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Showing posts from 2010

The Real Hackintosh and iPad Killer

I've been searching for the right technology to fill my needs for both a toy, and a practical business tool that is a touchscreen and can also be used when I need to do real work.
Lets face it, this new wave of "slate" tablet type thingies like ipad and the onslaught of chinese clones, may be good for taking notes and browsing media, but ultimately are very weak when it comes to doing real work on anything.  If you can't easily copy/paste content from application to application, or open complex spreadsheets on your tablet, then it ceases to be an effective tool for most computer professionals.
Lets talk about what a real business tablet looks like.

Getting Started with OpenVAS on CentOS - an open source vulnerability scanner

The Open Vulnerability Assessment System (OpenVAS) is a framework of several services and tools offering a comprehensive and powerful vulnerability scanning and vulnerability management solution. (Taken from the OpenVAS website, which is at )

This blog entry will introduce OpenVAS version 3.1, walk through installation on CentOS and is intended as a "getting started" guide. I'll also do a guide for installing on Ubuntu later.

Blogger problems with Google Sitemap [Fixed]

With the myriad of services that Google offers, its a wonder that any of them work together sometimes.
With this shiny new blog, I wanted to submit a google sitemap (using Google's webmaster tools of course).  If you follow the directions out there on the interwebs about how to do that, it seems that there are some pitfalls.
I followed the directions to use, and even tried as my feed, but when I checked back in with Google Webmaster tools, sure enough, all my submitted URLs have errors.
The reason it gave was:  "This url is not allowed for a Sitemap at this location. Problem detected on: etc etc. -- Details URL not allowed"

Apache mod_rewrite to remove index.php or index.cfm from SES Urls

The subtitle to this post might be "or how I beat my brain into submission to understand what mod_rewrite needs from me."
Background: The premise of this story is simple:  web guy uses a CMS or framework to make the website or application totally kick butt.  The only downside is that you have URLs that tell the world what technology you are using and it makes for ugly URLs.
For example:
While your app may in fact do something awesome at that URL, it also does something blatantly not-so-awesome, which is, it tells everybody who uses it that you use PHP.  Bad thing? some may say no, so long as you are crazy meticulous about security on your server.  Others may say that anonymity is better.  I am one of the latter.  Better for would-be hackers to not even have a clue what you are using behind-the-scenes. This same scenario applies whether you are using PHP, java server pages, ColdFusion or Railo or any other scripting language where…

Android 3.0/3.5 For Tablets Looking Nice

Google tablets will flood homes this Christmas.  They are new, some of them are low cost, and some of them are good, although none are all three...

It has been common knowledge with developers that Google's Android OS is not very well suited to tablet use.  It was designed for small screens for use with mobile devices.  Tablets, although the concept is not brand new, it kind of is new anyway.  For Android especially since so many people are pumping out devices to compete with Apple's iPad.

What is on the horizon though, is Android 3.0 and 3.5, which apparently are going to be much more tablet device friendly.  Google is even working with Motorola and Samsung to make sure that next-generation devices made for Android 3.x will step up the game for performance and consumer friendly interfaces.


Its about time something changed around here...

Yes, something is about to change! I'm moving my blog to a new site! Just wait until you hear about the drama involved with moving my blog from X to Y service. Yucko.
So what is thrilling... (no wait, the other one... TEDIOUS...) is that I am moving to use Google's Blogger platform. At some point here, I will be redirecting the old site to the new one, but in the meantime, all new posts will go on the new site (after this one, silly...). So what is the new blog called?
"" -- a blog of intrigue, insight and sarcasm for the great world of software It should be a good time, chock full o' somethin'. 
Stop by, sign up to follow the new blog, and have fun!

More Android Tablet Drama

There seems to be a lot of drama these days around all the new Android tablets. Everybody is in a rush to get a piece of the market that Apple is currently dominating. In this rush, some are getting sloppy.Apparently there were some issues with advertising Viewsonic's new tablet, which went on sale via Sears' website today. Apparently the item is listed under the wrong name, and some print advertising had the wrong description saying that it would dual boot with windows 7. There is such a tablet, but the one they are selling is not it.

