Buying a house is very likely the biggest expense of your life. It has a direct impact on your family, your quality of life, your monthly budget and even who your kids grow up to be. In the USA a typical mid-western home will cost $100,000 to $200,00 (median income in this area is $43,000 according to 2001 census). It’s such a big decision to make. Yet we really don’t spend that much time, relatively speaking, shopping for a house.

Here’s how the process works. You decide you want a new home, start looking around to see if you can afford it and ask people for advice. Then you make a relationship with a realtor, a sales person, who will help you. Unlike a typical sales person, the realtor represents you, not the seller, so ideally they’ll help you make a good decision.

Matt's Grand Ideas

Today Apple is supposed to make a big announcement. I don’t know yet what that will be but many people think it’s related to a Tablet PC. Apple’s success in the iPhone and App Store business has reminded me of one of the web’s biggest mistakes and we seem on track to repeat it. I’m stunned because it really hasn’t been that long. How can we be doing it again so soon?

Matt's Grand Ideas

OK, here’s the problem… you want to test a website by sending custom headers, but the website uses https. Normally you’d just telnet to port 80 like so:

telnet www.somesite 80
GET /index.html HTTP/1.1
Host: www.somesite

(Note you need to press enter twice at the end)

This would be a valid HTTP GET request and you’d see the server’s response headers and response data. But with an SSL website this won’t work at all. What do you do?

Bible and Church

My class last night seemed to enjoy an illustration I gave so I decided to share it here. The class is the first of 5 I will teach called “Getting a better spouse,” which is a poor name, but the goal is to make our families stronger by improving the husband and wife relationship. The common denominator of all the people in the class is that we all have kids and as any parent knows, sometimes life seems incredibly busy. Also at times it can feel like our kids are the center of our families and all life revolves around them.

As parents its critical to admit that one of our most important job is to raise our children properly (cf Proverbs 22:6, Deuteronomy 6:6-7). But that doesn’t mean the children become the center of the family. They need to learn that the world does not revolve around them. Therefore the class’s goal will hopefully help draw the mom and dad together. Doing this helps the whole family.

But… the husband/wife relationship is not the most important relationship in the family. The most important is the parent/God relationship. God invented the family and He

Matt's Grand Ideas

I really get irritated with passwords. I want to avoid entering them when possible. However, I want to keep security high.

Using SSH keys, you don’t need to enter passwords to log into systems. However, if you’re wise, you’ve encrypted your SSH key to keep it and your systems secure. So what’s the benefit of removing your password if you just have enter a password to decrypt your key?

If you use ssh-agent and ssh-add you can enter your password one time to decrypt your key and then it will help you log in each time you use SSH. Big benefit.

Matt's Grand Ideas

Jakob’s recent Alertbox discussing the stability of web usability principles ends with a comment how people naively state that web usability concepts are obvious. (yes, that is a major paraphrase, sorry JN)

You may look at my website and say that I need to apply my own principles, and you’d be right. You may look at my work website and say the same, and you’d be right again. However, this only re-enforces Jakob’s point – You can’t just look at your website and say, “this is easy” or “this is hard.”

Matt's Grand Ideas

At bedtime the other night, my son announced he’d thought of the silliest name for a baby sister. He’s 6, so I was not expecting a ROFL, but I was surprised. I chuckle now just thinking about it.

I’ve never tried communicating second hand humor through a blog before, so I don’t know how well this will work. If it doesn’t sound funny to you after reading it, try saying it out loud, or imagine using it to address a young sibling, niece or daughter.
The silliest name for a baby sister (according to my son) is: Grandma.

Bible and Church

Let’s see, God made the universe, the earth, the plants, animals, sun, moon… then he made a man, whom he assigned the task of naming the animals, then he made a woman and created the institution of marriage. All of this in six days. Then he invented the “day of rest.” What did God do on this day?

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