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Month: June 2010

Keeping the Backyard Bug-Free


Its a great time to head out into the backyard for grilling, playing catch with the kiddos, or just enjoying the summer sun. However, others will also be enjoying the outdoors: bugs. Here are a few ways to keep bugs from ruining your summer fun.

Anti-Mosquito Plants

Gomestic lists a number of plants that you can have in your garden that help repel mosquitos. Catnip, citronella grass, rosemary, and marigolds all made the list. Citronella grass is a tropical plant that  can grow up to six feet tall, so maintenance will be required for most suburban backyards.

Make Citronella Candles

Citronella candles are just regular old candles scented with citronella oil, which is available at health food and specialty hardware stores. Design*Sponge shows how to make them simply and inexpensively.

Offering Service Blocks At Verizon = Pink Slip

Bad, Verizon. Bad.David Pogue of the New York Times is reporting that Verizon has implemented a company policy of punishing employees who recommend certain service blocks to customers who are looking to avoid accidental fees. According to a Verizon customer service representative, offering a mobile web access block or an SMS block without the customer asking for it can lead to termination.

Customer service representatives have also been told to avoid issuing credits for accidental charges. “We are to upsell customers on the $9.99 25MB/month or $29.99 unlimited packages for customers. Customers are not to be credited for charges unless they ask for the credit.”

Updating the IOS on a Cisco Router

The most straight-forward way to update the IOS on your Cisco router is to run a TFTP server (such as Tftpd32) on a network directly connected to the router. Setup the TFTP server to serve files from the directory containing your new IOS image (C:UsersSeanDesktoptftpd32.335files in the screenshot below).

Connect to your router via telnet or console (preferred) and enter enabled mode. The following example assumes the computer running the TFTP server has the IP address and the IOS image file used is c2600-adventerprisek9-mz.124-12.bin. Change these to suit your situation.

Convert and Burn Obscure Disc Images with ISOBuddy

If you download software long enough, sooner or later you will run across a strange disc image (like MDF or PDI) and will have no idea how to deal with it.

Just point ISOBuddy at the file and tell it where (and in what format) to put the output file. You can also have it burn it to a disc. It can even deal with Mac-specific DMG images.

Enabling PHP5 on 1&1 Servers

All 1&1 Linux servers have PHP5 installed, but all files with the ‘.php’ extension are handled by PHP4. If you want to use PHP5, you’ll have to rename all your files with a ‘.php5’ extension or add the following line to each site’s .htaccess file:

AddType x-mapp-php5 .php

That will have PHP5 handle all ‘.php’ files for that site.

GoogleFu: What’s That Song?

Looking for the name of that song that just played on the radio? Look no farther than Google.

Type the lyrics that you remember for sure (now’s not the time to guess) and surround them in double-quotation marks (“), like this:

“please allow me to introduce myself”

Then click search. The first three results for my example search all return “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones. Its that easy.

Buffalo Wings

FranksDropping this here, as I seem to never be able to find it when I need it.

  • 2.5 lbs. chicken wing pieces
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s RedHot sauce (Texas Pete will work in a pinch)
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine

Bake wings for one hour at 425 degrees Fahrenheit or deep-fry for 12 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine hot sauce and butter in saucepan. Heat until butter is melted. Stir until mixed.

Toss wings in sauce to coat.

Moving and Database SNAFUs

I’ve just settled in to the new house on Oahu. While the network is not entirely up here, it is workable.

During the move, I neglected the database for this site, which (as some of you noticed) crashed… hard. A minor fix brought it all back to life and I’ll be back up and writing starting–well–now.