Archos had some shipping date issues that are resonating with consumers, as tablets scheduled for shipping Nov 1st were suddenly changed on Nov 2 to now have a delivery date of late November.

Also entering the mix are a few other tablets: Hannspree tablet, eLocity A7, and out of china two new impressive low cost tablets: Malata Zpad and APad A8 IMX515. There appear to be no shortage of older technology tablets still surfacing as well such a…

New Breed Android Tablets may be competition for iPad

I have been looking for a tablet type device for meetings and casual entertainment. Up until recently I have found that the competition for iPad was very disappointing. Most competitors offer cheap hardware (mainly the chinese knock-offs), or outdated hardware and software (older versions of Android, or resistive touchscreen technology).Maybe things are changing. Updated versions of Android that support Hi Definition video and even support Flash Player for apps and video are here. We have a few new things on the nearby horizon: The Samsung Galaxy Tab, Archos 70 and 101, Viewsonic ViewPad 7, Hannspree tablet, Toshiba Folio 100, Dell Looking Glass, and the unique HP Photosmart eStation C510 Printer with Android Tablet.

Lots of interesting choices. They all seem to have embraced aggressive pricing, as most of them are under $400. Archos even has a small version (pocket sized) that is going for the under $100 market. The Samsung Galaxy tab is still in the "mobile phone" …

Apparently Steve Jobs Has a Problem WIth Anybody Who Doesn't Think Like Steve Jobs

That's not a short title, sorry. Anybody who knows me, knows that I abhor anybody who blatantly lies or deceives people for personal or other gain. I have posted many times about how Steve Jobs is taking Apple down a path, that while currently very profitable (emphasis on the "VERY"), it is destined for self destruction.

In a new spat over Mr. Job's apparent ignorance about the Android platform, he spewed tidbits about how his chief competition has bad market fragmentation and alluded to how Apple's approach is better. He specifically targeted TweetDeck and used it as an example to try to convince people that "Android" is fragmented. He made assumptions about TweetDeck and built on them.

I consider these to be cheap shots. Odd though, his cheap shots are, considering that Android continues to gain more ground in the market -- faster than Apple.

Any sound business adviser would recommend that Mr. Jobs take a step back and consider playing nice in th…

Seriously? No Decent iPad competition?

I have found myself wanting a thin slate type device for meetings to take notes, pull up websites etc. I won't buy an apple ipad, just because. It seems that the web is abuzz about Google Android tablets, so I did a little research, and even tried buying one. My consumer experience so far has been horrible.

There are MANY android tablets out there right now, but it seems that they all suffer from some common issues. (Be warned, if you are looking for an Android tablet, be aware of these things)

1. Resistive versus capacitive touch screens -- many of these tablets don't support "multi-touch" and many of them require a stylus as well. Yes yes, we all want a multi-touch display. Too bad.

2. Poor quality color displays and poor touch support. So if you get over the lack of multi-touch, the next problem is that all the screens are crappy. They require a hard touch, and just don't have vibrant colors. Not cool for a multimedia device.

3. No App Store ? what ???…

Tiny Company Solves Giant Problems in Cloud-Based Document Management
-- There are lots of different cloud-based document management services already out there, and virtually all of them force customers to store documents in the cloud and tightly couple storage with management and access functions into web-based applications. This approach is fine for some purposes, but for others it can be costly, complex, and even illegal. CloudPointe eschews the applications-oriented approach in favor of a middleware model that preserves existing storage infrastructure, enhances security and control, and enables easy integration with web sites and apps.

Where are touch screens going ?

I, like many others, enjoy a smart phone with a big touch screen. Many people don't like the big touchscreen for one major reason: tactile response. It is for that reason that a lot of people opt for Bleckberry phones and symbian os phones that have a small physical keyboard. I never minded the keyboard much on my old treo (before I moved to an iphone), but I got used to the iphone screen pretty fast too.

I have to admit that there is a challenge when trying to operate a touchscreen based keyboard, especially with one hand. (I won't tell "where i am" or "what I am doing" at the time that this is the biggest issue, and I won't ask you either...).

