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J. Daniel Ashton

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Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, —Ecclesiastes 9:10a NIV
The LORD God has told us what is right and what he demands:
"See that justice is done,
let mercy be your first concern,
and humbly obey your God." —Micah 6:8, CEV
With all your heart you must trust the LORD and not your own judgment.
Always let Him lead you, and He will clear the road for you to follow. —Proverbs 3:5,6 CEV

see also — My Homepage

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Name: Daniel Ashton
Location: Germantown, Maryland, United States

Any links with a dashed underscore probably point to Amazon.com

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

favicon Help

I've known for several years that most of my websites are missing the favicon file used to give each bookmark a unique icon. I created one long ago for my personal website and for CMW, but most of the others were less important.

Today, as I'm beginning to believe that I'll recover from this fever, I noticed that one of my more recently active websites was getting some visits, and of course this favicon file was missing. After some brief web searches I found this totally nifty tool, which I used to update my own icon and to create icons for my wife's sites and for MDMusic.org.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Unbelievable Choir!

This is a Honda Civic commercial, featuring a 60-voice choir. Astounding!

Power always…

Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws. -John Adams, 2nd US president (1735-1826)
This quotation came to me with today's A Word A Day.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

How to tail log files

[File under: too-technical, unix-tricks]

I spent some time researching how to tail all the log files in and under my log directory. I'm blogging about it here in hopes that it will be useful to someone, and in hopes that I'll not forget it when I need it next!

Several of the log files contain non-printable characters, so I had to find a way to discriminate between binary and text files. I played around with using the file command, but I couldn't find a way to use its analysis within a single command-line.

This is what I finally wound up with:
find . -type f -not -name \*\.deflate_log\* -exec grep -Il . {} \; | xargs tail -F

Trying to translate into English, this is what I think it does: find . gives a list of all files in this subdirectory and its subdirectories. -type f specifies only plain files, as opposed to subdirectories and links. (I think.) -not -name \*\.deflate_log\* removes files with .deflate_log anywhere in their filenames: I believe the deflate mechanism is working, so I don't want to tail those logfiles. -exec grep -Il . {} \; tells the find program to pass the filename to grep The -I tells grep to ignore binary files, and the l tells it to return only the name of files that match, i.e. all text files.

Finally, the remaining filenames are passed to xargs, which then spawns a tail -F command to do the actual work.

Can you see a cleaner way to get the job done? Please tell me!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Potluck Playlist

Two weeks ago we had a record-setting potluck lunch at our home, celebrating the baptism of both of my children. I used iTunes to provide background music from my collection of sacred choral recordings. Since these are some of my favorite CDs, choirs, works and composers, I put together a playlist that I can share with you here. Enjoy!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Bible Achievement - Area Results

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the kids participated this weekend in the local area Bible Bowl event. Of the four teams present, both Spencerville and Triadelphia placed well enough to progress to the conference level.

Sharing Lists

I recently threw together a couple of lists that may or may not interest you. First, here's a list of the daily comic strips that we read frequently. And second, I've added a list of all of our weblogs to the default AshtonFam.org page. (Is there some correllation between these two lists?) That default page is intended to list websites and weblogs for Ashton family members and friends, so let me know if you'd like to have your page(s) linked from there too.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Updated Resumé

In light of current events, I've updated my resumé. I'm sure I'll continue to update it as I get feedback from you.

What am I looking for? I'm fairly open at this point. Anything listed in the Interests section would grab my attention. I have a modest preference for staying with IBM, but Apple or Google would have no problem wooing me away. I'm happy to talk to other companies or government entities too.

I will go to some lengths to avoid travel: It's important to me to be near my wife, children and the home we make with our pets. It's also important that I be local enough to get involved in musical ensembles. I'm willing to consider moving, especially if the company covers the costs. However, I would prefer to stay here, since I have strong ties to our brass ensemble, and choral commitments through at least mid-April.

We would be willing to move to most parts of the country, although California would be a move of last resort. I'd also be happy to take a one- or two-year assignment in the U.K., Australia or New Zealand, or in any country where I could practice Italian, German, Spanish or Russian. Or learn another language.

I would give strong preference to a job where it was agreed, up-front, that I could work from home a fair percentage of the time.

I see myself as a programmer, but I seem to also have skills for systems administration and for teaching.

Area Bible Bowl

My children are both members of their Pathfinder club's Bible Bowl team, and the first Pathfinder Bible Achievement event will be this Sabbath afternoon at three o'clock at our church. This will be the local, or "area," event, with four or five teams competing.

The passage this year is I Chronicles 11 through II Chronicles 10, using the New King James Version of the Bible.

The kids have really put in their time preparing for this. Still, your thoughts and prayers for them would be appreciated. If you come to watch the kids, be sure to find us and say "Hi!"