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Goodbye Ultimate Boot CD

Throughout the years of helping people fix their computers, one of the handiest tools in my armory was the Ultimate Boot CD. Not this one, although I did use that version often, but this one. I had an huge number of other tools EBCD, hacker tools, some websites common Joe has no reason to know exist, knowledge and experience, and an impressive Internet searching ability (a little understanding of boolean logic goes a long way). Them: "I don’t know my administrative password." Me: "No problem." Well, perhaps a 30 second delay. Anyhow, I’ve decided to upgrade my last functioning Windows box (Windows 7) to Windows 10. See, all those Linux boxes, and Windows boxes (at one time I had 5 physical machines under my desk, several dual booted to different OSes, and virtual machines on the Linux box…I even had a laptop that I could boot to Windows 3.1, wait a min, I still have that.) have been scraped and sent to e-waste as my home has become a shrine to Steve Jobs as we became fully indoctrinated into the Cult of Mac. As the Windows 10 installer inspects my Windows 7 machine, it discovers UBDC4Win 3.60 and declares that it MUST be removed as incompatible for the installation to continue. With some sadness, not dissimilar to when your goldfish dies, I approved the uninstall. (I still have the iso of the last UBCD I built so I haven’t completely crippled myself.)

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Missed moments

Children grow too fast. And we have too much to do in too little time. I see things on the Internet and I am deeply moved. Often, I am moved to sadness. For instance, this video (h/t Victor Agreda Jr) is a fantastic means to explain an open API to someone. As I watch it, I feel a giddiness over the explanation and the hopes of using it to explain APIs to my children, and I feel a heaviness in my chest, for I have never played War, or many card games, with my children.

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Reflector vs AirServer vs ??

So many different ways to share screens on the Mac. I was using Reflector on my PC. Now I need something for the Macbook. I like Reflector because I can record demos of my iPhone apps. Apparently you can do the same with AirServer but I would need QuickTime Pro (which I probably need anyway). I also think that Yosemite has similar functionality built-in. What do you use to share an iPhone or iPad to your laptop screen?

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My foray into the Cult of Jobs

When I moved daughter to New York City for college, a client needed something and I had not brought my wife’s netbook with us. At the time, I still worked on a desktop. I walked into Staples, and they had a 17″ full-sized keyboard with number pad Windows HP laptop on sale for $450. It was an i5 processor (maybe i7) with 4 gb of ram that I later updated to 8gb. Had HDMI out and so more ports than I ever used. It was a remarkable laptop. Over time, it slowed. It became problematic. A 5 minute task could turn into 30 minutes or an hour after troubleshooting. I’d get to bill my clients 5 minutes while losing an hour of my life. Eventually I opened it and replaced the CPU fan which was filled with animal dander and dust. The machine ran a little better but not enough. The time had come for a new machine. Laptops in the personal world probably have a 5 year livespan. In the business world, 2-3 years is typical.

I purchase a 15″ Macbook Pro Retina with 16gb ram and a 500gb ssd hard drive. My only regret may be that I did not shell out the extra money for a terabyte hard drive. This machine is remarkable. None-the-less, issues arise. Like when I attempted my first Garage Band project:

Could not find layout General Audio 10

A quick Google search found the solution. Simply look under the Garage Band menu, select "Restore Sound Library" then "Update Sound Library" and about 15gb laters, you’ll be functioning.

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What advice do you have for a new Macbook Pro owner?

Let’s say I went Full Jobs and dove head first into the Cult of Mac. As a programmer who develops web applications and wants to develop iOS and Android apps as well as play with many of the interesting APIs out in the wild, what you be your advice for programs to install, tweaks to apply, and other hacks that should be done to said hypothetical Macbook Pro?

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Ghost.io

Is anyone using Ghost? It looks like they’ve taken WordPress’ business model and combined it with posthaven’s business model. So, if I have this correct, you can download and self-host ghost (ala wordpress.org) at no cost…or, you can use ghost’s hosted services (ala wordpress.com) and pay $5 per month (ala posthaven). That sound right?

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A blogger blogs, always

A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.
– Kurt Vonnegut

Sometimes I hear people say, "blogging is dead" or "I don’t get any visitors anymore" or "no one reads this anymore." I’ve said it myself. My wife has said it. My blogging friends have said it. My blogging friends who no longer blog have said it and committed blogicide.

Visitors, comments, stats…none of it matters. Write! Writing matters.

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No, I won’t use your CMS

So I’m doing some ColdFusion research (the Adobe kind not the physics kind) and thought it might be time to bring CFNinja.com back to life (not that it ever had much of a life). I hesitate to turn CFNinja.com into a WordPress site since CFNinja originally started with the intent to be a central location for ColdFusion developers to collaborate and it seems silly to use a PHP driven application for a CF site. The recommendations for a CF CMS seems to be Content Box. I figured I would install it real quickly and compile some of my research using Contentbox on CFNinja. First, the online documentation goes to a 404 page:

contentbox404

Not good for a content management system to not be able to find its own documentation. Even the older docs 404. Ah! Just went to reproduce the problem and found another path to the docs. Hmm. Maybe I’ll do this afterall.

Any other alternatives for ColdFusion CMS systems?

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WordPress 3.4 limited to 90 menu items

I’m working on a WordPress site. The site is to have roughly 106 pages all accessible via the WordPress menu system so that the enduser can add and remove pages from the menu as they like. Unfortunately, WordPress currently only allows 90 nodes (ie. 90 menu items) per menu. I have not figured out if this is a memory limitation, a hard coded limitation, or a setting yet. This must be overcome!

Reference:

Possible solutions:

  • Use add descendants as submenu items plugin
  • Check error logs and make sure max post vars was not exceeded. If so, increase in either .htaccess or php.ini
  • See if suhosin.post.max_vars and suhosin.request.max_vars are used with Dreamhost
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Changing the behavior of WordPress’ Publish button

A long unrealized goal of mine has been to change the behavior of WordPress’ publish button when adding a new post. Today, I’ll spend a little time examining the underlying code.

obert- and pixolin in Freenode’s #wordpress gave me good pointers to the WordPress forum and the WordPress hook directory.

I narrowed it down to two functions: wp_insert_post() and wp_publish_post(). Turns out that the correct function is wp_insert_post(). The only thing that wp_publish_post() does is to transition the status. Looks like I should be able to alter wp_insert_post() in my functions.php file and achieve my goal.

Got it!

Relevant references:

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Updating Redmine

I use Redmine to manage my client’s projects at http://redmine.dougmccaughan.com. I just noticed that last week Redmine released version 2.0.0 so I excitedly decided to upgrade my version…from 1.1.1 (how embarrassing!) This post will track the process should it not go smoothly.

Update: My update ended up being a simple "SVN UPDATE" however, it only brought me to 1.1.3. I didn’t even make it to the 1.4 branch. Will try again later.