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Supreme Court Rules Against FCC, Net Neutrality Not a good day for net neutrality... A federal court threw the future of Internet regulations into doubt Tuesday with a far-reaching decision that went against the Federal...

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The Fog Machine has Arrived My Chauvet Hurricane 1300 arrived today. First thing's first--immediately unpack it, add some fog juice, and play! [caption id="attachment_81" align="aligncenter" width="225"...

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Realestate Manager 2.0 Picture Preview Since Real Estate Manager 2.0 is now almost ready for release, I figured I would share the differences between the current version (1.1) and 2.0. To start things off, the...

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Automotive Manager Photo Update It's been less than 2 months since I started on Automotive Manager. In that time, I've taken the thing from next to nothing to an almost complete product. I'm not sure how...

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The New GreeneCountyIndiana.com Since about March I have been working (rather slowly) on a new content management system for GreeneCountyIndiana.com. Along with it comes a new layout and many new features. The...

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Chuck’s Blog Rss A scary bee!!!

Supreme Court Rules Against FCC, Net Neutrality

Posted on : 06-04-2010 | By : Chuck | In : Uncategorized

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Not a good day for net neutrality…

A federal court threw the future of Internet regulations into doubt Tuesday with a far-reaching decision that went against the Federal Communications Commission and could even hamper the government’s plans to expand broadband access in the United States.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC lacks authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks. That was a big victory for Comcast Corp., the nation’s largest cable company, which had challenged the FCC’s authority to impose such “network neutrality” obligations on broadband providers.

Supporters of network neutrality, including the FCC chairman, have argued that the policy is necessary to prevent broadband providers from favoring or discriminating against certain Web sites and online services, such as Internet phone programs or software that runs in a Web browser. Advocates contend there is precedent: Nondiscrimination rules have traditionally applied to so-called “common carrier” networks that serve the public, from roads and highways to electrical grids and telephone lines.

But broadband providers such as Comcast, AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. argue that after spending billions of dollars on their networks, they should be able to sell premium services and manage their systems to prevent certain applications from hogging capacity.

Complete Article: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=10298403

If these providers get continue to get their way in the “net neutrality” battle we may very well see internet service with tiers that resemble satellite or cable tv service. Won’t be long until we start seeing flyers resembling this one:

Internet Service Tiers

Man doesn’t that breakdown just look so appealing? I can get money off of my internet bill by removing game sites from my internet service.. But what’s this? It costs extra to get search engine access and access to news sites? Blast!

Dear Comcast/AT&T/other providers: why don’t you spend the money to upgrade your infrastructure instead?

Backups, backups, backups!

Posted on : 04-03-2010 | By : Chuck | In : Uncategorized

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I can’t stress enough how important backups are.

Backups are your friend. External hard drives are not that expensive. If you care at all about any data on your computer, get an external hard drive and make backups.

Windows XP has a nice little utility that will backup your entire system so when your hard drive up and dies, all you have to do is install another copy of XP and restore the files and system state from the backup. You’ll have your machine back up and running like it was the day the backup was generated, in less than a few hours. Certainly much better than losing all of your data and having to start from scratch.

If you aren’t backing up your data on a set schedule (I recommend atleast once a week) then you really should start. Especially if your hard drive is making funny clicking noises and you notice your computer being generally slow and unstable.

The Fog Machine has Arrived

Posted on : 30-09-2009 | By : Chuck | In : Uncategorized

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My Chauvet Hurricane 1300 arrived today. First thing’s first–immediately unpack it, add some fog juice, and play!

Hurricane 1300

Hurricane 1300

For more size reference, I put a cheap Toys R’ Us fog machine on top of it. This thing is a beast!

Hurricane 1300 vs. Lil Foggy

Hurricane 1300 vs. Lil Foggy

This fogger has a 5 minute pre-heat time. Understandable considering it’s size. After warm-up, I grabbed the remote and hit the manual fog button for about 5 seconds.

First burst of fog

First burst of fog

Now, I’m not going to want to stand outside on Halloween night hitting the manual fog button all the time. Thankfully the Hurricane 1300 comes standard with a Timer remote. I set the interval and duration and activated the timer. The result was nothing short of amazing. After 3 10 second bursts of fog output (spaced about 30-45 seconds apart) I could barely see across the room. I have a webcam sitting on a shelf in this room and it captured this wonderful shot

Webcam View of the Fog

Webcam View of the Fog

Since you can’t tell, normally you can see through two doorways, into the living room (on the left) and my room (on the right). Lights were on in each room, although you can’t tell.

