Small code with powerful results, the occasional opinion … and beer.

12 Jun 2016
The wisdom of the ages

Story #1: There was an old Indian Chief who once commissioned a group of young men in his tribe for a major project.  The Chief understood the value of documenting the lessons of the past, for the benefit of future generations in the tribe.  So he set the group out to gather, compile  and document […]

26 Apr 2016
Keeping your web site or web application current with the times, and … reasonable.

<rant> The web has been around now for over two decades. Whether it was a practice used during the internet’s early “wild-west” period, or something not well thought out, it is time for these practices stop.  Here is my list of practices to avoid and even openly condemn. Re-type your email address Re-entering an email address was a very […]

25 Nov 2015
The electronic toll system is about to go the way of the Telcos.

Before I moved to Florida from Maryland in 2005, I had an E-ZPass in Maryland which we used for the Bay Bridge toll payments.  We got it in about 2000, and it was wonderful.  It was a time when electronic toll systems were just getting started in the US.  The big benefit was bypassing the […]

14 Nov 2015
Technology is so SaaS-y, it’s not modeling the real world

“The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.”  — Steven Harris As a software developer, it is sometimes difficult for me to watch technology evolve into the current direction it has taken:  Software as a Service (SaaS).  I have been programming both […]

10 Nov 2015
The Beale Ciphers Solved! … or not?

When I was about 14 years old, I encountered one of the most fascinating puzzles in history: the Beale Ciphers. The Beale Ciphers are widely-known among treasure hunters. What are the Beale Ciphers?  It is a collection of three documents, each of which contained an encrypted message as a sequence of numbers.  The story goes that they were left by a […]

16 Oct 2015
The Mysterious, But Not-So-Surprising Georgia Guidestones

R.C. Christian, who is he? It’s a pseudonym for the person who created the Georgia Guidestones. The Guidestones are a strange set of ten commandment-like statements in eight languages on four tablets. They were put on private property in Georgia in 1980, and are becoming more broadly known in the world. These are the 10 guides contained […]

01 Sep 2015
Some tips when tracking your finances online

As a lot of people have done or are doing, I moved my finance tracking off the old (read: previously) reliable Quicken desktop application, to a provider on the web.  I love the convenience of having quick access on all devices I use and wherever I am. But there are still things I will not […]

22 Jan 2014
Big Brother at its best? Well, maybe…

Recently, it was revealed that the NSA is able to break common encryption protocols used on the internet.  You can read the article here: http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/5/4698808/most-common-encryption-protocols-are-useless-against-nsa-surveillance But, to me, it’s not really that much of a revelation.  And taking the article’s claims at face value will cause the user to miss a practical side of security […]

30 Aug 2013
The 5 Core System Requirements To Protect Your Sleep

I have been a software developer for over 30 years now.  That includes time as a kid playing with technology, time as a student, and professional and non-professional work.  Over that time I have encountered a lot of bad designs, and some good designs in systems and software.  I also have, like every person in […]

21 Jul 2013
Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh

On a recent business trip to Pittsburgh, I experienced something that really surprised me. I went out to dinner with some co-workers to a microbrewery/restaurant known as Church Brew Works. The name is very appropriate. It is in an old Catholic church building (St Mark’s) which is on the city’s registry as a historical landmark. […]