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Online Bible

Just put up a new Bible site Friday, which is old news for those on Twitter. For now it's rather simple (put in reference, get Bible verses back), but I do plan on keeping the development going.

An update Saturday added limited book and chapter divisions and inline verse numbering. The next update will probably let you turn off the verse numbering (that's the way I like it). After that, not sure what's next, but printable downloads, and links relevant to the current text are planned.

Programming Stuff (yes, you can skip this part)
First app done with the new Zend Framework Took, using the standard directory structure and 'accepted' (since there's no implementation in the framework) Model structure.

I must say I love the configuration and bootstrap, it makes all that a whole lot easier. Of course if you've already written a standard bootstrap and config system, then maybe you'd prefer that. I had not, and found using Zend's to be great, since really, you just want to start writing the application.

Also be using GIT to do the version control. It's worked rather well. I think the most inviting feature (to me) is the easy branch switching. I like being able to quick switch to one change I'm working on, without limiting my ability to go back and work on a fix for the 'stable' branch. Yeah, I know SVN has that too, it just doesn't seem as easy.

Of course coming form SVN it can be hard to catch onto the way GIT works - not having a central server. But once it made sense, I think I like that way better.

Why Another Bible Site? (welcome back)
I just found the other sites a bit too busy. It's not that I couldn't figure out how to get to a passage, just that that nothing seemed quite simple enough. And I wanted a bit more control over the display formating.

[Oh, and, your cookies expire way too fast. It seems like every time I go to your site, I need to setup my version preference again. But I don't have to do that anymore.]

I'd been thinking of doing something like this for a while, but last week, after reading a passage, I thought that it would be nice to post a link to a verse. Just a single verse, and have it displayed something like twitter's updates (when a single update is viewed).

So now here goes: I like Paul's perspective.

Go enjoy it if you want, and let me know what features you think would be nice.

Tim Lytle [06/28/09 15:30:00] | 0 Comments | Point

Web Development Q&A

Having a little Web question and answer session next Monday Tuesday. Did one of these (kinda) at Panara Bread last year. This one will be 'virtual', meaning less cream cheese on the keyboard. At least for me.

There won't really be an overview, introduction, explanation of the basics like last time - this will be simply based off the group questions, and hopefully will end up dealing with a range of topics that help everyone increase their knowledge and understanding.

Here's the catch, so as to avoid my looking too befuddled, the questions will be submitted beforehand. That way I can ask someone who actually knows this stuff and just repeat their answers.

Here's how to be a part:

  1. Fill out the google form.
  2. Ask a question here, or upload stuff here, or just e-mail, twitter, or whatever the question to me.
  3. Fire up the computer next Monday, and join in (links for that will be posted on Monday).
Note that this is mostly web development focused, not web design, so questions about scripting languages, markup (CSS&HTML), and the technology used in development (editors, how things work, tools to use) will probably get better answers than questions about how how to incorporate textures into a web design, or what kind of content layout is hot right now.

Tim Lytle [06/22/09 15:12:52] | 0 Comments | Point

Just A Simple Request

And a simple answer: Yes Chris, there is an RSS feed.

[Yeah, yeah, there's no fancy link on the sidebar (and really not much of a sidebar). But most readers will accept the main URL and find the RSS link in the header. No, no, they will.]

Tim Lytle [06/09/09 12:04:27] | 3 Comments | Point

Something About Denmark

[The following are the results of a survey done to determine what, where, and how a little group - heading to The Complete Works, Abridged - will have dinner. Why? Because google documents is cool (are cool?) and the google docs forms generate nifty charts and graphs. And. Well, that's it I guess.]

Here's what you've all been waiting for - the results of the survey. The survey 32% of you gave a 10 on the 'important' scale - which is a pretty good consensus for this group.

Okay, looks like we'll be splitting up. Aww, sorry togetherness people - if it's any consolation 32% of the group will wish they listened to you when it's all said and done.

Now for the knity-gritty - we'll be meeting at 5:30. But don't be late because 42% of us wanted 5 and we're just being nice. Don't abuse that. Okay?

Barnes & Noble is the place to gather - let's make it the circle entrance (not the parking lot entrance), and then split up from there.

Let us for a moment consider where you don't want to eat (right side). For some reason Hex: Dutch Delights, came in second. Second? Really? Who would eat at a place called that? Bad news for the Japanese place. They're more unpopular than a restaurant that was made up for the purpose of being unappetizing. That's rough.

