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Blog Babble

New Blog Design

It has been a while since I’ve changed the layout of this blog. I’ve got some plans for more upcoming posts on software engineering, but I wanted to freshen up the feel first. One of my goals was to use the Bootstrap framework to create a responsive layout. In other words, it looks good (or at least decent) on smaller devices like iPads and mobile phones. I made a feeble attempt at this a couple months back, but was not satisfied with the results. This current layout, however, is something that I like. I’ve also styled my online About page (really an online resume) to use the same theme. Well, I hope you like it. If you see anything amiss, please leave a comment and tell me about it so I can fix it. Here’s to a new year of blogging! Cheers!

Hey Microsoft, Where Are My Keyboard Shortcuts!?

Delete KeyI recently upgraded to Microsoft Office 2010. I really like the way the design team is going on their newer versions. It is really sleek and nice feeling, but I’ve noticed something missing… my keyboard shortcuts! I’m a Linux guy at heart (I install cygwin on every Windows machine I own and/or use) so performing tasks quickly from the keyboard are a part of my computing lifestyle. For instance in Outlook I could always type ALT-T, Y to permanently delete items in my Recycle Bin. Not anymore! The new interfaces are very mouse-centric and while they look good they leave out the ole shortcuts that have become second nature to me.

Wait a minute, you say! You can still use keyboard shortcuts. That’s true. Now to perform the same task in Outlook I can simply type ALT-F, I, T, Y. That just rolls off the tongue (or fingers), doesn’t it? Maybe in the next version I’ll be able to type “P-L-E-A-S-E E-M-P-T-Y M-Y R-E-C-Y-C-L-E B-I-N, Y-E-S I A-M S-U-R-E, T-H-A-N-K Y-O-U”.

Hackety-Hack, Don’t Come Back

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.

Mashable’s iPhone App – Flash What?

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.

Java’s Assimilation Into Oracle

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.

Upgrade Time : WordPress 2.9 and MySQL 5

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:

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Nike+ iPod Fix Retraction

sad smileyMy last post (Nike+ iPod : Cheap Fix For Failure) outlined a method whereby one could get around the premature end of workout due to water (sweat) damage for the iPod Nano and Nike+ Sensor setup. Well this method worked well for me for several runs afterwards… ending in a major fail. The “fix” may still work for you or at least enable you to get a few more runs out of the thing. Anyway, my iPod Nano has completely failed now. The port won’t work and it freezes when you try to play anything. Oh well, I guess I’ll be manually logging runs until I can get another setup.