The iphone and newest android phones try to compensate for this issue by doing "click" sounds or screen buzzing tactile response. It kind of works, but you still can't tell whether you hit the "j" versus the "k" on the virtual keyboard, especially when you have big sausage f…

Wow, new websites...

Couple new websites here that are worth noting:

1. GoIndie - - cool new site about indie living, eating, travelling and DIY food stuffs.

2. CloudPointe - - a cool new site for sharing documents online, and it lets you embed everything in your own website.

3. My home page! Yikes, I've never done one before. So here it is... I used a cool site called to built it. Of course I customized everything.


iPhone 4 goodness

Well the day has come. I have an iphone 4. It has been jailbroken, and unlocked for t-mobile and other carriers. I even trimmed my old-school full size t-mobile sim card to fit in as a "micro sim." Overall, the process was not bad at all, although I did manage to play with some settings that messed up my network and had to restore from the firmware once -- such a newbie move, i know... This time around its nice and healthy :)

Want to know what else my little pocket workhorse has? Flash player. Thats right. A nifty little port of the flash 10.1 for android has been hacked to run on iphone (ipad too). Its called "frash" and was an app to click and install right from cydia. Can't get any easier than that. Chew on that Apple.

So far, I am very pleased with the new phone. It performs great, multitasking works surprisingly well, and even my bits of flash content work right in mobile safari. Whatever credibility Steve Jobs had left about his war on Flash,…

iPhone 4 and Jailbreaking Nonsense

Is anybody else sick of all the scammers out there trying to rip people off for jailbreaking iphones ?

We've obviously received some great news lately, what with the recent legal win for jailbreaking (The Library of Congress found that jailbreaking your apple device is legal). We also got the first jailbreak application for iphone 4 on August 1 thanks to the iPhone Dev Team.

What has amazed me however, is all the fake people trying to capitalize on these things. There are not just one, two or even five websites trying to get people to pay them for "exclusive" jailbreak software, but more like a hundred. It goes deep, with lame websites and fake twitter accounts of people flooding the internet with all sorts of false information. Its sickening the lengths people will go to a) screw other people, and b) steal other people's software and ideas. They are just lazy looking to make a buck off somebody else's hard work. What a shame.

So for those of you out there …

Apple vs the world (or "how i'm gonna get flash on my iphone anyway")

The pressure is building up on Apple. They have stated their case about how they will only support html5 on their IOS platform (ipad and iphone). Their mis-information about how all other technologies hurt the internet has had surprising impact given its pure foolishness.

The best technologies the industry has seen (and the strongest companies) have always had a plan for ushering in new technology while being backwards compatible with the old. This serves many purposes -- it eases people into new technology, while supporting the old, and it generally gives longevity to infrastructure which is pretty important given the pace at which technology changes.

Apple's viewpoint is very narrow minded. They have said in not so many words: "eventually in the future, we think we will all be doing it this way, so lets just pretend it is already the future, and only use that technology, anything else won't work anymore." Whether you like browser plugins or not, and whether yo…

Building Facebook apps with CFML

Packt Publishing put up an article I wrote about getting started with Facebook application development using CFML. This was based on a presentation I did at NCDevCon last month. Take a look, let me know if it helped ya...

I'm considering writing another article about using the new Facebook Social Plugins and the new Graph API since it is a bit different from the old RESTful API that most developers have been using.

Android OS on iPhone ?

Yes its actually true... This may be a little old (released in April 2010), but quite interesting!

So many of us are wondering what turn Apple will take next, and when, if ever, they will every start playing nicely with Adobe. Seems that the underground community isn't thrilled with that lack of progress, so people have been actively working on getting linux to run on iphone hardware, and now have managed to get a build of android OS to run on iphone 2G (1st generation). Yes, this potentially means the ability to have flash apps running on your iphone hardware. Not yet, but potentially.

Check it out:


Upgraded the internal HDD of my Mac Mini today

I consider myself reasonably computer savvy, and I've done my fair share of PC upgrades over the years.

Today I tackled an upgrade for my Mac Mini, and upgraded the internal hard drive.

The first thing that messed me up were the specs. I'm not sure why, but I thought there was a standard 3.5" drive inside these things. There is NOT. It is a 2.5" sata drive, just like a notebook computer.

Once I corrected that error, I was ready to begin. I used this youtube video as reference, which was very helpful:

Overall the process wasn't too bad. I wouldn't let a novice do it however. PCs are usually easy to work on, and any ambitious individual who WANTS to learn can usually do so easily. Not so for the Mac Mini. If you don't know what you are doing, let somebody with skills do it. Again, not that hard, but very very different.

I used to think that Compaq computers were a pain in the butt to replace components…

Netbooks, iPads and Slate Thingies, sheesh

Is it me, or is anybody else slightly annoyed at the current round of "innovation" for ultraportable computers ?

There was this big hype about iPad, and when it finally came out, it lacked the absolutely critical things I need as a technology professional: 1) Flash support (duh!), 2) A camera for video conferencing, and 3) any way to use external storage, be it USB or SD, or micro SD.

I myself was intrigued by the hype of tablet computing, and tried out the Lenovo S10-3t convertible tablet PC. I found it a little flimsy and clumsy, and my hope was that I could run Mac OSX on it, which failed (note: technically it does run, but none of the good hardware is supported). I was quite disappointed when I found out that Lenovo decided to install Windows 7 Starter edition on their already expensive netbook. Windows 7 has great support for tablet computers, but not in the Starter edition. So, somebody there thought "lets release a cool netbook, but lets distribute a crippled…

Post Fail Documentation on Lenovo S10-3t w/Snow Leopard

A few people have asked me how I managed to get snow leopard installed on the lenovo. I did in fact get the OS running, and if you were happy with no video acceleration, no sound, and no wifi/ethernet and no touchscreen support, then this is a viable solution for you (ha). If I could get the wifi to work, that would at least be something useful, but as my previous post outlined, I was unable to get any of the above hardware to work. This doesn't mean that it can't be done -- it just means that I lost interest.

Ok, so to get Snow Leo running on your lenovo S10-3, heres how it goes:

1. Make sure you have a backup of your factory config, or a proper win7 dvd to install from when you get sick of non-working devices. Even better is to swap in a difference 2.5" sata drive to experiment on.

2. Get a retail version of snow leopard from Apple. Its cheap, so don't pir8 it.

3. Go get "GA-EP45-DS3L BootCD" from here:…

I've been invited to speak at NCDevCon 2010!

Following the success of the CFinNC conference last October, the Triangle Area ColdFusion User Group (TACFUG) is proud to announce NCDevCon 2010.

This conference is planned for May 22-23, 2010 and will be held at the College of Textiles on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

Did we mention that the cost for this conference is the same as last year? That's right. It's free!

I will be presenting on building Facebook applications with ColdFusion, and going "beyond the basics" including some of Facebook's new APIs for 2010.

Check it out online at

iPad Killer? Not yet... FAIL report on lenovo s10-3t

After a few weeks of working in my spare time, here is what I managed to accomplish:

1. I could get a copy of 10.5.4 (slipstreamed for MSI wind) to install, and bluetooth worked, which I could hack to give me internet access. No Wifi, no QE/CI video, no ethernet, no touchscreen support, never bothered with sound, but supposedly it is similar to the lenovo s10-2 and should work.

2. With a custom chameleon 2 rc3 cd, i could boot and install snow leopard 10.6.0. Bluetooth worked out of the box, no wifi, native resolution 1024x600, but no QE/CI acceleration, no ethernet, no touchscreen, again, never bothered with sound.

3. Since Wifi is a deal breaker, I bought a dell 1395 WLAN 1/2 height card to drop in. No go :( The lenovo bios detected a WLAN card that it will not support, and won't boot. I've read on how you can hack the bios, or hack the rom on the WLAN card to fudge it, but yeeeshhhh.... thats not the simple $15 fix i was looking for.

So after evaluating all of the abo…

Flash Builder 4 (aka Flex 4 aka "Gumbo") is released!

Lots of aka's (i know). Flex 4 SDK (open source) has been out for a while, or at least as a public beta. Now that Flash Builder 4 (the new IDE that replaces Flex Builder 3 -- note the product naming difference), there is a lot to be excited about.

