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Monday, October 05, 2009

How Much Is A 3-letter Domain Worth?

While testing my nifty interactive name-suggestion tool, I decided to quickly scan all the 3 letter tld's.

Obviously they are all taken, but "cqc.com" is "pending deletion". That means it'll be up for grabs soon. So I jumped over to NameJet, just to see what the current backorder auction price was. The current sticker price for "cqc.com" is $10,000 ... and rising.

Whoever owns it really ought to wake up and smell the money. Letting a $10,000 name expire should be grounds for a Darwin award.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Logo Maker

MkLogo allows you to generate an image of some text in any font chosen (or uploaded). The "effects" are essentially parameterized shell scripts of ImageMagick examples. I used CoolText for a lot of quick site logos, but I got tired of the "glitzy" styles. Fonts aren't all categorized yet. Maybe I should make them editable, see how that plays out. Don't ask me why I seem to need to get a new domain name every time I write a small program. Habit borne of dotcom days.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

TrackJump Durham

I've been meaning to post a list of favorite things I like about Durham, NC. Including the fact that we have a place that makes the best falafels in the US (Baba Ganoush in Erwin plaza), the best science museum and the best paletas shop, and the best restaurant for a date.

But the list grew too long, and I didn't feel like looking up links to things anymore, so I spent the rest of this morning making a site called TrackJump. It allows me to more easily embed tracking links in shipment notification emails to my customers, and in links on web pages, etc.

Feel free to try it, use it, and let me know if it's OK or needs work.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Postgres synchronizer

Database replication has a lot of overhead. Sometimes I just want to copy a half-dozen rows that change every once in a while. pg_comparator seemed like it would be helpful. It's analogous rsync for Postgres, albeit less efficient. But the version that was out there had a very ambitious version number. I wrote a patch to fix the program, and add the feature of actually performing the update/delete/insert as needed. Hopefully someone finds this useful.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Favorite Text Editor

On Windows, I use an old version of Textpad, which is far, far better than the latest version. It has a tiny footprint, no installation is required, great regular expression support, block editing and fills, and simple, functional UI and options screens. I've looked for many, many years for a replacement, since the old one is no longer maintained, but I haven't found a comparable one.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Google Checkout Bug

Only yesterday, Google admitted to a bug which placed checkout badges next to all of their advertiser's ads. Today, Google's checkout.google.com (GCO) website was briefly redirecting to a page that looks like this. Which looks like a hack, but probably was just an internal error.


My personal experience with GCO, as a merchant, has been that the system is a bit confusing for customers. It fails to adequately prompt for shipping addresses; is extremely slow to approve orders; is occasionally slow or broken; and the API is more complex than any other I've worked with.


The upside is that the GCO support group has been extremely responsive and helpful on every occasion. That one fact is what sets them apart from any other merchant processing service I've used. And of course, there's the free processing. Which is the best (only) reason to use them at this point.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Pure Perl CGI Server

I wrote a rather efficient bare-bones web server that is only capable of serving perl CGI programs. The very cool thing about it is that it's single-threaded, like thttpd.

Since the webserver is written in perl, you're not execve'ing on every hit. And the server itself is very lightweight, so dprof will probably tell you that slowdowns are coming your CGI.

Note: If your perl program ever blocks on IO, don't think about using this server. But you wouldn't do that, would you?

In summary, if you have a perl CGI that's slow under Apache and you need to handle hundreds of CGI requests per second on a cheap box, ppcgid might help.

Let me know if/how you find it useful.

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Friday, March 25, 2005

Launched a new free weblog hosting service

I created a free weblog hosting service called Memebot.

RSS aggregators are doing a poor job, and I think the reason why is that there needs to be lot more collaboration going on as to what the definition of "something worth reading" is for a user. In other words, I filter through too much junk before I read what I want, and I shouldn't have to do that.

Memebot doesn't actually do this yet, but it will.

For now, it's a free, full featured web hosting system, with support for arbitrary CGI programs, and FTP accounts. It's way the hell better than anyone's getting at Geocities, and better than most people get when they pay $5 per month.

The goal is to load up a few thousand sites and then cap the free program and tweak the Memebot AI until it's producing what I need to produce.

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Thursday, February 24, 2005

XML/XSL versus BML

The HTML standard, which the W3C was built around, was written by carefully observing what people were doing with HTML and then concocting a standard around that. This is how good standards are created - by wrapping up a lot of people's hacks into one neat documented package.

The W3C, taking their success as a sign that they needed to mess with everything, decided to launch a barrage of new standards, the most egregious of which is the XSL/XSLT set.

So what are people hacking today?

It's all about BLOCKS. Everything in information management and reporting apparently revolves around creating templates and then inserting variables into those templates. Most major pieces of web development software has a different BLOCK syntax, from SQL Server to Wikimedia to Kuro5hin. I wrote an open source macro insertion language 8 years ago - and still use it today. (CVS access) It seems that writing markup languages is a neverending hobby of many developers.

One of my favorites is BML. Brad Fitz has, in a few lines of perl, created a block manager that outstrips the W3C. By exploiting CODE blocks of perl, he avoids the need to reinvent a text manipulation language for the more complex transformations. The result is that BML is just as powerful as XML/XSL - without the overhead or the complexity.

This points to an overriding problem with XSLT, CSS, XHTML (egregious) and all the new "standards" coming out of the W3C. They are not being written with any idea of what standards are.

Standards are a documentation and consolidation of the best and most common industry practices, not the result of a committee that wants to dictate what the most common practices will be. A good standards organization spends most of its time observing, documenting and commenting on existing protocol - producing standards documents only when one becomes obvious.

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