Author - Web Developer - Educator
Found 12 results for tag "ui"
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VIM Search and Replace

VIMI thought I'd post this because I needed it, and quick access doesn't hurt. I had a recent experience where I needed to replace a lot of text in a text file in the command line.

While I like to use vim as my text editor of choice while in a Linux system, I hated the fact that I had to find each instance of a word and manually type out the replaced word.

So, I found a solution: (thank you VIM Wiki)

:%s/
The %s command works just like wq, so you need to proceed it with a colon. But here's how it works:
:%s/FIND/REPLACE/OPTIONS
I hope this seems straight forward, but here's the breakdown: %s - initiate the :substitute feature FIND - the word/phrase you want to find REPLACE - the word/phrase you want to replace it with OPTIONS - there are a series of options you can include, the most popular one being g Here is an example:
:%s/cat/dog/g
This replaces all instances of "cat" with the word "dog". Simple, right?

Options

Here is the list of options I have come up with so far:
c - ask for confirmation (similiar to the -i flag)
i - case insensitive search/replace
I - case sensitive (the flag \C can also be tacked on to the word in case you want the word to be case sensitive only)
:%s/\<cat\>/dog/g - while not in the Options field, this searches for the whole words only (such as "cat", but not "categories")

There are plenty of other examples on the VIM Wiki page, but I thought I'd post this guide here for my benefit and anybody elses that needs it.


Tags:#vim #linux #texteditor #search #replace #guide

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Transistion, Business Shutdown, and Overall Updates

xkcd

Here's, the deal: the past few months have really been chaotic for me.

The first thing: As of March 4th, Shadow Dev is no more. On March 4th, I cut the 800 number, ended the insurance, and pretty much cut all ties. There's even a "goodbye" message at shadowdev.com that goes into a little more detail and the why of why it happened. Honestly, it was a good 8 years, but it was time to change directions.

Since I didn't want to say that I have been "unemployed" for the past few months (because self-employment doesn't supply unemployment insurance), I have created a sole-proprietorship freelance web development company called Q5 Industries. Don't ask about the name; Q5 was an available domain and good for a short domain (q5i.co), which really helps with short links.

So anyway, I've also finished Day of Reckoning - well, writing it, of course. It is currently going through the Editing process, which is taking a bit longer than expected, but hey - it's free. After that is finished, I will move on to Book 3: Dusk of Demise and almost be done with the series. My mother, although I'm sure it's 50% support and 50% real, likes my books, so finding how the series ends will be a surprise to us all.

I've also move some more personal "blog items" to a personal blog - kind of a "personal log". I gave it a LCARS look with more of a quick bootstrap view, and only available behind some security (I'm sure my reasons don't have to be explained).

Also, due to some role-playing gaming research, I would like to do a few things:
1) With a raspberry pi, I would like to do some hardware tinkering. I feel like I can do some testing and developing with basic LED research with a few helpful resources that I found on the internet using Python GPIO.

2) I would also like to tinker with raspberry pi and Jasper - a voice-command based system with a "dead-simple API". I thought I 'd give it a shot.

3) I've also been experimenting with some UI Framework, including UIKit, Bootstrap, Foundation (my favorite, thus far), Pure, HTML5 Boilerplate, and Skeleton. In reference, this may help with my job search with Frontend UI Design experience. (Speaking of which, I've updated my blog design to a slimmer, more responsive design, which looks pretty good)

I'm also going to be writing (and releasing) some tutorials on some HTML5, CSS3, and PHP on this blog - maybe to increase more traffic, maybe to show off some of the new techniques that I had learned (such as CSS3's vw property, which I thought was pretty cool)

Meanwhile, Java has taken a bit of a backseat while I get the rest of this chaos under control.


Tags:#nightblade #python #ui #raspberrypi #frameworks

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Raspberry Pi: The (Unofficial) Missing Startup Guide

Raspberry Pi Logo If you just ordered a Raspberry Pi (like me) and unboxed it only to find a circuit board and no instructions, let me outline a few things for you and make it simple to go from "box" to "running" with little to no hassle:

(also because the "Quick Start" guide was a little more confusing than expected - based on the directions, I thought it required a Windows-based computer to set up a Linux circuit board. I'm glad I was wrong, but it took me a while to find it out)

Step 1: Gathering the Necessary Parts/Cords


Here is a list of items that you will need to set up your Raspberry Pi:

  1. Micro-B USB Power Cord (with at least a 700 mA / 5V output - most cell phone chargers will work)
  2. A USB Powered Keyboard (hopefully with an input power of ~100mA)
  3. An HDMI cable (for HDMI TV's or Monitors) OR an double male RCA-RCA cable (for CRT TV's - if you have a double yellow male Video-Video cable, that will work too, as you will only need the yellow video jack). Don't expect to get a VGA connection out of this, because HDMI-VGA connectors are super expensive
  4. A Network cable (recommended)
  5. A dedicated blank (or can be blanked) 4GB+ SD Card (or Micro SD card with a full SD Reader - that's what mine is)

The SD card is here because that is the "hard drive" of the Raspberry Pi. Which means that the Pi does not come with it's own pre-installed OS, as I found out the hard way.

