Little things matter.

And so does understanding and being able to work through the “little things” – trying to instill that, and to educate, and to remind the advanced staff of the fundamentals, and to provide those fundamentals to new staff, is a passion of mine.

So I created a quiz for our helpdesk and peer staff. For all 1.5 readers of this blog. Feel free to play along with the home game by mailing me your answers.

Now what remains to be seen is the response rate I’ll get. Typically, this is dismal. Everyone wants “education” – they rarely want to make the effort to receive it.

Jabber, Aaaaaaugh

I spent a great deal of time this past Friday trying to debug what appeared to be a problem with AdiumX (really, libgaim) and our jabber server. I went way deeper than I should have, and ended up with absolutely no resolution to the problem. It basically turned out that somehow jabber’s “DIGEST-MD5” hash didn’t match AdiumX/libgaim’s DIGEST-MD5 hash and things just didn’t work, for me at least. Peeler and Billy, two of my co-workers worked fine. Oh well, I learned a lot about the Jabber server. Enough to be a backup for Josh.

( funny, AdiumX 0.72 came out today (er, yesterday) which includes libgaim 1.03 which includes a “Jabber Authentication Fix” – if it’s this one, it well may have been the problem I spent incredible amounts of time trying to track down, at least I learned a few things )

After trying this out after midnight and re-enabling sasl, either 1) this isn’t my problem or 2) its still broke or 3) I had some other problem, and testing with the 0.72beta – which had a debug menu that I needed – meant that it wasn’t broken before 0.72(beta) and is broken now.



So I’m managing to get along with Firefox so far at work. I’m forcing myself to use it by having dumped my Safari bookmarks over to it using the Safari Bookmarks exporter and by clearing out the Safari bookmarks and turning off the bookmarks .Mac synchronization on the office machine. I even removed it from the Dock.

I still haven’t switched at home though. I have somewhat less need for the extensions there.

It’s been an interesting week as a System Admin / System Admin Manager.

Read on…

Word to the wise

It should be noted that “==” does not equal “=” – in fact, they mean very different things.

Beware the seductive nature of cut and paste

Little things matter. If you don’t make an effort to address the little things you will not be prepared to deal with the big things.

Other wise words from Billy

(although I completely disagree about the 2 birds with one stone comment – sometimes it pays to try to wound multiple flying creatures with a single projectile.)


I’ve been going back and “porting” a lot of miscellaneous documentation and email essays I had lying around into the wiki section of this here website. (hint: click “recent” beside the “Default” space).

Some of it is worthwhile, some of it is just long. All of it is rambly.

But it may make an interesting addition to your RSS feeds.

My First Applescript

I end up downloading a lot of “stuff” – documents from various places on campus, trial utilities, software updates, etc.

While I save the downloads to /Users/me/Downloads instead of the desktop, I often get lost in the leftover download detritus of stuff I still want to get to, but haven’t. So I’ve been wanting some kind of rudimentary ability to file my downloads to some appropriate directory.

Hence my first Applescript – taking advantage of the really cool folder actions feature in Macintosh OS X (Panther).

on adding folder items to this_folder after receiving these_items     set theDate to current date     set folderName to the date string of theDate     tell application "Finder"        if not (exists folder folderName of this_folder) then           make new folder at this_folder with properties {name:folderName}        end if     end tell     repeat with i from 1 to number of items in these_items        set this_item to item i of these_items        tell application "Finder"           move file this_item to folder folderName of this_folder        end tell     end repeat  end adding folder items to

I’m not sure I like Applescript all that much (like compared to Perl or PHP) – but it’ll do.