Category: Technology

Posts about computers, programming, or other technology.

A Website in BASIC

So I’ve gotten a lot done on this website. It feels like I’m hammering nails with my head. What a tool! At least there’s a little bit of information on it out there, but google doesn’t like to actually find stuff about BASIC when I type in the word (it’s basically stuff about simplicity 🙂 ).

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Programming a Website in BASIC

I’ve been given a new job, to program a website in BASIC. I feel like I’ve gone from using a motorized screw driver back to using a manual one by hand. I don’t even know BASIC, but I’m trying to learn it. Besides that, I have to learn exactly how http works, because I’ll have to do it all manually. It will be good to learn, but it’s going to be a challenge without the shortcuts that PHP has to offer. No cookie, or session handling. The only security will have to be coded by me.

I’m building a website that was previously in COBOL, and even though I don’t think moving to BASIC is a very big step, the previous program only allowed Internet Explorer.

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Being a Responsible Adblock User

I’ve been using firefox in combination with adblock plus for a long time now, and haven’t really second guessed myself. A lot of websites aren’t there for the users, but in fact just there to make money. I don’t appreciate when there is less content than there is advertisement, so it is sites that abuse their power to advertise that make me use adblock.

One of the things I’ve learned in microeconomics this year, is that in a free market society, you can often help yourself the most the most by helping others. This is how Christians can be profitable business people, because in fact by being fair to customers, they are in in fact helping others while making a profit.

Back to the adblock issue, I’d like to reward more people for being responsible, and using a fair amount of advertisement, but I’m not quite sure how this can be done with adblock right now. Maybe the feature that I’m looking for is an opt-in for each website. What I mean is, I disable ad-blocking for all websites. If I visit a site, and they are using more than three ad-banners, I put them in a list that blocks all advertisement for that site.

I see over-advertisement as being as offensive as spamming. I think the web community as a whole needs to start discouraging bad behavior. This would be another toolkit in the users toolkit that I think would help the web as a whole.

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Things To Know About Passwords

Doing this project for my work, which requires me to crack passwords from a long list of users, has taught me a lot of general things about passwords. I’ve actually figured out 600 745 of the 2000 passwords from users just because they were pretty weak passwords.

Passwords that are words in the dictionary (or multiple words combined) are easy to figure out. Never use your username, information about you that can be easily found out, “password”, or information about the site your account is on as your password. Fully alphabetic or numeric passwords aren’t too hard to figure out either. Combining them helps, but using “animal1” won’t get you too far. Passwords that are short (less than 6 characters or so) aren’t too hard to figure out either.

The best password is something that’s really random, and not even your closest friends could figure out. A word that is rarely used, such as an exotic animal, food, action, or tool, is a good starting place. I would then add multiple numbers to one side of the word that you can remember, but is not something public to the rest of the world (license plate is no good). Capitalize a random letter or two in the word, and maybe even change some of the letters to special symbols (a -> @, T -> 7, A -> ^, S -> $). If you don’t replace letters with special characters, put some in between, after, or before your password. Finally, it’s a good idea to use the different password for different accounts if possible.

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Crack Project

So I’ve got a 3rd project now. I’m supposed to see if I can break passwords from a computer. This will be used to email them and let them know that they need to change their passwords. It involves cracking, but for a good cause. It’s going to be a fun project if I can figure out the best way to do so.

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Server Move

I’ve moved all of my websites to new servers. It’s on the same service provider, but I’m paying less and I have more bandwidth and space. It was a good 4 hours or so to move everything over, but I only lack one server because of a feature difference, which I hope to get resolved soon.

If anyone else is in the market, I really like site5, and I think they do a good job with their servers and the support.

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Tablet Pen

My new laptop is fully put together now that I got my pen from Toshiba. The battery is here and everything.

The laptop is a Toshiba Tecra M4, and when I push the joystick button in on the screen, it rotates upside down. Here’s the python script in case anyone wants to do something similar:

#! /usr/bin/env python
"Inverts the screen and back to normal again."

import commands
import re

current = commands.getoutput("xrandr -q").split("\n")[1]

if re.match(".* (left|inverted|right) \\(", current) is not None:
  commands.getstatusoutput("xrandr -o normal")
  commands.getstatusoutput("xsetwacom set cursor rotate")
  commands.getstatusoutput("xrandr -o inverted")
  commands.getstatusoutput("xsetwacom set cursor rotate half")

The pen works well, but I’m still trying to figure out how get the gimp to use the eraser and stylus/secondary button. I wish virtual paper was completed for Tomboy as well.

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Tablet PC

I’m getting a tablet PC today! It was actually pretty cheap, I got it off eBay without an operating system, so there wasn’t a lot of competition. I’m excited! UPS says it has been sent out for delivery. 3 day delivery is pretty good when you pay for the 7-10 day delivery, but I guess it helps that he lives close to Dallas, and it’s only 1 hour away in an airplane.

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Presenter Slowed, Other Work to Continue

There’s just not enough time in my nights. Time in the day is unproductive for me, because I just don’t have the motivation to do it before 5:00. Then I finally get my shows watched and turn off the TV, and I start something up, and before I know it, I’ve messed up tomorrow morning because I stayed up too late working on a project.

I actually got some presentation editing set up in presenter, even though it doesn’t do everything completely right, and it’s not as pretty as I’d like it to be. That’s all I’ve had time to do.

I’ve been working on another project for my job that involves producing graphs in PHP using Image_Graph, but it still says its very much in a testing stage, but it seems to do fine so far. It’s going to replace a current program, but make it a little nicer looking so that it’s worth paying for. I’ve actually gotten it pretty far along in half a weeks time, at least as far as the basic graphing goes. I just wish my boss would answer my emails…

One of these days I’m going to put a few Christian articles having to do with some things I’ve been coming to an understanding with. But, just like with everything else, it’s putting the time in to do it.

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Video Card

I finally have a fully working computer. After spending two weeks ordering a video card, sending it back because it wasn’t compatible, and ordering another video card, it’s finally complete. The via driver that was used by my computer was buggy and would freeze the whole computer with any attempt to use 3D. Now for that second monitor…

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