Category Archives: Hacking

Programming and related activities.

Ansible As Scripting Language

Ansible is billed as a configuration manager similar to Puppet or cfengine. But it occurred to me recently that it’s really (at least) two things: A configuration manager. A scripting language for the machine room. Mode 1 is the normal, … Continue reading

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Pseudo-Numeric Identifiers

Let’s say you’re a programmer, and your application uses Library of Congress Control Numbers for books, e.g., 2001012345, or ZIP codes, like 90210. What data types would you use to represent them? Or maybe something like the Dewey Decimal System, which uses … Continue reading

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Programming Tip: Open and Close at the Same Time

One useful programming habit I picked up at some point is: if you open or start something, immediately close it or end it. If you open a bracket, immediately write its closing bracket. If you open a file, immediately write … Continue reading

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If You Use Unix, Use Version Control

If you’ve used Unix (or Linux. This applies to Linux, and MacOS X, and probably various flavors of Windows as well), you’ve no doubt found yourself editing configuration files with a text editor. This is especially true if you’ve been … Continue reading

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There Are Days When I Hate XML

…and days when I really hate XML. In this case, I have an XML document like <?xml version=”1.0″ ?> <foo xmlns=””&gt; <thing id=”first”/> <thing id=”second”/> <thing id=”third”/> </foo> and I want to get things out of it with XPath. But … Continue reading

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DD-WRT Config Backups

So the other day I managed to hose my DD-WRT configuration at home, badly enough that I figured I really ought to back up my config so I don’t wind up trying to reconstruct my config from memory. (If you … Continue reading

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I Don’t Want Flying Cars; I Just Want Working Bluetooth

I love Bluetooth. I love that it’s supported on all my various electronic gadgets, and lets them talk to each other and exchange information, be it streaming audio data, or a text note, or what have you. Or at least … Continue reading

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