Why do the guys behind jailbreaking iPhones need to make their information so difficult to understand? More people would jail break if they knew how easy it was to do.
For the record, a jail broken iPhone (or iPod Touch) is one that can install software from sources other than iTunes. This has many advantages that I will not go into now.
I jail broke my iPhone initially with firmware 3.0.1 when I was convinced to do so after seeing a mate at work do it so easily and what it enabled him to do on the iPhone, I was still dubious about it but after I had done it, I never looked back.
Apple has released several updates to their firmware since then and they keep trying to stop people from jail breaking, which means that there is a lot of conflicting information on the net about what can and cannot be jail broken. For that reason, I left my iPhone on version 3.0.1. That was until today. Today I spoke to a guy at work (new work, new guy) about jail breaking as I didn't want to lose all my stuff if I upgraded my firmware. He told me about 'aptbackup' which backs up all the info on your jail broken apps installed through Cydia to a directory that is backed up by iTunes so you can easily restore your app's once you re jail break.
My concerns were;
- Loss of music
- Loss of pics
- Loss of apps
- Loss of jail broken apps
Here is the no bullshit way to upgrade to 3.1.2 and jail break;
- Install aptbackup from Cydia
- Open aptbackup and backup the iPhone (only takes a second)
- Backup your phone using iTunes (right click your iPhone on the left and select 'backup')
- Copy all your pictures over (I sync'ed them using iPhoto, but you can copy them over using windows explorer too)
- Open iTunes and upgrade to 3.1.2 (If a later version is available then do not proceeed!! Odds are, Apple has closed the hole in any later version, I cannot guarantee that these instructions will work on a later version!!!)
- Download blackra1n and run it - it will jail break your phone in about 15 seconds.
- Open the blackra1n app on the iPhone and choose to install Cydia
- Once installed, run any updates available
- Install aptbackup
- Open aptbackup and hit 'Restore' - this might take a few mins depending on how many apps you had
As a side note, I had 'categories' installed on my iPhone and this caused a lot of problems when aptbackup restored it. My app's were there but unusable, after hours and hours of attempted recovery, I had to delete the apps through ssh and then re-install them. My recommendation is to remove categories before using aptbackup and then install it afterwards.
Hopefully this helps, please ask any q's you might have.
Ok, I know I have been neglecting this blog for a long time. Thats because most of my technical rantings have moved to Fliquid Studios. But, I needed to share one of the most ridiculous usability failures I have ever experienced.
Recently I was trying to upgrade using Yum on my Fedora 9 machine and I got an awful message that I did not have enough space to complete the upgrade. What the hell? My / partition has a huge 10GB, how can this be so?
[root@Garth Download]# df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda2 9.5G 8.7G 312M 97% /
tmpfs 722M 80K 722M 1% /dev/shm
/dev/sda4 17G 12G 4.2G 75% /home
/dev/sda1 28G 25G 3.1G 90% /mnt/Winxp
As you can see, my laptop has a 60GB hdd, so I am consistently having this argument with it.
The problem with most command line utilities is that it is difficult to see what you have installed and how much space each has. Then I remembered a little script that I used a few years back that told me what RPM's I had installed and how big each was. Eureka! Just what I need.
So, I had a little fun, did a little search and found the beloved rpmhogs script.
Check this out;
[root@Garth Download]# perl rpmhogs.pl
How good is that? I love it. Now I need to uninstall a crap load of stuff I dont use.
And, yes, my Laptop's name is Garth. My media PC is named Cassandra and my wifes laptop is named Wayne. Who can guess my theme?
Almost an hour ago (or maybe more) one of the worlds most popular blogs, mashable, posted about Google Ads for Terrorism. Basically, Googles automated ad server, which picks up on keywords and displays ads based on those words, seems to advertise a lot of bad stuff.
eBay had this problem for a long time. A Google search for 'live slaves' would bring up eBay ads for 'Cheap Live Slaves!'. Fortunately, they have now been removed and the only ads for 'Live Slaves' now are for women. Phew.
Anyway, so I was thinking to myself, that if one of the worlds largest, most popular blogs posts about something that is very offensive to a lot of people and being perpetrated by the worlds largest and most respected internet behemoth, they are likely to fix it quick smart, right? Wrong. The thing is, this has been happening for a while A quick search on Google reveals hundreds of thousands of results. Interestingly, the first link I clicked on that criticised Google was apparently a malware site.