Alright, all of the parts have been gathered.


Step 2: Get the OS


Next, you'll need a functioning computer with internet, and go to raspberrypi.org/downloads to get an operating system.

Note Note: When I saw "For your free download go to raspberrypi.org/downloads " on the box, I thought it was for some free open source items - they didn't say "Go here for your Operating System"

At the time of this writing, the latest version of the common Raspberry Pi OS is a Debian-based distro called Raspbian (specifically, "2013-02-09-wheezy-raspbian").

Download the ZIP or Torrent of the OS to your hard drive (about 1.8GB in size) and unzip if you downloaded the ZIP.

Now, you will have to process the IMG to the SD card using a specific program.

Linux/Mac: you can use dd from a terminal
Windows: Follow the instructions on raspberrypi.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/quick-start-guide-v1.1.pdf to use Win32DiskImager

I'll be discussing Linux instructions from here.

Linux


Put the SD card into your machine (or into the USB Dongle if you don't have a card reader). Once your machine recognizes the card, find the specific location of where the card is located in the mounted file system (Debian: Go to "Applications" > "System Tools" > "Disk Utility").

Once you find the location, format the card (if you haven't done so already) so it is blank (I recommend formatting using a FAT system). Now, unmount the card, but don't pull it out of the machine.

You will need to perform the following command to get the Pi to properly read the card:
 
sudo dd bs=1M if=[location of your img file].img of=/dev/[card location]
 

Example:
 
sudo dd bs=1M if=2013-02-09-wheezy.raspbian.img of=/dev/sdf
 

NoteNote: You will want to write to the whole card, not just a partition. Double check to see if there are any numbers after your mount location. If there are, you may be writing to a partition and not directly to the card

That process will take a couple of minutes. Once it is done, confirm that it transferred the full amount to the card (1.8GB). If it did not, repeat this process from the "Format" step.

Note Note: This took me about 12 tries before the card was properly written to for the Pi to read it

Once it is properly written to, you can just remove the card, but I recommend "Powering down the device" first.

Step 3: Starting up the Pi


Hopefully, everything up to this point has been successful. If so, please proceed.

  1. Assuming you haven't already, open the Raspberry Pi from the box. I have a Model B
  2. Put the SD card into the slot below
  3. Plug in the Network cord, USB Keyboard, and HDMI/RCA cable into their respective slots (also, make sure that your TV/Monitor is on the right Input setting to receive signal)
  4. Plug in the Micro B cord into the small port opposite the Network port for power

Success! You should now see a Red LED (PWR [Power]) in the corner light up. If it did, you have power!

You should also see a Green LED (ACT [Activity]) start to flash. If it is, your Pi is reading the SD card. If it is not, your SD card may have not been written to correctly (as in my case). If it's blinking, please refer to elinux.org/R-Pi_Troubleshooting for Troubleshooting tips.

Note Note: For the longest time, I could not figure out why the Red LED would come on, but I wouldn't get any display or additional LED's. From some of the forums I was on, they called for pulling out a multimeter and testing the power flow between points. I was expecting this to be an "easy DIY project", not "easy, but you need some electrical engineering experience before you can boot up" kind of deal. Luckily, my problem was the SD card, which I was able to finally rectify.

If your Network cord is plugged in, you should also see 2-3 additional lights: FDX (green [File Data Transfer]), LNK (green [Link Connectivity]), and 100 (100Mbps, orange if 100, nothing if just 10).

Step 4: Setting up


Alright! Hopefully everything went well and your Pi is powered up, fully connected, and reading the SD card properly.

I recommend to at least do the following, just so your Pi has a standard basis for operations, unless you have other plans for it.

  1. On your screen, you should see the Startup logo and sequences (unless you are reading this slower than it took to start up). Regardless, you should see a large blue box with options
  2. Select the 2nd choice: expand_rootfs. This will expand the root file system to the SD card for usability and storage
  3. Set your Locale (if necessary)
  4. Set your Timezone
  5. Turn on SSH
  6. Hit "Finish" and confirm a reboot

Default Login: pi
Default PW: raspberry - I recommend changing this to something you will remember

Last Note


I would highly recommend running "sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get upgrade" before too long, just to make sure you have the latest system updates.

That's it! Your Raspberry Pi should be fully configured as a base to do whatever you want it to do. Go explore the options!

What can I do now?


There are a gazillion+ things that you can do with a Raspberry Pi. My first project was to create a webcam-based monitoring system from the instructions I received from pingbin.com/2012/12/raspberry-pi-web-cam-server-motion/ (including making it Wifi).

You can make a:
  • personal music server
  • small desktop environment (try startx after you reboot)
  • small network file storage system
  • media center (see openelec.tv)
  • small web server
  • sensor for recording temperature, light, wind, speed, etc
  • lightweight search engine
  • multi-core cluster processor
  • ...and more! Go google something

Enjoy!

PS: This site/guide/reference point does not in anyway endorse Raspberry Pi or the manufacturer. This guide was written as a hope to help others get started without the hassle of spending half a day to figure it out, or (if like me) have little experience tinkering with projects like this.


Tags:#raspberrypi #startup #guide #power #led #blinking #help

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Bachelor for a Week 2013: Day 4

Today was very unenthusiastic/lethargic. The thought of "something is missing" was always on my mind, and I didn't have the slightest idea why.

Here's a clue:
Squirrel


Yep, the internet was out at home, so I'm Internet/Email/TV/Server-less for the night. I don't know what the exact reason is, but I was told it will be back on tomorrow. (I'm writing this on my home server, so I still have access to that, but if you are reading this, then it means that the internet is back up)

On a better note, my order of Assimilation2 came in today! I can't wait to crack it open and see what happens to the Enterprise and the Doctor.

Since the Internet was out, I didn't really know what I was going to do. Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, iHeartRadio all require the internet, and I have limited data on my phone (which resets on the 21st, so just under a month away, and the only radio system in the house is in the attic). So I thought I would catch up on some Reboot for nostalgia-sake. Currently, I'm at the end of Season 2, and it's amazing how many adult themes/pop culture references/computer science jokes there are that I never caught as a kid (there was even a bit in AndrAIa where they have a Kirk and Picard reference!).

While I was waiting on dinner to be microwaved, I worked on some localhost files and retweaked my RSS parser. Apparently, anybody referencing my RSS feed was getting some incomplete parsed code, which looked very weird when processed. I believe I have fixed the problem, but I won't know officially until outside sources process the feed.

In addition, I have pretty much confirmed that CJ is coming up next tuesday. That will be exciting, although I expect some of my production to slow down since getting CJ+Keat+Me together can cause some rather long discussions (in a good way). Man, some stores can demonstrate that!

All things considered, Keat's vacation is half over. Optimistically, she is only 3 days away. I can't wait to (get the drive over with and) go to the Greenville airport on Friday night and pick her up. My expectation is for Saturday to be a super-lazy day and Sunday is a "you're back, let's celebrate" day (weather permitting).

Also, Doctor Who returns in 3 days as well! I won't be able to watch the live event, but I will sure find some resources to watch The Bells of St. John!

On a related note, here's this:
Dalek mania!


Tags:#internetisout #squirrel #cheezeburger #startrek #doctorwho #cj #rss #reboot #netflix #hulu #pandora #localhost #keat

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We're building a Dalek! We're building a Dalek!

Dalek Blueprints

Through some internet connections and an totally tangent idea, a few friends and I are building our very own Dalek! Yes, it is true. Here's the conversation to prove it:
Dalek Conversation

I can't wait to see what happens when we get together and start getting this thing off the ground. We may even be able to enter it into a convention or two!

And just because I'm on a Doctor Who craze right now, enjoy this:
Tardis and Daleks together?


Tags:#doctorwho #dalek #building #friends

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Monday Rollercoaster

Since I seem to droll on with my previous catch-up posts, I promise to keep this one short and sweet:

Today:
  • Came in today, worked with Janet to get her new menu ready
  • Recorded/processed payments/invoices for 3 clients
  • Added rewards to said clients
  • Signed up for Basecamp, explored it a bit
  • responded to emails, including Tom, Kat (+debugging), client (previous system), client (current checkout system), client (invoice followup), Amazon Spoofing
  • Checked my backlogged Reader
  • Ordered mini-squishies
  • Scanned for Health Insurance quotes - couldn't find anything usable under $90/mthCompany insurance survey
  • reconciled accounts (both)
  • split insurance declarations into one document
  • updated SD's G+ page
  • added G+ to Blog and site (for Author Verification program)
  • updated Janet's site with new roll
  • explored IdeaPaint some more
  • worked on the Team Operating Manual a bit

Previous to today:
  • Rewatching the reboot of Doctor Who, got Keat hooked
  • Signed SD up for Pintrest, flickr
  • made some major progress on the SD Portal
  • became Google Engage partner
  • talked with White Fox Studios
  • went to family gathering, had fun
  • started going to N-Scale meetings
  • PiLam volunteer meetings
  • Interviewed two people
  • Southern Atlantian Archery Day (SAAD):, rain, bow broke, stayed a night at Keat's parent's place, got refund for busted bow
  • JapanFest!
  • Sacred Stone Baronial Birthday: fun, shot some, went and stayed the night at friends house b/c it was so humid
  • met with SMDC, we are moving! (videos)
  • SD now insured
  • Got award from Powder Creek Traditional Archery


See? Told you it would be short and sweet.

And here's a short and sweet comic to sum up what Niko has been doing when I'm not in the chair:
Kitty in Chair


Tags:#doctorwho #janet #invoices #basecamp #squishies #insurance #googleplus #ideapaint #pilambdaphi #saad #japanfest #trains

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Summer is over...but it's not a bad thing

Garfield


It has been some crazy past few weeks. Let me do a quick summary of what's happened:


  • I got into work today at 9:45am. Yes, AM! I had a crazy idea (based on an American Dad episode - the one where Roger has the "Sidney" persona that takes the hit out on himself. You remember that one? Don't cha? Right? Anyway...) to place my glasses by my "alarm". I turned off the alarm at 8:15 this morning (because Keat had to get into school before 10), reset it for 9, and went back to sleep. I got up at 9, turned off the alarm, and put my glasses on. Somehow, I felt more....awake and didn't want to go back to bed. So I got dressed, shaved, etc, and went into work. Anyway, I spent 2 hours going through my Reader and finding a lot of interesting business- and website-related articles that I felt would be good resources to share with the interwebs. So I scheduled i-don't-know-how-many posts into the Shadow Dev facebook page all the way through August 30, posting 2 per day. I then got the green light from Tom to send out an intro letter to a potential client in Asheville (after much editing), and sending some carefully worded explanations out as well. Afterwards, I worked on the Analysis followup links (see more below) and created that from almost-scratch to finished; jQuery, Paypal, form creation, and all, in a matter of about 2 hours. I then worked on a setInterval() on the Shadow Dev β site making random testimonials show up in a testimonial box every 4.5 seconds. That took about an hour or so. I had the hardest time figuring out 1) how to have the loop continuous, then 2) having the previous entry fade out, then the new one fade in. Afterwards, I met with Marti (see below) at 2 and met with her until about 4:45ish discussing different and new Project Management techniques, forms, and methods, along with a "Project Closure" sequence, which is new to me. I was getting things prepped for my teleconference at 7 when Tom sent me some requested files for the Maintenance and Rewards programs. I used the files he sent over to create the Rewards and Maintenance pages (finally). After I got done with that, I realized that I was supposed to meet Eric at Frog Level at 5 for casual beers. I hope he doesn't feel bad that I stood him up...? It was about 6:40 when I was done with the previous item, and I thought I would lay down for about 15 minutes. I set a timer for 15 minutes, and an alarm that would wake me up at 6:55. I started it (I saw it counting down), then went to lay down. About ~15 minutes later, I wake myself up, thinking that I overslept...again (see below). I woke up a minute before 7pm. Freaking out, I go over to my phone and try to call in. I see that my phone had only count down 2 seconds (from when I put it down), so it never counted down from 15 minutes. Somehow, I don't think my phone doesn't like to set alarms on Wednesday nights (see below, again). I called in to the teleconference, participated, and we were done in about 45 minutes. I then took it upon myself to clean out the office fridge. Long story short: it was over-freezing, so we turned down the temp. and the ice melted - all of it, so I transferred some out and emptied it in the sink. I then went home and watched some Big Bang, Futurama, Big Bang, and Battlestar Galactica. And that's just TODAY!


  • So, my Wednesday went a little wonkier than usual. I'll skim through the rest:


  • I created a Quote Generation System for Shadow Dev. I also created a Automatic Quote Followup system to send an email to the person who generated the quote for a followup. Quite nice if I say so.


  • The HCC Student Incubator was delayed until the beginning of September.


  • We recieved a new client: Premier Vacation Rentals


  • We gained a new staff member: Marti Daves! She comes to us with plenty of Project Manager experience, with a fine interest in hand-coding web development. Certainly a great addition to our team.


  • We re-worked the packets, again. Removed some pages, added some, and added a design to some of the packet folders. Hopefully, the response rate will be better.


  • Ordered 20 more bowls and sign holders. I find it hard to believe that each GLASS bowl was $1.44 each, but each PLASTIC sign holder was $5.34 each. It was pretty expensive, but the source for the sign holders was the least expensive option out of all of them that were researched.


  • I modified our Quota page to show what the Quarterly bonus would be if Quota is met. Should make things easier to manage


  • I created a newer version of a Contract Creator. Adding in some new clauses, price modifications, and service inclusions, and the new created contract is better than ever!


  • We launched the new SMDC design. Now to implement the information.


  • Added something a little different to a client: Instead of processing credit cards (as expected), they wanted "House" accounts (as in, give us your name, and we process your card on file). That wasn't discussed during the project negotiations, so the checkout system wasn't developed with that in mind. But, we did it.


  • Our first Contest winner won the free website, and turned it down, which is good and bad for us. Good: we have less work and don't have to shell out a loss to cover it. Bad: the Winner doesn't get a new site or PR, and we don't get good PR for offering this. Let's see how Round 2 goes...


  • After the last Monthly Meeting, I delegated out "Drinks with Geeks" and "Hello World". Good news: less on my plate to take care of. Now just to train/help the delegatees on how to do that.


  • I also created an auto-followup for websites that are analyzed using our GetMyAnalysis.com analyzer. For the past few weeks, the followup email would say "Get ____ service!" with a link, but never went anywhere. Now, the ordering page has all 3 services available, along with a checkout system (see above for more detail).



That's it for business. If you got this far, I know you're tired of reading this. I'll finish the rest quickly.

First, a bonus comic:
The System


Personal:

  • I reworked my Magic deck using Core 2013 cards. My battles with Chip and Keat are going better, and I'm not being slaughtered as badly.


  • I am now the Project Manager for Pi Lambda Phi Internationals for the front-end portion of the website. I didn't know what to expect, but I thought it would be a good PR rep, along with experience in the PM world.


  • Allstate was charging me $51/mth for auto insurance. Peaking my curiosity, I searched for some quotes from other companies. Out of all of them, State Farm had the best rate at $37/mth. The rest were $44-84/mth (Geico, Nationwide, Progressive (which has a very flash-heavy version), Farmers (they operate as 21st Century around here), and more). I received an auto-followup email saying that my rate was $34/mth. I went to talk to the agent with a few questions, and she said that it was ~$32/mth. Maybe if I keep talking, it may drop below $0/mth! That'd be nice. Anyway, the same auto coverage I was getting from Allstate for $51/mth, I can get for $32/mth from State Farm. Talk about saving $100's (actually, about $240/yr). I have nothing against Allstate - I know my parents have been with them for years, and my policy was spun off about 6 months ago. My Allstate agent was super nice and helped me out a lot. State Farm just provided a better rate.


  • I tried watching the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood. I'm sorry, but 5 episodes in, and I couldn't get into the storyline. It's too much like Warehouse 13, which I also couldn't get into.


  • I started watching Battlestar Galactica (the 2004 version, with Katee Sackhoff). I'm not totally immersed like I was with Doctor Who, but I like it. Maybe it's because I'm writing a futuristic space-based manga called Phoenix Eye. I don't know...


  • I visited a new Jamacian restaurant around here called One Love. I gotta say: for being out in the middle of nowhere, it was some pretty good food! And not badly priced, either! As soon as I get my paycheck, I know where I'm going again!


  • I gathered the stamina and finally went to a meeting of the "Smoky Mountain Model Railroad Club" 3 weeks ago. I've had their brochure for about 6+ months. The club was mainly about O-Scale trains. Those are nice, but I prefer my N-Scale. I met a guy named Eric there and we tried to go train-spotting during the following week. Due to some bad communication with the relays, our spotting turned up empty. Regardless, it was good to meet someone new. We went to a guy's house in Canton who had a super-ginormous N-Scale layout that he had been building for 20 years. Let's just say that it puts my old 4'x8' plastic-grass oval track to shame. No, worst than shame; I may be in the same "sport" as him, but my set would be "Here's how to play Tee-ball" while his was MLB Atlanta Braves (I'm no sports fan, so if my analogy is incorrect, please let me know). I brought out my N-Scale set and a few books and hope I can go back soon and run my set.


  • Keat and I helped Janet cater a super-fancy party for one of Janet's friends. Let's just say that this guy's garage was the size of our house! He was super-nice, and certainly blows away the "I have a vault-load of money, therefore I have the right to be snooty" stereotype. I don't think this guy could be more friendly. Regardless, the catering event was fun, even if we did walk around for about 8 hours.


  • I am working on a new service called CityFix. It's only in Phase 1 so far, and I'm doing some additional research in order to complete this service. Apparently, there is a need for this, but it hasn't been thoroughly met...yet!


  • I receive daily emails from Randy Glasbergen's publisher for his comic. I will say that I appreciate his humor and quick wit, he has some super-strict copyright policies. If his comic is republished on ANY format, it is $25 per showing. Thank you Randy, but I don't have the budget to shell out $25 per comic. Maybe later...


  • I found a new YouTube series I like: Doctor Whooves. Yes, you read that right. I think my "Brony" is showing...


  • Keat and I attended a MTN. RENDEZVOUS Archery event late July. Personally, I thought "Okay, I pay $10, I get to shoot 10, maybe 15 targets down a range. Not too bad." Instead, Keat and I found out that it was 40+ targets in a woods-style shoot (uphill, downhill, around trees, across creeks, etc). It was 1 arrow per target. 5 pts for the animal (ranging from a rabbit to a bear), 8 points for the inner ring, and 10 points for center ring. I don't recall our scores, but (I believe) Keat beat me during the first 20, and I beat hear during the last 20. $10 for 40+ challenging targets? I'd do that again! (Minus the ticks - I found one on our bed during the next day, and one under my nipple (stop laughing) later that same day). Keat also found a local supplier of traditional archery supplies! Not too bad for one crazy and tiring day!



Okay, that's enough from me for now. Ranting over. Enjoy this penguin:
Penguin!


Tags:#thesystem #garfield #penguin #facebook #reader #americandad #rewards #maintenance #futurama #bigbang #quote #client #hcc #packets #bowls #contract #smdc #contest #magic #mtg #allstate #statefarm #doctorwho #torchwood #galatica #onelove #nscale #janet #archery

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Where has the time gone?

The past month has really flown by, hasn't it? Before I knew it, it's already a week before Valentines day and 2 weeks before I turn 25. Wow...a quarter of a century old. When it is put like that, I feel super old. No offense to the "old fogies" I know.

Anyway, here's a run-down of significant things that have happened between my last post and now:

- I'm finishing up DS9 on Netflix. I'm at the tail end of Season 6.

- Finally got my desktop at the house up and running. I can now work at home....into the wee hours of the morning. As I told Tom today, I work from 10-5(pm), and 10-5(am). Good? Maybe. But it beats staying at the office 24/7. Not that that's a bad thing, but I think Keat would miss me.

- Keat may be going to Japan for 2 weeks to a semester next year. On one side: I'm super happy for her (not sarcastic). Going to Japan for 2 weeks was an exhilierating experience for me, so I can only imagine what a semester could do. On the down side: I'll be left alone with 3 cats for a semester! I'm going to go insane.......again.

- We've launched a new "Fishbowl" contest in the area to get some leads. So far, it's looking good. We spent $100 on the materials, and should get more than 100% ROI on this. On a related note....

- Tom and I talked to the owner of Frog Level Brewery, a local brewery in Frog Level (next to Waynesville), about a potential event/conference for local geeks. The owner said "Yes" and planning hit full force. This event will allow the local non-techies to network and ask questions to the local geeks (and get a few beers while we're at it). It's called Drinks With Geeks, and it should be a great event! It won't happen in the immediate future, but maybe in April or May....

- We got a new client: ALP Systems Inc. The owner is a great guy, and it seems like we are copies of each other, if you know what I mean. He's a guy with a "No BS" attitude, and I want to make sure we keep it that way.

- We launched the TICS site on the 1st. So far, so good.

- Allan had a major computer virus that took out his PC for a bit. I'm still working on it after 48 hours, but I think this sums it up:


- Since my laptop finally called it quits, I was able to acquire some funds to get a new computer. I decided on a desktop for the office for the processing power and stability. I turned it on the first day I got it, and it hasn't been turned off since. I know it's Windows 7, but Quicken/QuickBooks doesn't run well on Linux, and I don't have the funds to get a Mac (although that is my wish)

- I'm working on a few new projects: Client Portal (project in progress), Sales Portal (planning has started), and a few others. I've been really preoccupied with other tasks at hand, but I think this sums it up well:
Ceiling Cat


- I found out about Star Trek RPG thanks to this little comic:
Real Life - Star Trek RPG

Since Kat's been helping us with WhiteWolf, I'm glad we are able to experience RPG gaming without having to worry about battling against super-experienced players.

That's it for now. The rest of the month looks pretty busy and my guess is that I'll have a lot more sleepless nights.


Tags:#ds9 #reallife #icanhascheeseburger #quicken #pc #whitewolf #tics #alp #facebook #drinkswithgeeks #fishbowl

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Squishy Day!

The System

Today was Take your Squishy to Work Day, so I brought my Squishy to work. Here's a shot of my mini-fox hard at work:
Squishy!


Anyway, today was kind of a wasted day. I don't know why. After getting my notes together and corrected this morning about a client, I met KC at the office at 11, gave him his cards, then pretty much browsed the Internet for a few hours - mainly webcomics. Today seemed like a good day to browse the other 99% of webcomics that I had been missing from the outbound corners of the internet. I added a nice little "Favorite Webcomics" section to the blog (below the "Comments" section on the right side), which looks like this:
Favorite webcomics - in no particular order

The above webcomics are always listed in a random order, so don't think that I have a preference.

Anyway, after I got done browsing, KC finished his work on a client's site. I went in and tweaked it a bit, and it was officially classified as "Done!" so I moved the beta.php page to the index, and made a PR announcement on the Shadow Dev website.

I went back to browse some webcomics, and voted for a lot of my favorites on topwebcomics.com. So, that's it for my Wednesday. Hopefully I can be more productive tomorrow and Friday to call this week a success. 7 hours today + Mon and Tues = ~21 hours.


Tags:#thesystem #squishy #webcomics

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Bachelor for a Week

Well, it's here again. The week that I am alone. Keat's with her parents spanning the US (NC to CO, AZ, NM, and others). All I have is 3 cats and only 1 internet connection. This is going to be a LONG week. In addition to keat being gone for a week, our new sales person will be gone from Wednesday till next Thursday. So I will literally be alone from Wednesday till Saturday, when I pick Keat up at the Airport.

But enough griping....here's today's comic:

Non-Sequitor

In plight of the major downside, I've made some great improvements and completed some major work that I've been needing to complete over the past few weeks.


  • I've added a mobile image optimizer to my blog. The images will now be loaded to 10% of their original filesize for faster loading on mobile devices

  • I've finished work on NSMT's password complexity, as well as finished a 180-day expiration policy. It's taken a longer than usual, but it has been completed. Now, on to the rest of the to-do list

  • I've added shadowdev.co as an official URL shortener for Shadow Dev. There are more details on the Shadow Dev Blog. Right now, it's not really open to the public, but general readers can create shortened url's at shadowdev.co/shorten - we are working on some analytic procedures and may have those up within the next week or so (at least on a basic level)

  • I've also created a nice 404 page for our URL shortner. You can view it at shadowdev.co/nonfolder (this doesn't exist, so you should get a 404 error). Thanks to the @Oatmeal for those images
    TumblBeasts

  • I've created some HowTo articles on the Shadow Dev blog - mainly about some techno-babble like DNS systems, Proxy servers, and Email hacking solutions

  • I've been on a Voyager-trek (no pun intended) for the past few days, and without (borrowing) Keat's laptop, I can't watch it at home (and our PS3 has a faulty laser, so that's out of the question), so I've been watching it at the office all day. I am at the end of Season 5 and about to begin Season 6. I'm so glad that I've been able to watch all of the episodes in chronological order and without commercial breaks
    PvP
    Although this is from April, I thought this would be appropriate since I'm on a Voyager-trek

  • I received my new license in the mail today (with my updated address). However, my license still expires in Feb of 2012, so I still have to go get it updated then. So basically, my license is good for about 6 months

  • I've also created 3 major cron jobs: one to report 404 errors to me to see where people have been trying to access (and block attackers), one to update YUM on a nightly basis, and one to send weekly reminders to our Independent Contractors to send in their weekly status report

  • We've finally received info from one of our clients that has been pretty quiet. I hope that the rest of the information we receive should be able to make the site live (especially since they wanted it on July 15, but we had no information to go live)

  • I played WhiteWolf with Kat on Saturday, and we've progressed fairly far. I had 1 quest to get a Silver Braided Cord to trade for a skill, and now I/We had to go to a trailer park and "take care of it". Right now, we are stuck mid-dash trying to get away from the trailer park. We'll see what happens in a few weeks when the episode resumes


That's it for now. I'm sure this is a lot to read, so I'll leave you (the reader) with additional comics, one I think may make my generation cry a bit.

Corpse Run
Dilbert



Tags:#corpserun #cron #witewolf #url #shadowdev.co #dilbert #keat #non-sequitor

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SSL Relief

After spending 1 week with email support from Website Source, Comodo, and enom, I finally have the SSL Certificate for a client that was assumed "lost". It turned out that after getting super-frustrated at being sent in circles, Comodo sent me an email saying "Please call support". So I called support and (finally) had my SSL Certificate within 10 minutes. 5 minutes later, I installed it on the client site and everything was at peace.

Here's an overview of what happened:
  1. Ordered a "Comodo Essential SSL Certificate" via our Control Panel (powered by Parallel's Plesk) which is through Website Source (aka: "WSS"), our reseller on May 6

  2. Comodo sent me a "Domain Verification Email". I clicked on the link, provided the code, and verified the domain.

  3. 24 hours later, I did not receive an email from Comodo with a "Here's your Certificate", so I contacted Comodo about it

  4. They said to contact my reseller (they said "enom", which isn't true)

  5. I contacted WSS about the issue, and they weren't sure about the WSS/Comodo relationship. They also said that I can contact Comodo and cc them on all correspondences in the future with Comodo

  6. I sent back an email with the instructions that I used to obtain the Certificate purchase procedure.

  7. It turns out WSS didn't even know that purchasing SSL Certificates through Plesk was possible (even though I did it a few months ago). This was their response:
    Well, that clears up our first source of confusion - buying SSL certs through the Plesk panel might be a new thing, we didn't know it was possible.
     
    SO- unfortunately it doesn't seem to do anything to clear up what happened after you ordered it.
     
    Perhaps you could write to Comodo again and say, basically- your last message didn't make a lot of sense, Enom shouldn't have anything to do with this transaction, could you please either tell me exactly where the certificate was sent, or just resend it to the proper address?
     
    As I said, feel free to cc us on this stuff. I hope that you can clear it up with Comodo. If not, then I imagine that we'll have to open a ticket with Parallels.

  8. I contacted Comodo again, and they sent over the same response ("The certificate has already been issued. Please contact your webhost reseller")

  9. I sent them a response saying "I know - I've contacted them and they said enom shouldn't even be part of this"). I also asked "Where did it go?"

  10. They responded with "Please be informed that i have sent the certificate once again to your account email id. Kindly contact your web host. Also for your information you can directly download your certificate from your account login."

  11. I tried to login to their "Account manager", but none of my login combinations worked. I tried their "Forgot your password" feature, but it said that all of my login information was wrong. SO...I contacted them about it

  12. They responded with:
    If you want to get the login detail, you will have to reset the password and get the login detail through the account admin email ids.
     
    You can reset the password by the given below link by entering the order number and account admin mail id and get the login detail through your account admin email id: [password reset link]

  13. I responded saying "THAT DIDN'T WORK! This is why I'm writing to Comodo - to say it didn't work!"

  14. They responded with "The certificate has already been issued. Please contact your webhost reseller (enom)" (sound familiar?)

  15. So, I set up a support ticket with enom and awaited a response.

  16. In regards to my "Account Manager" issue, I received
    an email saying the following:
    For this reasons you need to contact your webhost [Secure Business Services],they will assist you in better way.
    meaning I need to talk to enom
  17. I appended the ticket I sent to enom saying this
  18. I finally received a response from enom late last night saying
    Thank you for contacting eNom technical support. I will be glad to look into this for you, but I will need some additional information to better assist you. Unfortunately I was not able to locate the domain: #### or any account associated with it on our system. Do you have an account with eNom? And if so, what is your login ID? In order to 
     
    purchase this certificate, you would need to have had an account with eNom or eNom Central. Unfortunately without additional information I won't be able to find any additional information, and it is likely you did not purchase this directly through us.
     
    It is possible that you may have ordered this through a reseller that uses eNom as their backend service provider. In which case, you would want to contact them to find out more information, and for further assistance.

  19. I tried to respond to the ticket, but enom's ticket management system kept logging me out for some odd reason. I even tried a different computer and different browser, but it kept logging me out even when I wasn't logged in. I couldn't go anywhere or do anything, so I emailed them about it.

