Well, this has been a first for me. I was recently hacked on this very blog; or at least it was brought to my attention recently. I suppose it could have taken place a while ago. My hosting provider started sending me notices that my webspace account was generating large amounts of spam mail while I was away on vacation. So naturally by the time I got back home, they had shut down all of my websites. Of course, that was a good thing because they actually researched and found the offending scripts inside a WordPress theme that I had installed. Thus the reason that my blog is somewhat out of sorts now.
So a big thanks goes out to 1&1 Web Hosting for finding the problem and dealing with it in a reasonably quick fashion. Naturally I’ll be scrutinizing my WordPress themes a bit more closely from now on.
This is opening weekend for Thor! Geeks of the world unite in celebrating yet another comic book hero brought to life. And while you’re standing in line for tickets or popcorn, why not show that you’re a true Thor fan with one of these cool T-Shirts from NerdyShirts.com.
Thor Serving Hammer
Thor Little Red
The Mozilla team put together this infographic with statistics on the first 48 hours of Mozilla Firefox 4 in the wild (source).
Don’t put your half drank junk up in my garbage cans!
I recently had a friend call me in need of computer repair assistance. I’ll save you the many hours of troubleshooting and simply list the fix here.
The Dreaded crcdisk.sys
I found this symptom of the problem by booting into Safe Mode and watching the drivers load. I noticed that it always hung for a long time on the crcdisk.sys file. Well, if you perform a search on Google for “windows vista crcdisk.sys” you will find a plethora of woes from computer users desperately trying to regain the functionality of their PC. There are also a plethora of fixes, advice and this worked for me posts. I tried many of these to no avail.
The Road To Recovery
The laptop I was working on was a Toshiba laptop and it had a system restore disk. Great! Sort of. Restoring the system to factory condition from the disk (after the owner had backed up their data of course) resulted in a system that was broken and still had the problem listed above. Hmmm.
Another operating system perhaps? I installed Windows XP from scratch. Worked great. I installed Windows Vista SP2 from scratch (another disk). Worked great. Re-tried the system restore from Toshiba. No good.
At this point I figured I was just going to install Vista from scratch. So I reinstalled Vista and downloaded the Toshiba drivers from their website. One by one I started installing the drivers. Until I got to the driver for a flash media card reader (front of laptop). Bam! It froze up during the install. So I rolled that change back using Windows System Restore and then continued with all of the other drivers. No problems. I tried the flash media driver one more time just to be sure, and sure enough it failed again. That’s good! Predictability is key in diagnosing computer problems.
I was recently working on a project that is built on WordPress / BuddyPress. I built up some content using the CMS features of WordPress in my development server and then I transfered the WordPress content to a beta server using the export/import functionality. That kind of stinks having to do that every time I want to push updates to my beta server. So I looked into using Doctrine to generate data fixtures which I could repeatedly run against the different database. Doctrine supports YAML files, which are extremely easy to edit by hand, so it seemed like a good idea.
So what’s the problem? Well, I didn’t currently have any of my data in YAML files. I didn’t want to had edit them or do some sort of copy and paste madness. So, I wrote a script in PHP to dump my data into a YAML file.
I was working with an application platform that I had just downloaded today. I just wanted to check it out and play with it a bit. In the application framework was an executable script that provided some command line utility. I fired up the script and received an error like “PHP Fatal error: require_once(): Failed opening required…”. Of course non of the files from the downloaded archived were in the include path for my system, but I didn’t want to just go adding it to my php.ini file just to play around with it short term. What to do.
Command Line Options
First I wanted to see if there was a command line option that I could pass to PHP to tell it what
include_path to use for just this one execution. If you execute the following you’ll see the usage:
There is no
include_path command line option, but there is the
-d foo[=bar] option which allows us to modify any of the INI entries by key/value.
I just opened up the Mashable app on my iPhone to view an article and received the error below stating, “You need Adobe Flash Player 8 (or above) to view the charts. It is a free and lightweight installation from Adobe.com. Please click on Ok to install the same.” Hey guys… are you aware of the whole Apple / Flash controversy? I’m guessing your iPhone app shouldn’t be prompting me to install Flash.
Whenever I’m working with Java code I have a habit of opening up a web browser and going to http://java.sun.com immediately. From there I select the Java API Reference and away I go writing Java code. I did the same thing today and was a bit shocked that the Oracle brand has completely infiltrated the Java site. I knew Oracle had acquired Sun, but it wasn’t until today that I really looked at that reality.
Not that it matters much, but I thought it was interesting.
WordPress 2.9 was release somewhat recently and so like a good WP minion I logged into my site and clicked the update button. Error… uh oh. Apparently WordPress 2.9 requires a more recent version of MySQL (>= 4.1.2). My host installed MySQL 5 ages ago but I’ve never bothered with migrating to the new version because I didn’t have a reason to. Now I do. So here’s how my upgrade went.
First I made a full backup of both the web content and the MySQL database. The MySQL database backup was just a
mysqldump command like so: