Author Archives: kelly

Character codes and encoding

Character codes and encoding In the beginning, there was ASCII. (There were others, but we begin here with ASCII). 7-bit ASCII in an 8-bit package. Using only the first seven bits of a byte, standard ASCII could not deal with diacritical marks (accents and funny dots in the vulgar vernacular). Therefore, the German word for […]

EC2 and S3 Success Story

I’ve been building systems lately on Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). At first, I was only interested in Amazon’s Simple Storage Solution (S3) after seeing the SmugMug slide show. I hadn’t really considered using EC2 since we had more servers in colocation than I really needed. But I had a file storage problem. When you […]

Actionscript GZIP Alternative

I really wish Actionscript 3 had a native decompression utility for opening GZIP compressed files. I really do. After reading (and trying to implement the advice of) numerous postings, I gave up on GZIP. In my investigation, I walked byte-by-byte through numerous binary dumps. Somewhere along the way I noticed a pattern. Forget about the […]

The Jump to WordPress

I finally made the jump from moveable type to wordpress. The hardest step was porting the old posts. Whereas I created posts using UTF-8 encoded characters, moveable type did a dumb convert of the characters into Latin-1 when storing them MySQL. Since the path out of the database and to the page was a reverse […]

bash directory crawler

Currently, popular filesystems (ext3, hfs+) have a practical limit on the number of files and directories you can store in a single directory. Certainly, most of the unix command line tools will not work once you exceed some magic threshold. In my experience, 10,000 files and or directories is the practical limit. So what do […]

Fuser Detects FTP Completion

At work, we have legacy systems with problems which no one had taken the time to fix. One such legacy problem involved an FTP server. Client applications would FTP files up to the server for processing. That part worked fine. What didn’t work was knowing when the FTP was complete so we could start processing […]