I continued to the site anyway despite the multiple full page warnings. There were a bunch of great examples of this approach to automated ad campaigns;
Surely, in this extreme technological period. The worlds largest online company can come up with an algorithm that would stop this from happening. I personally, having never been directly affected by terrorism, dont find it very offensive, more surprising. Still, I find it very odd.
grep is a file content searching tool for Linux. It is loved by programmers for its ease of use and swift search results (with customisable output). For example, if you forgot where you left your debug code, you can quickly display a list of the files that contain the code like so;
grep -ril 'var_dump' *
But, the problem with grep is that it is not possible to limit the subdirectories it searches within based on a pattern. A lot of people misunderstand the "-exclude" option, thinking that they can stop grep from returning results from SVN directories using it like so;
grep -ril --exclude=".svn/*" 'var_dump' *
Little do they realise that exclude is for file names only and grep has no functionality for restricting search based on directory names. grep can invert the found rows and only show the non-matching lines using the '-v' parameter and can remove the .svn directories but it is very slow;
grep -ril "'var_dump' * | grep -v svn
So, in comes ack. ack is much faster than grep (it uses perl regular expressions) and searches recursively and ignores revision control subdirectories (.svn) by default. Also, it displays the found code in a much easier to read format (if you opt to display the lines as opposed to just the file names);
sudo apt-get install ack
Done. Its also available as a perl script incase you cannot install it due to dictator sys admins (you know the type.).
If you code and use grep for your line-level searching, do yourself a favour and get ack.
A lot of people these days use graphical clients for creating their database schema's and therefor start with the Entity Relationship diagram and then have it generate the SQL for them. I prefer to write SQL directly as I seem to have an ongoing misunderstanding with most graphical clients but then I would need to somehow create an ER diagram for the SQL I wrote and this meant I'd double up on work a little bit. Today while searching for another application to do just what I want (and not cost me a cent) I found a post about something that will be extremely handy.
SQL Fairy is an ER Diagram creator for Mysql and other databases but uses the raw SQL files and includes relationships (like foreign keys etc).
Its not perfect by any means, but its easy and gives a great representation of the database relationships. The lines representing relationships actually go over the tables which is a bugger and as it outputs directly to an image, you cant edit it. But, for a quick and easy ER, its bloody good.
As noted in the post I found this little gem at, its super simple to install and use, particularly if you are using Linux. I am on Kubuntu (for the record, my distro of choice is Fedora) and installed it as easy as this;
sudo apt-get install sqlfairy
Then, to generate the diagram was as easy as this;
sqlt-diagram -d=MySQL -o=sample_schema.png schema.sql --color
Unfortunately, it did fall over when my schema contained a SOURCE within the SQL, but apart from that it was quick and simple enough for me.
Now, if I can find an app that does the same thing but allows me to edit my ER first and give me multiple saving options (XML, SQL, etc) then I'd be extremely happy.
EDIT: About a year ago, MySQL released an application named 'Workbench' for this very purpose. An ER diagram program with reverse engineering capabilities from .sql files. The application was used by me on Windows for a while before a Linux friendly version was released. But, when Sun bought MySQL earlier this year, they made most of the MySQL applications commercial and were charging for licenses. Thats why Workbench was not mentioned above.
This is the same schema as the above diagram done in Workbench using reverse engineering from an SQL file.
The short answer is no. The internet will not do everything for you. It will not work for you.
You will only get out of the internet what you want to and it will be directly related to how much you put into it.
Businesses consistently believe that by simply having a site with products and / or services on it that suddenly their sales will increase and this, for the most part, is simply untrue.
In Australia, the e-boom is taking a lot longer to gain momentum in comparison with America. Australian businesses simply do not consider the internet to be a vital marketing resource and are unwilling to invest into it. This causes a lot of businesses to do more damage to their brand image than good.
If you come across two websites with the same product or service and the first website is professionally designed with a good logo, easy navigation and fully functional, you will likely pick that business over the one that has a site that looks like it was designed by the neighbours 10 year old for his school project. In fewer words, cheap looking sites make the company look unprofessional, also, cheap looking sites do not build confidence with visitors who are being offered products to purchase online.
In addition to this is the lack of time being invested into email correspondence. Whether you like it or not, most communication derived from your website will be email. Its easy, its fast and people can use it in their own time. The problem with this is the amount of businesses that do not treat emails with any sufficient level of priority. Emails go unanswered. A lot. People get frustrated and angry and your brand damage continues to grow. Its not a bad thing to only offer phone details on your site if thats the only method of contact you are willing to accept. Fewer potential customers will contact you, but thats better than more potential customers going unanswered via email.
Small business in Australia need to get out of the mentality that the internet will be everything to them and all they need is a 'presence'. There is a very new feeling the the net these days and as much as I hate using buzz words, its 'web 2.0' and because of 'web 2.0' there is this new surge of competition in both design/development and site owning businesses to outdo each other. Simply, if you cannot devote them time and money required into your 'web 2.0' presence, stay offline. You will do less damage.
