Archive for Work

All your Base MEMory r Belong to Chrome…

I find it entertaining that Google Chrome happily consumes virtually all the resources our computers can put out in many cases while at the exact same time I (or the collective we as web developers I suppose) are configuring virtual machine dev environments that Vagrant Up as identical clones of our systems live production environment (read: operating system) totally happy n’ snappy being allotted a single Gigabyte of memory.  If that…  lol.  Then there’s Chrome which was just a moment ago consuming over 5 Gigs of memory. I may have closed a few tabs before the screen shot but you get the idea. ^_^

Chrome the Memory Melter

Next time you find yourself trying not to buy something from the apple store, just remember that in order to logically weigh in that memory upgrade – go ahead and write off half your system memory to Chrome’s lay-on-the-couch-in-a-crowded-house comfort zone.  Then feel free to consider other things like Virtualbox or Fusion. ^_^

 

I’m switching to Opera for no less than the next 47 minutes.

Apps that make OSx useful

It’s been a long time since I’ve wiped out my workstation and started with a fresh Operating System.  I’m starting to get a real solid grasp of OSx so a clean slate to work with sounds fantastic. Having a much better knowledge then I did a year ago about the apps I like, which apps to I definitely don’t like and in what combination I find them most useful.   So here’s a quick breakdown of the OSx Apps I use while things backup backup before I race down green-glass lane, nuke this MacBook & arrive at destination defaults.

Web Browsers

Code Editors IDE’s & Support

  • Netbeans – PHP/Java IDE
  • TextMate $$
    • Simple GUI text editor
    • I rarely use it now however given that it’s paid for…  It’s still noteworthy to mention that I use VIM much more often.
  • Github + Command Line Tools
  • Arduino

DB Tools

Video/Graphics

  • GIMP - All my graphics editing needs under one easy to use roof.
  • VLC - Have Video File… Will Play.
  • Quicktime – pre-Bundled w/OSx
  • Camtasia $$ – Everybody loves screencasts and video demo’s

Organization, Notes & non-code Text

  • Evernote $$ – THE only notes app worth using on all platforms & architectures when logging all things noteworthy in any media type (txt,image,audio,etc)
  • OmniGraffle $$
    • Flow charts, Wire Frames, Brain Storming, Network Maps, Visual website site maps…  and whatever else you can think of once you get good at using it, it’s hard not to.
  • OfficeLibre – Offline office suite
  • FreeMind – Offline Mind Mapping otherwise I use Mindmeister $$ w/an entry level paid subscription.

Communication

Misc

  • Jing & Snagit – Screenshot + annotation & sharing tool.
  • SEO Power Suite $$
  • MarketSamuri – DEPRECIATED – Keyword research tool
    • This shouldn’t be listed here.  I can’t recall the last time I used this.
  • VirtualBox – Virtual Machines for all!
  • uTorrent – Leech

System Resources

  • FUSE for OS X
    • MacFUSE
    • NTFS-3G
  • TrueCrypt –  It’s all encrypted.  Everything.  Thumbdrives, backups, shared containers.  Everything.
  • Little Snitch $$ – Amazingly simple firewall
  • QuickSilver – Cutting shortcuts and mashing mashups for super quick access to everything.
  • GPGTools – This stuff should be understood now.
  • Homebrew – An OSx Packaging system that’s as useful as it is easy.
  • oh-my-zsh – Useful & Pretty.
  • Java – Necessary

Workaround for truncated dump file – NTOP Suspicious Packets File

I was encountering an error when trying to run tcpdump using the suspicious packets or other packets PCAP files generated by ntop as input. Tcpdump would display an error message stating the provided file was a “Truncated dump file” and die. the end. No beans.

The Workaround: Don’t run NTOP in daemon mode.
Don’t use the -d or –daemon command line argument. This also means that any common means of starting ntop as service such as with `/etc/init.d/ntop start` or `service ntop start` also results in failure.

The real answer: Stay current: As of this writing ntop has been replaced by it’s successor ntopng which is freely available and available freely: ntopng v.1.0 [stable] is available for download as pre-compiled packages or build-your-own from source of course. ^_^

Other then that I hadn’t resolved a real answer – however the NTOP Man Page warns about daemon mode under the –output-packet-path command line option. *shrug*

My Enviornment:

  • NTOP v.4.1.0 (32 bit)
  • Ubuntu [precise] 12.04.3 LTS
    • Linux hq 3.2.0-53-generic-pae #81-Ubuntu SMP
    • Thu Aug 22 21:23:47 UTC 2013
    • i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux
  • tcpdump version 4.2.1
  • libpcap version 1.1.1

 

I Installed DD-WRT on a Netgear WNDR3400v2

This post is old and out dated.

Please see my new post New DD-WRT Firmware for Netgear WNDR3400v2 for links to a more current DD-WRT firmware version with Heartbleed fix, NAT reversal and more!


 

Right on, It WORKS.!.

