Monday, October 15, 2012

Enabling IE to View Wiki On A Stick (WOAS) Files

IE Requires Confirmation each time you start viewing a Wiki On a Stick Wiki

By default, Windows IE prompts the user to allow "blocked" content to run each time you load a WOAS html file.  This can be a real nuisance, but is also irksome when you share a WOAS document and they have trouble opening it.  This either makes them suspicious about your content and/or this minor irritation makes them not want to use your document or documentation.

Configure IE to Allow Blocked Content

  1. From Internet Explorer, select the Tools menu ( ).
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. Select the Advanced tab...
  4. Scroll down until you see the Security options.
  5. Enable the checkbox "Allow active content to run in files on My Computer".

P. S.

I would be happier if there was a way to specify a directory from which this allowed content is able to run rather than just write this blank check to allow all active content, kind of like in the security settings you can specifiy certain sites as safe.  If you have any ideas about how this would be done the please let me know.

P. P. S.

Thankfully FireFox doesn't have this issue.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I  recently purchased a 1974 Sunfish sailboat (14 ft) in partnership with another dad in our sons' Boy Scout troop.  I have been using my wellness recovery time to refinish the wooden daggerboard, rudder and tiller, fix small nicks, polish the hull and deck as well as to order sails, buy a few new parts like stainless steel screws, nylon washers, new lines (rope).

Buying New Line (rope)

The references for buying new line are somewhat confusing, some references are listed in millimeters  and some are contradictory for what size for which line.  So I'm going to simplify that problem here. (also see the conversion chart below.) . But remember, if you're racing you must follow the official specification for all line, sails, trim, boom, mast, etc.

The 25' halyard haul line (hoists the sails) should be 3/16 (US available at West Marine) which is approximately 5 mm but you could get by in a pinch with a nice 1/4" line if you wish, as long as it is strong.  In this case, the smaller line diameter works better since we're threading through a small pulley and tying off to a small cleat. See

The mainsheet can definitely be 1/4 instead of the 7 mm to 8 mm specified in some of the catalog sites.  Diamond braid from Gander Mountain or other sites worked fine for us this weekend.

I think it is a good idea to use different colors for the different lines.  This will avoid confusion.  Also, I'd avoid nylon braided rope for either of these two, preferring instead a nice climbing type line/rope that has an outer sleeve.

We had trouble getting a new sail on-time because the "All-American" we ordered is apparently very popular and ended up on back-order.  We were lucky enough to have the seller, the Sail Store, offer us the temporary use of a plain white sail (with window) (The FX sails are really a nice quality!). We took them up on the plain white loaner and it worked fine.  Since it was temporary I avoided using the shower curtain hoop-type attachments.  Instead I rigged the sail up with one very long strand of parachute cord for each boom, tying special hoop-like structures as I went along the length of the booms. This worked quite well.  I'd guess a good rope would  hold up pretty well if you're in a pinch, but may not be the best permanent solution. I think it looks better and will hold up enough for our use.  It'll also be easier to de-rig when the All-American sail comes in.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Navigating to a USB Drive that is Plugged into a Ubuntu/Linux OS PC

I use Beyond Compare daily and when they published their version for Linux I immediately bought it. (It is that awesome!).


  • I had a rather difficult time trying to figure out how [where] to select the file system on a USB drive that I plugged into my Ubuntu PC.

Steps I Took to Solve It:

  • I started a new folder compare session. 
  • I could navigate to the local hard drive 
  • But when I select "Browse for Folder" I did not see a place to select the USB drive.
    • I was expecting the USB drive to appear in the same way that the Windows file system presents them.
    • I tried the BC help and online FAQ but there was no mention of how to do this. 
      • I have requested that they include this tip in their help system and on-line FAQ.
  • Knowing a little UNIX I looked in the /dev folder but found nothing there that mapped to the USB drive.
  • Seeing that the USB drive did appear as an icon on my desktop, I knew that the drive was accessible.
    • Furthermore and I could use the Ubuntu file browser/explorer to view files on the USB drive.
  • I double-clicked the desktop icon that represents the USB drive
    • This opens the Ubuntu file system browser/explorer.
  • I right-clicked on the name of the USB drive volume
  • Selected "Properties
  • I discovered that the 'Location' property lists /media.

  • Instead of looking in /dev  look in /media
  • Using Beyond Compare you must navigate to the /media folder and then you have access to the USB drive's file system.

  • This may seem like common sense but this information is not listed in the BC help should help the new Ubuntu user navigate devices and file systems.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Android Gallery Won't Display Updated Pictures

When I edit pictures from my Droid on my PC and add them back into the Gallery, the updated pictures do not show up, instead I get this icon of gray mountains backed by a film strip.

