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sgrover's blog

Use at your own Risk

Today I decided to run Windows Update on my development server, which is running Windows 2000. The usual assortment of security updates needed to be applied. While these were downloading and installing, I decided to entertain myself by reading the Terms of Use for Windows Update. I found the following in there:

People are strange.

People are strange. Period.

Even how I decided on that statement is strange. Perhaps I should elaborate?

The importance of standards compliance

Microsoft has been in legal limbo for the past couple years while it fought a patent lawsuit against it from Eolas Technologies. Microsoft lost the case, and as a result must change how Internet Explorer works. Eolas holds a patent that describes a method for embedding interactive content into web pages. The way Internet Explorer uses ActiveX and Java Applets infringes on this patent. So, Microsoft has chosen to make changes to IE, rather than pay licensing fees (which were prohibitive, to say the least).

I hate spam!

So here I am, wrapping up for the night and doing one last check of email before going to bed. What do I find? Yep, yet another spam. But wait this one is different someone messed up as you can see from the To and From lines:

From: "[%from_name%]" <"[%from_email%]">
To: <"[%to%]">

OpenOffice Base and MySQL

One of the programs that have been missing from the Open Source world is a simple database system. MS Access provides this capability on Windows platforms, but until OpenOffice 2.0 was released, with their version of Base, there wasn't anything equivalent (to my knowledge) in open source. The main reason for this is that until relatively recently, those using open source had more technical knowledge, and were much more likely to understand what a database is.

Drupal Backup Routines

I recently had to go through the exercise of creating a backup routine for a number of Drupal based websites on Linux servers. Even though these sites were all based on the same program (and similar versions too), there were sublte differences that resulted in different approaches for the various sites. I'm documenting my experience here in the hopes that this might be useful to someone else. (not to mention I'm likely to forget this before I need it again...)

Backing up Drupal requires two distinct steps:

  1. Backup the files

Where does heat go?

One day when listening to yet more random talk about Global Warming, I had some thoughts about heat, that have been eating at me for some time now. So tonight I decided to try to address these thoughts, and document them here - thereby forcing me to vocalize them, and see if I'm just being dense or not.

The big question is "Where does the heat go?". Such a simple question, but when you start looking into the answers, it's really a complex topic.

JavaScript References

When I started teaching JavaScript two years ago, I wanted to make sure the official reference guide was available to my students. At one time, it was possible to download the reference and user guide for the various JavaScript releases from Netscape. Unfortunately Netscape was sold to AOL who eventually decided to turf the developer pages, and the links to these resources.

It took some doing but I was able to track down both the JavaScript 1.5 Reference and the Guide. These can be downloaded from the links below:

Kolab / Horde Workshop

This past weekend I helped put on a workshop for the Calgary Linux Users Group. We covered how to install the Kolab Email Server and the Horde Framework for web based email and groupware services. It took a fair bit more effort to prep for this than I thought it would - afterall Kolab is a fairly fast install. And horde isn't toooo difficult to install, though I don't think it's quite as simple as installing a windows application.

open2space updated

The website has been updated. It's looking pretty sparse right now, but fills the role of a "corporate brochure" for now. Now I just have to figure out why the contact page isn't working right...

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