Category: Uncategorized

New layout

My friend, Andrew, will be assisting me with the new design and layout.  He was my partner in crime in the creation of metaguard, membrane and metazoa.

He said that he will begin work on during the Thanksgiving break.  Although it just occurred to me that he lives in Canada.  I didn’t realize that people from Canadia [sic] celebrated Thanksgiving. 🙂

American Made Cars

The other day I swore I would never purchase another new car because of how quickly they drop in value.  Last night wile playing at The Kelley Blue Book site I made an intereresting discovery… Only american cars values drop like boulders in a lake. 🙂

My hatred for american cars has grown over the years and this only feeds it.

Case in point…

BMW 325i
2004 Retail: 28,495
2000 Retail: 20,735
4 year depreciation : 7,760

2004 Retail: 27,570
2000 Retail: 11,635
4 year depreciation : 15,935

2004 Retail: 26,510
2000 Retail: 14,920
4 year depreciation : 11,590

I will let the numbers speak for themselves.

Linux Intro

A long time friend and colege (and MCSE and long time MS Advocate) recently asked me via email what the best choice of Linux/Unix distros are for someone interested in learning.

With the proliferation of distributions available I would imagine this is a pretty intimidating decision for someone starting out so I took a little bit of time to craft my answer.  Here it is for all who are intersted…

Hi, it was good to see you guys too.  We should do that more often. 🙂


Congrats on the choice to investigate the *nix world. Its not really hard at all, just a completely different way of thinking about things.  Once people get over the initial shock of it being so different the learning curve gets tiny. 🙂


As to a specific distro, it all depends on what you are looking for.  FreeBSD Unix is pretty popular right now.  In a recent article on slashdot ( it is said to be (statistically) one of the most secure OS ' around.  OpenBSD is also bunched in with this figure I believe.  OpenBSD is built for security.  It makes an awesome firewall/router and because of the way PF (its firewall implementation, packet filter) is set up it will act as a router for a large network on a P1 with very little RAM.  OpenBSD has AMAZING online documentation and help, but is a very different install than any other unix or linux flavors.  By default Bind, Apache and Logd are chrooted.  This can cause problems to someone who is new to unix as its very hard to work with in some cases.  Especially any sort of virtual hosting on a chrooted apache box.  Ick.


The linuxes are in a strange place right now. Before RedHat anouced the retirement of the free basic RedHat OS they where the best choice for any business related linux implementations.  They had the biggest hardware and software support.  Most of the large computer manufacturers (Dell, HP and so forth) where all making servers with RedHat on them by default.  Then they announced they where switching to the Enterprise (pay) model and have a developer ver (fedora) available.  Now everyone who was using it is scrambling to find a new distro. 


For the raw configurability of it I like Gentoo.  Gentoo-Hardended specifically.  It uses the NSA 's SELinux permissions system, Pro Police Stack Smashing protection (if an overflow existed in code this should stop it from being exploitable) and a ton more.  Its a good solid OS.

Debian has wide speedy support is becoming one of the most popular free distros.  Its Apt-Get package system is great and allows you to set up OS and software updates via a scheduled command (Cron Job).


Gryphn and I just installed Suse a day or two ago on one of her mighty dell servers.  So far I -REALLY- like it.  Its very similar to redhat and even uses the RedHat Package Management system.  Its very easy and is available both free and commercially.  Although we haven 't had much time to give it a thorough evaluation I rather like it.  You can get the remote install cd for free here or you can get the “Live eval cd”.  This boots right from the cd and lets you play with it… is a unix geeks best friend.  Download all the distros you want and try em out.  The only cost is that of blank cds and the time it takes to run through the install. 🙂


I hope this helpful, I don 't know your current level with *nix so I may have either spoke down to you or up to you.  Sorry. 🙂


I think the best choices to learn on would be either Debian or Suse (suses install was cake) and if you like what you see try OpenBSD or FreeBSD.  They all have different things going for them so its not always cut and dry which one to get/use.  It all depends on how you want to implement it.


