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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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CICADA!

Pearls Before Swine


I know that the last few days have been absent of my entries, but I have a few reasons of explanations.

  • With our new sales person, he has kicked out butt into gear at the company. We've been spending the past few days getting sales folders ready (printed, punched, assembled, distributed, etc), and working on a brochure as well. It has been rough going, but I'm glad that he is pushing us in the right direction, instead of us just sitting around waiting for the next assignment.

  • Last weekend, Keat and I went to Elkin for a Pennsic Pity Party. While it was hotter than anything I've felt before, it certainly was interesting. I saw a live cicada for the first time in my life! Most people usually just hear them or see their shells, but I had one actually land on me!
    Cicada!

  • We had some unexpected visitors last night for dinner. Janet and Ivan came over to our house and we had some of Janet's famous curry! I don't mind having some last-minute visitors, but I do wish I had some time to clean up the house a bit. Either way, it was good to have some of her curry after so long.

  • I've also been working on an Alumni list for the PiLams. It was a bit harder than expected, since I had to get 1 form to go 2 ways (to the local database and to Paypal). After implementing some jQuery, AJAX, and some unorthodox methods, I was able to get the appropriate data to go where it needed to go, and got a collection of names for the Alumni database. I've also been asked to provide some friendly advertising on the site. We'll see how that goes.

  • We may have a new Janitor at our office. Details to come.

  • We should have our own URL shortener for Shadow Dev! Unfortunatly, sd.to was taken, but shadowdev.co was not. I should be working on a way to allow for shortened urls through shadowdev.co soon.

  • There were a few other things, but that's the jist of the past few days. I'll try to find some time to make some more entries before long.



Tags:#cicada #pilam #url #pearls

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Shadow Dev has a Vanity Facebook URL!


I've shared it everywhere else - why not here? Yes, Shadow Development officially has it's own Vanity Facebook URL at facebook.com/ShadowDevelopment, and I have all of the Fans to thank for it.

It took a few hours and a bit of Social Media marketing to do it, but what was only an idea this morning became reality about 30 minutes ago! And best part of all, I'm giving every Facebook Fan a 10% discount for new clients! Tell your friends! Tell your family! Tell your fish! If you're a fan, you'll get 10% off of your service amount - just like that!

It's been an eventful day, and I hope to get another post in before midnight - don't know if that'll happen or not, but here's hoping....


Tags:#shadowdev #facebook #vanity #url #fans #discount

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What a way to end a week

Well, I finished Eureka Season 2 today. Gotta love Netflix and all of their Instant shows, right? I mean, I could have watched SyFy (or SciFi as it was known) when it came on, for example: Tuesdays at 9, and I usually operate on a "must have a time slot" schedule for most things, but not TV shows. Instead of waiting each week for a certain day at a certain time for a TV show to come on (if it comes on), I prefer to watch it online. Sure, I can't do that with current shows (waiting on new Psych episodes is killing me), but who else can say that they watched all 4 seasons of Heroes in 16 consecutive days? I know I can.

But on to more important things: Keat went out shopping with Kat today, which left me home alone for about 5-ish hours. My main goal was to figure out Milestone 3 of the form building algorithym. I found out about the .empty() portion of the jQuery binding function (example: $('.to_delete').click(function() { $('#box').empty(); });), which is 80% of the Milestone. Now all I have to do is get the form builder to have multiple fields recognize the self-emptying feature with 1 function instead of having 1 auto-built function per row (which can get very confusing and very redundant).

I'm still playing with jQuery to better understand it. Although I'm all for building my own functions and features from scratch, I gotta admit: jQuery is probably the best of AJAX scripting libraries I've ever come across. jQuery makes everything that I've done with AJAX (such as the repetitive function $(box){ return document.getElementById(box); }, which simplifies a lot of the element claiming) seem like 1st grade.

If I keep working at this tomorrow, I should have Milestone 3 done by evening (I hope). Although one thing that always bugs me about the Fall/Winter season is the shortening of daylight. In the Summer, I like how at 7pm, you can see the oncoming of the night, and by 9, the night us upon us. However in the Fall/Winter, it's day at 5:30pm, as soon as 6 o'clock, nighttime comes and it's pitch black.

