An incomplete list of my excellent teachers

It’s just about that time to get back to school, so I wanted to thank some people in my life, from preschool through to teachers in my career: Mrs. Hsu Miss Wheeler Mrs. Owens Mrs. Hood Mike Gajewski Wade Jackson Ken Drury Mr. Anderson Mr. Evans Mrs. Chilson Mr. Chilson Nancy Black Joan Twillman Leigh […]

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 […]

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 […]

Controversy and Conversation

For (I think) the first time on this blog, I’ve made a post password-protected.  I don’t really want to make that a regular habit, but the subject matter is sufficiently nuanced and potentially controversial that I wanted to let a few trusted folks review it before I made my position globally visible. Fundamentally, this issue […]