Sanitize your database inputs

Posted by Jesper on October 11, 2007

Exploits of a Mom
Exploits of a Mom

Now why didn’t I think of that? Naming your kids Magnus and Frida suddenly seems very unoriginal. From xkcd.

At RailsConf Europe in Berlin

Posted by Jesper on September 17, 2007

Just got in. Looking forward to lots of fun in the coming days. I’ll be tumbling my notes at

If you need a freelancer for your (next) project, come find me and lets talk. If you don’t need a freelancer, come have a chat anyway ;)

It’s Official: Vista Blows

Posted by Jesper on August 20, 2007

Or as Joel Spolsky puts it:

I’ve been using Vista on my home laptop since it shipped, and can say with some conviction that nobody should be using it as their primary operating system—it simply has no redeeming merits to overcome the compatibility headaches it causes. Whenever anyone asks, my advice is to stay with Windows XP (and to purchase new systems with XP preinstalled).

and Fake Steve comments on outgoing PC Magazine editor Jim Louderback’s “Vista sucks” farewell column:

... Jim Louderback, the newly departed editor of PC Magazine, who uses his farewell column to do something I suppose he has wanted to do for ages—tell the truth about Vista. “Why, nine months after launch, am I so frustrated? The litany of what doesn’t work and what still frustrates me stretches on endlessly.”

... “I could go on and on about the lack of drivers, the bizarre wake-up rituals, the strange and nonreproducible system quirks, and more. But I won’t bore you with the details. The upshot is that even after nine months, Vista just ain’t cutting it. I definitely gave Microsoft too much of a free pass on this operating system.”

(via Daring Fireball)

Making TextMate and sqlplus play nice

Posted by Jesper on August 17, 2007

As described in the Calling TextMate from Other Applications chapter in the TextMate Manual

There is one command which does not support giving arguments in the EDITOR variable, it is crontab (which is sort of obsoleted by launchd). If you need to use it, you can create a symbolic link to mate with a _wait suffix which implies -w.

Well, as I found out a while ago, there’s another command that has the same problem: sqlplus. But if you follow Allan’s instructions, you can make TextMate work with sqlplus:

ln -s mate ~/bin/mate_wait   # run this once to create the link
export EDITOR='mate_wait'    # use in your ~/.bash_profile

Assuming you’ve already created a symlink to mate and that ~/bin exists (you could also use /usr/local/bin or some other preferred location). Now, in sqlplus simply type ed or edit as usual, and your commandline will open up in TextMate. Yay, one less reason to ever edit any text outside of TextMate.

Apple Updates Today

Posted by Jesper on August 07, 2007

Apple released a bunch of new and updated products today:

  • New iMacs. I would buy one today if I had the slightest use for it. It looks absolutely gorgeous.
  • Updated Mac minis. Yay! We can still get cheap Mac servers.
  • New wired and wireless keyboards. I love the wireless without the numeric keypad. This way you can have your mouse closer to the keyboard, and I never use the keypad anyway (now if they could just get rid of the silly caps lock key as well). I’ve been wanting a keyboard like this ever since getting a Mac, so I ordered one immediately—the English (Int’l) version of course, the Danish layout is completely useless for writing code.
  • iLife ‘08. iMovie seems to be worth the upgrade alone. I ordered a family pack.
  • iWork ‘08. I love Keynote, so upgrading was an easy choice. The new spreadsheet, Numbers, looks like a nice addition. One more family pack in the shopping basket.
  • Updated .Mac. The new web gallery with photo and movie sharing looks like it’s worth the price alone, but I’ll wait for the reviews before deciding whether I’m going to be a .Mac user. I’d also like to see if they are going to support photo sharing from Aperture.
  • Updated AirPort Extreme. Looks like it gained gigabit ethernet, so there’s one less reason not to buy one now.

    Shopping spree
    Todays shopping spree comes out at just DKK 2097,-. That’s five copies a lot of software for very little money if you ask me—and a new keyboard too.

    Update: There’s a 30-day trial of iWork ‘08 available and a bunch of tutorials (via MacUser).

New Theme

Posted by Jesper on August 06, 2007

As you and my two other visitors (including Googlebot) might have noticed, I changed the look of the site. The old Blix theme I’ve been using for the past two years was beginning to look a little dated, and I also seemed to bump into blogs using it more and more frequently, so it was time to go looking for a new WordPress theme.

I began digging through the gazillion free themes available, but the good looking themes are also very popular (duh!) and I wanted something a little less common, so I ended up buying a “semi-unique” theme from Template Monster that looked nice on their demo site, but when installed on my blog didn’t work very well. In fact I doubt they’ve ever run it on a WordPress installation with some real data. So I spent a couple of evenings fixing the CSS and PHP, before deciding to cut my losses (it was only $50 anyways) and find another theme.

I ended up deciding on the ScribbishWP Theme, which all the cools kids seem to be using these days. It’s a port of Scribbish for Typo, a blogging engine built with Ruby on Rails—so it smells a little like Rails, without the pain of installing and running Typo. I happen to like green, so I changed the original reddish colors to green. That’s how far my design skills go.

Synacor Files for IPO

Posted by Jesper on August 04, 2007


Seems good ol’ Synacor finally decided to go public:

NEW YORK (AP)—Synacor Inc., an Internet platform provider, filed for an initial public offering of its shares of common stock.

The Buffalo, N.Y.-based company plans to use the proceeds from the offering for working capital and other general corporate purposes. A portion of the proceeds may also be used to acquire other businesses, products or technologies.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday, Synacor did not disclose the number or expected price range of shares to be offered, but indicated that the proposed maximum offering price would be roughly $86.3 million.

If you have no idea why I’m writing about Synacor: They are the result of the merger between and MyPersonal (still clueless? See my resumé).

Update: The company plans to raise $86 million through the sale of nearly 11.6 million shares (via Business First of Buffalo). That’s roughly $7.5 per share—it’s going to be interesting to see if they can raise that.

Buzzword driven recruiting

Posted by Jesper on August 02, 2007

InfoQ has an interesting article on whether specific technology knowledge matter when recruiting. The short answer: No—although most companies don’t realize this.
Make sure you check out the Flickr photo of a Ruby job ad, it got quite a few laughs at RailsConf.

JRuby on Rails Screencast

Posted by Jesper on July 21, 2007

Atlantic Dominion Solutions has posted a JRuby on Rails screencast. It is based on their excellent first JRuby tutorial, Get JRuby onto the Rails on Mac OS X.

Someone told me that watching a video is more fun that reading something. So much for the library I have sitting here then. However, in that spirit, we are happy to release the first in a series of screencast tutorials.

Also, while you’re there make sure you check out part two of their JRuby tutorial: Deploy Your First JRuby on Rails App to Glassfish.

Ramsay’s Software Nightmares, anyone?

Posted by Jesper on July 10, 2007

Who wants to be the Gordon Ramsay of software development? Because we freakin need one—there’s absolutely no shortage of places to fix.

Having just watched Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares on TV tonight, I realized how much the kitchen nightmares portrayed in the series are like some of the software development nightmares I run into as a freelance consultant.

While most of the software development teams aren’t exactly failing completely and their companies about to file for bankruptcy, there’s a long list of striking resemblances with the restaurants in the TV series: People are running around utterly confused, not communicating properly, and the so-called managers are doing a terrible job of being in charge. The team members have either lost their love and passion for writing software or just don’t know their craft. And if they have a structured approach to software development, it’s more often than not using out of date methods and tools resulting in out of date productivity and results—they are serving fondue and cheesecake, when they could be practicing molecular gastronomy.

So why do these software shops still have customers? Well, my take on it is that the customers simply do not have the skills necessary to tell a good software development shop from a bad one. And the worst thing is, if they had the skills, there would be awfully few to choose from.

As they say in the TV series: It’s going to be hell! Are you going to answer the 911 call?