the anonymous writings

i recently switched from wordpress to posterous, and i noticed that some of my stuff never got past the "private" status, but they would have been an interesting read if i finished them.  if you're anything like me, you may have written a few blog posts, and you stopped maybe at 50%.  or you might have written the whole thing, but you didn't feel like publishing it on your own blog.  maybe it felt too impulsive, too ranty, too provocative.  you were writing what was on your mind, and you didn't want to finish it because you might have been afraid of the reactions it would have gotten, or how people would change their impression of you.  or maybe you didn't feel like you had a good point to make for whatever reason.

if you wanted to say one thing anonymously to the hacker community (let's face it, we're not part of many other online communities because we're so discerning), what would it be?  you would have no fear of embarassment.  it could be a word, a sentence, a paragraph, or an essay.  send it to me, and i'll put it on here for other people to read.  and i might comment on it.  maybe others will.  but i'll keep your name anonymous.  i think these could actually be the best articles--the ones that never get published; the ones without an agenda; the ones which don't label the author in a particular way.

who knows, maybe this is paradoxically a way of being able to claim that my own provocative writings aren't actually my own.  the cool thing is that you don't really know who wrote the original idea, so you can't say.  but it's fun to have it out there, possibly being talked about.

it might be strange too if someone else submitted this to hn.

disclaimer - i cannot guarantee to put everything up here that gets sent to me.  the reason i'm doing short-style blogs now is because i don't have the time to sit down for hours and write out well-thought essays right now.  it's possible i get nothing, in which case i will call this a failed experiment.  jmtame [at] gmail [dot] com

EDIT: coming back to this a few weeks later, the idea was interesting (i was actually sleep deprived when i came up with it), but i would consider this a failed experiment because i didn't get anything interesting.

capitalization is obsolete

why do we capitalize these days?  i'm finding fewer examples of why it's needed.  it's like a dying institutional practice.  it's something that you're supposed to do formally, but there's really no point to it.  and it requires more effort.  i'm not one to advocate being lazy, but this capitalization thing is silly!

i propose that 2009 be the year where capitalization is removed from most forms of writing (commenting, e-mails, even essays).  as with my last blog, i shall some day elaborate.  but for now, keeping it simple and getting straight to the point.  bump this up if you think capitalization is stupid.

edit: this is not an attempt to troll or flame.  it's a legitimate complaint about hitting the shift key 500x in a single e-mail.  it's questioning the way things are.  that's healty to do sometimes.

Adios Wordpress

The short of it: Wordpress sucks.  I'm supposed to pay money just to be able to edit a few lines of my CSS, so it's time to upgrade to Posterous.

I've dropped in a few of my old posts from Wordpress.

Stats from the old Wordpress account:

2006 - 1,185 views
2007 - 10,746 views
2008 - 16,481 views
2009 - 9,863 views (through May, 2009)

Who you are now is who you'll be in 10 years

I'm convinced that unless something major happens between now and 10 years from now, the person you are now will be very similar (if not identical) to the type of person you'll be 10 years from now.  If you're not a risk taker, then there's no reason you won't be one 10 years from now.  If you're not entrepreneurial, then why will you be in 10 years from now?

The best analogy I've heard is to a thermostat (Millionaire Mind by T Harv Eker).  You are complacent with your current progress and goals based on an internal temperature that you set.  If you are happy with a regular job, you'll never start your own company.  You'll never generate more than a salary.  You're going to walk into the job market and walk out of the job market with only marginal growth based on your experience.

If you're not willing to constantly be in a state of pushing yourself to do more and learn more, then you've already reached your limit.  So my theory is this: unless you change something about yourself now, you'll never change.  I wrote an essay a while back ago called "How To Work 80+ Hours a Week."  I'm reminded of how distractions are the single biggest obstacle to productivity.  I would also bet that the distractions you have now will be present in 10 years.  That is, unless you were to change it immediately (as in right now, as you read this).

At some point, I hope to write something longer and more detailed on this.  It's a fascinating topic, one that I've debated with many friends over the years.  I'm sure many people will agree and could even find one point where they changed a lot about themselves to become a better person.

Theory Disproven: Money as Motivation

I always have gone around on HN shouting at people "you can't use money as a motivation, if you do, you'll never get it." I feel like I've been proven wrong, and I have. But I'm not too ashamed. How does the saying go? It's better to be consistently wrong, than to be unconsistently right. Because if you're consistently wrong, you only need to change one thing to become consistently right.

So I suppose this is that time where I welcome anyone (at least on HN) to post up examples of where people have used money as their motivation. Personally, I am more Levchinist in my approach. I see money as a byproduct of success, where catching waves and building things that people want is the first priority. The person who is disproving my theory is Mark Cuban, after doing a bit of reading (and watching) on him. There are a series of 4 videos on YouTube, the first one starts here. You don't need to waste your time watching over it all, I did that for you. Here's a summary:

