Archive for Work


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NON-Technical Hiring Questions I’ve been asked.

In a few recent interviews as a PHP developer applying for LAMP stack contributing developer positions I’ve been asked the following NON-TECHNICAL questions:

If you were given a box of pencils, list 3 things you could do with them that are not their traditional use.

My answer: I’d juggle them, practice my trigger pull (pencil in barrel marking a wall) & play Pick-Up-Stix.

Why do you want this position?

If you could be any street sign, what would you be?

My answer: .. was all over the place. lol. An interstate sign for a left exit! Then I had a lap of judgement and said “A useful one” to which the interviewer responded, “That would be all of them”.  Fine, Not a speed limit sign though.!.

Explain a day in the life of a developer.

Explain your approach to coding.

How do you choose user stories and estimate time.

I’ve really enjoyed some of the interviews I’ve participated in. I’ve also totally bombed at least one of the three I’ve had. lol.  If there is one thing I would stress over everything ( understanding we’re applying for jobs we have the skill set to back up ) is to be positive, inquisitive and engage the hiring staff interviewing you.  As a developer, we’re supposed to be magical sources of logic based creativity. So keep the logic mind on and be magical. ^_^

Props to Comcast who even managed to slide in “Miracles (Daily!)” on their Job Opportunity doc under a “Typical Activities” section. lol.

A quick guide to enjoying a day in Colorado on the cheap.

Step 1: Visit the local ARC thrift store and purchase some outdoor sports equipment.

For this example I bought some roller blades for $12.99.

Z and I also acquired an awesome set of diving boots and fins for a future adventure for the same price.

Step 2: Find a park.

In this example I went a couple blocks down from the Arc to Clement Park at Johnson Reservoir to skate the features.


Step 3: Enjoy lazy or intense fun

Despite trying to break myself, I broke the blades.
And they broke.

Step 4: Grab a bit to eat somewhere near by.

I grabbed food w/Z at Sweet Tomato which was across the street from the park.  Great stuff.

Step 5: Go Home when it hails

This was fun


And this is how the government or whoever wants – beats your key pairs

UPDATE:  The Heartbleed vulnerability is of course multitudes simpler and thus a significantly easier means to the same end.  ^_^

The following is a screenshot from a computer that’s been quite obviously hosed. I won’t even ask why….  Walking past the rabbit hole & moving along.   No, no background will be provided on this post beyond the simple facts.

  1. I didn’t do it.
  2. I’m the only one with access to this computer
  3. I wasn’t present during the timestamp. (pre-time reverse fail huh?  yeah)

Dear Google: Please fix the content age vs context value issue.


I’m not sure if Google is just trying to keep us on our toes but it makes absolutely no sense that the 5th and 6th result links when I searched for PHP Database Design were published in 2006. Content age doesn’t always equate to a good thing. In this context it’s just silly yet there will be people learning from this, very likely lots of people.

when(old != good){SUPER old content}

MySQL Workbench. Confused & Broken?


What the heck?  MySQL Workbench has crashed a couple times on me today and now I get this:MySQL Workbench


I may just be confused because I’m annoyed at the  moment but is this not a setup to lose data? lol.  I have an option to continue and open an auto-saved version thus losing the recovery or let it try and recover data saved at the exact same time?

I’ll take the hint and stop poking at MySQL Workbench in between tasks for today at least.  I’m confused and workbench is broken. lol.


KidsQuest.mdb KidsQuest_DBModel.pdf

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


  • 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.



  • 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, 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)
File size: 6.5 MB
dd-wrt.v24-K26_WNDR3400V2-25-02-2013.chk @
dd-wrt.v24-K26_WNDR3400V2-25-02-2013.chk @


Zipped Firmware File
MD5: a3477656f891e12c6bed0a9761eae400
File size: 6.5 MB @ @


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 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 if it acts twitchy so everything will end well regardless. So far it’s working great though. Cheers!