Category Archives: Geekery

Inventing on Principle

This is a little long, but it is brilliant. Bret Victor gives a presentation that not only demos some insanely cool software development tools, but with a worthwhile underlying message. If you have the time, take a look (and make sure to hit that full screen button).

(Via Coding Horror)



Chris Shiflett ▪ Hacking Rails (and GitHub)

Chris Shiflett writes a clear recap of the GitHub ssh key exploit. A little scary that Rails doesn’t make form field checking easy.

For those of you more familiar with PHP, imagine a feature like register_globals, but instead of injecting arbitrary form data into the global namespace, it injects arbitrary form data into the database. It might as well be called opt-in SQL injection, but even that’s being too generous, because this is much easier to exploit than an SQL injection vulnerability.

Chris Shiflett ▪ Hacking Rails (and GitHub).

Replacing a Power Supply Fan

I have a homebuilt PC connected to our TV running Windows Media Center as a PVR. The Antec Aria case is a nice design, small enough to fit in a media center, but still tall enough for full height expansion cards. One of the defining characteristics of the case is the custom power supply: only 300 watts, has a custom L-shape to fit in the back of the case, and has a nice big 120 mm cooling fan that helps cool the case as well as the power supply. I usually run it 24/7, as it has a low wattage processor and can be set to record TV at any time. But recently, that nice big fan started making some noises. I tried oiling it, but the noise persisted, and then it started chirping:

I decided that I would try to replace the fan. How hard could it be? I knew it was a 120 mm fan, I could just buy a new one, take out the old one, and put the new one in its place. It turned out to be a little more involved than that.

WARNING: Opening a power supply is dangerous. Even when unplugged, components inside may still hold damaging voltages that can discharge.

Getting to the power supply itself required almost a full disassembly of the case. Once I removed it from the case and opened the screw holes, I found that the existing fan had a two wire connection to the power circuitry (red & black), with a third wire looped in to a monitoring line that ran outside the case which could be attached to the motherboard (blue). These three wires were bundled together so a simple unplug-the-old, plug-in-the-new replacement wasn’t going to work. The two wire connection wouldn’t fit the plug I had for the new fan anyway, so I decided to cut and connect the three lines. My new fan had all three wires as clear so I had to line up the adapter I had to find the sequence should be blue-red-black. I also don’t have a soldering iron, so I used wire nuts and lots of electrical tape.

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It was a little tricky getting the supply back together with the extra wiring, making sure the fan could spin freely, but I got it. I put the case back together, and booted off the motherboard. The annoying chirping had been replaced with a soft whisper. Plus, now I had a little stylish red accent lighting in the back of my case:

Hopefully, I’ll be buying a new case and a new power supply before this fan goes bad.

If PHP Were British – Added Bytes – Brighton Web Application Development

When Rasmus Lerdorf first put PHP together, he – quite sensibly, despite his heritage – chose not to write it in Greenlandic or Danish. Good job too – that would have been rather unpleasant to work with. He opted instead, being in Canada at the time, for the local tongue. No, not French – that bastard dialect of the Queen’s English commonly referred to as “US English”

(via metafilter)

If PHP Were British – Added Bytes – Brighton Web Application Development.

A first look at the new Lego Minecraft sets.

Rio ‘Rande


Link: Consider Riding Out a Fever Instead of Treating It

[T]his most recent study reveals a fever works to make certain parts of the immune system work harder. This temporary enhancement provided by a fever might actually help you get over the flu more quickly than if you suppress it with medication.
Consider Riding Out a Fever Instead of Treating It

Link: You Say You Want a Devolution? | Style | Vanity Fair

Scary. My generation has contributed virtually nothing in design to differentiate itself from the previous 20 years.
You Say You Want a Devolution? | Style | Vanity Fair

Link: Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Time | Cosmic Variance | Discover Magazine

I gave a brief reflection about Time for last year’s Thanksgiving service. Here’s some fascinating facts, such as “physics teaches us something remarkable: every event in the past and future is implicit in the current moment.”
Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Time | Cosmic Variance | Discover Magazine

Link: Comparison of video editing software – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It’s been a while since we updated Final Cut Pro; here’s a comprehensive list of the options out there.
Comparison of video editing software – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia