Category Archives: Discussion

Beatsense Music Service…

beatsense

If you’re a fan of music, you will like BeatSense.  The site became active in October 2015.  I have since created two rooms Chillstep and Full of Treble.  The perk in these rooms is that your playlist (sourced from YouTube videos) is shared.

That means as you listen to the songs you enjoy, other users may add to that playlist which helps in finding new music.   For my two rooms, the more modern music gets many more viewers than the classical music but it works well to have music that plays consistently that is of my interests while I work.

The site is active, has been positive in receiving feedback and is consistently under development and adding new features.  Give it a look and enjoy the sounds!

Army Forms Going to PDF…

After a year of no longer having support of XFDL/Lotus Form Filler documents it would appear that the Open XFDL project had moved on.  At least that was my thought but it has now become apparent that there is still a community in need of improving XFDL interfacing with databases.

Please add comments and discuss what is the future of the XFDL format.  Will this be a legacy format within the military or will it phase out soon?

 

Back in Service…

For those frequently this blog, thank you for your visits!  This has been out of service for the time I was out of country and returning to working nights for the past year has made it hard to find the time to post updates.  But there are a few projects that I have on the burner so keep watching for updates as we move forward…

Tuba Christmas…

image3

Snow on the ground, cold in the air, music all around.  It’s Christmas time and with the season brings Tuba Christmas again.  After a decade of rest for my lungs, it’s been nice getting the rusty brass behemoth to sound good.

Sample music from practice: 

For those unfamiliar with the event, here are some good videos:

PyGTK 3, great and embarassing…

So, working to get away from WX as my main GUI source and using GTK as I’ve been an Ubnutu, then Mint user with Gnome for years. Building windows in Glade3 was not too bad and the rapid prototyping with Python makes it a great tool. Sadly, the documentation for PyGTK 3 does not exist. There are differences yet the examples that are found are all for PyGTK 2. Don’t believe me? Try finding information on drawing to a window. Most notable difference is the use of Cairo instead of GDK but it just starts there. Anyhow, just venting on what should be a great set up which is made difficult by the lack of documentation.

I’m back!

Okay, I realize that I have not posted anything new to this blog in about 6 months.  For those of you who are not new to this blog, I apologize.  It’s been a very busy year.  I have picked up a command position for a large company and this has taken most of my time.  And, it’s been a busy year for my civilian job as a corrections officer.  Between those things, this blog has been pushed behind.  But, there are many projects I’m working on so I wanted to post a message saying:

  • I’m alive.
  • I’ll be posting to this blog more frequently.
  • Be prepared for new projects to be showing on these pages soon.

Thank you for your time and pateince!

 

XFDL in MS Access…

Just wanted to pass a link for the updated XFDL in MS Access Project.  Included in the zip are:

AccessXFDL – This folder has a working example of opening an XFDL form in access.  Does not work for all forms yet but will produce a form for most XFDLs.

libxfdl – This is the DLL made for an extension to VBA to take a part XFDL files and return a string of the data.

Here’s the link: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/18666533/AccessXFDL.zip

Enjoy!

Who Knew…

Just a fun fact.  Apparently, from The Beatle’s White Album, the song Martha My Dear is inspired Paul McCartney’s Old English Sheepdog. named Martha.  As a sheepdog owner, these dogs are one of my favorite breeds so figured this is a fact worth passing on.  Enjoy the picture as well:

Watch Out! Here comes a dart!!

It’s like if php and java met on a lonely night, dart would be the result.

Google Dart, a new language developed to be the ‘new javascript’ is soon to be available from Google.  Check out the webpage that’s set up to show you the language and give a nice tutorial.  It has an interpreter on the page so you can tinker and get a feel for it.  It seems to me, after playing with the language a bit, it’s like if php and java met on a lonely night, dart would be the result.  An advantage of this language, is unlike HTML5, you will not have to wait for a browser to be made to understand this language.  It can be cross-compiled to javascript on the server side until browsers catch up!  Unfortunately, this is not something I’ve been able to apply to a live server, yet.

Apologize…

I know its been awhile since I’ve posted on here.  About a month ago, I got a new job where I’m working overnights so its been tough getting programming as a hobby in and especially writing as it while I adjust to the new work shift.  Some projects I’ve been working on:

1. I’ve gotten real heavy into using microprocessors.  Recently, I’ve gone to programming on the Arduino to using the ATMega in its own circuit (programmed while on the Arduino board for testing and then once ready to complete, finishing it on its own circuit.)

2. As usual, working on an XFDL for Linux project.  The GUI in WXWidgets is coming along, working out using libxml2 to parse the file, which is taking awhile but its beginning to flow.  Keep checking back for updates as they happen.