The most popular places that mostly everyone is pretty much okay (left side) with are Cosi, Pandini's, and Red Robin. Of course, there's one in every group, and we're no different. A whopping one person doesn't want to go to Red Robin. Now you know who you are, so I'm not going to call you out on the internet. Mostly because I'm looking at the graphed data, and it would take way two* much effort to look through all the responses.

So if we were to go to a single place, it would be Cosi or Pandini's.

But here's where it gets interesting. The two most popular choices when limited to a single pick, are White Orchid's Thai and Red Robin, followed (not too surprising here) by the Pita Pit.

Now, it seems from the responses, and from the fact that serving this large of a group would take more time than we'd want, splitting up is the way to go. While deciding on the fly will probably work for Cosi, Pandini's, Pita Pit, and maybe even Red Robin - it might not be that welcome at White Orchid's. Or, for the 6% of you (yeah, that's one person) who picked it, Melt.

So if you're wanting to hit up the Thai place, or some place else that needs a reservation, shoot me an e-mail, text, whatever, sometime today and we'll see what we can arrange for reservations. But if the Pita Pit, Pandini's, or the like is your pick - and that's 30% of you - just meet at B&N, find your group, and have fun storming the castle.

[*for John (was 'to') happy now?]

Tim Lytle [06/04/09 01:21:11] | 2 Comments | Point

Almost a Birthday

Haven't been posting that much. I guess that means I'm busy.

Another couple of days and this little blog will have been around for 6 years. Wow. That's not bad I guess.

Started out as a quick php script, added comments pretty soon after that - then things were a little quite as a hosting change kinda kill some old code. But that's okay, it needed to be killed.

Now everything is running on a very unstable half-way done blogging system. So here's the question - blogging has been around for a while, but what things are the mainstream platforms missing?

Tim Lytle [06/02/09 23:03:55] | 0 Comments | Point

Pass the Phone

Crashed The Kid's party last night. Well, not quite a crash, 'cause it was an open invitation - but I didn't get there until the party had already started.

After a dinner filled with lies and half-truths, we played a little 'catchphrase'. Had this little circle game thingy that displays a word and the object is to get your team to say that word before the time runs out. If your successful, you pass it to the next player who is on the other team.

Simple enough concept, and I thought I had seen something like it in the android market place. Sure enough, found gPhrase, installed and played a few round with it.

It's deserving of the mixed reviews. It doesn't follow the sound settings (it still plays loudly when on silent), and it needs a better interface, plus some kind of scoring feature before it would be worth paying for. It is a beta, so there should be improvements in the future.

But it got me thinking - what other group games could be ported to a phone? Taboo shouldn't be hard, what about some kind of charades? It seems to me the hardest part would be generating the questions, phrases, word lists, etc. I haven't been able to find any kind of public domain database of that sort yet.

So, any other ideas on games? How 'bout those of you black turtlenecks - are there apps like this in the iStore?

Tim Lytle [05/18/09 02:42:03] | 16 Comments | Point

Kindle Comments

[UPDATE: The original post has been updated showing the context of what I was saying. Original quote:

As for cost? Ask any college student if they'd rather pay $500 once then $10/ebook, or buy all paper books. Of course, textbook publishers won't be happy, but there's a change growing in that field as well.

See this post for the current version.]

I'm quoted in this blog post about the Kindle DX; however, I'm not sure I could have been taken more out of context. Here's my full quote for now - perhaps a follow-up on the post in a little bit:

My wife and I were talking the other day about how technology - the Kindle among other things - would change education.

I was homeschooled from preschool to graduation (only went to 'real' school in the 4th grade), so my view of education is pretty flexible. Working in the technology field, I'm aware of (and sometimes get to use) new technology like the tablet pc (okay, so that's not new anymore) and the Kindle.

Now with a not quite a year old daughter, I think about what her education will be like. I wouldn't be surprised if she had most of her 'books' on a Kindle, and did most of her work on a tablet pc styled netbook or a 'smart' pen (the livescribe). The technology exists today, and it will only get better, more portable, and more accessible.

Sure, maybe it won't be the 'Kindle' from Amazon that she uses - it will probably be something even more integrated, more 'natural'. Maybe something like a netbook with a second screen instead of a keyboard. She'll use it as a laptop with one touch screen displaying a keyboard. She'll use it as her book, flipping it 90 degrees to view two pages. She'll lay it flat and grab a stylus to take notes or work on her art project.

I believe Asus (and maybe Apple) are working on a dual screen device. Combine that with the Kindle and tablet pc technology and we're pretty much already there.

As for cost? Ask any college student if they'd rather pay $500 once then $10/ebook, or buy all paper books. Of course, textbook publishers won't be happy, but there's a change growing in that field as well.