I’m not a fan of many devices with extremely limited administration interfaces, especially network devices so when the Netgear WNDR3400v2 resting behind the couch (in arms reach for easy wired laptop connections ^_^) suggested there was an update available I agreed. With a quick slight of hand I confused the slick little black n’ blue device long enough to upload a firmware file downloaded from this website. I would guess that it took less than 90 seconds to eliminate the less-than-flexible firmware provided by Netgear & replace it with the always friendly DD-WRT.  Mission accomplished without so much as a questionable pause or hiccup.

Warning: WNDR3400v2 is not supported

Unfortunately, as of this post DD-WRT is still not officially supported for the Netgear WNDR3400v2 wireless access point.  Actually, DD-WRT.com states that donation devices are needed and that the firmware is only a work in progress and offering no files, suggestions or other information.  I however didn’t really care for the device anyway especially considering it’s been flaking out lately so I searched Google for DD-WRT Firmware for WNDR3400v2, downloaded the first thing I saw and flashed it to the device.  Fully prepared to toss the failed brick in the ‘parts’ bin with the rest of the bits n’ pieces I’ve saved for Arduino & Raspberry Pi projects, I uploaded the extracted file dd-wrt.v24-K26_WNDR3400V2-25-02-2013.chk using the web management interface to the Netgear device and clicked upgrade.  To my amazement I was presented with the dd-wrt “set your username & password” page displayed after successful flashes!  Heck yeah!

DD-WRT installed on WNDR3400v2

Here’s some links to the file I used. You can download the file from the original source if you’d like or grab the ones I uploaded.  Either way, here are some links and MD5 Hash values.  The Zip compressed file is not any smaller then it’s extracted .chk file so either one is just as quick to download.

Download the Firmware

Firmware File (Uncompressed)
MD5:8cc51e081f3115cc2514b55595d1cc16
File size: 6.5 MB
dd-wrt.v24-K26_WNDR3400V2-25-02-2013.chk @ Copy.com
dd-wrt.v24-K26_WNDR3400V2-25-02-2013.chk @ BurnMyTime.com

 

Zipped Firmware File
MD5: a3477656f891e12c6bed0a9761eae400
File size: 6.5 MB
dd-wrt.v24-K26_WNDR3400V2-25-02-2013.zip @ Copy.com
dd-wrt.v24-K26_WNDR3400V2-25-02-2013.zip @ BurnMyTime.com

 

Installing DD-WRT

  1. Acknowledge to yourself that what you are about to do has a high potential to render your wireless access point useless.  I’m not personally sure what the real likely-hood of creating a paperweight out of your AccessPoint actually is but if you like your WNDR3400v2 as much as I did mine then it’s just as good bricked as it is functional.  Lets move forward and hope for 1337 results!
  2. Locate & Login to the Web Admin – Netgear Genie web administration portal usually at http://192.168.1.1 or whatever it claims your default gateway to be if you plug in to it and let it DHCP issue your network settings after resetting the device to factory defaults.
  3. Reset to Factory Defaults – If you haven’t yet reset the device to factory defaults – navigate to the advanced tab -> administration -> backup settings page and click ‘erase’. That’s all I did to reset it anyway. I could have 30/30/30 reset it while patting my head n’ rubbing my belly but I didn’t care to find a paperclip to hold the reset button while cycling the power nor could I find any lolzcats to photo.
  4. Upload Firmware Upgrade – With your WNDR3400v2 at the factory default settings again visit the HTTP Genie Admin portal and bypass the internet setup junk.  Do what it takes to get to the Advanced Tab then Administration (I believe) and finally the Upgrade page.   Click browse & browse your computer for the .CHK file you downloaded and/or extracted from the downloaded .zip .
  5. Click [Upgrade] – Confirm that you do in fact want to take over the world and are not willing to accept payment for doing so….  Wrong admin panel.   Just agree to the warning dialogs and such and wait a minute or two.   I didn’t have to do anything else except refresh the http page I was viewing and whala – it displayed the dd-wrt password update form.!.

Sadly I didn’t make note of what firmware version I previously had from Netgear however it’s whatever version just got replaced today or perhaps yesterday as this post is being published the day after. I’ll follow up in a week to report how well the Netgear WNDR3400v2 is performing with DD-WRT.  I’ll donate the device to dd-wrt.com if it acts twitchy so everything will end well regardless. So far it’s working great though. Cheers!

Helping our comunity by publishing the monthly newsletter

Katherine Heights Townhomes

Z and I volunteered to create the monthly newsletter that gets delivered to all the residents of our community here in Katherine Heights. Our goal is to establish a publishing schedule, workflow, design template and ‘system’ in which most of the newsletter process could be automated. Since we’ve managed printed newsletters & digital E-Mail Marketing campaigns in the past we saw a clear opportunity to organize and implement a bit of organization. With a little structure & intent the whole process of creating, editing & publishing the newsletter should be much more efficient and error resistant through the automatic re-use of existing articles, schedules and so on.

