Use reCAPTCHA To Reduce Comment Spam

After viewing my comment moderation queue for the first time in a year, I was shocked by the volume of spam. I'm used to moderating spam on other sites, but didn't expect a similar volume here. Needless to say, the open source power of Drupal makes reCAPTCHA available for use as an installable module. After a few months I'll revisit the moderation queue and post the difference in volume I'm hoping for.


Personal Goals For 2010

Most people have new year's "resolutions", but in my opinion these tend to be shallow and short lived. Being the goal oriented individual that I am, here are my goals for 2010. These are not "resolutions" and no, I'm not resolving to lose 10 pounds, eat less chocolate, or watch less tv. Either way, I don't even have cable.

Why the SmartBrief Service is Outdated (A Review)

1999 just called, and SmartBrief answered the phone. Here's an outdated service which aggregates site content, then emails it to subscribers.

The premise behind SmartBrief is simple: there’s too much information
out there and too little time in the day to read it all. Our editors
hand-pick the most relevant and important news from all over, summarize
it, link to the original sources and deliver it -- for FREE -- in
one-stop-shop e-newsletters.

Learn To Create Web 2.0 Buttons

Every month I challenge myself to learn or experience something I've never done before. This runs the gamut from the minor to the life changing. And on a weekly basis I strive to learn something minor.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund



Someone needs to notify the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. I love them, and it's a great cause. But if you're going to play off peoples' patriotism, don't give them gifts made in China.


Open Position @ BlueCross BlueShield

Job Title: Finance Systems Support Analyst

Business Area: Finance

Location: Boston-Landmark Center

 Position Summary

What's a DPFE Sensor?

Image by Axon

The other day my check engine light came on. I took the car in over
the weekend while I went camping. They called me and told me I had a
faulty DPFE sensor and it'd cost $400 parts+labor so I said yes. It was
the weekend and I just wanted my car back for the coming week.

Now I'm researching what this is and it's a $40 or $80 part (depending on year). Two small
hoses go into it plus an electrical plug. And according to the Ford Focus photos in the links below, it's right in the engine
bay. Nothing special. I paid the dealership $80 parts + $300 labor!

Normally when the dealership diagnoses a problem and calls me with the proposed solution I decide if I want
to do it myself or not. Most of the time I can man up no problem and fix my car myself. But since I never heard of this part I agreed to the
work. It probably took them 15 minutes to replace. That is unless it's harder
on my car than for those Focus guys in the links below. Their sensor is right up against the firewall. That's where my IAC (Idle Air Controller) resides and that was a simple bolt-on job I performed myself.

With my manual transmission the effects were especially pronounced. Once the CEL (Check Engine Light) came on, I should've known what it'd be related to:
"Drivers complaints usually include a bucking or trailer hitching condition
during shifting or initial off-idle acceleration as part of the
driveability complaint, which can be especially noticeable on manual
transmission equipped vehicles. EGR valve replacement is the recommended

  • EGR means "Exhaust Gas
    Recirculation", the process of sucking exhaust gases back into the
    engine to re-burn them. It is a technique that reduces the pollutants
    emitted by the engine.
  • DPFE means "Delta Pressure Feedback of EGR", Delta means
    "difference" or "change", so the DPFE Sensor reads changes in the
    pressure of the EGR system.

    Breaking Up Site Maintenance Chores

    In James' latest ProBlogger post, he writes about how to breakup your site maintenance tasks to make them more manageable. I agree that taking on a single task for an entire evening is daunting.


    6 Tasks to Breakup

    Installing Windows 7 on VirtualBox in Linux

    Today I'm installing Windows 7 within the VirtualBox virtual machine software on a Linux host OS. Thanks to the open source community for making this possible. As great as VMWare is, it's never been quite the fit for my needs. After reading through some reviews, I'm optimistic about what VirtualBox can do.

    "I Want a Button" .com?

    Here's a great stress reliever: take the most common, obnoxious, and over used phrase from work; then buy that domain. In my case, it's

    Even animals get excited about gathering requirements.


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