Sunday, April 11, 2010

Selling out, or selling up? Yes, I'm Enabling Ads

When I first started trying to write and post regularly I found it difficult to do so.  Part of my difficulty was trying to publish content that wasn't just a whiny rundown of my regular activities -- since my life is pretty boring, that kind of rundown really isn't very interesting either.  The other difficulty I had was finding the will to regularly post.  Two years later I think I'm starting to get the hang of the writing part and since I need to keep doing it in order to get better I'm looking for some extra motivation.

Love, happiness, and a sense of safety and well-being are all great motivators; but the Blogger "Monetize" tab looked much easier and quicker.  So, I'm going to try serving some ads along with content in order to see if having a positive financial impact will spur me into posting more regularly.  To keep my karma levels even I will apply the first $75 of revenue to a Kiva loan.  Judging by the (lack of) traffic I get that will take a while to happen.  Also, since my traffic levels are so low I'm not even going to worry about planning past that first $75.  My goal is to post and write, so I'm really less concerned about money and more concerned about just producing something worthwhile.  As things progress, I will post updates on the effectiveness of this scheme and link to whatever Kiva loans that are made as a result.  Hey, look!  It's already working, I have more stuff to write about!

Since I just enabled ads my request hasn't been fully processed yet.  So in a wonderful twist of irony, this post to my blog about enabling ads on my blog will go live with, you got it, no ads.

Fedora 12: Usage review

With Fedora 13 Alphas being released it seems like as good a time as any to plonk down some of my thoughts on Fedora 12.
  • Gnome Shell preview is really awesome.  I like it, it works, and I'm excited to see what else might be in store.  Hopefully a few keyboard shortcuts for flipping desktops.
  • NetworkManager continues to make the user networking experience good.  At this point it's about as reliable and useful as my Mac.
  • Video/Media codec support still sucks.  This is not Fedora's fault, it sucks on Mac too.  Codecs just plain suck.  Point in case?  I installed mythfrontend during a demo at MilwaukeeLUG and it broke Totem's ability to play an Ogg file.  After a few logouts and some more installs is started to work.  Then broke again.  Folks, this is why Flash video is successful.  HTML5 video may standardize on a few codecs but I'm not terribly sure that will help.  This has been a problem for close to a decade and I'm sometimes shocked it's still an issue. 
  • Firefox is still slower than Firefox on my Mac.
  • For the most part, things just work.
A big thinks to the Fedora developers and community for making great stuff.

Monday, April 5, 2010

ldap time to perl time()

This might save 30 seconds for someone else who wrongly thought that DateTime::Format:ISO8601 would parse an LDAP timestamp.

# Takes an ISO8601ish LDAP timestamp datatype and converts it into a perl time()
# compatible structure.  Requires Time::Local.
sub ldap2time
    my $ldap_ts = shift;
    return unless $ldap_ts =~ /(\d{4})(\d{2})(\d{2})(\d{2})(\d{2})(\d{2})Z/;
    my ($year, $mon, $day, $hour, $min, $sec) = ($1, $2, $3, $4, $5, $6);
    return timegm($sec, $min, $hour, $day, ($mon-1), $year);