TECHNOLOGY

  • My new ACM Queue column: Operations and Life

    I have 2 big announcements!

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  • Usenix LISA is no more. Here's my retrospective

    The Usenix LISA conference is no more. After 35 years, I have a lot of good (and some not good) memories of the conference. It was a big part of my career and I’m sad to see it go. However I’m proud of what LISA accomplished.

    I wrote my personal reflections on the conference in a new article published on the Usenix website. Warning: this article includes some over-sharing.

    Read it here: LISA made LISA obsolete (That’s a compliment!)

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  • How to disable stable-diffusion's safety filter

    You may have read Run Stable Diffusion on your M1 Mac’s GPU. (The Linux equivalent is here.)

    Here are a few code changes you might wish to make:

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  • Automating an un-automatable access issue

    This is a “face-palm – why didn’t we think of this earlier?” situation that I thought I’d share. Maybe it will help someone else.

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  • Facebook's Metaverse Doomed to Fail

    Facebook/Meta’s VR will fail.

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  • Don't make me use Cisco WebEx

    Here are my rules for using Cisco WebEx.

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  • Fun With Shipping

    I have to blog this so that when people say “that can’t be true” I can point to this blog post.

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  • The Minimalist Headset Solution

    I got sick and tired video conferences being delayed by audio problems. I know that a lot of times it is a problem on my end, but I think everyone has had audio problems. How did I fix it? I got rid of any feature that caused me trouble until I had a trouble-free headset experience. Spoiler alert: I had to eliminate nearly all features. The purpose of this blog post is to provide links so that people can purchase the same equipment I now use.

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  • VMware WorkspaceONE Notifications are a crime against productivity

    VMware’s WorkspaceOne has an annoying feature on macOS where every time it does an update you get a notification. This steals my cursor, interrupts my work, and breaks my concentration.

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  • Vim n.n.n.n.n.n.

    What does “n.n.n.n.” do in Vim?

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  • HBO's Integration Test Email

    You’ve probably read about HBO’s ‘Integration Test’ Email. Just what is an “Integration test”?

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  • Todoist: First impressions

    I’m considering switching to Todoist. Here are my notes as I try to use the techniques in Time Management for System Administrators which are collectively called The Cycle.

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    • Stack Overflow Is Hiring Azure SREs

      Stack Overflow Is Hiring Azure SREs

      Looking for SRE’s with experience in the Microsoft stack!

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    • What Is Yak Shaving?

      What Is Yak Shaving?

      What is yak shaving?

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    • How should SaaS providers charge for training?

      The other day a vendor added $6k of “training” to my quote. Here’s how insulting that is.

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    • PowerShell and NAPTR DNS records: Part 2

      I think I’ve identified the bug in PowerShell’s handling of NAPTR records.

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    • PowerShell and NAPTR DNS records. Help!

      I can’t figure out how to Add- or Remove- an NAPTR record using PowerShell’s DnsServer module. Can you?

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    • Canon Imageclass Scanning to Gmail

      Configuring my new Canon printer to scan to gmail was a bit tricky.

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    • Evading or leveraging macOS's DNS mucking

      There are times when macOS mucks with DNS lookups. For example, a corporate VPN client might tell macOS that DNS lookups for certain domains (i.e. domains inside the company) are to be handled differently.

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    • Refactoring a Loop That Was Trying Too Hard

      I fixed bug last night.

      The bug was difficult to fix because the code was so complex. I wasn’t really able to fix it until I simplified the code. Once the code was simplified the bug was easy to fix. While doing this I found an anti-pattern that I now call “One loop trying too hard”.

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    • Google GSuite (nee Workplace) Secrets!

      Here are some of my favorite secrets about Google Docs, Google Sheets, Gmail, etc.

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    • Shipping used to be 6-8 weeks

      Remember back in the old days when if you ordered anything from a company, delivery was “6 to 8 weeks”?

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    • The Linux 'cal' command

      Five things you should know about the Linux cal command. There are many, many, more features listed in the man page but these are the ones you should know.

      The Unix cal command appeared in 1973 in what was called “Version 5 AT&T UNIX”. Linux and macOS (and all *BSD systems) have very different clones. Check the man page for details.

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    • A developer's view of umask

      There are a zillion pages explaining how umask works from the user’s point of view, usually with great charts and tables explaining all the bits.

      However in all my years I’ve never seen umask explained from the developer’s point of view. What do you provide to creat()/open()/mkdir() (in C) or os.OpenFile/os.Mkdir/os.MkdirAll (in Go) so that the user’s umask is in control.

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    • How to Learn Vi / Vim

      A coworker was amazed at my use of Vim, especially that I was able to navigate around files so quickly.

      Here’s my advice:

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    • Go has eliminated most of my off-by-one errors except 0... I mean 1.

      Go’s range operator (for x = range foo) has eliminated the most common trap where I make off-by-one errors. The next largest category of off-by-one errors would be eliminated if there was a way to specify the last item in an array. It would also improve a developer’s ability to convey intent.

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    • How do Google Captchas help train neural networks

      Q: I heard that the Google Captchas are used to train their neural networks so they can identify things like traffic lights, etc. How does this work since our thought process is in our brain?

      Original question

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    • Bash Env Variable Defaults

      In my previous blog post I explained a trick for setting bash env variables when you run a script. In this post I discuss how to write bash scripts that handle such variables properly.

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    • Setting env variables in /bin/bash

      If you want to set an env variable in bash for only 1 command, here’s some bad ways to do it:

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    • All I Do Is Play With Strings

      A poem I wrote earlier this year.

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    Tom Limoncelli

    Tom Limoncelli

    Recent Posts


    1. Facebook’s Metaverse Doomed to Fail
    2. Automating an un-automatable access issue
    3. How to disable stable-diffusion’s safety filter
    4. Usenix LISA is no more. Here’s my retrospective
    5. My new ACM Queue column: Operations and Life

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