WP Super Cache for WordPress

Alright, so the site was not necessarily slow.  The problem is that on EC2 micro instances a bot can take down my website.  Still an issue but one way someone recommend to help the issue is to use the super cache plugin which will make html files and doesn’t spike your CPU on the instance.  Here are the stats:

 

Before adding super cache:

ryanandmelissaalberts.com 97.41 KB 0.71 seconds 0.01 seconds

After enabling super cache:

ryanandmelissaalberts.com 97.43 KB 0.41 seconds 0 seconds ryanandmelissaalberts.com 97.43 KB 0.34 seconds 0 seconds

Task Management / Project Management @ Non-Profit

I am sooo excited! After searching endlessly (must have signed up for 20 different online sites)… I found the most amazing task management/project management software! It’s free. Works on web, iphone, android, ipad. It’s created by Fog Creek (Joel Spolsky), so you know it’s amazing. This day just got great! Now to use it on a test project in our organization to prove it out. Oh, it’s http://trello.com!

Bios Reset Password Dell D610

I had someone here ask to reset the bios password.  Usually a very easy process for desktop computers.  I had honestly not done one on a laptop before.  Thinking there were going to be nice buttons of some kind… wrong!

First you need to remove the back skin of the laptop.  Might be possible to just remove the cmos battery cover.  Then you will need to use a paper clip to jump the bios chip.

The big chip pointed to is the one that we need to jump in order to reset the bios password.

Short the pins shown above in order to reset the password.

You should be in business after that!

 

 

 

 

LG G2x Update Stuck At 4%

I have  a rooted LG G2x phone.  Strangely, the update was stuck at %4.  I tried it a bunch of times and it continually was blocked at that point.  I thought I would read of more people having the problem.  What got me by was doing the following:

  • Shutdown the phone.
  • Rebooted holding down the VOLUME DOWN and POWER.
  • Release the power when you see the LG logo.
    • Note: This puts up a screen that says S/W Upgrade, Please wait while upgrading.
  • Then plug in the USB and waited for WIN7 to load the drivers.
  • Clicked restart on the Phone Updater
  • Done!

Hopefully this helps someone else out there!

Enjoy Android 2.3.3!

 

Hiding Table of Contents on MediaWiki

Adding the following code into your wiki page to toggle the TOC links so that they are collapsed by default.  This is useful if you have a large page and thus a large TOC table.  Obviously you can turn off the TOC links but I find it sometimes useful to skim down the list, so having it collapsed makes it available but not expanded.

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<php>
// Hiding the Table of Contents menu since MediaWiki does not provide a way to do it.
?>

<script type="text/javascript">function hideToc() {

var toc = document.getElementById('toc').getElementsByTagName('ul')[0];
var toggleLink = document.getElementById('togglelink');
changeText(toggleLink, tocShowText); toc.style.display = 'none'; } </script>

<script type="text/javascript">hideToc();</script>

<?php
</php>

LG G2x Phone

I entered the world of smart phones yesterday. Took the plunge and bought a slightly used Android LG G2x. Why used? I wanted the option of being able to switch cell phone providers when my contract is up with TMO. I bought it off CraigsList a little weary about whether it would completely work or not. I also wanted to make sure to check the phone for the recent bad batch of G2x phones now emerging with screen problems. I ended up getting the phone and checked it over. Made sure to factory reset the device.

After restarting I found out that the wireless was not working! Umm… now what!?! I opened the browser and went to a bunch of sites.  Nothing worked!  Crap… it’s hardware.  Then I randomly went to my router (192.168.1.1). Strange, it worked! What the!?! So wireless works going to a direct IP address but not to google.com. Now it’s time to google (using my computer this time :-) and I came across this solution on this thread which had an answer for me:

  1. Factory Reset
  2. Skip initial setup
  3. Turn on airplane mode (hold down Power button for 3 sec)
  4. Turn on Wifi
  5. Setup Google Account/Market
  6. Shutdown phone/Reboot ( Don’t know if you need this)

Bingo!  Phone working great ever since!

UPDATE:  That didn’t work completely.  The problem came back.  I ended up removing the “My Account” problem and now it actually has been working all week!  Finally… now just to wait for the Android 2.3.3 Ginger update!

—–

This phone as a great 8mp camera and wanted to compare it against my Exilim.