  20. I received an email from Comodo again (with the title "Password Reminder") saying that enom had the certificate and I had to go through enom to get it. I also received an email from WSS asking what the issues were with my password. I responded saying "I only cc'ed you on this. There aren't any troubles with my login"

  21. I responded to Comodo saying "I can't login to the account manager, I can't get access to the certificate, I can't get a straight answer!" (paraphrasing)

  22. Comodo responded saying "The instructions enom provided you were wrong" and some other @^(*&$! about how I have to go through enom to get it

  23. I said that the instructions were NOT provided by enom, they were provided by Comodo! I think this is the 3rd or 4th time I said "If I can't get a straight answer, I will demand a refund and go somewhere else" (at this point, I was ready to punch through my laptop - my mediation training from Martial Arts couldn't save me now!)

  24. Comodo sent me an email saying "Thank you for your reply, please call into our support staff for further assistance at US"

  25. I called Comodo support, and got the certificate emailed to me within 10 minutes

  26. I told WSS what had happened and cleared things up with them saying it wasn't their fault. I am still awaiting some type of answer from enom if I ever get it.

...and that was the past few days. May 6 to today to be exact. It feels good to get that off my chest and release some steam. I was driving like crazy today and about to rip something if I got my hands on it since nobody was paying attention and didn't understand what was going on.

ANYWAY, here's today's comic (which I think is very relevant):
SMBC
Is this the first time I've posted a SMBC comic?

That pretty much sums up my past few days. Keat and I went house hunting on Sunday and found a few houses that we liked. We sent the list off to her parents and are awaiting "the talk."

I also called my mother on Mother's day and wished her "Happy Mothers Day". Yay for mothers!

Also got Half-Life re-downloaded from my old Steam account and started that back up. By using a wireless mouse I have from ??? ago, I'm doing pretty well for not having played the game in about.....4 years? The CD didn't want to install on Vista 64, but luckily Steam had my account active and I was able to re-download the install files. Yay! Now to deal with all of the stuff that piled up over the past few days while I was dealing with the SSL stuff.

PS: Keat finished up her final semester at HCC today and graduates on Thursday! Hooray for her! Now on to Western to finish up her Bachelors.

PPS: I (and Keat) am on the Squishable Gallery! (2nd page) YAY!


Tags:#squishable #ssl #comodo #websitesource #enom #halflife #certificate #plesk #parallels #smbc

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Ketchup

Wow, has it really been over a month since I posted last? It seems like yesterday that I made my last post. Since then, it's been nothing but busywork and client jobs.

Here's a comic to help relate to my previous month+ of absence:
Dilbert

I won't bore anybody with the finer details of what has happened over the past month, but here's a quick overview (just to keep you entertained):

- last week was a week of bad luck: had a co-worker's computer crash (had to re-install A LOT of software and do a full hard drive backup since the backup manager wasn't syncing everything), had the roof of an office space collapsed and spewed water and insulation all over, the co-worker had to find an old copy of Office 2007 so his SBA software would work right (OOo didn't cut it, unfortunately), prepared for a client's Open House, worked at said client's Open House, had both of our PPT and SEO seminars (which went great, with the exception that our PR got out late (again) and the first attendee showed up before we did), had a confused conversation with a current client over a chart display, had a very odd sewer smell in the office all week (turned out to be a lack of water in the drainage system; finally solved that after playing the "blame game" with the building secretary), one of the units got a fresh coat of paint which made the whole building smell odd, our first marketing order arrived (YAY!) and a client got some custom t-shirts, Tokyopop shut down their US office (not relevant, but I thought it was important news to mention), switched our DNS servers to CloudFlare which made the response rate lower dramatically and the uptime much higher, helped a client with a business plan for a competition (after having to re-write most of it), had some confusion over a potential client website and the hosting issue, finally switched over 2 clients DNS records (one had a major pain trying to get her domain from her old provider), made a video for switching over DNS records for said (and future) clients, had a mixup of payment systems for a client (although they had an invoicing system from the credit processor, they wanted another one created from us; we got a call today saying they wanted to go with the credit processor's invoicing system instead of ours, which we are okay with), said client had confusion when issuing credit to organization payers, uploaded the financial reports for the past 4 quarters to the corporate site, had some SSH and FTP issues with the server (solved?), went to a new Thai restaurant in downtown, had a large influx of followers for both my and the business's twitter accounts, got a DM from George Takei on Twitter (YAY!), and that's about it for last week.
George Takei DM

- not much else happened in the past month, aside from getting some insurance quotes, WCU getting a new chancellor, offering remote tech support for some clients, received an email that was sent 7 months ago (talk about being lost in cyberspace), had a mis-payment of a license (which was fixed), participated in a ΠΛΦ ΩΖ initiation, had a hard communication with a client's old hosting service, attended my first MeetUp, uploaded a few videos of Niko and Chi, installed our first successful SSL certificate, got 2 new clients signed on, and worked on other client works (still have no time for other projects), wrote a few informational articles, and got a mini squishy fox!
Squishy Fox!


That's about it for the past month. I'll try to be better about posting on a regular basis and not every other month.


Tags:#dilbert #pilambdaphi #server #georgetakei #squishy #dns #ssh #ftp #sba #tokyopop #office #ppt #seo #pr #ssl #niko #chi #