About a year ago I started generating XML sitemaps for Skylines Australia. At the same time I started pushing a bunch of other SEO strategies like friendly URL's, metadata and a search engine friendly 'skin' for my site which is a publically available 'text-only' skin. Its also good for PDA's and mobile phone access.
For a long time, my 'Sitelinks' (displayed under search results where my site comes first) have been made up of members' profiles. This irritates me a lot and I have blocked the links through the Google Webmaster Tools every time I notice them. These are not the pages I want emphasized. So, I added a nofollow to all the links to members' pages that I could find but Google persistently added the members' pages as my Sitelinks. It was becoming desperate. I even asked my friends at SEOmoz (Where I am a pro member). They suggested sculpting my links to move the search engines towards my busier sections.
Anyway, last week there was a breakthrough. I upgraded the SEO software for SAU and decided to rebuild all my sitemaps as I know that Google was finding a lot of errors in the existing ones. I realised that my members' pages were being added to the sitemaps! And, likely, above the other (more important) pages! So, I turned off the adding of members' pages into my sitemaps and already I can see that Google have added my more important pages as Sitelinks (not live yet, but I can see them in the Webmaster Tools). Precisely what I wanted and I can't believe the solution was so easily missed by myself.
Another case of bad sitemaps. Lots of SEO'ers are against their use entirely.
Through my University, I was able to get a bunch of Microsoft development and design software for nothing. This is obviously a vain attempt by Microsoft to lure me to god-awful .Net development or something similar. But, at the end of the day, I am an open source developer and a big fan of the GPL and GNU etc, so I'll stick with my Java and PHP thanksverymuch.
But, while browsing dzone tonight, I happened to notice an interesting article titled "Expression Web 2 for PHP Developers-Simplifying Your PHP Applications".
Well, my first impressions were that it was like a lightweight Dreamweaver. ick. I am a text-editor user. I like IDE's, but when they are IDE's and not pretending-to-be-tech-savvy-drag-and-drop-designers-come-IDE's.
The fact that Web 2 has drag and drop html components. Ergh. Who in their right mind would choose to scroll down a list of available tags and click-and-drag one instead of simply typing '<p></p>'?
Anyway, for an HTML editor, it might be fine. But you dont need anything other than Notepad++ (for syntax highlighting) for coding HTML.
Anyway, I am looking for a new IDE, so I thought I'd give this Expression Web 2 a go (even though the thought of coding PHP in a Microsoft product made me feel a little queezy).
Well, I got as far as this;
And thats it. Wanna know why? Because it wouldnt let save it as a .lib while keeping it registered as a PHP app. Come on, you expect me to consider this a 'serious' development application when I can't register my own extensions? If I select 'php' in the 'save as type' when saving, it either removes the .lib extension and replaces it with .php or it adds .php to the end (ie form.lib.php). And, heres the best part, if I type the php opening and closing tags in and then try to save, it gives me an error saying that because I have php tags, I need to save it as a php file.. ARRRGH!!!!
Searching and viewing the help files gave me nothing. And I'm not going to start giving my libraries a .php extension, sorry Microsoft.
At least now I can try Netbeans 6.5 Beta with PHP support. I hope they dont still force every file you edit to have its own project. So painful. Maybe it's time I wrote my own IDE.
I have been toying with the idea of moving to a self hosted wordpress blog for quite some time and I finally bit the bullet and did it. The main driving force behind this decision was;
- More control. I can edit code, add plugins, modify anything I want,
- Owned posts. With Google owning everything posted to Blogger, I preferred that my posts remained mine, on my servers. Blogger didn't even provide an export service to make it easier to remove your blog.
- Pages. I can post on pages about my work and my projects without needing to follow a blog-style 'post'. This means I can have non blog content.
- Hosting on my server means that I can integrate with other sites and services that I own or host.
- Still works with Windows Live Writer. This was a must. Live Writer is used for all my posts.
- Solid codebase. Wordpress is used extensively throughout the web with a huge community base. There are heaps of available plugins, widgets, themes, tutorials etc and as its PHP based, I can tinker myself.
So, as Wordpress provided an import script from Blogger, it was a no-brainer. Of course the import failed a few times and I got a fair few duplicate comments, its all here now.
So, the site is now Wordpress with the BloggingPro theme and a few other plugins used also. It is very much still a work in progress as I move over all the changes I made on Blogger. I am also going to add more content to the pages and other stuff too. Keep watching this space.