My Love/Hate Relationship with Static Code Analysis Tools
I have a love/hate relationship with static code analysis tools. On the one hand, they're great at helping teams eliminate substandard code practices, especially those that may potentially result in security problems. On the other hand, they're widely misunderstood and misused, as well, and often by management.

Find out more...
Domain Names Made Easy for Non-Techies
One of my non-technical friends, a writer and motivational speaker, bought a new domain name recently, then asked me how to get it pointed to her soon-to-be-rebranded website. The ensuing discussion revealed that she, like most non-techies, knew next to nothing about domain names, other than that "she needed one."

Since I suspect there are many other people around just like her, I thought it might be a good idea to demystify domain names. So, let's go on a tour through the wild, wild badlands of the Internet.
Using Social Networking to Fight Bad Actors
Check out my cyber security presentation from GFIRST 2012...

GFIRST was a 1500-person conference hosted by the Department of Homeland Security. I conducted this presentation in round-robin fashion with my two partners in crime, Dave Roberts and Jonathan Quigg.

Yahoo Mail Problems
Dear Yahoo,

Yahoo has been my front-end email client for 12 years. Is it time to change?

I use Yahoo as the front-end to manage my email. I have 12 years of history stored in folders within that client. But my email has been down for four days now. Even the Mail Options page won't load most of the time.

I can get my email through other means (my hosting service has a web-based client), so I'm only inconvenienced, not crippled. But seriously, this is supposed to be a professional service.

Your ads aren't broken, but my email is. Nothing on my end has changed. Nothing at my hosting service has changed.

Fix it, or lose a dedicated customer. Oh, and this blog entry will stay up as a permanent ad against your service.

   -- The Management --
Rails and SOLR: My RubyNation 2012 Talk
My talk, Rails and the Apache SOLR Search Engine is now available online, in PDF form or via Slideshare. I just presented it on March 24, 2012 at RubyNation 2012.

Killer Business Models
My talk on "Killer Business Models" from RubyNation 2011 is now available online. Check it out!

Ignoring Files With Git
When you're doing software development, not every file in your working directory tree is an end product that you'd like to check in with git. Git allows you to specify certain files to be ignored. Find out how to do this and, more importantly, learn what files should be ignored.
Changing the Domain of a WordPress Site
You've got a WordPress site, and you've had to change the domain name where it's hosted. Suddenly none of the links on the site work. How do you fix it?
RubyNation Main Room Videos
I've solved most of the workflow problems with the RubyNation 2011 video content from the main room, the footage that was shot with the awesome Sony EX1 camera that we borrowed from Near Infinity. In the video realm, "workflow is a fancy word for getting video from the camera into a format that you can use for editing with all elements intact. It's backed up by Dave's Video Corollary - "no matter where you get video from, it will never be in the format that you need."
Slides for Killer Business Models
Killer Business Models PresentationThe slides for my RubyNation 2011 talk, "Killer Business Models," is now available online. For this year's conference, I decided to venture off the beaten path and do a "big picure" talk. There's enough Ruby/Rails developers either working for startups or contemplating creating their own startups, that I felt a general business talk would be of interest to a solid sub-set of conference attendees.
My Code Coverage Talk for NovaRUG
I'll be the second speaker at the next NovaRUG meeting on February 23, 2011. My topic and abstract are shown below:

Cover Me: The Inside Scoop on Code Coverage Tools for Rails 2.3.x and Rails 3

You produce code. You create tests. But are you covering everything you need to cover? Code coverage tools like rcov and simplecov provide insight into how complete your tests really are. You may be surprised at some of the gaps in your tests, such as edge cases and failure conditions that aren't being tested. Find out how to analyze your codebase, whether it's a Rails 2.3.x legacy app or a bright and shiny Rails 3 app.
Introduction to Git
Git is a source code management (SCM) utility that has come into widespread use within the open source community and is now expanding rapidly into the corporate realm. It offers some unique advantages over other SCM systems, particularly Subversion, which it is quickly supplanting. Find out more about this new tool.
Tags, Categories and Taxonomies in WordPress
Wordpress 3.0.1 provides features such as tags, categories and taxonomies to classify content within a WordPress site. Find out how these features work!
Votridea Contest Platform Launches
Votridea is an easy-to-use online Contest Platform that fosters innovation by building communities around ideas and challenges. Votridea is an all-in-one, customizable suite of contest and community management tools that makes the complex process of building online multimedia contests simple. It's also the project that I've been working on for many months now, so I'm very pleased that we've just launched this dynamic product.

The Votridea Online Contest Platform Launches!
Playing With Microsoft Surface
Microsoft Surface is a new, horizontally-positioned multi-touch computer first introduced in 2007. Through a combination of software and hardware, it features gesture recognition capabilities that allow multiple people to use it at the same time. I had a chance to play with a Microsoft Surface at work, and I have to admit that it was pretty cool.

Microsoft Surface
Social Networking With Jive's Social Business Software
Jive's Social Business SoftwareJive's Social Business Software (SBS) platform provides an integrated suite of social networking tools that can be applied effectively within a business environment. Learn more about this highly functional software platform.
Maven Introductory Presentation Available Online
My presentation, Maven: Managing Software Projects for Repeatable Results, is now available online. Find out how to leverage this sophisticated build tool to automate key tasks for your next Java project.
About the Site Meter Widget
Site Meter is a company that provides a web site widget that tracks visitors and page views for web sites. I've used their widget on and a few other web sites now. I think I've used it enough to provide a solid review of their widget.
Site Meter: A widget for tracking web site traffic

VMWare Fusion
VMWare Fusion: Making life easier with virtual machines.I've become a fan of VMWare, particularly VMWare Fusion for the Mac. I was a little skeptical of the idea of virtual machines at first, but not anymore. Let me show you how virtual machines have made my life easier.
Mac Office 2008 Product Key Issue Solved
There have been numerous reports on the web of installation issues with Office 2008 for the Mac. Most of the issues seemed to center around Office 2008 not recognizing the proper product key during a re-installation. As far as I can tell from my Internet research, nobody had come up with a solution for the problem. However, I was able to solve the problem when I encountered it.
Principles of OpenID
OpenID is an open-source digital identity technology that allows web users to use a single sign-in for all OpenID-enabled web sites. Find out about the underlying principles behind this up-and-coming technology.
Implementing OpenID for Your Social Networking Site
There are thousands of social networking sites, each with their own unique sign-on systems. How many user names and passwords do you really want to remember? Wouldn't it be nice if you could have a single sign-on that you could use on all of the sites that you frequent? OpenID is an open-source, decentralized sign-on technology that promises this and more. My PDF presentation on OpenID is now available online.
Downloads With Tivo
Find out how to download shows from your Tivo box so you can watch them when ... and where ... you want.
DOM Popup Kit
The DOM Popup Kit is a nice JavaScript utility for adding in-page popup elements to your web pages. Find out more about this simple, but useful, JavaScript utility, including how to use it in a Ruby on Rails application.
Reverse Searches with Google
Find out which sites are linking to your web site by using Google''s reverse search feature. Even better, use this technique to discover who''s linking to your competitors, so you can get them to link to your site.
Using Cron to Schedule UNIX Activities
The freely available cron program is an extremely useful utility for scheduling the automatic execution of tasks. Find out how to use this useful UNIX utility.