Tim Lytle [05/12/09 13:48:17] | 0 Comments | Point

Oh, no - it's SPAM!

[There's been some spam getting through a e-mail list I *cough* host, by forging the addresses of subscribers. In an attempt to stop the riot of 'his computer got hacked' before it starts, I wrote this e-mail.]

Do not panic.

Wondering how spam can make it to the e-mail list? Then read on. Don't care? Then move along, nothing to see here.

Spammers collect addresses, then they both send e-mail to those addresses and use those addresses in the 'from' field. Just because spam appears to be from someone you know does not mean that the spammers 'took over' that person's computer - if fact, they probably didn't. Forging the 'from' e-mail address is incredibly easy, you can do it in most e-mail programs - and there's no verification that you own the address you send from.

Once a spammer has a list of addresses, they pick some to send e-mail to, and one to be the from address. So when you get an e-mail "from" your friend that is spam, don't think he's sending it, he could have just as possibly gotten the same spam appearing to be from you. Yeah, how's that feel.

So how do they get the lists of addresses? It could be spyware - malicious programs that are installed without your knowledge, along with other programs, or perhaps disguised as something else - sifting through the files on your computer, looking for e-mail addresses. If could be a less than reputable company, selling the addresses it has (customers, contact, etc.). It could be programs that search the internet for addresses on web pages.

Of course, it doesn't need to be *your* computer for your address to fall into a spammer's hands. If Aunt Matilda installs the latest cool screen saver from, and your address in on her computer (because you do keep in touch with Aunt Matilda, just not as much as you would like), it's now collected and more than likely sold to other spammers.

But Aunt Matilda is smarter than that, so there's nothing to worry about.

Until one day she forwards that extra funny e-mail she got (because she doesn't just forward anything, only the extra funny), and your address is on the to line right along with Matilda's friend Gertrude. Gertrude isn't too computer savvy, but now your address is only as safe as her actions. Scary.

Or maybe you send that extra funny e-mail to Aunt Matilda, and she just sent it to all her friends (because she doesn't forward to everyone, just her friends), but she left your address at the top of the e-mail, because that's how her e-mail client formats forwards. And now your address is only as safe as any one of Matilda's friend's computers.

Really scary.

Sigh. It's a tough life for our e-mail addresses.

The bottom line is this - other people control who has access to your e-mail address. So one day, the chances are, a spammer somewhere will find it.

But how does spam get on the e-mail list? The same way it gets to your inbox appearing to be from someone you know, or some company you know of. Some how the list e-mail address was found (an infected subscribers computer, an e-mail someone sent to the list and other recipients, a list e-mail that was forwarded to someone else) and spam was sent to it.

That isn't a big deal, in fact the list gets plenty of spam every day; however, when the spammers also have the address of someone subscribed to the list, and they make the e-mail appear to be from that address, the list allows the e-mail through.

If they send enough e-mails, sooner or later that right combination will happen. Discussion lists (as opposed to announcement or broadcast lists) are particularly hard to keep spam out of, because there are so many addresses (all the subscribers) that should be able to post.

Now before victory is declared for the spammers, there are other things the list can do to identify spam, and I'll try to implement some of that soon.

In addition, some of you are probably wondering why this e-mail has been sent because you're e-mail provider or e-mail client already filtered the spam that made it through to the list. Because your filters are just that good.

Tim Lytle [05/06/09 16:49:14] | 0 Comments | Point

Words Mean Something

Sure they do, here's what's going on at AO:

created at
Tim Lytle [05/01/09 16:03:05] | 1 Comment | Point

A Little BIOS

Looks like the Acer Aspire One series has a little BIOS problem. Sometimes it just goes poof.

Guess that's why there's a way to flash the BIOS without booting:

First format an USB stick with FAT.

Download the latest BIOS, and put both FLASHIT.EXE and the BIOS file in the root directory of the stick. Rename the BIOS file to ZG5IA32.FD, that's important. Do not remove the USB stick.

Turn the AA1 off, make sure both battery and AC adapter are connected. Press Fn+Esc, keep it pressed and press the power button to turn the AA1 on. Release Fn+Esc after a few seconds, the power button will be blinking. Press the power button once. The AA1 will now initiate the BIOS flash, do not interrupt it under any circumstances. After a while the power button will stop blinking, and the AA1 will reboot shortly after. Wait patiently.

The BIOS has been flashed and all settings reset to default.

If for some reason you made a mistake during the procedure and it doesn't reboot by itself wait 5 minutes before turning it off, just to be safe that it isn't still flashing the BIOS.

Tim Lytle [04/29/09 16:02:04] | 0 Comments | Point