3. Finally got a Mac OSX running with xCode in Virtual Box.  I’m going to get back into Objective C and iPhone apps as I get it working more smoothly.

Thank you for checking in, I’ll be posting more regularly from here on out.

Fixing libcoolkey…

With my new CAC card, I found that libcoolkey.so was not working with Firefox correctly.  The new, 144k CAC cards do not play well with the old version of libcoolkey.  I did find that the ‘experimental’ release of libcoolkey will fix this problem, here is the fix:

amd64 (64bit)

sudo su
apt-get purge coolkey libckyapplet1 libckyapplet1-dev
wget http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/pool/main/c/coolkey/libckyapplet1_1.1.0-7_amd64.deb
wget http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/pool/main/c/coolkey/libckyapplet1-dev_1.1.0-7_amd64.deb
wget http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/pool/main/c/coolkey/coolkey_1.1.0-7_amd64.deb
dpkg -i libckyapplet1_1.1.0-7_amd64.deb libckyapplet1-dev_1.1.0-7_amd64.deb coolkey_1.1.0-7_amd64.deb

i386 (32bit)

sudo su
apt-get purge coolkey libckyapplet1 libckyapplet1-dev
wget http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/pool/main/c/coolkey/libckyapplet1_1.1.0-7_i386.deb
wget http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/pool/main/c/coolkey/libckyapplet1-dev_1.1.0-7_i386.deb
wget http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/pool/main/c/coolkey/coolkey_1.1.0-7_i386.deb
dpkg -i libckyapplet1_1.0-7_i386.deb libckyapplet1-dev_1.1.0-7_i386.deb coolkey_1.1.0-7_i386.deb

A side note, if you are registered with https://software.forge.mil/, then there is a fix in the project ‘Community CAC’ that includes libcackey which offers a fix for this as well.

Netflix on Linux.

Netflix is a great resource for watching videos, particularly the ‘Watch Now’ feature for instant streaming.  Unfortunately, for Linux users, Netflix uses a Microsoft PlayReady, Silverlight plugin for this feature.  This is to protect the content from piracy (arrgh, pirates!!) so they have no problems with copyright.  Too bad for Linux, as this feature is not available in any way, shape, or form.  There is no way to develop a fix for to use this in Linux either, as PlayReady is proprietary.  If this angers you as much as it should any Linux user, that the only work around is to use Windows, then please visit and sign this petition.

#! Statler – b43 driver fix.

This week I switched to #! (Crunchbang) because my Ubuntu was getting slow.  I love the speed and was very happy with the wifi because it had the b43 driver working by default.  Except, I could not get on my network after the most recent upgrade, but I found a work-around after a day of reading forums.  Surprisingly, it’s not too complicated!  You just need to create a conf file for b43 to use PIO and it will not through a DMA error anymore… my hardware is: Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 802.11b/g LP-PHY [14e4:4315] (rev 01).  This is the only line you should need.

sudo echo "options b43 pio=0 qos=0" > /etc/modprobe.d/b43.conf

Reference: This article from Ubuntu Forums.

Hallmark Postcard Hoax — Disappointing.

Today I received a warning e-mail about an e-mail virus.  Immediately I responded to the sender to let me know if they get an e-mail with this attachment because it would be a nice ‘exhibit’ for my ‘virus zoo.’  To explain, I have a computer lab I’ve set up to run and test viruses (correct plural form of virus).  For anyone with interest as to why, it is the best way to understand vx problems and make resolutions.  Additionally, I just find it fun to reverse a virus and do my portion of good Samaritan duty and send any resolutions to the internet so that the virus can be fixed and therefore mitigate the ability of that virus to be destructive.

On the second read, I realized that this was ‘too good to be true’ from the perspective of a virus junkie.  Here is the e-mail with the signs of a hoax highlighted:

You  should be alert during the next few days. Do not  open any message
with an attachment  entitled  ‘POSTCARD FROM  HALLMARK,’regardless of who sent
it  to you.
It  is a virus which opens A POSTCARD  IMAGE, which ‘burns’ the
whole hard  disc C of your  computer.

This  virus will be received  from someone who has your  e-mail address in
his/her  contact list. This is  the reason why you need to send  this e-mail
to all  your contacts. It is better to  receive this  message 25 times than
to receive the  virus and  open it.

If  you receive a mail called’  POSTCARD,’ even though  sent to you by a
friend, do not  open it!
Shut down  your computer immediately. This is  the
worst virus  announced by  CNN.

It  has been classified by  Microsoft as the most  destructive virus ever.
This  virus was discovered  by McAfee yesterday, and there is  no repair yet
for this kind of virus.
This virus  simply destroys  the Zero Sector of
the Hard Disc
,  where the vital  information is  kept.

