Interesting- Yahoo Buys Konfabulator…

I just read that Yahoo is buying Konfabulator. This is great news for people that want to use Konfabulator, but aren’t down with paying $20 for the software because Yahoo is making it free!

Now if I was sitting on a bunch of Yahoo stock I might not be that excited because I think Microsoft is gonna have Konfabulator-like widgets in Vista. So if/when Microsoft releases Vista the use of Konfabulator most likely will slow down.

Either way, I’m going to grab Konfabulator right now…. for FREE!!!!

Good Macromedia Flex High-Level

I pulled this from some Flex docs I was reading. It does a real good job of explaining how Macromedia Flex works on a request by request basis at a very high-level.

–start copy Flex application files use the .mxml filename extension. You store these files under the web root directory of your J2EE application.

A request to an MXML file has the following form: http://hostname/path/filename.mxml

Upon receiving an HTTP request for an MXML file, Flex performs the following steps: 1. Compiles the MXML file to produce a SWF file. 2. Caches the compiled SWF file on the server. 3. Returns the SWF file to the client.

The SWF file executes in Flash Player. While it is executing, the Flex application makes calls to server-side services. For example, the application might issue a SOAP request to a web service, use AMF to connect to a Java object, or make a request to an HTTP service.

Upon subsequent requests to the MXML file, the Flex server determines whether the MXML file has been modified since the previous request. If not, it returns the same SWF file from the cache. If the MXML file has been modified, the Flex server recompiles the file and returns an updated SWF file to the client. –end copy

Thank YOU, Flickr…

I got the following thank you note/gift from Flickr for being an early subscriber of their service. How cool is this. They are doubling my upload bandwith AND they gave me an extra FREE year of service.

I have praised their service on this blog and verbally to any and all who will listen. This move by the folks at Flickr will get them even more praise from me….

Go get a Flickr account. You will love it!

Hi eweibust!

You may have heard on the grapevine that we planned to reward our dear Flickr members who bought a Pro Account in the early days. Well, it’s true! And since you’re one of those lovely people, here’s a little something to say YOU ROCK!

  1. Double what you paid for! Your original 1 year pro account has been doubled to 2 years, and your new expiry date is Feb 9, 2007.

  2. More capacity! Now you can upload 2 GB per month.

  3. 2 free Pro Accounts to give away to your friends! This won’t be activated for a day or two, but when it is, you’ll see a note on your home page telling you what to do.

Thank you so much for putting your money where your mouth is and supporting us, even while we’re in beta. Your generosity and cold, hard cash helped us get where we are today.

Kind regards, The Flickreenies.

Great BitTorrent Article

Wired has a great on article on BitTorrent titled, “The BitTorrent Effect” in their January 2005 issue. It covers BitTorrent from a number of angles: it’s development, political issues, media issues, etc.

I personally don’t use BitTorrent. I’ve got a high-speed DSL connection and really don’t see the need. If I was looking to download movies, I might use it, but for now I’m an interested non-user of BitTorrent.

Minor Change to my Blog

I have “turned off” the ability to use html in my comments. Hopefully, this will cut down on some of the comment spam I get.

I use and love MT-Blacklist, but until you teach it what to block you still have to go through and clean your blog (i.e. remove the damn spam from your comments), then add the patterns into MT-Blacklist.

Maybe this move will cut the amount of spam I get in the first place.

Production Password Change…

This morning we are changing the passwords on about 100 production servers. It has been over 3 years since some of these passwords have changed. Back then we used to “hardcode” passwords in some of our config files. I hope we found all of them…

And the best part about all this fun I’m gonna have is that I got up at 4:15am to be at the office by 5:00am.

Wish me luck. This could be a long day……

MT – Blogging 1st Anniversary

Well, today is my 1st anniversary of both blogging in general and being a MovableType user. I cranked out 104 posts this year that generated 125 comments. And that’s legimate comments thanks to the greatness of MT-Blacklist.

I would first like to say that I wish I blogged more frequently this past year. I have used various excuses as to why there were some rather large gaps between posts. This year there will be none of that. If this site goes “dark” for any amount of time I won’t even acknowledge the fact. My logic is that it will bother me that I’m not posting and I’ll want to say WHY I’m haven’t been posting and the fact that I won’t be able to say WHY I haven’t posted will actually keep my posting more regularly (that was the worst run-on sentence I’ve ever typed).

Look for some good stuff here in the coming days, weeks, and months ahead. I’m very close to going public with the fact that I’m starting-up/ taking over a great J2EE user group in the DFW area (me typing that last sentence is dangerously close to making it public knowledge, but I have NOT made it public yet). I’m sure I’ll have much to say on the groups happenings.

