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What to do when you know a pedophile (and what not to)

Word got out this weekend that a fairly prominent member of my profession is a pedophile. Fortunately I don’t know the guy. But this is hardly the first time this happened. A fairly prominent tech journalist turned out to be a pedophile a couple years ago too. Unfortunately this happens, and unfortunately I came into some experience in this area early in life.

I know from experience, you don’t always know until afterward. If it were easy to know, these people wouldn’t get away with it for so long.

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Yet another server migration

On Thursday, November 12, 2020, I migrated to a new host. My old host was a bit too far behind on some of the major software required to run current WordPress builds correctly. I decided that building a new server and migrating my 20+ years of content to it was my best option.

It should be a lot faster. The new hardware is faster. The new software would be faster even if it were running on the same hardware. And I found and fixed a couple of problems along the way. But if you notice something not working, please post a comment to let me know.

And if you noticed the server was up and down a lot on November 12, that’s why. The new server didn’t work on the first try, and it takes about two minutes to change the firewall rule to point to a different server.

Atari SDrive Max

I got an SDrive Max for my Atari 800 and I really like it. It took a little doing to get it working for me. Hopefully you won’t have the same troubles I did. If you are, hopefully what helped me will help you. Let’s take a look at the Atari SDrive Max and what it does for you.

SDrive Max is a modern storage solution for vintage Atari 8-bit computers that uses SD cards. By storing images on the card, the Atari can boot off the image as if it were a floppy drive.

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How old is retro?

Retro seems to be one of those words whose meaning has changed as I’ve gotten older. It’s a vague term that means it’s not old enough to be an antique, and not even old enough to be vintage. But how old is retro?

Retro refers to the recent past. That’s a little vague but generally means it’s old and probably obsolete, but probably less than 20 years old.

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Best way to cut laminate countertop

Laminate countertops are inexpensive and easier to work with than stone. But the cheapest places to get laminate countertops often only offer fixed sizes and won’t cut them for you. So here’s the best way to cut laminate countertop so you can install it yourself and avoid custom orders.

The key to cutting laminate countertop is a straight edge, a fine-tooth sawblade, and lots of support. The most common reason for difficulty cutting laminate countertop is lack of support causing the countertop to pinch your blade.

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Erector set screw size

Erector sets frequently are missing screws, or they have screws but they’ve suffered the ravages of time. Fortunately the Erector set screw size was a standard 8-32, so you can substitute modern screws and/or nuts to replace damaged or missing originals, or if you just find them easier to work with.

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How to not let the bad guys Segment Smack your Linux box around

There’s a new vulnerability du jour in Linux called Segment Smack. The early writeups about it were really confusing, so I sorted it out and wrote it up for my employer. You can read it here.

The key takeaways, in my opinion: You’re almost guaranteed to have to reboot for this to take effect. Also, most of the writeups say there’s nothing you can do to mitigate except patch. Not quite true. I show you in the writeup how to block the attack long enough to free resources so you can patch. There’s nothing good you can do, but there is a quick fix available to you if you need it.

An announcement regarding Facebook and this blog

Effective Aug 1, I won’t be able to post updates from the blog to my Facebook profile automatically. So if you follow me on Facebook, you won’t see blog posts after Aug 1. I have set up a Facebook page where I will be able to continue to post updates. If you’re interested in following this blog on Facebook, follow this page instead of me. If you want to watch me rant with my journalism school classmates from the 1990s, follow me.

And now I have two days to get posting to that page working. Wish me luck.

Are trade deficits bad?

I’ve had to explain to several people what a trade deficit is, recently. It’s hard to say whether trade deficits are bad if you don’t understand what they are in the first place. So: What are trade deficits? And are trade deficits bad? I’ll try to explain this topic in the language of a non-economist. There is no reason for this topic to be confusing.

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