Author Archives: Fred Coulson

Removing a collar from a feral cat

I recently got a feral cat (Max) from a shelter in Brooklyn to be integrated into my local cat colony. Unfortunately Max came with a plastic ID collar that the shelter people had put on him during his incarceration at … Continue reading

Posted in Cats | 3 Comments

Catfud Revisited

Since I started making my own catfood back in August, I have refined my procedure somewhat. For one thing, I’ve become more skilled at carving up a chicken carcass. With a good heavy santoku knife and sharp kitchen scissors I … Continue reading

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Oracle Error Messages

I’ve got a script that runs through the alert logs for all the Oracle databases I manage every 10 minutes or so and sends me a text message containing the error number if it finds an error. Sometimes, when the … Continue reading

Posted in Databases | Leave a comment


Back when the tainted petfood scandal broke earlier this year, I resolved to make my own catfood. (Which is to say, I would continue to eat my own regular food, but I would make catfood for my cats). It wasn’t … Continue reading

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Renaming your Windows XP user account

Someone recently asked me how to rename their C:\Documents and Settings\mysername folder but they didn’t leave a correct email address so my reply bounced. So here, for the benefit of all, is my answer. Under the Documents and Settings is … Continue reading

Posted in Computers | 11 Comments

Three Normal Forms tutorial revised

After two months in the wilderness, my tutorial on the Three Normal Forms is back online. I took it down because in the original, it had some serious flaws. While not factually inaccurate, the section pertaining to NF1 was vague … Continue reading

Posted in Databases | 2 Comments

Gigantic Sea Turtle on Staten Island

Saturday morning I was jogging down South Beach a little south of the Verrazanno Bridge when I came upon a stupefying sight: a huge sea turtle had crawled up on the beach and died. It was a little awe-inspiring, because … Continue reading

Posted in Miscellaneous | 4 Comments

E-Z Putty Tunnelling

Putty is a great if you only have a handful of servers that you connect to on a regular basis. But as a consultant with a growing list of clients you can rapidly find yourself having to deal with a … Continue reading

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3 Normal Forms

At long last, and after repeated fan requests, I have gotten around to converting my 3 Normal Forms tutorial into a printable PDF, which can be downloaded here. This tutorial, targeted at beginners who are trying to learn the basics … Continue reading

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Back in the olden days

My first contact with computers came in 1977 or ’78 when I was in grade 5 or 6. Because I was smart, I got to spend a half-day a week in the computer lab at the University of Alberta with … Continue reading

Posted in Computers | 1 Comment