My wife and I are expecting our 2nd child this November. The new baby, plus Noah and his crazy antics (he’ll be 2 in less then a month, 9/3). The 2004 Fightin’ Texas Aggies football season is less then a month away and I’m very excited; look for numerous posts on Aggie football. And the Cubs are in the “stretch-run” at making it into the playoffs for a 2nd consecutive year (please don’t let that be a jinx).

In conclusion (this is almost sounding like an acceptance speech), I’d like to say thanks to all the people that have taken the time to read this “garbage” I type here. Especially, to the people that have taken the time to leave a comment or two. Thanks…

Here is a link back to the first post.

Google Rank, Revisited…

About 6 weeks ago I posted some info on my Google rank and my Google number. I wasn’t sure what the numbers would be and I was happy with them both.

Since then I have done some major work on the site (most on the backend that’s why you’re saying….. “hmm, I didn’t notice anything…”). One of the major changes was switching my url to from I am guessing that is the main reason my Google rank has more then doubled in the last 6 weeks. A low number is the key so this is not a good thing. If I hadn’t changed anything I’d expect that number to have gotten a little better.

I have been working to improve the content I publish here, with that I’d expect the Google rank to improve. A positive I’d like to note is that over the same 6-week period my Google number has increased by over 50%. A big number here is a good thing.

This research/commentary is probably of no interest to anyone but myself, but I’m blogging it so I can remember to keep up with my rankings.

Change to my Blog URLs

I made a change to the way my archive url looks. Unfortunately, it has tricked Bloglines into thinking that I’ve updated some/all of my old posts. I’m afraid that other feed-readers might fall for this same trick.

I apologize if the change bothers anyone/anyone’s reader, but the urls are much more informative now. I thank Elise for her post on how to do this. She has a great site.

Firefox/ Extensions I use…

I’ve posted numerous times before about how strongly I feel about Firefox. And I’ve even tried to “Jedi Mind Trick” IE users away from their far inferior browser to the Firefox team. I’m gonna try to pickup more Firefox users listing extensions I’ve evaluated recently.

Firefox “as is” is a rather “bare bones” browser. I like it that way. I don’t want to have to download, install and run a mail client to do web browsing. But, if you like “bells and whistles” there are hundreds of extensions you can add to Firefox. Lately, I’ve spent some time evaluating the various extensions. Some I’m using daily, over and over. Others, I just use “as needed”. Some got uninstalled. Because I didn’t need them, I choose another one that offered very similar behavior, or I just didn’t like it.

Here is what I’m currently using. They are listed in the order that they were added to my Firefox installation (I wish Firefox listed them in alphabetical order, but you get chronological order)

Firesomething (1.5.2) – I love this extension. It does nothing, but makes fun of the Mozilla people and the problems they’ve had with picking/keeping a name for Firefox. They must find the joke in good fun because they have recently highlighted the extension on their site.

DictionarySearch (0.6.2) – This is another “must have” for me. I use online dictionaries often throughout my day and this extension makes the process extremely easy.

Web Developer (0.8) – If you use a browser, you will have a need for this extension. It has SO many features that simple web “surfers” will find a use as well as serious web developers.

Copy Plain Text (0.1) – This helps with the problem of copy/pasting html and getting the html formatting, when you didn’t want it. It’s a simple extension, but it has its uses.

BugMeNot (0.3) – Go get this right now! It brings the features of into your browser.

JavaDeveloper (0.1) – This is an extension I’m writing. It should be listed as (alpha) but I put 0.1. It’s too “early access” for me to even go into any more detail. I’ll blog more on the extension when it’s appropiate.

MiniT (drag+indicator) (0.2) – Another “must have”. This allows you to rearrange your tabs. Great extension.

QuickNote ( – This is an interesting extension. I want to find a use for it, and will. But, now I’m not sure how I’m gonna use it with my day-to-day computer/browser use.

Sage (1.1) – This is an extension that adds a feed-reader to your browser. I had a problem importing my feed list. As soon as that bug is resolved I’ll seriously give this a try. For now I’m still a die-hard Bloglines user.

TinyUrl Creator (0.6) – This is for all the TinyUrl users out there. Works great.

StockTicker (0.3) – This is my newest extension, and one of my new favorites. No more alt-tab, refresh browser, alt-tab back to what you were doing to find out how the markets are doing. You add stock symbols you have interest in, you specify how often you want them cycled, and that’s it. The quotes will be displayed in the status bar of the browser. I love this. You can set a color to a performance, also. So as long as I’m seeing green in the bottom corner of my browser…… the kids will be going to college.

Well, that’s my list. I’ll revisit this every month or so and add/ delete extension as I find new and improved extensions. If you know of any “must haves” please let me know.