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shiflett (3841)

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I own a small PHP consultancy located in New York. I just finished writing my first book for O'Reilly, entitled Essential PHP Security. Yes, I'm a PHP guy hanging out on a Perl site.

Journal of shiflett (3841)

Monday July 21, 2003
01:42 PM

ApacheCon Call for Participation

Thursday April 17, 2003
11:40 AM

iPod on Linux

I decided to buy a firewire card this past weekend, so that I could finally play with an iPod I got for Christmas. The kudzu service picked it up and configured it easily enough, so I was ready to go.

A quick Google search revealed GNUpod, so I checked it out. Not only is the software very nice and useful, they have some excellent documentation that explains everything you could possibly want to know.

Since I had a Mac iPod and wanted to convert it to Windows, I simply followed their instructions in section 3.3. It explains using dd to make a backup of the firmware (which sits in its own partition) and then gives you the following command:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=1M count=10

So, my iPod is now completely wiped. The documentation then explains what the partition table should look like and gives you the dd command to load your firmware back. And, of course, it works like a charm. I was particularly fond of this series of steps, because I now know that I can try anything (like playing with the Linux on iPod project), and I can't possibly screw up my iPod bad enough to not be able to restore it (barring physical damage, of course).

Of course, you can just mount an iPod if your kernel supports the filesystem (HFS+ for the Mac one), and then get down to business with the GNUpod tools. There is also gtkpod if you prefer a GUI.

Wednesday March 26, 2003
10:01 PM

HTTP Developer's Handbook

I finally have it in my hands!

As Geoff described it, "its... purple". The cover changed from this to this, much to my surprise. So my companion Web site doesn't reflect the changed cover yet. Oh well. After reading about the Appian Way (the image on the cover), I like the cover more.

I managed to keep it nice and concise (O'Reilly size you might say), and it has a nice scent to it that I think readers will enjoy. Just put your nose between the pages and take a deep breath.

I also found out I am speaking at OSCON this past week, so it has been a pretty good week overall. :-) Maybe I'll see some of you there.

Tuesday March 18, 2003
03:06 PM

Legal Woes

I noticed on recently that my book was shown with a different cover than I had seen before. I asked my AE about this and for some sample art if it had changed, so that I could make the companion Web site match.

The response I received was very odd. The image used on the cover is "Rights Managed" and can't be used anywhere except on the cover. However, has both small and large images of the cover. So, after speaking with my AE further (mentioning online bookstores and their use of the image), it sounds like I can use the images from without any problem. So, I will just use those and try to clean them up with gimp as well as I can. This whole situation seems quite odd.

Oh, and I guess this is what I get for being lazy and using Geoff's favicon on my site. Now I have to make my own. :-)

Monday March 03, 2003
03:02 PM

Writing Books

I converted the PDF of one of my chapters to HTML the other day using ps2ascii (which worked very well, despite not being pdf2ascii), and I found myself wondering what other publishers use in the development of books.

I can understand PDF as a format to go to the printer with, but I had to write the entire book in Word format, which seemed ... weak? I'm not an expert on the various options here, but I would assume things like troff and latex would be more "industrial strength". Using a word processor just seems more like what one would use to write a paper for school.

This is just my rambling curiosity, however. The staff at Sams was most professional and friendly the entire time, so I have no regrets, and I think the book turned out quite well.

You can see my sample chapter (more to come) at: