“Grow a pair” isn’t sexist — it’s stupid

The phrase “grow a pair” (of testes) is a common one, usually used to mean that one needs to toughen up in the face of some minor adversity. “What if I ask her out and she rejects me?” “Grow a pair, man!” Because of the overt link to male genitalia, it is often claimed that this phrase is sexist, with the go-to argument being that it implies that only men can be tough, and for a woman to be tough she has to — if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor — “man up”.

But that’s wrong. Because the phrase is not sexist — it’s just stupid. Continue reading

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Creating a DAG in Exchange 2013 on Server 2012 R2

If you try and create a Database Availability Group using the EAC — and hope to use that new-fangled feature of creating one without an IP address — you will fail, and neither Microsoft’s documentation nor any of the myriad TechNet blogs will help you one whit.

Worse, your entire AD structure will be in such a state that manual intervention and cleanup of the garbage Exchange created will be necessary — but, again, no one will bother to tell you that! Continue reading

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Install Dropbox on Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS

I love Dropbox. I’ve previously posted about how it can be used to help back up your files. But what about backing up Dropbox itself?

Well, since I happen to have a file server running automated backups, I decided I wanted my Dropbox files backed up on it as well. Unfortunately, setting that up wasn’t as easy as it should have been… Continue reading

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Help! My cron jobs aren’t running!

Ugh. I can’t count how many times this one’s bit me, and frustratingly kept my cron scripts from running — always without error, or notice, or even warning, no matter how many logs I scour! Continue reading

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When Git Bites Back

I love Git. Before I discovered version control, I lived a dangerous cowboy-coder life, and I loved that. But then I was introduced to Subversion, and I saw that this was better. Then, I met Git, and saw that is was better still — best, even!

Recently I discovered the one thing SVN does better than Git: with SVN you can checkout only a subdirectory of a repository; with Git, you must check out all, or nothing. Oh well, Git’s light, having multiple repositories doesn’t hurt.

But most recently — today — Git bit me right in the arse. And I am not happy about the hundreds of lines of lost code. Not. One. Bit. Continue reading

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Remember Me

Short version: Remember Me is a fun game that tells an incredibly compelling story. It has its drawbacks, but overall it easily earns 4/5 from me — do yourself a favor, buy this game!

And let me say up front that this review, while it will touch on some specifics of the game, will be spoiler-free. Additionally, I will delete any comments that spoil the story. So, read away without fear of having the story spoiled for you! Continue reading

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Backing up your stories with Scrivener and Dropbox

As I have for the last six years (with one exception owing to being in India for the month), this year I am doing NaNoWriMo. The short version? I’m writing a 50,000-word novel in the 30 days of November.

What would happen if my computer were to die on November 29th, just before I hit that goal after working so hard for it all month? Would I crawl into the fetal position and bawl my eyes out like a little baby?

Well, I might, actually, but not because of any work lost on my novel. Thanks to Scrivener and Dropbox, my novel is well in hand and quite securely backed up! Continue reading

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Using Shorewall to configure a Tor isolating proxy

Tor is great for browsing the internet anonymously. But, it’s not perfect — rogue software on your machine can compromise your identity and reveal who you are by simply sending its own network traffic. If you can isolate your machine, however, and guarantee that all network traffic goes through Tor, you greatly improve your odds of maintaining your anonymity online.

This is known as an “isolating proxy“, and using Shorewall it is actually quite simple to configure one yourself. Continue reading

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Content moved; you can now find my Kerbal Space Program adventures on Kromey Kaerospace’s web site.

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Randomness in Gaming

In my experience, there are two schools of thought when it comes to an element of random chance in strategy games:
1) It’s good.
2) It’s bad.

I’ve seen a lot of people run with #2 so far that they proclaim that a game that involves random chance is no longer about strategy at all, but just about luck. To some extent, they do have a point: I’m sure all of us have had that game where we played a perfect strategy that was a sure thing, only to pit our unlucky roll against our opponent’s lucky roll and lose everything to that one stroke of misfortune.

By and large, though, this is the exception, not the rule, and in the long run such possibilities keep a game more interesting — no matter how well you plan, no matter how well you predict and react to your opponent’s moves, sometimes you lose anyway.

It’s certainly frustrating to lose a perfectly-played game to a bad roll of the dice — but does that make it a bad game, or remove the “strategy” part of the game’s genre? No!

Well, not necessarily… Continue reading

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