First Blog Post of 2020

Wow! It’s nearly the end of 2020 and I’m making my first blog post of the year. It’s been more than a year since my last post. There’s no excuse for going this long without a post, but I have one anyways. I broke my local install in Jekyll, which is the software I use to generate this website. And I’ve been too busy with work to make the time to fix the issues. But I started a 2-week vacation yesterday and thought, “I should fix my blog site.”

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Tags And Categories

I’ve been doing a bit of tinkering here at thecave. I realized I was using categories as if they were tags and for one simple reason. I didn’t have a way to support tags. That is, until now.

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Blogging The Little Things

I read a post from Shubham Jain, by way of Gus Mueller, about blogging the little things. In the post, Shubham says:

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Do I Need Another Twitter Account

Earlier tonight I setup a new Twitter account that tweets a link each time I publish a new post here at The new Twitter account is @thecave_com. Of course now that this is setup, I’m wondering…Do I really need a separate Twitter account, or should I just tweet the links from my @kirbyt account?

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thecave On Twitter

My friend Uli asked:

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Where I Blog These Days

I’ve recently, and “recently” as in the last couple of years, cut back on the number of blog sites I have. I’m down to three sites now, and that seems manageable. The sites are:

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Reliving The Past

I just spent the last two hours looking through past posts here at thecave. I was writing a lot for the four or five years, and some of those old posts are actually good. But more importantly reading through those old posts gave me a chance to relive my past.

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New Site Theme

I’ve been on a website redesign kick lately updating sites such as and The recent update to my vanity website gives it a more modern look, and Rowan’s website now has a clean, fresh look that focuses on the content.

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Microblogging, the Open Web, and Cross Post

Recently Manton Reece has been talking a lot about microblogging in an open web world using RSS. He has touched on points that are important to me, specifically content ownership. Like many people I post regularly to, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks, but I’ve always had one big problem with these networks. My micro-posts do not appear on my web site, and if these networks were to disappear in the future, then my content disappears too.

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Welcome Back

Hey! What’s going on here? A new blog post after more than a year and a half?

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Salem Bloggers Unite

The fine folks at The Salem Insider are compiling a list of Salem-based bloggers. If you live in Salem Mass and have a blog, you should add your blog site to the list. And no, your blog site doesn’t have to be about Salem. They just ask that you be a Salem resident. It’s a neat way to see what others in Salem are writing about.

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Follow Me

I know I don’t blog as much any more. There just never seems to be enough time. But I’m still around. You can follow me at:

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Long Time No Post

Since starting this blog back in March 2002, I have never gone this long without a post. The longest time before now was when I made the move from New York City to Salem Mass, which was about a month between postings. This time around it has been nearly 2 full months between postings. Needless to say, I have been extremely busy in through 2 months.

First of all, I have taken on new customer work to help pay the bills while I continue working on the product side of White Peak Software. While this has helped financially, it is taking it toll on my available time. The main reason is I am now traveling weekly. Combine this with my already busy travel schedule and I’m left with very little time.

Another activity keeping me busy is the purchase of a new house. Melanie and I have never owned a house before so the process is totally new for us. We found the house we really like and plan to close in December. I can’t tell you how excited we are about owning our own house and how anxious I am to be done with the buying process. It’s almost like a full time job shopping for mortgage and dealing with all the other tasks that go into buying a house. And add to that my travel schedule…

But wait. There’s more. The new house is not the only thing we are excited about. Melanie and I will soon be parents. Yep, that’s right. I’m finally going to be a daddy.

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CAPTCHA Requirement for Blog Comments

The number of spam messages received through blog comments at has increased to a point where I finally had to do something about it. So today I implemented a CAPTCHA field required to make a blog comment. The code is a partial C# port of the CAPTCHA Server Control for ASP.NET, which is written in VB.NET.

My next step will be removing the 400+ spam comments posted. Joy, joy.

Update: The CAPTCHA implementation has eliminated 100% of blog comment spam on this site. I wish email spam could be eliminated just as easily.

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Mike Eberhart is now Blogging

Mike Eberhart of the Cleveland based database developer shop Intersoft Development, and long time friend, is finally blogging on investment news and opinions, software and technology thoughts, and more. Should make for some interesting reading.

Welcome to the blogosphere, Mike.

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Celebrating 4 Years of Blogging

Four years ago today changed its look and became my personal blog. A lot has happened since that time. I got married, left my corporate job to start my own company, made trips to Paris, Nice, Brussels, and Italy, was the ICCA NYC chapter president for a year, and most recently moved from New York City to Salem, Massachusetts. It’s been an incredible ride that is showing no signs of slowing down.

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Where has the time gone?

Wow! Has it really been over a month since my last blog posting? I guess so. I didn’t realize so much time had passed. Guess that’s what happens when you are busy.

I’ve been traveling back and forward between Salem and St. Louis this month to teach a series of classes on XML, XSD, XSLT, and Web services. As expected the first class was a bit rough but the other classes have been a lot of fun.

I never realized how much work goes into preparing for a class. I have been putting in countless hours preparing course materials, demos, hand-ons exercises, and labs. And let’s not forget the prep time for speaking. I’m heading out tomorrow morning to teach the last two days of the class. It will seem weird not having to think about the classes next week.

For those wondering about the status of SMTP Diagnostics 1.6, it’s coming. The beta release is available from the download page and the final release will be available within 2 weeks.

I’m also working through the marketing research for another product idea. I should have more to report in 6 to 7 weeks if I decide to go forward with the new idea. Meanwhile, Vertigo is still in the works but it’s turning into a much larger project then I originally expected. A release for this summer is unlikely.

That’s a quick update of what’s happening. Hopefully it won’t be another 4 to 5 weeks before my next posting.

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Spam Posting

This blog site has been up since March 2002 and since that time it has never once received a spam comment posting. That was until Tuesday of this week.

The site gets lots of traffic. Not as much as this person or that person, but enough to make me happy. I knew the day would come when a spammer would finally make a posting but I didn’t think it would take this long. Now I’m not asking for spam comments to be posted on this site but I find it interesting it has taken almost 4 years before a spammer successfully posted comment.

What makes this more interesting is that a number of attempts by spammers to post spam comments have been made over the last 4 years. This is especially true for another site I have, the Melanie and Kirby wedding site where attempts by spammers to post comments in the guest book are made daily.

So what’s my secret to warding off spammers? I’m not 100% sure. All my sites including this blog site are custom written using ASP.NET. Maybe that has something to do with it. What I do know is that I will probably start seeing an increase in successful spam comment posting to this site unless I make some changes.

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