Lewis' Blog Tales from the trenches of information technology

28Sep/140

Updating bash to patch Shellshock on discontinued CentOS 4.8

By now, this week's news of the Shellshock vulnerability has quieted to a bit of a rumble. What a mess, and to think that this exploit has been possible for such a long time...

What to do about old Linux distros, then? Yes, the rule of thumb is that if the distro is no longer widely supported, one should move off of it, or at least put it behind something more secure. But what if there is a single application which requires just that particular old distro, and will not play nicely with anything newer, and what if that particular app is proprietary, and no longer available?

26Sep/140

How to determine the installed version of eComStation

The installed eComStation version can be tough to decipher. It's not like Windows, where either the desktop is a dead giveaway or right-clicking My Computer and selecting Properties will instantly reveal what is under the hood. It is actually possible to make plain old OS/2 Warp 4 look just like the most current eComStation release.

So, how can one tell?

9Aug/140

Google’s HTTPS Everywhere initiative: not so fast…

It seems that Google has a new factor to consider for web rankings: HTTPS.

I understand the allure of encryption. Heck, I use StartPage as my search site, and all of my searches go over HTTPS. The problem is that HTTPS is expensive.

15Jul/140

What not to do with a free WordPress plugin

The Subscribe2 plugin for WordPress, which powers the email notifications of new posts to this blog, was recently turned over from the original developer to a new group. Often, this is a good thing: a devloper runs out of time and energy to maintain his work, and someone else steps up. Sometimes, however, it's not such a good thing.

11Jun/140

Some thoughts on my friend and colleague, Howard Plotnik

Clients and friends have heard me say the words many times over the years, "no worries; I'll order one up from Howie," or "I'll ask Howie about what fits that connector." For well over two decades, Howie and I maintained a close personal friendship and a good professional one.

Filed under: Personal Continue reading
16Feb/140

Conditional menus for WordPress with the Suffusion theme and mega menus

The Rosenthal & Rosenthal site is undergoing a major revamp, moving from a static, all-Flash (yech) accumulation of static pages and compiled Flash objects to WordPress 3.8.1.

In addition to rebuilding on a stable platform, the redesign plan involves a number of new features, some of which I'll document here on my personal blog to try to contribute to the community 1.

  1. I truly dislike the phrase "give back," as I've not taken anything; I do, however, contribute, as I can.
4Feb/145

Archiving JFS service logs on OS/2

Quick refresher:

IBM ported JFS (JFS1, actually) from AIX to OS/2 for release with Warp Server for e-Business in 1999 1, and it ultimately made its way into the Warp 4 client a few months later. Anecdotal evidence (read: my own personal conversations with people who know) says that the port was pretty rough around the edges, and much of the utilities were left in barely-usable condition (many people to this day shy away from defragfs on OS/2). The hope (or so I'm told) was that a third party 2 would develop a better set of tools at some point down the road.

  1. Wikipedia: JFS (file system)
  2. ISV, in IBM-speak, or Independent Software Vendor
14Jan/140

More Social Networking Nonsense

Regular readers alreaady know my stance on social networking (now called simply, "social media"). I have a couple further examples to share.

25Nov/131

Working around the broken RSS feed code in Joomla! 3.2

I'll probaby backfill some more tips & tricks I've picked up this past week, during an upgrade of a client's site from Joomla! 1.5.22 to 3.2, but in the meantime, as this seems to be a nagging bug (well a collection of them; not necessarily a swarm or even a hive, but a colony, nonetheless), I figured I should get something posted about it to hopefully save someone else an hour or two of poking (and testing modules to just replace the built-in feed module, anyway).

9Nov/130

Gravatar Privacy Issues

Most of my regular readers know how paranoid I am about my own privacy. I use throw away email addresses for many things, because I know that nothing comes for free (TANSTAAFL), and whenever anyone offers me something for "free" if I only provide my email address, I have a pretty good idea what's to become of it.