fuzzyping is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Jason Dixon
Member since: 2001-11-12 23:46:57
Last Login: N/A

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Homepage: http://www.jasondixon.net


I'm still a beginner in perl, but I've always tried to give back my creations wherever possible (read: always). My main project is CDRX.pl, a CD burner script front- end written in perl and focusing on simplicity and code modularity. I just wanted something that didn't require fancy GUI's but was still a tad easier for the typical user than having to browse the man pages every time they wanted to burn or blank a cdrw.

Anyhoo, I'm always looking to learn from codemasters. I'm hoping on reading a couple of good perl books soon... Object Oriented Perl by Damian Conway, and Network Programming in Perl by Lincoln Stein (my hero). I'd also love to find about 2 years to just sit, learn, and meld over some C/C++ code. Ah-umm....

Feel free to contact me on AIM [fuzzyping] or ICQ [138555296] to stir up the synapses.


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A few projects bouncing around the skull... don't know when/if I'll have the time to start on these. Particularly, I want to setup a VPN in the home lab to test the network perf when passing an encrypted webcam stream over NFS. :-P

Also trying to determine if anyone else has come up with a "packaged" product to do the following: one module to push formatted weblog data to an *sql backend... another module to pull this data and check for pre-determined errors (404's, 500's, etc.) and notify via custom methods (pager/email/etc). Yes, I know it can be setup with a minimum of effort using scripts and a db, but has anyone integrated this with an administrative front-end via cgi as an OSS or commercial product?

Finished all of the fence posts, with the exception of one requiring something akin to a jackhammer. :-(
Started reading chapter one of Conway's OOP. Fascinating stuff.

Worked on the fence, got about 7 posts in the ground. Went out to The Container Store with the wife, picked up a new Metro rack (this stuff rocks) for the office. Also ran by Borders in Germantown and [finally] found an in-store copy of Object Oriented Perl by Damian Conway. Got home, rearranged the office... pulled out the Ikea Jerker desk (beautiful, but takes up too much space). Installed the Metro racks, new home for many of my servers. Happy, happy!

Released a minor version of CDRX.pl. A bugfix release that's been gathering dust for the last 3 months. I was just missing a db_handle() call to refresh the device info... if you run through the burn_iso_CD() loop more than once, it's not an issue, but still... odd how nobody filed a bug claim. Anyhoo, it's stable. The only further development I can see in the near future is to add a verify function and the error check for single CD-R/W setups to prevent dual CD-R/W functs from working.

Need to contact the fine folks over at Gentoo Linux to have them update their CVS to this new version of CDRX.pl. It's so ego-riffic having my project included in a [albeit smallish] linux distro. Mmm. Crunchy. Meaty.

I'm having second thoughts about the used Mac. Besides not really having the $cratch to get the one I really want (G4 tower), I just don't see myself having the time to really delve into OS X's intricacies right now... I need to focus on advancing my OOP skills and learning C.

The spousal unit is so uncomfortable lately, in a pregnant way. She's still expecting around 1/1. Time will tell.

C'mon tax refund, Daddy needs a new G4!

How un-vogue to post twice in one day. Alas, I've found myself in quite the ornery mood and feel like documenting it for posterity.

Imagine my surprise upon receiving a 401k disbursement check today from my former employer (of two months). It was actually quite a nice lump of coin... I've been trying to decide what to do with it. The prudent choice would be to stow it away in anticipation of my daughter's birth in January.

I think I'll buy a used Apple.

I've been drooling over OS X ever since stumbling into the McLean, VA Apple Store a few months back. The interface is simply gee-your-juss and a startling example of what could/should be grafted on the front-end of a *nix beastie. I figure I can pick up a used G3 tower with 128M for $300-400. I'll try and scavenge another 128M off E-Bay.

I can't say I was lost on the irony of today's announcement of Christoph's resignation from the Fink project.

Fell asleep reading chapter 2 [Processes, Pipes, and Signals] of Network Programming with Perl (no offense LStein, I've just been tired). Great book so far. I think I need to get back on the Atkins diet so I can get my energy levels back up to match my karma level (boo-yah).

Found out yesterday that our engineers are going to dismantle the [temporary] Webmin solution we've been using for our DNS management in favor of an in-house solution to be grown. I'm not sure I quite understand this... the plan from the beginning was to move over to QIP. Granted, Webmin sucks for multiple admins... no filelocking/transactions and such. Of course, I'd rather be doing it via vi, but you have to use the Lowest Common Denominator(TM) in a big shop like that.

Need to get back on the horse and finish my to-do's for CDRX.pl. I have one small bug to attend to, one new feature, and some error checking. Wierd how time goes so much faster when you're a grown-up(TM).

Guess I'll throw in a little history for those interested (sick?) enough to read my l'il 'ol diary.

I'm currently a DNS Admin/Monkey-boy for Digex in Beltsville, MD. Most of my time, thankfully, is spent working on pet coding projects for my boss. The rest of the time is spent performing DNS mods for our customer base. :-P

Previously, I was a Systems Engineer for Cidera, formerly known as Skycache, in Laurel, MD. Talk about your kick-ass, never- forget-it type of job. It basically amounted to performing whatever needed to be done to get this startup off the ground. Primarily, this focused on scripting different projects for monitoring, babysitting the networks, SysAdmin'g our uplink servers (FreeBSD/Alpha, NetBSD/Sparc), etc. Very fun stuff. I really miss working with the folks over there... Mag, MikeD, Lisa, Julie (Lisa's evil twin sister), Jack, Cliff, Dana, Bert, Todd, Moose, Brad, Mark (yes, even you Mark) and Keith (sorry if I forgot others... I know I did).

I managed to stick around to the 2nd round of layoffs in April of 2001. By that point, the company realized their burn rate would far exceed their capital reserves (VC go-go juice). They've since had a 3rd round of layoffs... they're now around 30 headcount (down from over 300 at the peak). I'm still fairly shocked, even with the market conditions. They had a tear-shit-up type of product... they just didn't have the business sense to get it moving (charge the customer? what's that?). The president/owner is Doug Humphrey, the same Doug Humphrey responsible for the original Digex, before it was sold to Intermedia and carved up like last year's Thanksgiving turkey.

Really, it was/is a really sweet product. For those outside the industry, it doesn't make much sense. For those that really "get it", it's a downright groovy idea (given the cost of land-based connectivity). They managed to integrate a caching solution with a peering arrangement, delivered via multicast feed over satellites. In layman's terms, they are able to feed a full Usenet feed, web cache hits, A/V objects, etc. over a satellite feed (approx 45M or the rough equivalent of a DS3), distributing to all the receiving dishes at the same time. From what I heard, it was nearly a 90% savings over an equivalent terrestrial solution. Pretty cool, eh?

Ok, I think I'm done with that.

Right now I'm busy hoping the economy will turn around by 2002 Q2. I'm starting to see hints of the economy turning north, although it might just be your typical fluctuations in customer spending and/or the onset of the holiday shopping season. I went on Dice the other day and was disturbed at the decrease in the volume of job postings. I remember not_so_long_ago that the total count was well into the 6 digits. The other day? Approximately 38,000. Scary.

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