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Category: Technology

Using diff and patch to upgrade web application installations

Update (July 30, 2008): I added information about making sure that the patch was successful. Read More »


2018-01-03. The below was originally published by Myrna on I copied it here while discontinuing that site in its current form. Read More »

Moved from Mnemosyne to FlashcardDB

When I was studying Spanish last year, I had to choose a flashcard program to memorize new words. At the time, I couldn't find any on-line program that just did the job and did it well. In a comment on my blog post from last year, however, I was pointed by Jeff to his amazing FlashcardDB. Read More »

Rolling back a failed rdiff-backup session on a full partition

For those of you who use rdiff-backup, you may have run into the situation where the partition you're backing up to has no more space available. This is a very annoying situation, because rdiff-backup needs space to be able to roll back the session, so you're kind of stuck. You might think: "doesn't a decent file system have a reserved amount of space for the super user?" Yes, decent file systems do, but you'll often be running rdiff-backup as root, so that won't do any good. Read More »

Getting your terminal unstuck

Have you ever had your terminal freezing on you for a reason you can't identify? Fret no more, because this post will save your future login session. Read More »

Upgraded WordPress from 2.1 to 2.3.1

I'm now on WordPress 2.3.1. It was about time too; I was still on 2.1. Importing the tags from Ultimate Tag Warrior worked fine. Before upgrading and importing, I quickly patched my local version of WP with a little help from Subversion: Read More »

Native PostgreSQL authentication in Rails with rails-psql-auth

A while ago, I wrote a PostgreSQL auth plugin for Rails. The plugin basically defers all authentication and authorization worries to the database layer where they are supposed to be taken care of anyway. Read More »

Efficient scanning and storing of documents

I don't like having an administration in dead-tree format, but there are those who insist on sending you all kinds of things in this format. To make this data easier to access and back up, I scan it to a digital format. I used to do this manually, with the GIMP, but I decided it was time for some automation. Therefore I wrote a script, which scans whatever you put under the lid of the scanner in lineart mode, and stores it very efficiently in a DjVu DjVuBitonal document. And here it is: Read More »

Microsoft batch file meets bash shellscript

Luca City, who already shared a nice readline keyboard shortcut with me, wrote me again on May 14 to share another unrelated, but very interesting trick: Read More »

Allowing dots in WordPress post slugs

I was once again annoyed by the fact that WordPress doesn't allow dots in post slugs. Luckily, this time I hadn't published the post with a botched URL yet. (I don't like changing permalinks because they're meant to be permanent; cool URLs don't change.) A quick googling pointed me to a post in the WordPress support forum with a reference to the Periods in Titles WordPress plugin. Read More »