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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Mon, 28 Dec 2015

From Whole Earth Catalog to Cool Tools

Unearthed my circa-1980 Next Whole Earth Catalog, the web before the Web http://www.amazon.com/The-Next-Whole-Earth-Catalog/dp/0394707761

Getting started with blog advertising

So you want to start selling advertising on your blog or website?

There's always Google AdSense, which doesn't pay all that much. And there is NO customer service. I had a client blackballed from the service for doing something I KNOW they didn't do, and there is no recourse.

But looking around, it appears that you can do this outside of Google and make a lot more money.

Michael Hyatt says if you have 10,000 unique visitors per month, you can make it happen. And it looks like he used the Boston-based BuySellAds platform to help him do it.

Things he did included:

  • Launching a reader survey
  • Setting up an advertising page
  • Creating an "advertising kit"
  • Signing up with an advertising service (again, he used BuySellAds) Then capping it with:
  • Pitching an irresistible offer

If self-help and career/life coaching is your thing, MichaelHyatt.com is all about that. He also offers a podcast and a bunch of products like e-books, print books, audio books and even a WordPress theme.

Not having spent a lot of time at his site, I imagine that Michael thinks of a blog as part of the overall marketing/monetization strategy in your life (or your business' life, I suppose).

Does this blog have 10,000 unique visitors per month?

Even I was asking that question after reading this. The purpose of this blog isn't direct monetization (or its content would be a whole lot different instead of "whatever the hell I'm thinking about" and "here's what I'm putting on social media").

I don't really pay much attention to the traffic. I don't even have a "real" analytics setup. I just rely on the AwStats functionality that my web host bakes into my account.

I usually get between 4,000 and 7,000 uniques per month, but I host a few other things on the stevenrosenberg.net domain, and I had a huge spike in November 2015, doubling the number of uniques to 14,000.

It turns out the spike was due to Los Angeles County election results that I host here for my employer. I should definitely move those to a company server, and I actually do have one now that can handle it (it's all Bash scripts, chewing gum and super glue). For the next election, I will.

I'm not saying I will never sell advertising on my "personal" blog, but I don't see it happening. I might do it if I started one or more "specialty" blogs that had some focus, but this isn't that blog.

Sun, 27 Dec 2015

Ornette Coleman remembered by Neneh Cherry

Ornette Coleman remembered by Neneh Cherry aka @misscherrylala http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/dec/27/ornette-coleman-remembered-by-neneh-cherry-jazz-saxophonist

Sat, 26 Dec 2015

JDK 1.8 for OpenBSD

JDK 1.8 for OpenBSD http://openports.se/devel/jdk/1.8

OpenBSD 5.8 looking very good

OpenBSD 5.8 looks very good http://www.openbsd.org/58.html Even offers JDK, which I don't remember from 4.4 days

Great introduction to @OpenBSD at openbsdjumpstart.org

Great introduction to @OpenBSD at http://www.openbsdjumpstart.org

Generate a random number between 1 and 100 in JavaScript, Ruby, Python, Groovy, Perl and Bash

News that the random number generator in JavaScript was fixed (I didn't know it was broken) prompted me to wonder how easy (or hard) it is to generate a random integer between 1 and 100 in as many languages as I could.

Of course I used Google and the sites it found for me to come up with these methods.

Generating random numbers is important in programming, and it's very important that those numbers be truly random. That's why the problem with JavaScript's random numbers seems so serious, especially with JavaScript's ubiquity not just on the client (where it's carrying a heavier load than ever) but now the server via Node.js.

So you want to generate a random number between 1 and 100? Here are n ways to do it:

Random numbers in various computer languages:

JavaScript

Use node to run this line in your terminal (you do have node installed on your computer, right? If not, you should):

Math.floor(Math.random() * 100) + 1

Ruby

It's even easier in Ruby (use irb to run this in the console):

rand(100) + 1

Python

In Python, it takes a couple of lines. You can run this in the python console (type python at the command line, then start typing your commands):

import random print(random.randint(0,100))

Groovy

I have been experimenting with Groovy, a dynamic language that uses the JVM (the Java Virtual Machine). If you have Groovy installed, start the graphical Groovy console with the command groovyConsole.

Math.abs(new Random().nextInt() % 100 + 1)

Perl

While Perl doesn't have an interactive shell like Ruby and Python, you can run a one-liner from a terminal using the perl command. Here is a random number between 1 and 100 in Perl:

perl -le 'print int(rand(100)) + 1'

Bash

You can also do it in the Bash shell with $RANDOM:

echo $RANDOM % 100 + 1 | bc


Analysis: Ruby offers the easiest, most elegant way to generate a random integer from 1 to 100 with a one-liner. But you can do it in most every dynamic language.

Notes: I'm sure this can be done in a Perl one-liner

Tue, 22 Dec 2015

Own your social entries, create them from any device

The ideal is a free, open, federated social-media platform like Identi.ca or Status.net, but even those services, when run by others, are subject to a certain bit rot. They're here today, but will they be tomorrow?

We live in a world of mega-services like Twitter and Facebook. Multi-billion-dollar important companies. And in our zeal to communicate, we spend hours creating free content for them in exchange for free service.

Still, they offer value. If the few people we want to share our thoughts with also subscribe to a given service, there is value. That's how Facebook grew.

On Twitter, I can tell you that having 900 followers does not provide a lot of eyeballs for my tweets. I'm lucky if 40 people see them. Twitter is all about the now. A tweet's sell-by date is maybe a half-hour after it's created.

I think short, social-media-style updates are valuable.

But I want them to be my own. I have that, pretty much, when I create them through my blog and distribute to social-media services from there.

From my laptop, I'm about 90 percent of the way there. I'd like sharing links to be a little more automatic. Like on mobile devices. Android has "intents." Apple has the same thing, but I don't know what they call it.

And mobile is the place where I have the furthest to come.

If I were using WordPress, I bet the WP app for Android (and iOS, too) hooks into "intents" and allows link sharing.

But I don't use WordPress.

My Ode blog works off of a traditional filesystem on the server. There is no database. Create files, and with a few tweaks and pokes, you have a live blog entry.

I don't want to go back to a database. Flat files on a server is not just Ode's but every static-blogging tool out there's killer app.

So what I need is a mobile app that hooks into "intents" to allow link sharing and produces the files I need, gets them on the server and does what I need to make those files appear on the live site.

It shouldn't be too difficult. (Famous last words.)

It's what's driving me to learn Java and Android development. That and everything else.

Having a problem to solve and making something to do that. What could be better?

Don't hate me because I like Netbeans

Was prepared to hate Netbeans, but I kind of like it

Mon, 21 Dec 2015

Go's net/http not fast enough? Fast HTTP is up to 10 times faster

Go's net/http not fast enough? Fast HTTP is up to 10 times faster https://github.com/valyala/fasthttp #golang