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I've caught a bit of the programming bug lately, for a few reasons. A few weeks ago at work we had discussions about password strength. I could talk about that at length, but the point was FileNet doesn't support much in terms of password validation out of the box, but their latest release allows the use of a custom shared library for password validation. It could be written in any language, although their support group suggested C. I had never created a shared library before, and I hadn't done anything with C recently, but I was up for the challenge.

It took me a little while to figure out the details of shared libraries (especially on AIX) and how regular expression matching works in C, but before long, I had the library written and working with a sample program I had created. I cleaned some things up and went to try it with FileNet and - 'shared library not found'. I contacted FileNet support and asked for assistance. I was told any support of developing custom applications would be an extra charge. I explained that my custom application worked just fine, just not with FileNet. I eventually contacted somebody else there, who found out that - surprise - their documentation was incorrect. I changed my code to meet the correct specifications and what do you know, password validation!

On top of that, I also started taking a VB class a few weeks ago. It is really, really easy, but I've never had any formal VB training before, and even my work experience was pretty limited. It's nice to get acquainted with something new.

Finally, I started playing around with the comments engine for this site today. When I started with comments years ago, I just found a script and put it in place. Over the years I've made a lot of changes and modifications, including e-mail notification, spam blocking and various other little tweaks. One thing I was never happy with was the way the user data was stored in the cookies. You could change your data easily enough, but removing it never worked right. I played around with things a few months ago, but in some ways I probably just made things worse. Today I wanted to come up with a better solution. I struggled a bit and finally came up with something workable, although I still wasn't totally happy with it. After living with that for a few minutes, though, I got an inspiration. This was far more simple, but probably also far better. Funny how that works.

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As I sit here listening to a record, having just cleaned it with my Nitty Gritty, I'm reminded of going shopping with my dad for audio equipment in the early '80s, most likely for a new turntable. I was probably 4 or 5 at the time, and we were at a complex on Memorial Drive that housed (if my memory isn't failing me) Al's Auto Stereo and Sound Decisions. I happened upon a brush - most likely the venerable Discwasher - and started playing with it. Very quickly I was told, probably by my dad, never to touch the brush itself, as the oils in your fingers would get on the bristles.

No, that story isn't really going anywhere else. Although I *do* always handle my records by the edges.

Hopefully I'll have some more photos up soon. I've been a bit behind in that regard lately.

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Better late than never - a week ago Monday Amy and I went to the Brewers game. Alas, a crowd pleaser this was not, with the Brewers falling to the Braves, 2-1. I guess there was one small bit of excitement though. We were sitting on the first base side in the lower deck, and at one point a foul ball started coming right toward us. It came down in the row in front of us, but somebody bobbled it. It then proceeded to fly back, hit me in the arm, bounce up, hit me in the head, and then bounce to the next row back. Good times.

I guess the foolproof way to make it stop raining is to clean your gutters. A few were overflowing badly during the rain this weekend, so on Monday I got up on the ladder to take a look. One was completely filled with water it was so plugged up, despite the fact that it had not rained for several hours. I got them cleaned out and there's been no rain since.

What happens if you clean your gutters and wash your car on the same day?

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The Simpsons Archive

Vital stats:
DOB 2/16/79. I'm a web developer at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. I like lots of old music, including The Who. I spend a lot of time working with computers. And my favorite TV show (when I actually decide to watch TV, that is), obviously, is The Simpsons.

In May 2002 I officially graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BS in computer science. In 1997 (man that seems like a long time ago) I graduated from Washington Park HS. Yes, I know, that site isn't very impressive, and no, I haven't touched it for several years.

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One of the best experiences I have ever had was on a trip called Western Field Studies. This is a 33 day adventure throughout the western United States. Students travel on a school bus to national parks, monuments, forests, and places of historical interest and camp out (in tents or under the stars). I was a part of trip 25, which took place in the summer of 1996. A first for WFS was we took along a laptop computer and kept up a web site. That link will take you to the 1996 site, where there is a link to the current site.