So far, the progress is coming along nicely. I'm awaiting payment from a client, which will allow us to afford the server upgrade, and then I'll spend some time getting the cURL installed and getting their site up. After that's done (est. time: 1 week), I should be back on the Accelerator and hopefully have the form builder done by Xmas, which means the whole system (form builder, form editor, validation and submission, payment, and more) should be done by March.


Tags:#jquery #netflix #heroes #eureka #milestone #xmas #psych #curl

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Does anything go right?

I know this is a little late for yesterday, but I wanted to make sure I got it in. Yesterday, it seemed like nothing went right, except for one thing - I'll get into that later.

As for thing not going right, a client wants us to get an e-commerce system for their site. In my mind, I'm thinking "Ok, no problem." So I find out that I have to install cURL on the main server. I tried to add cURL via yum, but yum couldn't find any appropriate packages to install cURL. So, I tried to update yum, but yum was missing an important file called libcap.so.1, which was needed for proftp. So I go out searching for libcap.so.1, which only exists in far out-of-reach corners of the Internet. Afterwards, I'm sent on a wild goose chase to track down dependencies for out of date files, which are out of date themselves, so I had to find up to date dependencies which needed more dependencies......can you say "endless loop"? So I try to update some of the main core files in the RHEL system, but it turns out that RHEL 3AS, which is on the server, is no longer supported anywhere.

I contacted the main server hosting service asking if the OS could be upgraded. It turns out that the OS cannot be upgraded, but PHP and MySQL could be (they failed to mention a $75/hour fee, which I did not commit to). I could upgrade the VPS and get a new OS, which would handle the PHP and MySQL upgrade without the upgrading fee. However, the new VPS upgrade would only allow 10 domains to be hosted instead of "Unlimited" which I was promised when I first signed up for a VPS system with this company back in 2007. In addition, we can move the files of the client websites, but can't move anything else (like httpd.conf, email forwardings, specific server configuration files, etc).

Shortly after I unsucessfully tried to install cURL on the main server, I thought "Ok, why not try to install it on a local server" (little background: local server "Blueice" has Centos 5, not RHEL 3AS). I ssh'ed into it. ran a yum installiation for cURL, and 10 seconds later, I had cURL on Blueice. After I saw this, tested it, and confirmed it, I was furious. Why couldn't the main server be this easy?!?!

So basically, I spend 5-6 hours trying to get cURL installed only to find out that the system itself is outdated and I have to upgrade the whole system. I decided to tell clients "We've outgrown our server capacity and have to upgrade." In a sense, we have outgrown our current space and need to upgrade, but I was furious for the first few hours. I also think this could be the "kick in the butt" we needed to take more risks in the business. With the new VPS system we're looking at, we'll have more space, more bandwidth, up to 100 domains (which shouldn't be a problem; once we reach 100, we should be able to get another VPS or self-hosting), and up-to-date software. Not really my day.

After I gave up on the server upgrade for the time being, I tried to work on the Accelerator to make AJAX-ified fields appear. It works with 1 box template (a hidden box with pre-determined fields), and I thought I could merge a "field adder" (without removing the existing text), with the drag-n-drop system, similiar to Netflix's Queue manager. However, once I configured the system to have custom boxes (like "Title", "Instructions", "Text"...basic stuff), the system would run through it once and then wouldn't add any more on demand. It seemed like the event listener in the AJAX file wasn't working and wouldn't add the proper event listeners with the proper binding properties. In my mind, it works perfectly: Click "Add Title", type in. Click "Add Instructions", type in. Click "Add Text Box", type in. Move and re-arrange the text boxes for better organization. Submit structure and build database based on the input. And................it doesn't work. Great....

On the up-side, I stopped by Wendy's for lunch, and saw that they had the 5-piece Spicy Nuggets on the Everyday 99 cent menu! YAY! I was so afraid that they would take the 5-piece Spicy Nuggets away again.

After we got home (after Keat went to class), we watched Psych on Netflix and then went to bed.


Tags:#netflix #accelerator #wendys #kick #vps #server #nuggets #curl #e-commerce