Sharpen the Saw… Or Something

Sharpen the Saw… Or Something

Articles
Writing software is something I've loved to do for a very long time. But a little over a decade ago I made some career choices that meant my day-to-day no longer involved the production of code. I became an amateur developer. Since then I've noodled around with things here and there, and have even managed to write some code that I or a small number of other people have used, but I find it hard to prioritize the time to do these things. Despite coding not being one of my day-to-day tasks anymore it's still something I'm involved with indirectly every day so it makes sense for me to keep that skill set as sharp as I can. Possible solution - scratch my own itch: find a problem I want…
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30 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To (part 1)

Reviews
![flickr-abletoven-rss-headphones](/media/blog-images/2014/abletoven-podcast-rss.jpg)I recently put together a show for Hacker Public Radio. Seeing as I had done all this writing, I decided I might as well put together a couple of blog posts. These are 30 podcasts I listen to very regularly. I have listened to many of these since they began (often retroactively) and very much enjoy them. There are a lot of tech shows in here with a mix of science, food, history and popular culture mixed in for good measure. Because most people have attention spans only slightly longer than your average gnat, I've decided to break this up into three separate blog posts, each highlighting 10 different shows. ### 99% Invisible Storytelling is the focus of Roman Mars' podcast 99% Invisible. This show tells the stories behind the…
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Accessing HttpContext objects from other classes

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I could swear I wrote about this at some point in the distant past, but I couldn't find the article this week when I needed it to help troubleshoot an issue with another developer. The issue he was having was how to access objects from the executing web page's HttpContext object from a class other than the CodeBehind of the executing web-forms page. Essentially he was looking for a way to map a web-path to a physical folder path without needing to hard-code it or know where the application was deployed on the server in question. If done correctly, an application can reside anywhere in the file system and be deployed to a virtual directory at any depth without causing a problem with URL resolution. In the code-behind of a…
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Aftermath of a Hack

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This site was hacked. While it's still unclear exactly how it happened, or precisely when, sometime in the past 6 weeks my blog, at least 2 other websites and possibly my [DreamHost](http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?105113) shell account were all hacked. I'm generally a pretty security conscious person, but even I get lazy from time to time. It wasn't clear to me just how dangerous that laziness could be until this week. I'm going to outline a bit below some of the issues which may have led to my problems, and talk about the steps that have now been taken to help prevent them from occurring again in the future. ## The Problem In retrospect I can see five things I did wrong, and all of them can be traced back to laziness or…
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Back to Basics

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Over the past year my personal life as undergone some fairly major changes. I started a new job a little over a year back and there were the obvious changes that go along with that. But more importantly my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world and that was a life changing moment. Now, most of you know that I don't talk about my personal life in the blog so suffice to say that we have thoroughly enjoyed our first year as parents. It is a wonderful experience and we eagerly await every new day to see what will happen next. One of the things that changes when you have a new baby is the amount of time you can spend on yourself and your own hobbies…
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Mac vs. PC :: Will my next computer be a Mac?

Articles
It's been about two and a half years since I made the switch from being a dedicated Windows user to [buying my first Mac](//kdmurray.com/2006/09/macbook-day-1/). I have really enjoyed my MacBook and wanted to take a few moments to discuss some of the differences and similarities I've found with the Mac ownership experience, compared to my earlier (and ongoing) experiences with the Windows platform. **Marketing and Markets** Both [Windows](http://blogs.computerworld.com/five_reasons_why_vista_beats_mac_os_x) and [Mac](http://www.tuaw.com/2008/03/24/why-the-mac-is-better-than-the-pc-crapware/) [enthusiasts](http://apcmag.com/15_reasons_macs_are_still_better_than_windows.htm) love to [evangelize](http://mac.elated.com/2008/12/12/10-ways-that-windows-is-better-than-mac-os/) their platform of choice.  It's human nature, we all want people to know how smart we are for choosing the best of what's available. As is often the case with most of these "[holy wars](https://www.google.ca/search?q=mac windows holy war)" the smaller market tends to be more vocal, and more likely to point out all the flaws in…
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