Author Archive: blog


Talk about feeling watched. No sooner did I remove the rogue links than they were replaced with similar ones off a different college URL.

I dropped everything to upgrade WordPress. Seems to be working so far.

Time to Update WordPress

I came over here to update the blogroll and noticed a funny thing:

Someone was able to hack WordPress in a way that gave them access to the blogroll. No idea when it happened, but the links all redirected through this WordPress blog using a trailing structure in the form of:


At the end of the URL to which I linked. Not sure offhand what the ?q is and how it differs from the ?s format used to return search results. It did the job, anyway, redirecting to an entirely different location. I suspect the blog in question was also victimized and had no active role.

The lesson? This is probably why there have been security-related updates to WordPress that I should have installed periodically. I’m pretty sure none of the WP blogs in our “empire” are fully updated except the newest one. Oops.

The other lesson? If I posted here regularly as I really do plan to, I would notice these things promptly, limiting any benefit accruing from the linkage.

Now multiple WordPress updates are on my list of things that must be done sooner rather than later.

Come to the Middleboro Craft Fair

You would never know it by the Middleboro PTA’s current online calendar, but there will be a craft fair this Saturday, December 1st, at the Burkland School cafeteria. The school is on Mayflower Avenue, which is right off the main drag of route 105, near the lights at route 28. actually does have mention of it buried here:

HOLLY DAYS CRAFT FAIR: Sponsored by the Middleboro Elementary P.T.A., 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Burkland School cafeteria. Proceeds from the fair and sales of the ornaments made by the children will be used to purchase books for the elementary schools libraries.

Deb will be in it, so if you’re local enough, you should go buy stuff from her there. Heck, you might see stuff you like at one of the other tables too. The proceeds they mention above are the table fees. We’d love to make back the table fee (which is an amusing term given that you have to supply your own table), though that shouldn’t be that hard.

If you’re not local, now is the time for Christmas shopping online. Deb has created the coolest snowmen to put in the shop, including so far Kris K. Snowperson and Monica Snowperson, with more to come. Including Jeremy Snowperson, who came to life while I was typing this post.

Bookmarks make great little gifts. So do her popular coasters. There are also dishcloths and towels, facecloths, creatures and aliens in addition to the snowpeople, coin purses and card wallets, and you can make a gift card extra special by using a gift card cozy (holder).

Deb has made a pile of awesome stuff you won’t see in the online shop unless it doesn’t sell in the fair, after which it will filter onto the site. Some of what is currently in the shop may be available at the fair.

It’s worth remembering that Deb does custom orders or variants on existing products. For instance, this tic-tac-toe game was inspired by the original. This drawstring pouch was inspired by this blue drawstring pouch and this small rainbow drawstring pouch. This custom set of eight coasters was inspired by other coasters done in sets of four. I know I’m showing you a lot of sold items, but they are great examples of what is possible.

So if you are in the area Saturday, come on by the fair and see some of Deb’s cool stuff in person, but otherwise check it out online.

Crossposted from Blogblivion.

Aborting Forced Shutdown

It’s interesting to see this post about a stubborn, automated reboot in Vista. I haven’t setup my Vista testbed machine yet, but I’ve seen a shutdown countdown on older Windows. You can even provoke it by accidentally ending the wrong process.

That’s how I learned about “shutdown /a” for aborting such a thing (by being quick with the Run line). I wonder if it works in Vista as well. This KB article describes the switches as applicable to Windows 2000,

Guess I’ll find out, if Vista does the shutdown thing to me, or if I can provoke it.

Amiga History

Over at Ars Technica they are working on a superb history of the Amiga. Sadly, I never had the pleasure of using one, but I have heard nothing but raves about them over the years, and I know there are many still in use and software still being written or adapted for them.

Check out part 1. Naturally it’s fairly long, and it’s only the first part.

I gather that typical non-technical tech company management was a big factor.

Name Change!

For all this time, the business I’m working on has been planned to be Geek Practitioners, thus this associated blog name, which remains a cool one.

At the last minute I changed the name to match a tagline I had created a while back, then found to be available as a domain.

I’d already decided to answer the phone “Welcome to Help” and sloganize things with it. It’s always been questionable whether a name with “geek” in it would be – ahem – welcome, so why not do business as Welcome to Help?

Now for all the other details, while I await the arrival of my initial set of business cards.

Shedding Light

This commentary reminds me of something I noticed long ago, sometime in the past five years; the sheer number of little lights scattered about in formerly dark rooms.

While I am sometime annoyed when a room is too bright at night, my usual thought is to imagine what a time traveler from the past – not even the very distant past – would make of all that.

If a computer is on, it has at least one power indicator LED, if not internal lighting showing through. Power strips, routers, cable modems, chargers, phones, keyboards, optical mice, monitors… all with one or more indicator or functional lights. That’s not counting LED clock displays on clocks, microwaves, VCRs, DVD players, and so forth.

Is it really so annoying, though? Not usually; not from my perspective. Sometimes the light we really want, for phone displays and such, aren’t as smart, bright, or long-term as would be useful. I’ve never gotten that worked up about it, though. What do you think?