Wake boarding @ Lake Berryessa


I went wake boarding for the first time a few weeks back at Lake Berryessa. The weather forecast wasn’t that great, so it made for a great day on the lake since it was mostly empty.

Here’s my first successful attempt at getting (and staying) up:

John and Lee getting air

Rich and Chen opting for the water taxi

Stemming spam


I use a combination of DNS blacklists (DNSBLs) and spamassassin on my server to try and limit the amount of spam I get. I use the Postfix mail server and here is the relevant part of my Postfix main.cf config file:

smtpd_sender_restrictions = reject_unknown_address

smtpd_client_restrictions =
        reject_rbl_client zen.spamhaus.org,
        reject_rbl_client bl.spamcop.net,
        reject_rbl_client dnsbl-1.uceprotect.net,

message_size_limit = 15728639
disable_vrfy_command = yes
smtpd_helo_required = yes

Note that I’m using 3 DNSBLs (spamhaus, spamcop, and uceprotect — the values for reject_rbl_client) and they are placed towards the end of smtpd_client_restrictions. I only want the external DNSBL DNS lookups to occur if the mail passes the simpler checks first.

Seems to be doing a decent job. I still get a few pieces of spam that fall through the cracks, but don’t want it so aggressive that letgitimate email doesn’t get to me. Here’s the summary data from logwatch from yesterday:

        1   Reject relay denied                        0.02%
      207   Reject HELO/EHLO                           4.40%
      442   Reject unknown user                        9.40%
     4053   Reject RBL                                86.18%
 --------   ------------------------------------------------
     4703   Total Rejects                            100.00%

The DNSBLs combined rejected over 4000 pieces of mail, most of which would have likely been caught by spamassassin anyways if I didn’t have the DNSBL checks, but it’s nice that they didn’t get past my mail server and into my mailbox!

Watching an app grow outside the U.S.


It’s interesting watching the growth of Describe Me. When a user first adds the app, he or she is automatically tagged by one of the developers as “cool,” in order to illustrate how the app works.

Recently I became the person tagging new users, and therefore get a ton of friend requests, pokes, or just “who the hell are you” emails from random people. At first it was just mainly people in the U.S., but I started to get requests and pokes from South Africa, Sweden, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Malaysia, and London to name a few of the more common locations (or rather, what they’ve indicated as their “network”).

Pretty neat to see it grow beyond the U.S. since it was not something we considered when the app was being built. Thankfully the db is running in UTF-8 to handle the various character sets — I’ve got at least one tag in Chinese which I can’t read but at least it renders correctly heh.

Oh, and as of this post, Describe Me has 80,249 users. Can’t wait until 100k! We’re gonna need to throw a celebration or something. :)

Crazy wiffle pitcher


Doing the taskbar shuffle


I’m a bit neurotic when launching apps on my Windows XP machine. I want to have apps in my taskbar in a particular order. Outlook first, some editor (Dreamweaver, Zend Studio, etc.) second, ssh terminals next, and browsers last. I guess it gives me a sense of organization. I won’t get into a frenzy if it’s not in that order, but I generally spend the time launching apps in that particular order, which brings me to a neat little utility that my co-worker was using: Taskbar Shuffle. It basically allows you to rearrange your taskbar items much like you can rearrange tabs in Firefox.

This blurb from the developer’s site pretty much sums it up:

“No need to get all nervous when an application crashes or if you need to reboot; you can reorder your programs exactly as they were anytime by just dragging and dropping them directly within your Windows taskbar!”

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