Google save me

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Leeland's picture

'man -k' for Powershell

Coming from Unix/Linux programming trying to get stuff done on Windows is sometimes worse than getting teeth pulled. Powershell has definitely improved things, however, Powershell can be a bit obtuse. For example about 70% of the time there is already a command-let to do just what I want. But, just finding if there is a command-let has been painful. Today is no exception. (For those in a hurry the answer is Get-Command, for everyone else read on.)

Leeland's picture

Storage Technologies Should Usably Persist (for 2400+ years)

It is interesting to consider that the thoughts of one person who lived in a society which seems familiar yet alien 2400 years before I was born are not only still available to be inspected in their near original state but are communicated to me in a device purchased by my Father when I was born over 4 decades ago. Even more interesting is the thoughts of my father (and countless others) on the thoughts of that 2400 year dead man regardless of age are also available. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am speaking of books.

Leeland's picture

Change VMWare Player Networking Settings Especially the NAT Subnet Range

You might note from the large number of references to virtual machines (VMs) on this site I am a BIG fan of virtual machines. I build whole production network copies in private virtual spaces on my laptop for development, testing, troubleshooting, and of course presentations. I also love the snapshot ability to give me rollback from large sweeping changes. So as you can imagine I have a large dry-dock of virtual machines and I have number with me on a USB stick. I also have an extra full boat license for VMWare for my laptop.

Leeland's picture

Autostart VMware Guest on login to Windows

After a couple days of open VMware, click box, click start, click next box, click start, click next box, click start, ...., ahhhhh!!! Today I got fed up with my "get to code" process.

Leeland's picture

Rolling back Ubuntu updates is not exactly easy

In Ubuntu there are a number of ways to get upgrades. There is the update manager which is configured to run automatically. There is using the command line approach with apt-get ('sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade'). Finally there is the GUI utility called Synaptic ('sudo synaptic').

So what happens when something gets updated and introduces a bug, or breaks another applications behavior?

Leeland's picture

Dynamic Tomcat configuration using parameter substitutions

I was looking for a way to make a dynamic Tomcat configuration that could leave off editing XML files. I knew that Tomcat supported parameter substitution. However, I could not find a list of what was provided by default. Yes I know the phrase "your mileage my vary" applies deeply to this. None the less it seemed to me there had to be a reasonable list.

Leeland's picture

Centos yum 404 repository errors

Today, I was attempting to upgrade my installed packages using yum on Centos Linux. Except that yum spun off into 404 land. The command looked like this:

$ sudo yum -y upgrade
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
 * addons:
 * base:
 * extras:
 * updates:
[Errno 14] HTTP Error 404: Not Found
Trying other mirror.
Leeland's picture

Good Meetings

From on high a message came down at my place of work that meetings were not being dealt with well. The message included a complete description of "Meeting Etiquette" and a stern warning that we needed to "follow some protocols when it comes to business meetings."

So what to do? Well here are some things to ponder and suggestions from some respectable sources that offer the same advise I have for years (only better):

Leeland's picture

Lengthening Short URLs

I prefer simple things over complex. So naturally I like easy to read URLs and I strive to keep URLs on sites I work on from getting out of control. So I appreciate the idea and the results of compact URL services like and TinyURL. I also understand the need to more accurately track incoming hits for marketing and usage statistics. But these self same services are also used by less noble people who create malicious sites for illicit fun or profit.

Leeland's picture

Programming Exemplar Challenges

Getting ready to present my first seminar in a few years. Naturally the requests were for something on Behavior Driven Design and good development practices. Although I gave myself lots of lead time I am still feeling the crunch. It is hard to believe I use to do the lecture circuit regularly.

Leeland's picture

Honing Your Programming Skills

In preparing for a presentation on Behavior Driven Development I needed some examples. So I started searching the Internet for exemplar problems to demonstrate various techniques. In the process I instantly got hooked on the idea of regularly grabbing some programming challenge to hone my programming skills. The goal is to find lists of small challenges that should only take a few hours to solve but for which I can apply rigorous standards such as BDD, Continuous Integration, Design By Contract, and other best practices.

Leeland's picture

Apocryphal History

Sometimes I wonder why it is my mind takes me around various corners. My afternoon started with a JMX research task and ended by reading a great story by Bryan Hayes on the possibly apocryphal anecdote about Gauss frustrating his teacher as a child called Gauss's Day of Reckoning (

Just so you can see what I mean here is how my afternoon went.

Leeland's picture

Adding Anonymous Comments (in Drupal)

Everything is shaping up nicely. I have most of the functions I need and what is left is interesting, challenging, and will give me lots of materials for technical blogs and presentations on development.

Oh hang on, I want anonymous comments to include required contact information. No problem, login -> Administer -> Content -> Comment page ... huh nope ... OK how about something under the user settings? Nope. Maybe permissions section. Nothing looks right. Dang it finding some of the settings for stuff in Drupal is more than a little annoying.

Google save me!

Leeland's picture

What comes after primary, secondary, tertiary?

A manager popped into my area today and asked this question. Oddly enough my brain immediately answered back quaternary and quinary. Which then caused the inevitable "how do you spell that?" question. A sticky note and a pen and he was running off with a cheerful grin on his face.

Of course then I started to wonder how the heck did I know the answer to that and even more importantly was I right?

Leeland's picture

No more 'unable to find valid certification path to requested target'

I love google... I have been having an SSL issue on and off for years, especially in test environments. Usually I fire up Mozilla grab the cert from its cache and edit a few files.

Well that was fine until I started mucking with LDAP. Here I had to go to the server and get the cert myself. Edit the same set of files and once again I am off and running.

But, not today. No today I had to trouble shoot a secure LDAP issue to a server I am NOT allowed to get onto except through LDAP. I can't get secure LDAP to be happy without a way to snag that danged certificate. Google save me!

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