Category Archives: Computing

Trip report: Usenix Large Installation System Administration Conference 2017

Hi folks, it’s time for some work- and computing-related stuff. I just recently got back from the 2017 edition of the Usenix Association‘s annual system administration conference, LISA’17, which was held in San Francisco. I’ve gone to most LISA conferences … Continue reading

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One more day in 2016 for charitable giving

If, like many people in the United States and elsewhere, you give money to charities at the end of the year, you have only a few hours left. (Note that for tax purposes, a gift made using a payment card … Continue reading

Posted in Broadcasting & Media, FreeBSD, Law & Society | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Some notes on our new generation of ZFS-based file servers

Consistently among the most popular posts on this blog are a series I wrote very early on about our architecture (at work) for big file servers based on commodity hardware, FreeBSD, and ZFS (part 1, part 2). We are in … Continue reading

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An update on the HTTPS client certificate issue

Attention conservation notice: If you’re here for the food, you can skip this post — maybe another recipe post coming towards the end of the month. I wrote a while back about moves in the browser world to deprecate client … Continue reading

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Quote of the day: One of many things wrong with the Internet industry

This has been making the rounds of, yes, social media — at least among the lefty circles I move in — and will appear soon in the paper New York Review of Books: [MIT psychologist Sherry] Turkle argues against using … Continue reading

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In search of a usable on-call notification service

One advantage of taking a break, however short, from my weekly baking project is that it allows me to put some time into writing other things. Lately, I’ve been looking for better ways to do on-call notification at my workplace, … Continue reading

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In defense of client certificates

There is a move afoot among Web browser developers to remove an authentication mechanism that many enterprises depend on: SSL/TLS with X.509 client certificates. Client certificate support, along with related functionality for enrollment of clients, was first implemented in Netscape … Continue reading

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From the “Pointless SQL Queries” file…

Somehow, the question came up on alt.usage.english of the distribution of author surnames (in people’s personal libraries) over the letters of the alphabet. Since I have a library database, I came up with the followng crazy query to answer this … Continue reading

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Computing apportionment for the U.S. House of Representatives

Several months ago, I started a really simple project to compute Congressional apportionment, using the method defined in current law, with the intent of considering several different scenarios. I haven’t really had time to work on this since then, but … Continue reading

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Quote of the day: Elena Glassman on learning

It’s been way too long since I posted a quote of the day, so here’s one: It can be tough to find resources at the right level of depth — not too simple, not too detailed. For folks with math anxiety, the … Continue reading

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