Eric Smith is a software architect and developer. He currently works for Arcserve, and graduated with a computer science degree from Brigham Young University back when the World-Wide Web was a new thing.

Latest Posts

PyCon 2016 - Day 3

Wednesday was the final day of the main PyCon 2016 conference in Portland, Oregon.

Pioneer Square

Lightning talks

One of the interesting talks was about Web accessibility. It isn't always top-of-mind for me since I do little Web front end currently, but the speaker mentioned the Accessibility Developer Tools for Google Chrome …

PyCon 2016 - Day 2

Today's PyCon was a lot about meeting people. I hadn't really anticipated that, but it was a nice surprise nonetheless. But first things first...

Convention Center

Lightning talks (AM)

There were two sets of lightning talks today, book-ending the rest of the events. One interesting one was about using Minecraft to teach …

PyCon 2016 - Day 1

PyCon is in Portland, Oregon this year, which is not only more accessible to me than eastern Canada (the previous location), but also the area where most of my extended family lives. Those facts combined to make it a great time to attend for the first time.

Willamette River

In a way …

Time Warp in VirtualBox

Here are a couple of tips for manipulating the clock in Oracle's VirtualBox.

Sometimes you need to tweak a virtual machine's clock for some kind of test or another. With the VirtualBox Guest Additions installed, you'll have trouble because the service will keep the guest's clock synchronized with the host's …

Granular Profiling in PyCharm

PyCharm added profiler integration in version 4.5, which I thought was pretty cool. Used as documented, though, it hasn't been terribly useful. Here's a way to improve on that.

In my case, I was interested in profiling a web service -- specifically requests to a particular resource. I started up …

Solipsistic Backups

I noticed this banner ad the other day from Mozy:

Slow Down!

Um... I actually do prefer to have background processes (such as backup) defer to the real work I'm trying to do on my computer.

Run/Debug as root in PyCharm

I'm working on a Python project that needs to run as root in order to work properly. Previously I've just run the whole PyCharm IDE as root, but this has some down-sides, and I think I have a better approach now.

The biggest hassle with running the IDE as root …

Password Management

It's been two years since Wired's Mat Honan declared the age of passwords over, but somehow the successor hasn't yet found its way to the throne. That being the case, this is how I currently manage my passwords.

The challenge with security is that it tends to be in direct …

git-flow with Cmder

"Git Flow" is a branching model using the Git version control system. There is also a set of extensions for Git that make using Git Flow easier, but there aren't installation instructions specifically for use with the excellent cmder Windows shell replacement. Here's how to do it...

These instructions are …

Public Key Cryptography Made Easy

Learning about cryptography can be discouraging. You get so bombarded by "don't invent your own", "you're doing it wrong", and "even really smart people screw this up" that you wonder why you even bother to try. For me, the answer is because if you don't learn it, someone who knows …