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Comment Re:Apple can't modify Time Machine Firmware? (Score 5, Insightful) 242

I was just thinking that. This is so broad as to be unusable.

And mature products like DD-WRT are what make consumer-grade routers fly. It's pretty much the only reason I'll buy an ASUS, because the stock firmware doesn't have the feature set needed for latency sensitive hardware.

Comment That's WordPress in a nutshell (Score 5, Insightful) 302

WordPress is the store-bought bread solution. Does what most people need, is advanced enough that most work can be done through the admin GUI, and plugins are easy enough to build that a fellow by-hand person can figure them out without too much difficulty.

The only caveat I'd put on using WordPress is that you need to treat updates like you would on Windows: make sure your WordPress core and plugins are always up to date. Its huge user-base means there's a lot more hackers running automated exploits that'll bog-down a web hosting server if you get compromised, and that might get your account suspended. On our shared hosting we're now recommending clients install WordPress via Installatron (a cPanel addon) and have it automatically patch everything by default.

Simpler sites, but more OS-level issues from going mainstream.

Comment Re: Are people sick of the MPAA? (Score 1) 400

Cirque starts with something like this in Vegas at the beginning of Ka. Some "guy" is talking on the phone and the cast deals with him hilariously. Coincidentally it's also a great show if you haven't seen it.

It's still something I think about when someone can't find the off button on their tech during a movie.

Comment Best starter system I've used (Score 4, Informative) 68

I started down the fancy Christmas lights path last year after seeing a 12-string CCR tree based-on LOR (light-o-rama) that this guy made:


LOR Technology is pretty simple and your IT knowledge will translate pretty well to get it setup. The gist is you're using a LOR network protocol over RS-485 (long-range serial) that itself is using CAT5/6 cable to work. This network needs a control node that's either a hardware device or (like most people) a computer running the LOR software package, both of which can work with an audio component.

The neat part about starting here is that there's translation hardware between LOR and the more widely used DMX protocol when you're ready to step-up to fancier shows. DMX gears tends to be cheaper because there's more of it (and more things you can control), but it'll also need a fair bit of comfort with stuff you can start-off learning by point-and-click in LOR. I've been playing with some DMX stuff this year that'll be in the show for December 2015, but didn't have the time to get it perfect on this go.

One thing to keep in mind: more fancy = more bandwidth. Single flashing strands don't use much traffic, but when you start looking at 150 LED strands where each pixel has RGB+intensity I'd recommend against going wireless.

Happy learning, and post a video!

Comment Don't give-up the rack (Score 1) 287

Only one proper server running ESXi, but the rest is all rack-mountable:

- Unraid server (bought their premade)
- Dell 2950 that's been decommissioned from the DC
- 24 port Gig switch
- 24 port Gig PoE switch for our phones
- TV streaming head-end. 3 Cable boxes on shelves
- Control4 main server and amp, which seemed like a good idea at the time. Would just get the amp and an open source streaming box in the future
- Modem and router

Only addition will be UPS at some point. It's only half a rack, but being able to lock it and run cables through the top means the kids have zero ability to go after what's inside. I do some software development from home so it's a nice setup for days when sweat pants trumps suits :)

Comment Learn a framework well (Score 1) 172

You'll learn a ton, many of them no longer suck, and it can definitely speed-up the development time of future projects.

On the web I work primarily with PHP and for a long time the frameworks weren't any better than reusing my own class libraries. These days there's some very comprehensive ones that do things faster and simpler than I do already, and have been well worth my time to get better at.

A quick Google search shows there's some mature ones for different use cases of Python as well. Research a few and give them a try. You might just find their automating of the less fun parts of programming to be a huge boost to your development work.

Comment This. (Score 0) 274

You're not going to out party these guys, and they don't expect you to. Instead, you will bring life experience balancing a career in software with family, which I guarantee they'll be asking you questions about. Most of them are working to be like you with a family and kids they want to go home to.

As for the start-up side, make sure you and your employer have clearly understood work expectations. You don't want to be the bottle-neck on a critical release cycle because of family commitments, so sharing your schedule and setting fair expectations on when you can work is important. That doesn't make you ineligible for a start-up job, it just means that like the Tahoe trip you need to make sure the plans are known beforehand.

Hope this helps,

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!