12 -inkey key.pem -in certificate.pem -export -out certificate.pfx openssl pkcs12 -in certificate.pfx -noout -info Links: Generating a self-signed certificate using OpenSSL Generate an OpenSSL Certificate Request with SHA256 Signature Create a .pfx/.p12 certificate file using […]

Splitting LDIF files

I went to the St. Louis PowerShell meetup last night, and someone had an interesting issue.  They were dealing with a 4.5 gigabyte LDIF file- it needed to be somehow processed, and the issue of processing had already been dealt with.  However, it turns out that PowerShell wasn’t cranking fast enough for the application.  Most […]

Embroidery the Hard Way

With tens of thousands of dollars of equipment on hand, one would think that the seemingly simple would be possible.  Oh dear.  Not even close. For years I’ve been putting binding on blankets and embroidering them with, generally, just a couple words- a name or something.  I wanted to do a bigger project- a quote […]

Metrics for sunsetting systems

Really, these are similar metrics to what you would use to choose systems- except they’re often on the tail end of a choice made years ago. I frequently see multiple systems run in parallel that really should be integrated (e.g., why would one have separate time and access cards?).  If you’re going to choose between […]

Assessing risk (and pitfalls)

I’ve already mused a bit on project estimation, and I have an upcoming post about how to think about sunsetting systems.  It occurs to me that there are at least two more fundamental questions to address:  what does it mean to talk about the risk in a system, and what biases might we have when […]

Algorithms that are 80% good aren’t scary.

Leaving aside the difference between sensitivity and specificity: if people know the machine is sometimes wrong, it’s not so bad.  Things get scary when the machine is 99% or 99.9% accurate, and you’re caught on the wrong end of a presumption. I’ve often wondered, for example, how many people get picked up on warrants for […]

Vexing little bugs

I find that, particularly with geek stuff, I get hung up on tiny little details.  For example, I did a deep dive with Javascript and CSS the other week, trying to find out why I couldn’t get an input field to select all the text inside when I clicked on it.  This ties back to […]

2018 Law license reciprocity update

It’s been awhile since I blogged about the UBE and Kansas.  I was surprised that Kansas took an extra couple years to join, and even more surprised at the adoption in the northeast.  I had always assumed that jurisdictions such as California, Florida, Texas, and New York would maintain their own licensing regimes- but New […]