Let me know if you have any other questions.  I love talking unix. 🙂

ColdFusion7 BlackStone

Tonight I went to Mid-Michigan ColdFusion Users Group meeting to see Ben Forta speak on ColdFusion 7 CodeName: BlackStone.

First off, an update to MX6.1 is due out (circa) this fall. It will include the 60+ bug fixes that have been released as individual patches as well as a rewritten database engine. The new engine slated for release in BlackStone but was deemed too cool to wait on.

Now onto BlackStone… this is an upgrade that everyone is going to want to budget for. 🙂 The added functionality and enhancements cover so much of ColdFusion that it will have something that everyone can appreciate at some level.

Here are my notes from the presentation.

It will contain some “data entry enhancements”. CFFORM will have a format=”” attribute. When you set it to xform it will become a “sinkable form”. All you code are a bunch of form fields and it does the rest. The skins will be .XSL files (XML Style Sheets). I can 't wait to see what people do with this and download them from the Macromedia Developer Exchange.

CFSELECTGROUP will be added. This will allow grouping of datasets for use in trees, drop downs and whatever else you use grouping for.


Now this is cool stuff! CFGRID and CFTREE will have new format=”” parameters that will allow you use flash. The flashed tree and grid are far more usable than the current java ones and a lot prettier. With CFFORM you can code all of your fields and leave all the display crap out (again). Using format=”flash” on CFFORM will now return a flashed form complete with some awesome real time input validation and awesome possibilities for forms morphing and changing based on earlier user input. A great example of this used by Ben Forta was having a first and last name text box side by side with an email text box with a value of “” sitting underneath it. As he typed in his first name it was dynamically showing up in the email textbox as Doing something in similar in java script would be messy at best.

I saw at least one new cfform field type that is going to be introduced called dateChooser. It.s a nice little pop up calendar that will allow a user to click ran than having to type a date in (in whatever format the coder wants).


This is a family of tags that will allow you to dynamically output content into a PDF or FlashPaper. It contains a cfdocument item tag that will allow you to do things like a page break or headers and footers. It also introduces the new cfdocument. Scope. It has neat things such as currentPageNumber and so forth.



This is a neat one. 🙂 It will allow you generate reports of many different kind. It has a (currently) external program called “Coldfusion Report Builder” that has an interface very similar to that of MS Access ' report maker. When you use CFREPORT you simply point to the file generated in report builder and BLAMO.. Instant report. Did I just say “Blamo”?

You will be able to package your applications in an EAR, JAR or WAR file for distribution and deployment. It will contain a complete runtime version of CF as well as your application and all datasources, mappings, registered tags and so forth. You can then move that file to any Java compliant web server (aren 't they all these days?) and your app will run. It will ask for a cf license key of course… But it will run, without having to install cf.

Dreamweaver is being tweaked and will have a lot more useful CF wizards including a login mechanism and a next – previous generator.

Details on this are sketchy and we had to push Ben to get the info… But…. HomeSite may be phased out at some point to be replaced with something else. A new product. Not dreamweaver. 🙂 I 'm not sure what to expect with this and I think Ben (or Macromedia) wanted it that way. 🙂

Xmas, New Years and the sickness

I had a good xmas!  It involved a lot of traveling around to relatives houses, but it wasnt half bad.  Tonight I going to Gryphn 's parents house for a Bowl party.

Gryphn graduated from Nebraska and her Dad got his masters from MSU so it should be interesting to see the two battle it out in the Alamo Bowl.  Even though I worked at MSU I 'm going to remain nuteraul.

I decided to get off my rump and start studying for security certifications.  I may start easy and go hard or the other way around.  I 'm not sure but I 'm sure I will share my expereince with everyone.

I 'm getting sick.  Stuffy and runny nose.  Cough, watery eyes and some times I feel all dizzy.  It sucks, but its not too bad yet.  Im going to keep my self dosed on cold medicine and vitimins and hope for the best.

Best anti-crap software

If anyone has any suggestions on software that I should check out or review please post a comment.  Here is the stuff that I currently use and will review.