Here’s a breakdown of that e-mail.  Keep in mind this e-mail was supposedly forwarded from a group that has some decent computer knowledge (enjoy the Christmas color theme!):

  1. which ‘burns’ the whole hard  disc C of your  computer….This virus  simply destroys  the Zero Sector of
    the Hard Disc…

    • Compare these two statements.  Does this virus burn the whole hard disk or the zero sector?
    • Assuming ‘zero sector’ means the Master Boot Record (MBR), that is a small sector of your whole hard drive.
    • Have to ask yourself why just the C: drive and not the whole drive?
  2. Shut down  your computer immediately.
    • This is simply bad advice.
    • If it was a real virus, just don’t open the file and delete the e-mail.
    • On some e-mail clients, e-mail images are automatically opened which means it’s too late anyhow.
  3. This is  the worst virus  announced by  CNN…It  has been classified by  Microsoft as the most  destructive virus ever.
    • I’ll give you the ‘Blog Reader of the Day’ award if anyone can find this virus listed with these phrases from either company!
    • ‘Work Virus’ and ‘Most Destructive Virus Ever‘ seem more than extreme.
    • Frankly, there are worse viruses in the computer world that do worse than erase data on one machine.
  4. The use of ‘psuedo-technological terms’ is  a bad sign.  Refer to the first point about the ‘zero sector’ vs. hard drive issue.

So, after thinking about all of this, I did a google search for ‘hallmark postcard virus’ and without even reading articles realized that this was virus was too good to be true.  Here’s a list of the top results:

  1. Snopes.com
  2. About.com
  3. Hoax-Slayer
  4. Ezine @rticles
  5. Sophos

To be fair, a couple of those came from a search for ‘zero sector’ which resulted in finding this previously used e-mail (Does this sound familiar?):

You should be alert during the next days: Do not open any message with an attached filed called “Invitation” regardless of who sent it. It is a virus that opens an Olympic Torch which “burns” the whole hard disc C of your computer. This virus will be received from someone who has your e-mail address in his/her contact list, that is why you should send this e-mail to all your contacts. It is better to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it.

If you receive a mail called “invitation”, though sent by a friend, do not open it and shut down your computer immediately.

This is the worst virus announced by CNN, it has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever. This virus was discovered by McAfee yesterday, and there is no repair yet for this kind of virus. This virus simply destroys the Zero Sector of the Hard Disc, where the vital information is kept. SEND THIS E-MAIL TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW, COPY THIS E-MAIL AND SEND IT TO YOUR FRIENDS AND REMEMBER: IF YOU SEND IT TO THEM, YOU WILL BENEFIT ALL OF US

Now, I think it’s pretty well established that this e-mail is a hoax.  The point of this post is just to make the reader aware of the e-mail itself.  Regardless, it is important to remember to update your anti-virus software and use all due caution when opening e-mail attachments.  Several viruses do exist and reproduce in this manner and it is important to realize these consequences are real.

I’m Back…

Sorry for anyone who watches this site.  After the last server upgrade, this site went offline and I was not able to focus my attention on it until I’d returned from my Army school.  Now that I’m back though, I have several projects getting ready to go, here’s a list of what to expect over the next couple months:

  1. Return to the garmin wardriver project.
  2. A python based minesweeper (ncurses).
  3. XFDL projects (primarily MS Access integration).

That’s just a short list of what is on my mind.  It’s great to be back on-line!

Slow Down…

Some of the avid readers may of noticed a slow down in the frequency of my posts.  That is because I am preparing to go to a school with the Army (BOLC) for the next four months.  Due to the pace of this school, I will be doing far less development and it’s likely I’ll have less internet access.  I have not gone away and this page is not dead though.  I will post as able while gone but everything will return to normal when I’m back home.

Navigating views on iPhone.

Its been awhile since I’ve posted anything, but I’ve been obsessing over an iPhone application.  I have three views set and was able to switch forward to next views pretty easily following several online tutorials that were available.  My favorite of which is this blog/tutorial.

That’s all well and good that I can move my views forward but how do I go back?  For this, I had to use some time, Google and Apple’s references and was able to find how to utilize the navigation controller.  See, my views did not have room for a navigation bar but I had used buttons to do the same.

After much testing and research, I found this simple line of code to move the page back.  In fact, once I used that everything about the navigation controller began to make sense!  I was just sad that there were no blog posts, tutorials or forums that had this method listed, so I decided to make sure there was at least one!

// Method: - (UIViewController *)popViewControllerAnimated:(BOOL)animated

-(IBAction)pageBack:(id)sender {
	[self.navigationController popViewControllerAnimated:YES];
}