Author Archive

A Bash Script for Quick Whois Queries

How many whois searches do you do in a year? A dozen? A dozen dozen? More? For me, it’s probably in the neighborhood of a few dozen dozen.

It seems like there is always a fun new project to work on and, sadly, it’s becoming nearly impossible to find good domain names.

Recently I was looking for a suitable LLC name for a company to hold all my projects. As my wife shouted out name candidates, I found myself repeating paired whois plural/singular queries like:


Etc for .org, .biz (haha, not really) and .net…

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Error saving an HTML file in Windows 7 with Notepad++?

Recently, I was editing an HTML file for a little site I put together called school photo frames. I was using Notepad++ and kept receiving an error when trying to save it.

The file was reported as being in use by another program or process. I search all over and found many posts about tweaking folder permissions, messing with DLL settings and running things as administrator.

None of that worked, of course, but what did work was even easier.

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The Seven Piece Lego iPhone Stand

On top of all the other tasks my iPhone shoulders, one of its most reliable functions is as a daily reminder system and nightly alarm clock.

On the road or at home, I always know how to program it quickly, can count on its reliability and can access all of my stored alarms for my different daily commitments.

Up until today, I have simply set my phone down on my bedside table or propped it up against a lamp. No more: with seven standard lego bricks and 15 seconds of time (not counting the hour of digging through our lego bin to find the seven pieces) I now have a simple, functional, portable iPhone stand.

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iPhone Home Button Not Working? Try This Fix (requires Jailbreak and Activator app)

Like most owners, I love my iPhone like a favorite child. It’s my portable connection to the web, my newspaper, my camera, my preferred gaming device, my grocery list, my alarm clock, my calculator…and once in a while, my phone.

A couple of months ago I lost my iPhone while on the Manta roller coaster at Seaworld in Orlando, Florida. When I realized it was gone, I was crushed. I felt lonely and confused.

In a still-unbelievable stroke of luck, a fellow park visitor happened to see it fly out of my pocket on the first loop, watched it fall 50 feet into the brush (miraculously missing all of the buildings, rocks, pools, pavement and people it could have hit) and retrieved it.  As we left the ride, my daughter happened to walk by her and notice the decal on the back of my phone, which is how my precious returned to me, with nary a scratch or a scuff.

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Protected: A Life Rebooted: Lessons Learned on a Journey to a Healthier Me

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My Pleasantly Uneventful Open Mesh Umbilical Hernia Recovery

My new belly button…yeah, not so much, but it’s closer to this than before the umbilical hernia repair

I recently passed the 40th day since my open umbilical hernia repair with mesh surgery.

Thank you all for the comments and email about my first post: what to ask your doctor prior to an umbilical hernia repair.

For the benefit of the community, I’ve included a few of your messages below with your names redacted (please pop me an email if you’d rather I remove your messages altogether).

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My Atari 2600 MacBook Air Decals

atari-logoFor a while now, I’ve been looking for a good vinyl decal for my 13″ MacBook Air. Etsy has a bunch of great ones but none really capture the nostalgia or emotion that I want.

Tonight during the Patriots/Chiefs football game I created a few Atari 2600 inspired designs. I chose three of the games that I played a lot as a kid. I will probably pick one of these and cut my own decal unless someone chimes in with a good alternative.

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What to Ask Your Doctor Prior to Umbilical Hernia Repair

My impression of umbilical hernia repair

My impression of umbilical hernia repair

(You can read the update on my recovery here: My Pleasantly Uneventful Umbilical Hernia Recovery)

Fair warning: this post is well off-topic from my typical Python/Django/tech focus. It does, nonetheless, share some useful information that I had a hard time compiling from Google searches alone, which is well in line with this blog’s purpose.

Next week I will be having my small and typical umbilical hernia repaired. Since this is my first surgery, I have been freaking out a bit. I have done a lot of Google searches looking for recovery stories and similar cases to mine. I have been particularly interested in the benefits of open vs. laparoscopic surgery as well as the mesh vs. suture repair method.

Over the past few months, I have been doing a lot of intense home boot camp fitness routines and am eager to learn what the recovery time for my umbilical hernia repair will be for various activities.

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How to capture and remotely save a webcam screen grab

Remote capture webcam images

I’ve had this WiFi enabled webcam looking down my driveway for over a year now. Since I work at home, it’s great for monitoring when deliveries, Jehova’s Witnesses and family members approach the house.

It is also useful for checking on home when I am away on vacation. I have grown to rely on it daily and I keep a small browser window with the video stream always up on one of my work monitors.

Up until this week, however, I didn’t remotely save any captured data from the camera. After reading about a home break-in over the weekend I decided to fix this. Below are the steps to quickly and easily store and display a series of 5-minute increment snapshot from your home webcam to a remote server.

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How To Import a CSV (or TSV) file into a Django Model

How to import a CSV file into Django

Recently I downloaded a US zip code data file in comma separated (CSV) format. Below are the steps and python script that I used to import that data into a django model for my site

The Steps to Import CSV Data into Django:

  1. Create your django model (mine is called “ZipCode”, see below).
  2. Create a python script called “” with your correct django project and directory info (see mine below).
  3. Put the CSV file and “” script in the same directory.
  4. From that directory run: python ./”

That’s it. For a CSV file with about 42,000 rows this import took about 15 seconds. You can verify that the data loaded correctly by checking your django admin.

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