Parsing pcap Files in Node.js with pcap-parser

12 Jan 2012

On my current project we've been using Node.js for an app that does a lot of packet capture and processing. In the past we used node-pcap for packet capture but were looking for an easier way to simply parse raw pcap files. It turns out the pcap file format is pretty simple as was writing a node module to parse it.

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Rails 3 Performance Monitoring with System Metrics

22 Aug 2011

System Metrics is a new Rails 3 Engine providing a clean web interface to the performance metrics instrumented with ActiveSupport::Notifications. It will collect and display the notifications baked into Rails and any additional custom ones you add using ActiveSupport::Notification#instrument.

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Are You Really Done?

14 May 2011

People often have a hard time determining if they're done with a software development task. It's a great idea to sit down with your team and together decide what you're going to consider as criteria for declaring a task done. If you haven't done that yet, here's one question you can ask yourself to help decide if you're done.

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Ruby Default Arguments and nil

07 Feb 2011

Ruby's default arguments are a really handy language feature that I recently discovered aren't as handy as I once thought. I was trying to track down an error I was getting in the following snippet of code in my ActiveRecord model object:

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Lessons Learned Building an HTTPS Everywhere Safari Extension Clone

14 Dec 2010

Ever since hearing about Firesheep I've wanted a Safari extension similar to the HTTPS Everywhere extension for Firefox. Frankly, I was puzzled that one didn't already exist, so I set out to write it. The result is SSL Everywhere. The journey is this blog post.

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Environment Specific Default Attachment Options for Paperclip

07 Dec 2010

Paperclip is a popular Ruby file attachment solution for ActiveRecord. Following some basic setup, you can specify an attachment to an ActiveRecord model by calling the has_attached_file class method as shown in the example below.

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Conferences are Not For Learning

15 Nov 2010

Near Infinity has the most generous training program I've heard of among our competitors, and certainly rivals the best in the industry. Colleagues occasionally ask me for opinions about a conference or training course they're considering. My stock answer for such inquiries has always been to "attend a good training class for depth of understanding on a narrow topic and pick a conference for more broad but shallower knowledge of many areas." I think the training course advice is still accurate, but I was wrong about conferences.

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Is system refactoring possible?

01 Nov 2010

People have talked about it for years. Even if you're new, you've certainly been on the receiving end of more war stories than you care to remember; it's that old legacy system. You know, the one that started out small but now has all kinds functionality tacked on here or growing out of there. Corporate architects most certainly call this growth subsystems but you know better. It's really just the junk that's built up over time because the system was never refactored.

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Protect your Rails Model Objects with Grant

18 Nov 2009

Near Infinity recently announced the release of Grant, a Ruby on Rails plugin for securing and auditing access to your Rails model objects, and I'm here to tell you a little bit about it. There are two primary pieces of Grant, model security and model audit. I'll be focusing on model security for this post and will address model audit in a later entry.

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Groovy's Safe Navigation Operator Not as Safe as I Thought

14 Apr 2009

The safe navigation operator is almost certainly my favorite operator in Groovy. It allows you to guard against NullPointerException(s) much more cleanly than defining a nasty if/else mess. Consider the following example.

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