Hacks Blog

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10G Ethernet is a Small Form-Factor Pain in the butt
I found out last week that my coworkers were all unaware of what’s been happening to Ethernet while they weren’t looking. See, Ethernet, all of the way up through Gigabit was mostly reasonable. First, they’d make some bad standards, like 10BASE5 or all of the weird not-quite-100BASE-TX standards…

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Savvy copyright messaging with responsive images
A long long time ago, I followed Derek Powazek's " Savvy Approach to Copyright Messaging " because, of all of the possible ways to reduce the chances of my images getting borrowed by other folks on the Internet, it seemed to be the best. I see DRM as a fairly dangerous technical equivalent of…

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Moving to a leadership role doesn't mean you won
While I was in the midst of transitioning from a software developer to a manager of software development, I was sitting in a Belgian bar drinking beer with a British gentleman on vacation who managed hotels. And so we got to talking about what it meant to be the boss outside of considerations of…

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Littlechef and the great refactoring of the personal infrastructure
One of my favorite DevOps thought leaders thinks I'm nuts. He's right. People should not run their own mail infrastructure, monitoring infrastructure, or DNS infrastructure. On the other hand I kinda started doing it a long time ago and it's worked out pretty well for me, so why should I change?

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API design: Presets, pre-patched, normalized, or modular
Making APIs is both easy and hard. See, it’s one thing for a software engineer to make a piece of software aimed at a musician or artist who is deeply scared of what horrors lurk inside the chassis, because it’s often times coming from a fear that you may have never understood. Writing APIs is…

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DevOps Automation, even for something that may stay small
So one of my friends has a really great idea. I'm not sure if it's a profitable idea, but it's something that needs to be made. And so I made them dinner and gave them an overview of potential technological issues, given that it's something I know pretty well. And I thought I'd recount the refrain I…

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Would you rather be a lucky hacker or a smart hacker?
We've got this silly tendency to glamorize the concept of being irreplaceable. "Yay!" you say, "I can be so cool that, even if I have a bad day, the company will lay every other engineer off before they get rid of me! I'm irreplaceable!" This is often about luck. Being the last guy to actually…

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Unlike the rest of America, I'm not eating enough salt...
I've been feeling kinda cruddy for the past few weeks. I'm better now. The story of this is a bit interesting, however... Heart disease runs on both sides of my family. And, on one side, it's not "normal" heart disease. As such, growing up, my mother always fed us a low-sodium diet. And so I never…