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Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

I see strange things: Cosmopolitan magazine

Yes­ter­day I saw this in a news stand and I just had to share it. It's a pic­ture of Cos­mopoli­tan mag­a­zine, and it says is:

Test: am I a vir­gin?

It does pose an in­ter­est­ing prob­lem, though. What's more log­i­cal:

  • If you have to ask, you are a vir­gin?

  • If you have to ask, you are not a vir­gin?

cosmo

Becoming organized

I am try­ing to be­come more or­ga­nized in my work. And it seems to be work­ing.

Things I do/no­tice/try now:

  1. There is a tick­­et­ing sys­tem. Use it.

    Re­al­­ly, there is no rea­­son not to. If the cus­­tomer says cre­at­ing tick­­ets is an­noy­ing/­bor­ing/what­ev­er, I do them my­­self.

    It takes very lit­­tle time and it lets me see/de­scribe what I do/­­did in the day. Then, take what's in the tick­­et, clean it up, and...

  2. There is a wi­k­i. Use it.

    Doc­u­­ment ev­ery thing I do. No "this is just a lit­­tle thing". There are no lit­­tle things. If it was so lit­tle, I would­n't have to do it. Put ev­ery­thing in the doc­s. The client needs it. I need it.

  3. There is an email. Use it.

    I got an email. Then ei­ther it's some­thing that's bro­ken (cre­ate a tick­­et), or some­thing that needs ex­­plain­ing (cre­ate/re­fer a doc), or some­thing that needs do­ing (cre­ate a todo), or a meet­ing (put it in the phone), or a a piece of da­­ta I need to re­mem­ber (archive it, mair­ix will find it when I need it). I have had an in­­box with no mail in it for three days, and it's quite lib­er­at­ing.

  4. The phone is the first PDA that ac­­tu­al­­ly work­s.

    I nev­er man­aged to use desk­­top PIM suites or PDAs. I do keep my ap­­point­­ments on the phone. I al­ways have my phone with me. I lis­ten to it when I have an alar­m. I can't say the same thing about the note­­book, or about any PDA I owned. And it's a cheap phone. Us­ing a smart­­phone makes no sense. I lose the things. Now I can sync it via blue­­tooth, too! I still use a Sony CLIE to read ebook­s, though.

  5. I like Hive­­Min­der.

    It's to­­do lists I can ac­­tu­al­­ly use. Done? Click, gone. New task? Fill a line and it's there, tagged, grouped, dat­ed, pri­or­i­­tized. Want to do it from the CLI? Yup. I do need to write a Trac plug­in that con­verts my tick­­ets in­­­to to­­dos, though.

    Sure, I don't have it with me all the time (maybe sync it with my phone's to­­do list is pos­si­ble some­how...) but I just need to do one full task re­view a day, add tasks when I'm on a com­put­er, close tasks at the end of the day or while work­ing.

  6. Read email/news on fixed time pe­ri­od­s.

    I can't fo­­cus on work­ing for over one hour non­stop. So I stop ev­ery hour for 10 min­utes of news, and 5 min­utes of mail (which is still work­ing any­way, since I need to know about stuff). No mail app run­n­ing in the mean­­time. If it's ur­­gen­t, they have my phone num­ber. If they don't, it's not ur­­gen­t.

It is mak­ing a dif­fer­ence, I am be­com­ing more pro­duc­tive with­out spend­ing more hours at it, which was my pre­vi­ous "s­trat­e­gy".

Pop quiz!

Q: What hap­pens if you have a SMT­PA server, and you have a us­er called in­fo, and then set its pass­word to in­fo?

A:

[root@victim ~]# qmail-qstat
messages in queue: 151369
messages in queue but not yet preprocessed: 9

Lesson:

  • Yes, there is a rea­­son why those pass­­words are not avail­able by de­­fault.

  • I re­al­­ly should lim­it the per-ac­­count out­­­go­ing mail by de­­fault in all server­s. Let's start work­ing on it.

Linux as a windows crutch: Sending SMS

Sup­pose you want to send SMS mes­sages from win­dows through a blue­tooth con­nec­tion to a phone.

I am sure you can make it work. On the oth­er hand, I al­ready had it work­ing on Lin­ux... so you can just use this on a friend­ly Lin­ux box, and send SMS mes­sages by ac­cess­ing a spe­cial URL:

#!/usr/bin/env python
from colubrid import BaseApplication, HttpResponse, execute
import os

class SMSApplication(BaseApplication):

  def process_request(self):
      numero = self.request.args.get('numero')
      mensaje = self.request.args.get('mensaje')
      [entrada,salida]=os.popen4('/usr/bin/gnokii --sendsms %s'%numero,mode='rw')
      entrada.write(mensaje)
      entrada.flush()
      entrada.close()
      msg=salida.read()
      response = HttpResponse(msg)
      response['Content-Type'] = 'text/plain'
      return response

if __name__ == '__main__':
  execute(SMSApplication,debug=True, hostname='mybox.domain.internal', port=8080,reload=True)

If someone opens http://my­box.­do­main.in­ter­nal:8080/?nu­mero=1234?­men­saje=ho­la%20­mun­do it sends "hola mundo" to the 1234 number.

I sup­pose I could call this a web tele­pho­ny ser­vice or some­such, but it's ac­tu­al­ly just the 5'­so­lu­tion that came to mind.

It us­es a sil­ly lit­tle not-a-we­b-frame­work called col­u­brid in­stead of some­thing you may know, be­cause I want­ed to keep it sim­ple, and it does­n't get much sim­pler than this.