I can see the pictures in thumbnail view but the main picture view only shows the gray mountain icon.
It doesn't happen on every picture I edited, but it does on most of them.
The followng procedure definitely fixes the problem for me:
  1. Connect droid to computer using USB cable. (This un-mounts the SD card).
  2. Run the SDRescan app (From the Android Market, by Benjamin Rosseaux, suggested above.)  Note: Running the sdRescan app while the droid is hooked up to the computer via USB takes a little while to complete. Also, it doesn't make sense to run this app at this time because the SD card is un-mounted, but it does seem to work...
  3. Disconnect droid from computer/USB cable. 
  4. Open the Gallery.
  5. It will take some time while the gallery is rescanned. 

Google needs to write a real gallery rescan program.
It seems like the gallery cache is not being updated very frequently.
Is there a straightforward way to clear the gallery cache?

(Droid X with OS 2.3 installed)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

NFJS Update

First of all I can't believe it's been that long since my last blog... last November??? Wow!

K, so I just returned from a @NFJS weekend-long conference. Most awesome of all conferences for calibrating your 'Technology Radar' (as Neal Ford * ThoughtWorks puts it).

Of course the cat wants to type now... and it's late ...and it's been a long week that will now stretch into another.

Friday, November 12, 2010

MyBooks in the Clouds (...or 'iTunes' for Books)

OK so I bought an electronic copy of Unlocking Android from the publisher.

I put it on my virtual drive at work (not remembering that that volume doesn't travel w/ me).  So I can't read it right now while I'm at the garage getting tires.  But I do have wireless access! ...If only I could get to my e-book from the 'cloud' like a song from iTunes...

I just don't have the USB.

Would I subscribe to my books?

Would I buy a one, two or seven year subscription for access to the electronic version in the cloud?  If I get updates to the version the document will outlive the paper copy.  Would it be cheaper than buying paper?  I would probably buy all three anyway and with that it would be likely that I'd get the paper copy only with the first edition I buy. (?)

It is a technical book about a technology that changes in terms of months, sometimes radically. It is very likely that I'd do better to subscribe to the book (if the author keps it fresh, as with the MEAP 'early access' feature at Manning Publishing).

Does it make business sense?
  • What additional infrastructure?
    • You have the electronic editions anyway. 
    • You must personalize the footers w/ the licensee name (as per the current branding of each copy on the PDF).
  • Unfortunately reading PDF files online via a web browser stream is just really painful due to the performance lags as it loads.  You'd have to do better w/ the online reading experience by supporting 'reader' devices such as kindle, google reader, landru, etc.
|- - - - - -
Boy did that really distract me from the original thing I was going to do while waiting on my car.   At least they have wireless.  Thanks to the people at Miles Auto Service in Richmond! They're really good!

|- - - - - -
OTOH: Google "famous androids film literature 'science fiction'"

I'm seeking a moniker for an Android software development business...
    I got to this result (embedded below): A serious look into the social issues brought out by Phillip K Dick in his book 'Do Andriods Dream Electronic Sheep".

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Linux For Java Developers

    My XP install had gotten rather old, worn and slow and I decided to take the opportunity investigate alternate OSs and dust off my Linux skills.
    • Which distribution should I try?  Ubuntu? Red Hat Fedora? Gentoo? (I'm leaning toward Ubuntu.)
    • Can I get Eclipse? Does Eclipse work the same?  
    • There is a version of NetBeans. Should I use it?
    • Can I replace my favorite tools, find better ones or find a Linux version of the same ones?
    • Can XP and Linux coexist?  
    • How much free space do I need 
    • Where is my Partition Magic disk?
    • I hope I don't destroy my Windows partition.

    The short of it is that I did get Ubuntu up and running, familiarized myself with the OS and figured out how to install the JDK and Squirrel DB Client in about 6 hours.

    It wasn't particularly easy to figure everything out, but after all the legwork and documenting my steps, it's relatively easy to do.  ...So that's not a deterrent. Hopefully it will be easier when it comes to setting up Eclipse (or NetBeans) and my other tools.

    Part of the frustration is that (surprisingly) there isn't much good documentation out there specifically about setting up Ubuntu for Java Development.  Also, a good portion of the 'Ubuntu+Java' search results apply to setting up the JRE rather than the JDK.

    The first thing to get over is the way applications are packaged into repositories (think Maven) and how they are installed on Ubuntu.  You don't have to use the repositories and the "Software Sources" tool but much of the documentation refers to it. Developers who are new to Ubuntu should review these concepts first to avert much frustration.