What did you do for YOUR summer vacation?

After Friday July 6th of this year I was officially no longer with my previous company. As of Monday July 30th I will be working at another financial company. Check out my LinkedIn page for more information about where.

It will be in Manhattan so I’m going to enjoy walking and eating good salads for lunch again. I’m really looking forward to this; me and idle time are not a good combination.

I used the month off well. I took the kids to their swimming lessons and they enjoyed having me around. I learned about adding JavaScript to my web page and finally figured out how to adjust the CSS for the WordPress theme I am using (I can control the horizontal and the vertical, do not adjust your TV set). I also caught up on the current episodes of the anime Claymore, Darker than Black, and saw the whole Ergo Proxy series.

Nice to have some free time once in a while 🙂 .

I’m returning to work as a consultant. I had been a consultant for years before becoming an employee in 2004 and I have to say that I personally prefer consulting. It might be a simplistic view but as an employee I had to worry about too many intangibles and politics.

The new job looks like I’ll have to get up to my elbows in network equipment and firewall design. It will include long hours, support calls, lots of change control, routing protocols, proxies, and application support.

Excellent, I so can’t wait.

CPA License

It is always part of my plan that one day I will be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). I finally did it. I just received my CPA license from the state of Colorado.

For most people, it is not too difficult (relatively speaking) to be a CPA. All you have to do is to get an undergraduate degree in Accounting, pass the CPA exam (very hard), and work for a public accounting firm for a couple of years.

For me, I did it the difficult way. I got my accounting undergraduate degree from Baruch and passed the CPA exam many years ago. But since I didn’t and will not work for a public accounting firm, I didn’t have the qualification the traditional way.

So I got my MBA in Finance from Fordham. Then, went back and got an advance certificate in Accounting this year. Now I have all the qualifications to be a CPA in the state of Colorado. They have something call the “education in lieu of experience” qualification for CPA in Colorado. So I did it. Another step on my life plan is complete.

Check back to find out what my life plan is soon.

Importing self-signed SSL certs into Vista

I use SSL on my web servers for privacy and not authentication. Since it is my own use I don’t care if it’s from Verisign or Thawte. Also why shell out cash for the certificate when a self signed certificate will do just fine?

Internet Explorer used to permit you to install web server certificates by examining the SSL certificate and importing it into your key store. Version 7 of the browser took that away and made it more difficult to import them into the key store.

Here is how I imported the web server certificate into Vista. Continue reading “Importing self-signed SSL certs into Vista”

Translator plugin notice in javascript

Updated: I’ve rearranged the code a little bit so that I could selectively translate parts of the notice. The updated javascript sections is located here.

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I had to switch back to the old copy of the ATPP WordPress plugin. My problem is most likely due to a configuration problem on my end, but I was getting hammered by HEAD and GET requests from Babelfish and WorldLingo.

I managed to add some javascript to my sidebar so that browser URL is compared with the URL the server thinks it served. If the two are different then the page is translated and a notice is displayed.

Here is the code.

<script type=”text/javascript”>
<!–
var browser_url = location.pathname
var server_url = “<?php echo(@$_SERVER[‘REQUEST_URI’]); ?>”
var orig_link = “<?php bloginfo(‘url’);echo(@$_SERVER[‘REQUEST_URI’]); ?>”
if ( browser_url !== server_url )
{
document.write(‘<div class=”trans-notice”>’)
document.write(‘<p>Please note: This page was originally written in English.</p>’)
document.write(‘<p>The text has been translated using an online service such as Google or Babelfish.</p>’)
document.write(‘<p>The original page can be viewed <a href=”‘,orig_link,'”>here</a>.</p>’)
document.write(‘</div>’)
document.write(‘<br />’)
}
//–>
</script>

If you click on http://blog.dembowski.net/archives/de/ the server will still see it as http://blog.dembowski.net/archives/ (without the /de/ at the end). The browser will see the real URL with the /de/ and compare what the server is reporting. If the two are different then the notice is displayed.

The notice will also be displayed if someone used /?p=123 to access a post. That’s not how my permalinks are setup so I’m not concerned about it.

There was a Starbucks in the Forbidden City…?

Forbidden CityFrom CNN’s website: “Starbucks out of China’s Forbidden City” which made me ask “What was a Starbucks doing there?”

Lily and I were there in 1998. The Forbidden City was more museum like than anything else. The big sign in English read “Palace Museum”. The whole city was filled with people looking to make money so I’m not surprised that a Starbucks was there.

I know that Starbucks has been asked to leave, but the Chinese government should reverse that decision and let Starbucks stay.

Why stop with just having a Starbucks? There are huge sections of the Forbidden City just dedicated to storage and are in disrepair. They ought to be able to fit in a mall without impacting the existing buildings.

Imagine how cool the golden arches would look viewed from Tiananmen Square? I mean with the population being what it is I think that would be a prime Costco location too.

Translator plugin problems

Well be careful what you wish for. The new version of the translator plugin has a load balancing/fail over option so that if the primary translator is unavailable and does not respond in time then the request gets sent to the next translation engine.

That is a very cool option. It also means your webserver gets hit massively by the translation engines. My web traffic went from 5,000 hits (900 visits) last week to 21,000 hits yesterday.

In terms of network traffic that’s not even 100kbs. In terms of application hits (Apache web server) that’s huge. I’ve rolled back the version from 5.01 back to 4.0. I had to load up phpmyadmin and zap the options from the plugin to get 4.0 working again.

The new version has some very cool options. If I can turn off the load balancing and set the error page that comes up to my own page then I’d be set.

I’ll e-mail the author and get it sorted out.

Update: I’ve found the problem.  It had nothing to do with ATPP, it was how I configured my logging software.