§ March 19, 2012 12:57 by beefarino |

CODEPALOUSASo I get back from CodePaLOUsa with a full head and abused liver to find that the Louisville Courier Journal decided to use my ugly mug in their article on the conference (they managed to misspell my name though – can’t win ‘em all). This picture was taken during an open space on raising geeks.

We’ve already had some fun with this on twitter, but I wanted to make sure everyone has their chance to poke some fun at me. So I’m having a caption contest!

If you want to participate, go here and enter a caption you think is funny. At the end of the week I’ll look over the entries and pick a winner based on lulz. I’ll announce the winner early next week.

Rules: your caption must be publishable on my blog. This basically means that if I consider the language or content of your caption inappropriate it’ll get nixed.

First and only prize: link to your blog from mine. Hey, it’s not as lame as it sounds, I get around 6K unique visitors a month...

So get crackin…

All About the Recent Downtime

§ February 24, 2012 10:34 by beefarino |

downtimeSo the last few weeks have been a rollercoaster for  I apologize if the downtime has affected your powershelling or log4netting or whatever.  I’m hoping the troubles are behind me…

So here’s what happened.  Late last year I updated the backend of beefycode to the most recent version of which required me to update my hosting situation to a server that supports ASP.NET 4.  Apparently I was the last person on earth to do this and received a rude awakening as my new shared server seemed to be VERY shared.  Accessibility of this blog became and issue so I wanted to move it to another shared host I was using that seemed much more reliable.  So I did that.

Things were fine for a few weeks, and then my host suspended my account for “CPU abuse”.  Apparently was spiking the CPU usage to as high as 99%, so they had no choice.  The logs showed nothing unusual, and I was unable to replicate the scenario locally so was a bit blind as to what tactic to take, but I tried a few things.  It didn’t help as the host suspended my account again and refused to reactivate it unless I upgraded to a VPS.  I was miffed – I couldn’t event access FTP with my account suspended and had no choice but to move the blog to another host so I could get my other sites back online.  But I understand their stance – they gave me several chances to address the issue and I failed to do so, so they did what they did to protect their other customers.

Thankfully OrcsWeb provides complimentary hosting accounts for MVPs, so now is hosted there.  I poured a few days into porting the blog to Orchard; unfortunately this time was wasted.  The hosting account limits the virtual memory for the application pool to 600MB, recycling the application pool when it exceeds this value.  I personally thing 600MB is plenty; however, I can’t host the default Orchard site without it spiking this on each and every page view.  That’s right – one application pool recycle per page view.  It was completely unusable - sluggish and nonresponsive.  So I’m back to  Hopefully updating to a more recent (and less customized) theme will tamper the CPU use, otherwise I may be looking into a VPS after all…

An Apology to Kevin Mitnick

§ November 2, 2011 09:18 by beefarino |

imageI’ve been reading the book Ghost in the Wires by social-engineer-extraordinaire Kevin Mitnick.  The book is completely engrossing, and I’ve been enjoying the story so much I had to tweet about it:

Reading Ghost in the Wires by Kevin Mitnick. Absolutely mesmerizing account of simple and effective social engineering exploits.

… and as it happens on twitter, Mr. Mitnick happened to be wading in the conversation flow and replied:

glad you liked it. Please put your comments on Amazon for me.

… and as it also happens on twitter I wrote a knee-jerk reply:

surely I will. Also will purchase some of your other books. Also, please don't steal any of my digital identity stuff, k?

…and as it usually comes to pass I then imagined the whole of my twitter following offering up a rowdy “har-dee-har-har” and I got back to work.

… and then I started to get deeper into the book. 

… and I started to get a feel for the raw deal that Mr. Mitnick has received. 

… and I thought back to my attempt at humor (see the underlined portion of my last tweet, above) and realized with some statistical certainty just how many times Mr. Mitnick has had to endure crap like that from rubes like myself.

