Why are you bankrupting yourself for college?

What do universities want? The same as what everybody else wants, really. Power. Fame. Money. Well, the money’s actually a means to the first two, because you obviously don’t become powerful and famous (sorry, “prestigious”) without money.

How do universities rise up? They hire and sponsor press-worthy research and researchers, and save up money to build shiny new buildings every so often. That takes a lot of cash, so they have to keep the dough rolling in.

Universities generally rely on four or five sources of funding: Continue reading Why are you bankrupting yourself for college?

Dreamhost is so 2004

Today marks my final move from uncool, mainstream shared hosting to the fantastic world of pay-what-you-need technology mash-ups.

Shared hosting…

I used to have shared hosting at Site5. They were OK. I really can’t complain much except that their dashboard functionality for hosting multiple domains on one account seemed archaic. I signed up almost exactly 5 years ago on their The Five Dollar Web Hosting Deal, which offered seemingly huge allocations of 55GB of disk space and 5TB of bandwidth. The plan has long been discontinued and Site5 followed the rest of the industry towards “unlimited” shared hosting, but I never “upgraded” because I never hit those limits and the newer $5 plans couldn’t host multiple sites. Site5’s interface got slicker and their servers got stabler, but I eventually wanted to go beyond ordinary shared hosting.

Shared hosting has been such a smoke-and-mirrors industry designed to lure in inexperienced webbies with promises of “Unlimited!” and “One-click blogs!”. Sure, for many people, it’s perfectly fine for putting up some information about the local Habitat for Humanity or chess club, but even then, wouldn’t a free Tumblr or Google Sites account be just fine? Regardless, I decided to get more hands-on with my new setup.

Continue reading Dreamhost is so 2004

cd && ls

I’ve noticed that I have a habit of changing to a directory and then immediately listing it’s contents. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could do it in one command?

My goto for shell automation is usually shell scripting. Shell scripting is nice because I can use any language I want, and I don’t have to worry about losing everything if I switch shells or something. Shell scripting isn’t suitable for this, however, because writing cd in a shell script will just change the script’s working directory.

I notice that a lot of people like to use aliases for various little things like command abbreviations, but aliases can’t interpolate arguments. Without control over arguments, I can’t give cd the argument and then ls after that.

The final solution I wrote is a bash function in my .bashrc, and while it’s bash-specific, I doubt I’ll ever need to port it to another shell (and it shouldn’t be difficult to do either).

cl () { cd \$1 && ls; }

Now I just need to train my fingers to type “cl” instead.