Needless to say I’m happy with my new toy 🙂

…I’ve also had all the windows open for about 30 minutes and a fan in one blowing fog outside and it still hasn’t completely cleared out…

UPDATE: I set some lights up outside real quick to see how it looked. Not ad for a quick setup! A friend of mine said some of the fog was lingering around a block away.

Outdoor Night Test with Lights

Outdoor Night Test with Lights

Halloween Display

Posted on : 28-09-2009 | By : Chuck | In : Uncategorized

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I’ve been doing Christmas Light displays animated to music  for the past 4 years now. This year I decided to add a Halloween display to the mix.

This display runs a bit differently than a Christmas Light display. I’m not going all out with lights wrapped around everything and he lights aren’t going to be “dancing” to the music.  I’m going to have about 6-8 colored flood lights (maybe more–will decide after I get them set up) positioned around the yard and front porch.

Now, floodlights alone would be pretty boring wouldn’t they? They will all be hooked up to my light controllers and programmed to pulse on and off and flicker.

I have a 7 minute repeating thunder and lightning track. 2 150 watt halogen floodlights will be mounted up high in the big tree in my front yard.  They will be used to simulate lightning. Mounting them in the tree should give them the ability to cast shadows of the tree limbs on my yard and house for an added eerie effect.

Finally, I wanted to have fog. Lots and lots of fog. I have a small cheap Toys R’ Us fog machine, but its not even going to come close to working well. So, I bought this monsterThat is the Chauvet Hurricane 1300 fog machine. It puts out 20,000 cubic feet of fog per minute according to its spec sheet. The little Toys R’ Us fogger is lucky to put out 2000 cfm if that. This fogger uses 11 amps of power when running, so I’m going to have to find more ways to get power outside this year.

To spread the fog around my yard more, I’m going to get an irrigation hose and run the fog through it. This hose will have small holes drilled in it the entire length of the hose. If I run it around my porch in a circle, the fog should come out of the hose all the way around my porch.

The fog machine is supposed to arrive Wednesday. I’ll probably start putting lights and stuff out next week. Look for more posts as I start setting up outside. It’s going to look cool 🙂

Global Warming == Cooler Temperatures

Posted on : 17-07-2009 | By : Chuck | In : Uncategorized

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My BetaBrite scrolling message sign alerted me that the Nation Weather Service has issued a “Special Weather Statement” for my area.

...UNSEASONABLY COOL WEATHER HEADED FOR CENTRAL INDIANA THIS WEEKEND...

A STRONG LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM IN COMBINATION WITH HIGH PRESSURE
ACROSS THE NORTHERN PLAINS STATES WILL PUSH VERY COOL AIR ACROSS
CENTRAL INDIANA ON SATURDAY. PLENTY OF CLOUD COVER IS ALSO
EXPECTED WHICH WILL HELP TO PREVENT TEMPERATURES FROM RISING.

HIGH TEMPERATURES ON SATURDAY ACROSS CENTRAL INDIANA ARE EXPECTED
TO BE IN THE UPPER 60S TO AROUND 70...OVER 15 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL.

THE COOL AIR AND CLOUDS WILL MOVE OFF TO THE EAST ON SUNDAY AND
HIGH TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED TO RECOVER TO LOWER AND MIDDLE 70S.

THE NORMAL HIGH TEMPERATURE AT INDIANAPOLIS ON JULY 18 IS 86
DEGREES.

THE RECORD FOR COLDEST HIGH TEMPERATURE AT INDIANAPOLIS ON JULY 18
IS 75...SET BACK IN 1883 AND 1871.

This summer has already been unseasonably cool, and now on July 18th we could be breaking records for the lowest high temperature in over 100 years. I thought global warming was supposed to make things hotter, not cooler.

In other Weather news, apparently El Nino has come back and plans to stay a while.

…El Niño Arrives; Expected to Persist through Winter 2009-10…
NOAA scientists today announced the arrival of El Niño, a climate phenomenon with a significant influence on global weather, ocean conditions and marine fisheries. NOAA expects this El Niño to continue developing during the next several months, with further strengthening possible. The event is expected to last through winter 2009-10 Details…

I’ll be at Cedar Point this weekend, so I get to miss the record breaking in Indiana. Maybe we’ll get to see some sweet weather in Ohio instead. I would love to see a lightning storm at night at the park. It would make for some amazing pictures.

