Will the Real Government IT Community Please Stand Up?

December 2, 2008

Before any of what I am about to say can make any sense first know that the motivation for all this comes in light of a decision I've recently made to continue on in government a bit longer. Secondly, before I can begin to answer the question posed in the title of the blog entry let's first define what I mean by community. Here are a few definitions I dug up:

Group of people sharing a common understanding who reveal themselves by using the same language, manners, tradition and law.Wictionary.org

A specific group of people, often living...

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Big Career Decision

November 26, 2008

This past Sunday I received a verbal offer from Zend to be the Editor-in-Chief of DevZone and to play an active part in the PHP Community. The job is near perfect as it involved writing, podcasting, some coding, organizing the content for ZendCon and being a member of the "press" at various PHP conferences throughout the world. All that and I could stay right here in Iowa. So why not take it? Well, because life can be complicated.

There are a few defining moments in life and this has been a huge one...

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Video from Ignite Des Moines

November 17, 2008
Video from Ignite Des Moines

This just in! So you've maybe seen the slides from my Ignite Des Moines talk. Thought that sucked? Now you get the video where I give the talk while drinking!

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Nerd Herding

November 7, 2008

Last night I had a great time giving my talk on Nerd Herding at Ignite Des Moines. For those that missed the event it is the place to network with the tech/web scene in the Des Moines metro. Free food, free beer and great talks were given. For those that missed it, below is the talk I gave. I hope to have the recorded footage of my actual talk (and the other talk given) in the near future so check back.

Nerd Herding

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Five Minutes of Fame (Literally)

October 28, 2008

I've been recently selected to give a talk at next week's Ignite Des Moines event. I stumbled across the event via a series of posts on Twitter and my submission on "Nerd Herding" was accepted. Now, to be fair, I first saw that phrase "Nerd Herding" somewhere on Cal Evan's Blog and thought it would be a timely topic as I've been recently in both sets of shoes as the "employer" and then "job seeker" (more on that over the coming weeks). I've lived in Des Moines my entire professional life and...

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Web Security Demo

October 10, 2008

Yesterday, on an invitation from our Information Security Office (ISO), I had the pleasure of giving a talk on about injection flaws, Cross Site Scripting (CSS) and Cross Site Request Forgeries (CSRF). That talk had a surprisingly large turnout and crowd participation was good. Anyway, I took my old talk on CSRF and expanded it to include a very simple PHP script (roughly 60 lines of code) that had 2 SQL injection flaws, 2 XSS flaws and a CSRF flaw to boot. I demo'd the flaws (sample input included) and I provided another script...

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Cameras: MLB versus Arena Football 2

September 15, 2008

Ok, I can't help but laugh at this.  I've got a great week ahead of me with my first trip to Wrigley Field to watch the Chicago Cubs close in on their magic number which is currently 7. We've had this trip planned since February 23rd when the regular season tickets went on sale. As a fan does, I've been checking in on weather, probably pitchers, etc and one of the things I had on my list was to ensure I can bring my Canon SLR to the game. See, this past summer...

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PHP 5.3 on Mac OS X 10.5

July 31, 2008

Being the recent (and appreciative) recipient of a MacBook I've been getting all the usual development tools installed. Everything went pretty much as expected until I got to where I wanted to compile PHP5. Not just any flavor of PHP5 but a snapshot of PHP 5.3. While this focuses on 5.3 you'd have to do the same song and dance for the PHP 5.2 source. Why?

If there is anything you should gleam from this article for future reference, Leopard comes with a 64bit Apache installation. Thus if I go into the PHP 5.3 source...

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Remember When – Pepsi Bottles

July 2, 2008
Remember When – Pepsi Bottles

Any of you remember growing up when Pepsi was sold in glass bottles which were held in wood cases? I got to thinking of this on the way to work today, after hearing the distinct "pop" of a bottle rocket, "I wonder if they even used a bottle?". This got me to thinking back to my childhood and one of the many happy times...Independence Day. I can remember the summer heat requiring a kid to suck down an ice cold Pepsi which then left a bottle perfect for launching bottle...

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Purple Martin Hatchlings!

June 23, 2008
Purple Martin Hatchlings!

And just like that we have at least 3 purple martin chicks! I just posted an update that we had eight eggs. Now we have no more than five! Today Kate called me at work to tell me the kids found a shell in the yard. I immediately suspected the worst that maybe a House Sparrow and pinned (cracked) one of the eggs. To my surprise there was no such tragedy and we had the two chicks shown! That said we now have only 22 days to...

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Weber’s Smokey Mountain (WSM)

June 21, 2008
Weber’s Smokey Mountain (WSM)

Those following me on Twitter were the first to learn that today I am the proud owner of a new smoker. In the world of smoking you have a lot of choices from the affordable to the holy grail of smokers. Being a software guy, it really all came down to what were my requirements (needs):

  • I don't want it on my deck. I've already got my gas Brinkman ProSeries 4775 on the deck and a smoker would only clutter it.
  • I don't want anything that would minimize the use of my exiting...

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Purple Martin Update

June 18, 2008
Purple Martin Update

It's been a long time since I've posted an update on our Purple Martin Bird house. Right now I have nothing but good news. We have at least three nesting pair, one pair on the west-facing side and at least 2 pair on the east-facing side. I'm not sure about exact numbers actually living there because I can't see the east-facing side. Right now that side has three complete or nearly complete nests. I have two nests, one on each side with eggs. On pair laid eggs...

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