Let’s compare the pictures:

G2x (Left) and the Exilim (Right)

Interesting.  This is a zoomed up picture on both the G2x and the Exilim.  The 7.2 mp Exilim point and shoot does better at brightness. This is just my first pic on the G2x so there may be some settings that could be tweaked to clean the picture up as well.  Notice though that you can almost read the words with the G2x whereas not so much with the Exilim.

Now onto rooting the phone :-)  Maybe I can remove some of this TMO pre-installed apps.  They locked it down so you can’t uninstall without super user access.

Steganography

The exchange of information is greater today than ever before in our history.  This means that the threat of evil misusing these standard channels of communication to send stolen information or a plan against a nation is more likely now than ever (Goel, Garuba, Liu, & Nguyen, 2007).  After the attack of 9-11 it was believed that terrorist were hiding information in pictures using steganography.  The goal of this research paper is to discuss ways in which steganography can be detected.

To understand methods of detecting steganography, it is necessary to define what steganography is and how it works.  Steganography is a general term for a process of hiding information.  The word Steganography has its origin in the Greek language, meaning “covered writing” (Johnson & Jajodia, 1998).  Most commonly steganography will be used to hide messages.

Steganographic data is mostly hidden within a picture file.  The data or message can be stored as a picture hidden within a picture or in the lower level bits of a picture file.  A few other common file types which can be utilized by steganography include audio and document files.  These are more difficult to create then a picture file.  They do offer increased protection against detection (Artz, 2001).

The data is either stored as a picture hidden within the main picture, or in the data that makes up the bits of the picture file.  Other common file types utilized by steganography include document files and audio files, both of which are much harder to create then a steganographic picture file, but offer increased protection against detection (Artz, 2001).

Like many security applications and tools, steganography can be used for a variety of reasons.  Some good purposes could include things like watermarking images for reasons such as copyright protection.  Digital watermarks (also known as fingerprinting, are especially important in copyright material) are similar to steganography in that the watermark is overlaid and appear to be part of the original file and are thus not easily detectable by the average person.  Another use would be to tag notes to online images.

Read entire paper @ google docs.

Setting Up and Move to Amazon EC2

This is really cool.  I have moved this blog and the dozen or so other websites I maintain to this new server.  I am pretty excited about the initial results.  Though I shouldn’t be surprised by any means.  It is just exciting to see the difference.

The old server and slow internet:

Home Server

 

On stella it got the worst rating, as it should.

Now for the performance of the Amazon EC2 Micro instance:

Amazon Ec2

Talk about a huge difference in time.  It is really the performance of what the website should be.

So far the cloud and the Amazon EC2 setup has not been bad at all.  I configured an Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick x64 instance.

The documentation is pretty good.  It was a bit difficult figuring out which ubuntu cloud instance I should choose from.  I ended up finding the following page useful:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/EC2StartersGuide#Getting the images

And then to figure out how to login using PuTTY on a windows box since you can’t use the normal username/password combination:

http://docs.amazonwebservices.com/AmazonEC2/gsg/2007-01-19/putty.html

All in all – the information is available once you can find it.

Enjoy!

Jumped in on Amazon EC2

I have obviously heard all the hype of the cloud infrastructures. Never had a need to jump in and try it though. I have been happy with my server machine that happily runs 24/7 using ubuntu. I have had it running over a full year without having to restart that machine even once. I made the mistake of looking at performance of the server. Not a good idea. I quickly realized that some of the websites I was hosting need to be on a more production like server. Now where do I turn? Maybe the cloud was my answer?

I really enjoy controlling the server so I immediately ruled out Google’s App cloud. It also ruled out the old $7 dollars/month domain hosting sites. Though some do allow ssh access they do not allow you to do upgrades on the server. I am down to only a few select. There may be others out there but it came down to Slicehost and Amazon EC2. Basically, since Amazon had the free year and I have heard so many good things about it. It ended up being a easy choice. The only probably is how much I will pay after the free year is up. I might end up going back to my old server if the cost is too high. Time will tell :-)

I personally went with the Ubuntu Maverick x64 bit install. Here is the details – https://help.ubuntu.com/community/EC2StartersGuide

Here is some help for connecting with PuTTY for the first time:
http://docs.amazonwebservices.com/AmazonEC2/gsg/2007-01-19/putty.html