Linton Freedom Festival

Posted on : 02-07-2009 | By : Chuck | In : Uncategorized

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The Linton Freedom Festival is one of the largest festivals in Indiana. It’s main attraction is the Freedom Festival Parade, the largest parade in Indiana. Those of you in the area should check it out. While you’re there be sure to check out our booth for GreeneCountyIndiana.com 🙂

The Past Week..

Posted on : 09-06-2009 | By : Chuck | In : Uncategorized

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A week from today I woke up having pains in my lower abdominal area.. right around the place your appendix is. After not having any appetite what-so-ever and the pain persisting  through the afternoon, I decided to have it checked out, thinking it could be appendicitis. Cue two hospital visits on monday, visiting my doctor on wednesday, and getting a CT scan thursday. Turns out it wasn’t my appendix, but something’s up with my small intestine. Wonderful. I have to go see a specialist on the 18th.

I started my online classes to finish my Network Administration major at the beginning of the month. Hopefully the workload won’t be *too* bad when I start getting into them more.

In other news, New Deal Multimedia has a number of new sites we are preparing to release in the next few weeks. I can’t say any specifics, but be checking our portfolio occasionally.

Complex Associations and Access Control

Posted on : 12-04-2009 | By : Chuck | In : Uncategorized

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Decided to get back to work some on the new Content Management System for GreeneCountyIndiana.com. Last time I left off, I was in the process of implementing access control with the News system.

The news system (and lots of other parts of the site) are composed of a variety of associations.

  • News belongsTo NewsCategory
  • News HABTM Tag
  • NewsCategory is an ACO

Access is controlled at the NewsCategory level. You must have read access to the NewsCategory to view the articles in that category. This is easy if you simply want to view articles by category. However, it gets considerably more complicated if you want to browse-by-tag or other criteria.

How in the world can you do a permissions check without requiring an extra query for every single article?

It also doesn’t help that pagination is used, so most means of removing records the user doesn’t have access at the controller level will screw up pagination. In theory you could have empty pages if a user had very limited read access.

Man, access control is complicated.

CakePHP: Associate the same models twice

Posted on : 05-08-2008 | By : Chuck | In : Uncategorized

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The new GreeneCountyIndiana.com CMS allows users to post comments on News articles. Of course, when you let users post comments, you need a good method of moderation. It would be very difficult for the site admins to moderate every single comment, so we are adding a “Report this comment” button so regular users can report comments for administrators to review.

When a user clicks the Report comment button it sets a ‘reported’ field in the database to true, and sets a ‘reported_by’ field to the id of the user that reported it.

Comment already belongsTo Users once, as it stores the user that posted the comment. Comment needs another belongsTo User association for grabbing the username and other details of the person who reported the comment.

The solution is actually very simple.

var $belongsTo = array(
'User' => array('className' => 'User', 'foreignKey' => 'user_id'),
'Reporter' => array('className' => 'User', 'foreignKey' => 'reporter_id')
);

The first association:
'User' => array('className' => 'User', 'foreignKey' => 'user_id'),
associates each Comment with the User that posted it.

The second association:
'Reporter' => array('className' => 'User', 'foreignKey' => 'reporter_id')
associates each comment with the User that reported it.

Essentially, all it does is copy the User model under the name “Reporter.” Simple, and it works like a charm.

The New GreeneCountyIndiana.com

Posted on : 06-07-2008 | By : Chuck | In : Uncategorized

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Since about March I have been working (rather slowly) on a new content management system for GreeneCountyIndiana.com. Along with it comes a new layout and many new features.

The current CMS was written over a year ago with the CakePHP framework. It was the first application I had ever written using the cake framework, and I have some code to prove it. I can remember saying during the development process that I was going to write it so that it never had to be rewritten from scratch. Unfortunately, deadlines and lack of experience saw to it that that was not possible.

So now the website is left with something that:

  • Doesn’t scale
  • Is not easily expandable
  • Requires code edits to change minor settings
  • Has bits of code copied/pasted all over the place, as opposed to using Helpers and Components

I’m sure you can see why I decided to start from scratch.

The new CMS plans to fix all of these problems. It will also implement many new features and user interface updates. More about that will be posted at a later date.