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Happy Summer!  The kids are out of school and already bored.  My oldest son though is really into reading this year, I mean REALLY into it.  He has probably read 10 books already on summer break.

His school has a degree program for reading books during the summer.  Basically the students get a star for each day they read more than twenty minutes.  My son has been doing much more than that I thought it would be great to keep track of it.  I am sure looking back at the list at the end of the Summer he would be pretty impressed by the list too.

My first thought is that I would set him up with a blog, and he could type in the books he read on any given day.  He and I have done some basic web page building together, so I thought he may get a kick out of this.

So I added a new blog to my account here at WordPress and picked a theme I hoped he didn’t think sucked.  When I went to add his as a contributor to the blog I discovered he needed an email address to that.  Hmm….

Well I have thought about setting him up with an email address in the past, but never did it as there was really no reason and he is only eight.  So I went to Comcast to set him up with a family account.  The didn’t have the name I wanted, damn.  Well I found one close enough and went with that.  At least Comcast has some parental controls, I’ll have to look deeper into that.

I set him up with a WordPress account and when there to log him in.  When I logged in with his account to verify everything I was greeted with a page of many, many blogs.  Well this is not good, he doesn’t need to be exposed to to this, too young yet, too dangerous.

Going to the next level

As I pondered this in a background processes it hit me, what about setting up a new domain and hosting the stuff myself!?  I checked at GoDaddy and shit, the domain is available, excellent.

$10.67 / year for the domain, not so bad.  $9.99 for privacy, what!  that’s a bit outside.  Then it hit me again, Dreamhost.  Dreamhost has a free domain with a paid subscription and I never used it, perfect.  Off to Dreamhost

I was able to create and host the the domain on my current account and loaded up a WordPress blog in about 10 seconds.  Added an email address and we are ready to go in a more “controlled” environment.

So a simple idea has bloomed into a fully hosted domain with private emails and sites, all for an eight year-old.  I am the Tim Allen of the Internet!

So my son and I went over some of the stuff I put together and he is pretty interested in it all.  As expected he is a bit overwhelmed.  That’s OK, we’ll take it a step at a time in what ever direction interests him most.

I just finished a new file hashing tool, BD File Hash, which is hosted on CodePlex under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).

The goal behind this Windows tool is an easier way to verify files you download from the internet.  Many applications, ISO’s, and other files usually list a hash with them.  This hash is used to verify the file you downloaded is the same file the author meant you to download.  It prevents you from using corrupt or exploited downloads by allowing you to verify the file before you use it.

The problem I had with most file hashing tools, is that they needed to be run from a command line, or you had to open the hash value into a text editor and copy/paste it into the hashing application to be compared. So I wanted BD File Hash to be a convenient way to verify files using hashes.

BD File Hash has the following capabilities:

  • Right click any file and select BD File Hash from your Send To menu
  • Use a file picker to select the file with the authors hash value, it will automatically be parsed from the file and entered into the BD File has application
  • Easily hash to files to see if they are the same
  • Supports MD5, SHA-1, and SHA-256
    • Please recommend any other hashing algorithms you may need.
  • Save your default hash type to the one you use most often

BD File Hash requirements:

  • .NET 3.5 SP1
  • Windows Installer 3.1

Give BD File Hash a try today!

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