Ron Sparks Solution Architect, Author, Poet


A View of Anonymous and #OpOrlando


(Quite a few of you have come to me for explanation of Anonymous and OpOrlando, so this is for you.) If you’re unaware, Orlando is currently under cyber-attack by the digital group known as Anonymous.  The reason they are attacking Orlando is in protest of the recent arrests of members of a group called Food Not Bombs that feeds Orlando homeless people in downtown Orlando in violation of a...

Searching Contents of Files Via MS-DOS


I log into a lot of client production servers and do not have the luxury of installing my favorite GUI tools, such as UltraEdit, which (among other things) easily allows me to search within files.  On these servers I am limited to what is already installed.  Just today I was forced to search an entire website on a client server for a file that that might contain the string “bill”. So...

Executing multiple SQL scripts against a MySQL database from a DOS batch file


[updated 2011-06-10 because a friend  pointed out a flaw in my assumption that I needed to enter the password every time – see bottom for updates] I am architecting a project that is a C# front end, hitting SOAP web services, that communicate with a C# core, and has a MySQL database backend (accessed using a buddy’s custom ORM solution).  I use MySQL Workbench to manage the schema and...

An Ethical Hacking Debate


This blog post spurred a pretty lively debate between my wife and me.  I attempted to explain ethical hacking to her, my responsibilities to our son in encouraging his skills, and how ethical hackers help society as a whole.  This is why I love Carey so much, though – she is the best sounding board ever and she loves me so much she puts up with my constant stream of consciousness. Enjoy! . ...

Passing the Technology Torch


My son, Christopher, is extremely tech savvy.  At 13-years-of-age: He’s very proficient with DOS batch programming. he’s already written multiple programs in VB.NET and in Visual Studio. He’s made a small side business of modifying XBox controllers, soldering on special chips and buttons to allow for rapid fire and different modes in different games. He routinely re-installs...

The Problems with eBooks


I love my Nook. I can, on my one device, store thousands of books.  I can shop for and purchase new books from anywhere I can get a cellular signal.  I can download hundreds of free books to read. Before I purchased my nook, I was reading eBooks on my iPhone with both the Barnes and Noble app and the Kindle app. Prior to that I would download from Project Gutenberg, download to my Treo, and read...

Facebook’s Deceptive Privacy Policies


A few weeks ago, the online world became enraged when Facebook launched its Instant Personalization” feature.  Users were automatically opted into the program without being notified and the only way to opt out was to: Know that this program had launched, it was done very quietly and Navigate through 3-4 mouse clicks on your account profile to find out where to disable the control. Users...

Airport Body Scanners Violate My Rights

Airport Scanners Violate My Rights

Take a look at the image on the right. That, my friends, is what an airport full-body image scanner shows. You can clearly see every . . . single . . . inch of the person in the scanner. His chest. His navel. His butt-crack. His penis. His testicles. You can see it all. This is what awaits you at the airport. I find it offensive and despicable. Airport full-body scans are just strip searches and...

Ditching My Cable Company


Goodbye Brighthouse. For years you have been my cable provider, my Internet provider, and my telephone provider. I have been faithfully paying you over $2500.00 a year for these services. I have hundreds of channels, HD packages, two HD DVRs, premium channels, high-speed internet, unlimited national calling, call waiting, and a slew of other features I don’t use. All for the low, low, price of...

Windows 7 and Optiarc DVDRWBD BC-5600S


Problem: On my Dell Studio 1737 the Optiarc DVDRWBD BC-5600S would not work after I installed Windows 7. The DVD drive would hang on both DVDs and CDs, sometimes for 15 minutes or more, before it released control back to the program and allowed me to exit the application. Solution Control Panel –> System and Security –> Power Options –> Change power plan to “high...

Ron Sparks Solution Architect, Author, Poet

Ron Sparks

Ron Sparks is a technology professional, science fiction and fantasy author and poet living in Zurich, Switzerland. His latest book "ONI: Satellite Earth Series Book 1" is available on


A man of many passions, I lay claim to a myriad of interests and hobbies. Among them, I am an amateur astronomer, an avid motorcycle rider, a whiskey aficionado, a (poor) surfer, a scuba diver, a martial artist, a student of philosophy, a proponent of critical thinking, a technologist, an entrepreneur, a cancer survivor, and I harbor a lifelong love of science fiction and fantasy. Feel free to strike up a conversation on the social networks below.

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