Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lots of projects

I have been working on a number of projects lately, and have had the chance to play with several new technologies (new to me, in any case).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Updating favicons

I was working on a site and testing in Firefox, and after changing the favicon (the little icon that shows up before the address and with the tab) seemed to be cached. Refreshing the page didn't clear it up.

After some googling, I found this blog entry which contained a comment that answered my question.

To refresh a favicon, do the following:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Am I a Python fanatic now?

I find myself using Python for all kinds of stuff. I have written an app for my N900 in python, I am working on websites using Django, and I have even played with some of the puzzles on Project Euler in Python.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thumbs up to QT

I am going to give a big thumbs up to QT.  For those not familiar with it, QT is a development framework for C++ that can compile binaries for multiple platforms, including Windows, Linux, and the Nokia smartphone platforms.  As a Gnome lover, I never gave QT much attention.  I fiddled with Python on Linux, but I have not really been in the business of making desktop apps lately, and QT is very strongly tied to the KDE desktop and not to Gnome.  (I actually like KDE as well, it being the first Linux desktop I ever used, but lately I have been using gnome).

Friday, February 26, 2010


I came across this concept recently--it is laid out pretty well in a Wikipedia article if you want some more details.  Basically, you use it to represent a latitude/longitude pair as a single set of characters.  There are two basic features to it that are pretty cool:

  • Each successive bit of information provides additional accuracy so that the location of the point is gradually refined.  This also allows the same formula to handle various levels of precision.
  • The bits that represent latitude and longitude are interpolated with one another.  That means that a single short piece of information represents the values in two dimensions.  This is especially useful for matching and storing unique point values in a database

This is a two-way hash...a point can be encoded and decoded.  There is a loss of precision...the final representation does not match the input value exactly, but is within a defined margin of error.

It looks much better than latitude and longitude values when passed in a URL, and it is easy enough to calculate that it is amost cost-free to use.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Drupal security

Big thumbs up to Drupal on security.  There were a few meager attempts to hack into this site.  The IP addresses track back to the ministry of education in Thailand...usually this kind of stuff hits my sites from China (though, given the world population distribution, that might just be the law of averages working).  In any case, the standard security of Drupal was enough to keep these casual hackers at bay.

And here I thought nobody was visiting this site...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

CakePHP design thoughts

I am working on a project in CakePHP...the first time I have used it. I am finding it very well made, but I am not exactly in the right frame of mind for some of its limitations.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Malware removal

I have had the pleasure of removing malware from a few friends computers lately (Windows XP). In the two most recent cases, they were heavily infected with phony antivirus software and alerts. They probably clicked the "you are infected" popups and it escalated from there.

In both cases, I used MalwareBytes to remove the offensive stuff. The free version can do a full scan in a few hours and seems to a solid job of sniffing stuff out and removing it.

 I have found that you have to run the scans several times, both as the administrator and as the actual user to find everything. I just scanned and rebooted repeatedly until I could see no trace of the stuff left.

I think that XP was more prone to these kinds of things than later versions (or than Linux or Mac) because of the permissions. We'll see if the rollout of Windows 7 reduces my friends infections. (I am running Linux, so all I have to worry about is making my system so complicated I can't use it anymore.)