how's THAT for service? 

One of my consulting clients sent me a frantic email today, reporting that a PHP script that I had written for them had stopped working. I tested and verified the problem, analyzed the debugging information provided by the script, diagnosed that it was caused by a bug in a third-party API, modified my code to compensate for the change, and published the fix to the client's webserver, all in under ten minutes!

It always feels good when I can quickly provide an effective solution.
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exploring BitMessage 

I expect that we'll be seeing a sharp uptick in people's interest in privacy technology, given recent events. Humans have a basic need for privacy, closely connected with our need for intimacy, so it's important to have tools that help us preserve the privacy that we need in order to maintain healthy relationships. There are a lot of really effective tools like PGP that have been around for a long time, but due to the complexity, getting widespread buy-in has been an uphill climb.

BitMessage is still in beta, but I think it shows great potential as a private communications channel. Compared with PGP, the learning curve is actually pretty light. Download it, run it, create an address, and start sending and receiving messages -- for basic person-to-person use, that really is all there is to it. Some might find it a little off-putting that your "address" is a cryptic random-looking string of text, but in practice it's not much different from working with credit card numbers or even phone numbers. If you'd like to try it out with me, here's an address where I can be reached:

BM-2DBPMjJ2PHa4x1pxAE21Fe9U4R7jGK3jpi

"Each individual is continually engaged in a personal adjustment process in which he balances the desire for privacy with the desire for disclosure and communication of himself to others, in light of the environmental conditions and social norms set by the society in which he lives." - Alan Westin, Privacy and Freedom, 1968

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NK2Edit - THE solution to Microsoft Outlook's chronically buggy auto-complete 

Most of the software/service vendors that I deal with are quite good, but every now and then I have an exceptionally positive experience that makes it worth mentioning to others. This one solves a very specific problem, but one that a lot of people face, and the developer's responsiveness to support requests has been absolutely superb.

NK2Edit address an issue that has plagued Microsoft Outlook for many years. The auto-complete feature, which is supposed to remember names and addresses of email recipients and fill them in as you type, is notoriously unreliable. The file where this cache of addresses gets stored frequently becomes corrupted, fails to preserve recent changes, or simply disappears for no apparent reason. NK2Edit allows this data to be viewed, edited, repaired, backed up and restored, and continuously monitored, for a single user or for every user on your network, all in a simple, easy-to-use interface.

Free for personal use, and very reasonably priced for commercial use. Highly recommended.
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new EP from my friend Andrew 

Andrew and I used to play together often at Marin Covenant Church - often as part of a Chicago-style horn section, playing charts that we had written days or even hours before the service. :-) Now Andrew is in LA, cranking out awesome, worshipful music as part of Reverent Worship. Here is my favorite cut from their new EP: You Will Carry Me.
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RIP Posterous, long live sphpblog 

First there was TiddlyWiki, then Vox, then Posterous... all interesting in their own right, but eventually they all let me down.

Now hosting my blog on my own server with a lightweight php-based blog engine (I don't need all the bells and whistles of wordpress). Hopefully this setup will last a while.

Old posts are available at diercks.net/blog-archive
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