  1. Cuban grew up motivated by money, he wanted to be rich.
  2. Cuban's first entrepreneurial endeavors involved selling newspapers he bought in another city for double the price (buy for $0.25, sell for $0.50). He then did other things like stamps and coins.
  3. He did pretty well when he went to college, he bought an old barn and turned it into a bar. He sold shares to the students at $50 per share, which basically required the students to go to the bar and hype it up. Fair enough, although a wet t-shirt contest ended the games a bit early.
  4. He only took one computer class in college, and he cheated, paying someone to get him a B or an A in the class, as he recalls. He considers the people who are really into it to be nerds (gee, thanks).
  5. He went on to the corporate world and sold a newsletter within the company. Eventually his boss found out and fired him.
  6. He went to Dallas and lived with 5 friends in a small apartment. He took a job at a retail computer store and worked long hours, being #1 in sales. But his refusal to vacuum after closing got him fired.
  7. He turned to a former sales client and asked for an investment of a few hundred dollars per month to start his own computer business called MicroSolutions in 1983 (they did computer networking). Mark worked 7 years without vacations, doing nothing but working. $10 million in sales by year 5, $25 million by year 7. Sold to Compuserve in 1990, turned Cuban into a millionaire.
  8. Mark wanted to become famous and do acting, who thought it could also be a way to meet famous women. This lasted for 2 years, he appeared in 2 small films.
  9. 1995, a friend approached him with an idea to broadcast sports on the Internet, they start AudioNet (later known as In 5 years, he claims it will be worth billions or nothing. They decide to go public at $18/share, in 1998 they IPO'ed. It was sold to Yahoo! for about $6B in stock, where he and his partner Tod cashed out and went to Las Vegas.
  10. Mark buys a private jet online for $41 million and a $15 million house.
  11. Mark thinks he can do sports better and bought his own team, $280 million for the Dallas Mavericks. He addd flat screen TVs to locker rooms, put them into the best hotels when traveling, got better on-court support, and purchased a private jet for his team. He called season ticket holders directly and answered e-mails as one of the top most accessible sports team owners (are you listening to this one, entrepreneurs?). Games started selling out, fans were excited, players dramatically improved.
  12. Dennis Rodman joined the team, but he was known to lounge around. He got kicked off the team. Cuban paid record amounts of fines for criticizing the officials ($500k + 2 game suspensions), asking them if they could even manage a Dairy Queen restaurant. Every dollar he was fined was matched with a dollar to charity. Mavericks went to the playoffs in 2001 for the first time in 11 years, won their first in 13.
  13. Cuban was fined and went to manage a Dairy Queen restaurant for a day, which formed incredible lines.
  14. Cuban gets boo'ed by 20,000 people when his picture shows. He claims it was a great experience because it was original.
  15. Cuban starts HDNet, partially because people said it wouldn't work. He continues to push the Mavericks. He leaves the comment, "Business is a sport. Except there's no seasons, it's 24x7x365, and there's always someone out there trying to kick your ass."

In conclusion, I think Mark deserves more credit than meets the eye. Sure, his motivation was initially money, but he seems to be driven now by the desire to succeed (or more literally: win). We all have our motivation for doing whatever it is we do, but I'm willing to bet that having fun doing it is still a pre-requisite (and so is hard work, as I continue to shout as a mantra).

Hacking GoDaddy App Hosting: Rewrites, Sendmail, PHP.INI, Routes

It's nice when things work on localhost, but when you move them to GoDaddy's server, you might encounter some problems. A few tips for anyone who has errors coming up:

Basic setup
Make sure you're using Linux hosting with Hosting 2.0 enabled. This lets you change things like PHP.INI

Creating and editing PHP.INI
Take the PHP.INI from your localhost and upload it to the root directory of your GoDaddy host account. Rename PHP.INI to PHP5.INI if you have PHP 5 enabled on your account, or your file won't be recognized.

Troubleshooting error messages

As for specific error messages, like Cannot modify headers, just run a Google search and you'll usually see one setting that will fix it. I was getting "Cannot modify headers" errors, but simply turning "output_buffering = on" or "output_buffering = some_value" where some_value > 0, you should be set. Mine is set to output_buffering = 4096 (this is all in PHP.INI).

Handling rewrites and htaccess

If you need to do any rewrite stuff, you can upload .htaccess to the directory that you want the rewrite rules to apply. Usually, this is the root directory of your application. In my case, my app is stored in a subdirectory ( so I uploaded it to /myapp and the rewrite rules will apply to that directory and all of its subdirectories (but not to On my localhost, I'm doing rewrites in httpd.conf where I declare virtual hosts, but on GoDaddy this is proobably not necessary.

Problems loading CodeIgniter controllers?
This is CodeIgniter-specific, but you'll need to add the following to your config.php file in order for controllers to properly load: $config['index_page'] = "index.php?";
$config['uri_protocol'] = "QUERY_STRING";. Then you'll need to add the rewrite rules:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /index.php?$1 [L]

To access the app, you'll need to use (or whatever controller you want to call)

Problems using SENDMAIL or sending e-mails using CodeIgniter's e-mail class?
I saw a lot of people pulling their hair out over the e-mail class. It's very simple, open up your email.php file in CodeIgniter (system/application/libraries/) and fill in all the details:

var $mailpath = "/usr/sbin/sendmail"; // Sendmail path
var $protocol = "sendmail"; // mail/sendmail/smtp
var $smtp_host = ""; // SMTP Server. Example:
var $smtp_user = ""; // SMTP Username
var $smtp_pass = "yourEmailPassword"; // SMTP Password
var $smtp_port = "25"; // SMTP Port

That should fix it. I do not include in-line parameters whenever I send mail from my controllers. I simply fill in the to, from, subject, body, and send it. I don't change the connection details.

GoDaddy isn't so bad after all. I'm still trying to figure out how to make my Email class work on GoDaddy, I'll post an update when I figure it out.

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