Author: mo

Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering

a.k.a. “Fifty-Five Frequently Forgotten Fundamental Facts (and a Few Fallacies) about Software Engineering” Very important book with timeless facts about software engineering. By Robert L. Glass, professional software engineer since 1954 (think about it). If you haven’ t read it, I won’t employ you. 😉

Online Programming Contests

(in no particular order) [list] [*][url=http://www.spoj.pl/problems/classical/]Sphere Online Judge[/url] Supports more than 30 different programming languages and a growing problem-set of about 3000 tasks for practice. [*][url=http://projecteuler.net/]Project Euler[/url]. A “series of challenging mathematical/computer programming problems that will require more than just mathematical insights to solve”. [*][url=http://icpcres.ecs.baylor.edu/onlinejudge/]UVa Online Judge[/url] More than 200 contests and more than 2000 algorithmic programming problems. [*][url=http://www.topcoder.com/tc]TopCoder[/url] Not only algorithmical, but also architectural and design contests. [/list] Happy coding!

Interface Design und Usability

I’ve read two great books on interface design recently. Huh? Interface design? Who cares? I would go so far as to recommend this to any programmer, regardless of his personal interest in GUI design. While “GUI Bloopers” is more focused on current, ‘standard’ elements of interface design, and how to avoid the most popular mistakes when planning and designing interfaces, it still contains a lot of timeless, important material on general topics and rules of interface design. Raskin goes beyond current interfaces in his book on “Humane Interfaces”. Based on theoretical founding (“one locus of attention”), he develops new ways...

Windows Vista: Moving Program Files and User Data, Revisited

In January, I wrote how you can move both your program files and user data folders using Junctions. I have been doing this for years on my XP installations and didn’t expect it to cause so much trouble. In March, the first Windows Updates failed with error code 80070011. I have posted about how you can fix this on a per-failed-update basis manually. With the release of SP1, this method didn’t work any longer. There was no pending.xml, no matter how many updates failed on me. Reader Jiminaus suggested to update the ProgramFilesDir. Today, my system drive crashed on me...

Evaluating Dropbox and Syncplicity: A First Comparison

I’ve been looking all my life for an acceptable backup and synchronisation tool. Even with enough technical experise and an own server, I just cannot find the right software. Recently, some new services popped up that transparently sync and backup your files on the net: [url=http://www.getdropbox.com/]Dropbox[/url], [url=http://www.syncplicity.com/]Syncplicity[/url], [url=http://www.sugarsync.com/]SugarSync[/url] and [url=https://www.mesh.com/]Microsoft Live Mesh[/url]. Judging from the outside, all four look surpisingly similar. Yet, there are some differences that I’d like to discuss here. I haven’t looked at all of them, so I will restrict my comparison to Dropbox and Syncplicity: Live Mesh accounts are not available publicly and it’s Windows-only, SugarSync...

Setting up a restricted SSH tunnel user on Debian

Today, I set up a user especially for SSH tunneling using Putty and my Debian vServer. The user is able to securely log in using SSH, but is not given shell access. 1. Generate an SSH key for the user. You can generate SSH keys with openssh, but I’ve used [url=http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html]PuttyGen[/url] on my Windows client: Start PuttyGen, Select “SSH-2 DSA” at the bottom, push “Generate”. If you enter a passphrase to protect your private key, you’ll need to enter it every time you open the tunnel connection. Save the private key and leave the window open. I’ve called mine “tunnel.ppk”....

My Procmail Mail Filtering Configuration

I use procmail in combination with spamassassin and bogofilter (a simple bayesian spam filter). Here’s a short list of all my procmail recipes, maybe someone can put them to use.

Anonymity on the Internet, Part 2: Anonymous payment

When it comes to being anonymous on the Internet, you’re stuck with the choice of using free anonymizers (eg. Tor, see first part of this series), or you’ll have to pay for your anonymity. With JAP, this works without losing protection because they’ve designed it that way from ground up, but for most services, like VPN or (web) hosters, you’ll need to find different ways. In this article, I will give an overview of real anonymous payments on the Internet, methods to get and keep anonymous accounts at PayPal and other eCurrency providers and safely transferring money to these accounts.