SpyWare and MalWare: adAware
PopUps: Alexa ToolBar
Spam: SpamAssassin (server side)
AntiVirus: None

If an all in one solution exists I would love to hear it.  Also let me know if you would like reviews of client side firewall software (like Black Ice).

Still alive (barely)

Wow, its been a long time since I last bloged.  I will be sure to post more regularly from now on.

I have War.c and Glamkookie crashing at my place for a wile.  They are both in here Canada.  Every day has been a blast and I am glad they are around. 🙂

GuardianLogic has been incorporated.  Now that all of the nit picky legal crap is out of the way I can officially change the name of my biz from Sigil Studios to GuardianLogic, Inc.  If you are a client you should receive an email shortly explaining it all.

I began studying for my CISSP exam.  I never realized how crazy it is.  Its a 6 hour test and is only offered once this year in MI.  I bought two books and have some practice tests.  I have never been much into the certification classes.  Why pay $2000+ for a class when you can pay $100 for a couple books and still pass?!

I have also been sick for the last couple of weeks.  I have lost my voice on a couple of occasions and constantly hack stuff up.  I wish I could be well again.  Can 't wait till I finally get my health insurance from work.  Its sad that I 'm looking forward to going to the Dr, but I have had a lot of health problems “stacking up” over the time that I was self employed and without insurance.  One of the first things I will have done is getting these damn wisdom teeth yanked.  All four (yes 4) are impacted.  One is cutting into nerves in my jaw and I get Hellaciose headaches from it.  It also causes sinus and inner ear infections.  And I tell ya, if you have ever had an inner ear infection you would be looking forward to having the bastards pulled too. 🙂

As I said earlier, I will be posting with more regularity again and updating the page a bunch.  Keep checking back. 🙂

Rhyme & Reason

Oh well oh well so here we stand
But we stand for nothing
My heart calls to me in my sleep
How can I turn to it
‘Cause I ‘m all locked up in this
Dark place –
And I do not know
I ‘m as good as dead
My head aches –
Warped and tied up
I need to kill this pain

My head won ‘t leave my head alone
And I don ‘t believe it will
Until I ‘m dead and gone
My head won ‘t leave my head alone
And I don ‘t believe it will
Until I ‘m six feet underground

How long I ‘m tied up
My mind in knots –
My stomach reels
In concern for what I might do or
What I ‘ve don
It ‘s got me living in fear
Well I know these voices must
Be my soul
I ‘ve had enough I ‘ve had enough of being alone
I ‘ve got no place to go

My head won ‘t leave my head alone
And I don ‘t believe it will
Until I ‘m dead and gone
My head won ‘t leave my head alone
And I don ‘t believe it will
Until I ‘m six feet under ground

Six feet under
In y grave
Lying wired and shut and quiet in my grave
Leave me here
Leave me here to waste here
So young and here I am again
Talking to myself
A T.V. blares
Oh man
Oh how I wish I didn ‘t smoke
Or drink to reason with my head

But sometimes this thick confusion
Grows until I cannot bear it at all
Needle to the vein
Needle to the vein
Take this needle from my vein my friend
I said

My head won ‘t leave my head alone
And I don ‘t believe it will
Until I ‘m dead and gone
My head won ‘t leave my head alone
And I don ‘t believe it will
Until I ‘m dead and gone

In my grave
Lying cold in my grave
The reason –
My reason
Take my head off this terror
The fearing won ‘t come back
I can ‘t see
My mind ‘s all wiped clean
The needle
Make my great escape
I seem caught in time
My head leaves me behind
Body fall cold
And I see heaven

— Dave Mathews Band

Technology Spontaneously Combusts In Sicily

“According to MSNBC, ever since mid-January, various electronic devices have been spontaneously combusting in the now evacuated town of Canneto di Caronia, Sicily; at this point, the fires are almost daily. The town has been disconnected from the larger electrical grid and was hooked to a generator, but that, too, caught fire. Even unplugged items have succumbed. Nothing seems to have burst into flame except where there is someone present to witness it, but the police no longer suspect a prankster -- after witnessing wires catch fire without cause. Scientists have yet to explain the phenomenon (although unproven theories abound), leading many people to look to supernatural causes.”