This month we established the publishing schedule, basic workflow and setup & implemented the tools with which we (the front office, or whoever wishes to be responsible for it) will manage and maintain future publications.

We’ve been using podio to support many of our projects as well as our business workflow so it didn’t take much effort to setup a Podio Workspace for the Katherine Heights Newsletter.  Adding apps for Article management, built in version-monitoring for simple editing, discussions, reader input (both signed & anonymous), an events calendar and tied it all together with a publishing schedule to keep us on track.  With the workflow and information framework in place, starting in October we’ll be exporting data from Podio directly in to the newsletter template for printing.

If all goes well, by November we will have nearly completely automated the creation of every subsequent month’s newsletter.  A step up in quality, a step around unnecessary labor and errors, and a step in toward enhancing community involvement as we begin making the resources available for external input.  I’m excited – I love it when technology makes things easier rather then being a point of frustration. With a small amount of documentation created and stored in Podio I hope to see this more simple, efficient system stick around for a long time to come.

Here’s the front and back of September’s Newsletter.

[September-Front] [September-back]

Podio – Simple & Effective Workflow Resources

Bio-Identical Hormone Treatment & James Abernathy

Photo of James Abernathy

James Abernathy, PhD.

One of my favorite parts about developing business systems is that I’m always being introduced to new things or even just the idea of things my creative mind hadn’t even had the slightest notion of prior to being introduced while absorbing a new business model surrounding the product or idea.  This pairs well with another detail of business i’ve learned and find true and it is that the individual (personality and character) behind a business often shares many very strong similarities with the product and business model they represent.  James Abernathy is a great example.  Having recently joined forces with him and Tiffani Huckles representing True You Hormones which has teamed up with Think Smart to both further expand our collective health and wellness resources, I now have the pleasure of working in the same facility as James every day often working together.

Learning to develope cCBT support software

As the use of Information Technology resources continue being developed to allow every industry on the planet to operate more and more efficiently the education or collective knowledge required to effectively create useful software or business support systems grows with an equally fine tuned and focus.  It’s amazing to look back even 13 years ago where if you had a primitive understanding of HTML and could piece together a couple pages online that resembled a catalog listing products, prices and contact information to allow the viewer a means of ordering the listed products offline then you were generating revenue.  A couple years before that I and most everyone I knew at the time were in amazed with having access to simple services like Geocities and Hotmail.  Capitalism and Information Technology have been a happy couple every since those days which brings me closer to the topic at hand.

Amazing things happen at that long lost place we used to call the bleeding edge.  One used to be able to hang out there if you exercised a relatively sharp IT skill set and weren’t afraid to try something new. All you had to do was grab someone with a sharp industry specific skill set and collaborate to summon what I lazily categorized as business efficiency software.  Just make some business process more efficient or more cost effective then smile and watch that edge you’re on bleed.

Snapping back in to reality now – it’s 2013 and you can still create more efficient business support software and systems with just a healthy IT skill set and a solid drive to make things happen.  But, to find the bleeding edge and create something awesome in today’s market requires an amazing amount of skill in business, effective collaboration skills, an amazing capacity to communicate ideas across knowledge or language barriers and of course it’s all ideally based on a solid foundation of IT skills and experience.  I see a lot of stress put on individual personal capacity within the movers and shakers of today’s functional business class.  The results produced by people with the drive and capacity to absorb and create are nothing short of amazing and it’s those results that have aloud all of us to further close previous barriers and gaps making this world a very small place if you overlook the distance walking to Mc Donalds and let the Dominoes delivery parrot tell you a story while updating you as to the status of the materialization and delivery of your pizza. lol.

I’m partnered and working with Randee Van Ness, CEO of Think Smart, Inc and a Certified Cognitive Behavioral Specialist amongst an impressive list of educational achievements.  Randee created, grew and saw through to the successful exit of a local medical practice offering Cognitive Behavioral Therapy programs combined with nutritional counseling with an optional food delivery program.  The focus for us now and the big picture for Think Smart, Inc. is to modify the local business model she designed, enhance the CBT service programs to cover a larger range of health issues while restructuring the delivery to make  the services available online nation wide.  As you could imagine the integration with and development of the web based support software and systems makes use of a lot of technology further complicated by the sensitivity of the data and the need for everything to support the CBT model of fact-based results-driven change.  This means everything must not only be infinitely secure, exchange vast amounts of data of every type from static text and images to live, crystal clear video and audio, log all the data and technically demonstrate change within each individual case and comparatively across all.  It needs to do all this without coming across as complicated, better yet – it needs to be appealing in it’s use from the consumers perspective.

The whole topic is yet again made more entertaining by the fact that the idea hasn’t really grabbed hold in the US leaving a couple small companies (two of which don’t offer cCBT in English) to even get an idea of the playing field from. ^_^

I’m on it.!.  Lets make something epic!