Hey, I’m under no illusion that my comment had any effect on the man.  However, an apology is in order, if only to serve as a self-reminder not to tweet without thinking.

So, Mr. Mitnick, if you happen to find this:

I sincerely apologize for my off-hand and thoughtless attempt to be cute.  The only rectification I can offer is a promise to apply more mental processing to my tweets from this point forward. 

If it’s any consolation, the overly-intimate relationship between corporate IT policy and law is something I think about quite often. 

… and worry about.

… and occasionally blog about

… and try to avoid altogether really.

I mean, seriously – corporations aren’t culpable for willingly exposing data on a public network but the individual is at fault for looking at it???!!1  For the love of Pete… 

Summer (and Fall) of Speaking

§ September 12, 2011 03:10 by beefarino |

SOOOOoooooOOOO… I’ve been a bit incognito lately and I thought I’d take a moment to summarize what’s been happening in the last three months,and give everyone a head’s up for the rest of the year.

May was consumed largely by two things.  The first was volunteer work at my kids’ school during EOG testing.  I was basically there for 5 hours every day for three weeks, so the teachers could administer 4 exams for each of their 24 students one-on-one as mandated by the school board.  I couldn’t stop the testing, but I did what I could to ease the pain on the school, teachers, and kids.  The second thing was prepping talks for the summer conferences – CodeStock, MADExpo, and DEVlink – and various code camps in the Carolinas and Georgia.  I headed out to CodeStock at the end of May, where I spoke about StudioShell; it was another fantastic conference experience, the highlight for me was getting to kick Charles Petzold out of the room so I could give my talk immediately after his.  I mean, freaking Charles Petzold.

June was full of CodeStock and MADExpo.  MADExpo went off rather well for a first-time conference.  The maker-esque focus is something I hope they elaborate upon next year – the sessions on netduino, robotics, and the like were a real hit across the board, and the kid’s area was a blast with snap circuits, legos, etc.  I’m considering submitting an origami session next summer, just to do something completely different…

July was comprised of work, work, work … and a vacation in the east Texas desert, during which I managed to line up a substantial contract that consumed most of August … except of course for DEVlink.  This was my first DEVlink experience and it was a good one (despite the lack of wireless and cell coverage and no, I didn’t stay at the Choo-Choo either).  I definitely made more connections – social and professional – at DEVlink than at any other conference thus far.  I did another StudioShell session there.  Jaws hit the floor, it was well-received.  I also attended PowerShell sessions by other speakers –  Sarah Dutkiewicz and Joe Webb – I love seeing how different people approach teaching this technology to others.

With the summer over and school back in session, my speaking focus is shifting back to user groups and events.  This Thursday, September 15, I’ll be speaking at the WNC .NET User Group about PowerShell for Developers.  I’ve expanded this talk to include PSake, Pester, and StudioShell; I look forward to the feedback on the new topics.

Then on Saturday, September 17th, it’s SQL Saturday #89 in Atlanta.  This will be my first SQL Saturday ever, and I’m so glad to be bringing the PowerShell and development love to the database community.  I have two sessions – the first is using StudioShell to automate Denali, and the second is a brand-spankin’ new talk titled “Stupid PowerShell Tricks”.  I got the idea from going over some of my other talks and realizing that the most frequent question I get asked is “What was that you just did there?”  I also find myself asking this question quite a bit of others – especially when I’m around admins or DBAs.  Since there is obviously much we can learn from each other, I decided to make a session out of it.  I’ll show you my stupid tricks and you show me yours, and we’ll all walk away with new ways to get stuff done!

Later this month – September 22nd to be exact - I’m heading to the Triad Developer’s Group to spread more PowerShell love to Carolina software developers.  In October it looks like I’ll be a guest on Talk TechNet (details to follow).  In November I’m heading up to the Raleigh .NET User Group to demo and discuss StudioShell.

Whew… at some point I’ll need to fit in some project work… I’ve got a couple of decent irons in the fire, some will go open-source and some won’t … more on that in another post…