superuser is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Jason Lotito
Member since: 2001-03-12 23:55:17
Last Login: 2015-03-06 21:44:35

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  • Languages: PHP, Python,
  • vi or emacs: vim of course
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    Editor: Zend DE for PHP, vim or FTE for everything else

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Recent blog entries by superuser

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TIL: Keeping SSH connections alive

It's actually fairly simple. In your SSH config file, you add this:

Host *
    ServerAliveInterval 240

The * after the host can be whatever host you want it to apply to, and * simply means to apply this to all hosts. So you could also apply it this way:

    ServerAliveInterval 240

Also, if you aren't sure where your SSH config file is, on a UNIX based system, it's generally in ~/.ssh/config.

Syndicated 2015-08-27 14:24:59 from Jason Lotito


So, we looked at JPEG image encoding, which is a very popular image codec. Especially since our image is going to be blurred heavily on the client, and thus band-limiting our image data, JPEG should compress this image quite efficiently for our purposes. Unfortunately, the standard JPEG header is hundreds of bytes in size. In fact, the JPEG header alone is several times bigger than our entire 200-byte budget. However, excluding the JPEG header, the encoded data payload itself was approaching our 200 bytes. We just needed to figure out what to do about that pesky header!

The technology behind preview photos

Syndicated 2015-08-07 13:27:25 (Updated 2015-08-07 13:30:03) from Jason Lotito


  1. Given what I know of this person’s performance, and if it were my money, I would award this person the highest possible compensation increase and bonus.

  2. Given what I know of this person’s performance, I would always want him or her on my team.

  3. This person is at risk for low performance.

  4. This person is ready for promotion today.

From the Washington Post

Syndicated 2015-08-04 13:39:08 (Updated 2015-08-04 13:39:09) from Jason Lotito

Highlighting code in presentations

Before I started using this method, I always struggled with ways to highlight parts of code I wanted to talk about when giving presentations. This method, I've found, is at once the easiest method to employ, and provides context to the viewer. They can easily follow along, and where the code is in relation to other code you are talking about is made apparent.

Add two square shapes to your slide

A picture is worth a thousand words, and this one should show clearly how to highlight lines of code on a slide. You just add two shapes, and set the opacity to such a level that code can still be viewed, but it's dimmed out.

You can also generate nice transitions between highlights of the same code using Magic Move as your transition.

Silvrback blog image

The result is a fairly simple transition as you highlight specific lines of code.

Silvrback blog image

This works with code that cannot fit on your slide as well. Simple add the code to your slide, and allow it to go beyond the edge of your slide. When you want to highlight code that is partially hidden, simply move the text box up as appropriate.

Silvrback blog image

While my examples use Keynote, the technique can be applied in other presentation software using their own appropriate features.

Syndicated 2015-02-27 22:11:34 (Updated 2015-02-27 22:14:05) from Jason Lotito

10 things to improve your tech talks

  1. Practice your talk before speaking. Several times. Record yourself. Watch it. At a conference, people paid $$$ for this.
  2. Assume wifi is unavailable for your talk. Don't depend on it to run demos.
  3. Assume you'll get few or no questions. Given a 45 minute slot? Aim for 40 minutes.
  4. If you insist on live coding, make sure you've written down the code ahead of time. We don't want to watch you debug in real time.
  5. If your talk title says it's about X, don't make the first quarter/half not talking about X. We probably came to listen to you talk about X, not your life story. Exceptions exist, but do so carefully.
  6. Waiting for audience participation is awkward. "Can anyone see what's wrong?" Just move on.
  7. The best slides are ones that are useful after the talk. You can export with speaker notes! Have speaker notes!
  8. Be professional. Know how your computer works. How the presentation software works. Show up ahead of time, make sure tech is ready.
  9. Don't save your talk for a big conference. Run through it at a user group or meetup. Adjust. Improve. Repeat.
  10. You can't please everyone. Present for a target audience. Title and description should aim to entice that target audience.

Syndicated 2015-02-27 21:18:24 from Jason Lotito

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