A new skinning system that brings in the best of declarative graphics and fixes quirks with scale 9 and manual skinning of components. Supposedly everything is a lot more efficient and light weight. Flex 3 was pretty to look at, but a bit memory intensive. I don't have specifics on that yet, but all improvements are welcome to make it scalable for larger apps.

It is also designed for backward compatibility, so hopefully all our Flex3 apps compile nicely.

Looks like a great upgrade! If you are into ColdFusion/Railo as well, be sure to check out their bundle of Flash Builder 4 and ColdFusion Builder at a good price.

Here are some details:

My new articles on packt publishing

Packt Publishing asked me to write a bit about Railo. It took me forever due to being busy (as always), but here they are! Enjoy and share the love.

Introduction to Railo Open-Source CFML Engine:

Tutorial: Rendering web pages as PDF using Railo

Lenovo S10-3t Hackintosh Report

First reports are a little frustrating, but I will update this as I go along and find some wins.

boot 132 final + retail 10.6 dvd = hangs at boot of SL disc. Not sure whats up.

boot 132 final + retail 10.5.4 dvd = boots to installer (space screen) and sits at the pinwheel screen indefinitely. I'm going to try some bios changes to see if I can get it to go.

Using the handy old MSI Wind slipstream dvd = installed osx 10.5.4 no worries, nice and smooth. The only problem is, all my kexts = fail.

I thought I had kexts from various places for wifi, touchscreen, and audio, but none of them seem to work yet. The wifi is a broadcom.

iPad killer project is underway!

I went ahead and placed my order today for a lenovo s10-3t today from amazon. They say it is in stock, and i'm looking forward to playing with it. My intention (for scientific purposes only! haha) is to set it up as a dual boot with the windows 7 starter that comes installed on it, and mac osx.I'm pretty excited to try this thing out. It is pretty much all I hoped the iPad would be, and then some. Its a tablet. Its a netbook. It has plenty of storage. It runs flash. It has a proper sized keyboard with the correct layout. All good things, some of which my old dell mini was not.

It seems the cpu and graphic chipset on the lenovo s10-3 is different from the s10 and s10-2. The new s10-3 uses the intel GMA 3150 chipset (its a pine trail n450 processor) which presents potential issues with running mac osx. I've read some mixed results that an old intel GMA 900 driver may work.

Anyway, when it shows up, I'll do some more posts and document the process. Win7 or Ma…

Adobe Announces AIR/Flash support for Android Mobiles

Well, it is finally happening -- the rest of the world is moving on, right around the big iPhone road block. With Android being a fast growing platform, and Adobe giving official support to build native Flash/Flex apps optimized for mobile processors, this puts the pressure on Apple again, to either bend to what consumers want, or face loss of market share.Adobe announced on 14-Feb at Mobile World Conference flash player 10.1 and AIR runtime for Android. This information comes from the Flash Blog here:

If you read this blog entry, it talks about how you can build a Flash application and deploy it to iPhone. Adobe's new set of tools will apparently compile Flash apps down to a native iPhone app format. I have yet to hear whether this works well, and what sacrifices need to be made. Regardless, this doesn't add flash support to mobile safari, but rather an alternate way to make apps for Apple's app store.

This is exciting stuff for Flash…

JavaScript Hack Enables Flash on iPhone

Ok, well it isn't exactly what we want, but it shows that the development community is thinking beyond Apple's stranglehold on iphone OS. According to Wired, Tobias Schneider has written a javascript runtime engine for processing .swf files that is compatible with iphone.Wired published this article about how an open source project called "Gordon" enables .swf files to be displayed in mobile safari. Only websites with Gordon installed will run on iphones, but it shows promise. Also, since this is a pure javascript runtime, it is slow, especially on iphone.

The open source project is here:

and some demos are available here: . I've confirmed that these demos (less one broken link) work on my iphone!

I don't know yet whether apps written in Flex are compatible.

Lenovo S10-3t netbook hackintosh - iPad Killer?

Lenovo's netbooks have had pretty good press, but they haven't really stood out of the competition... yet. When it comes to building hackintosh netbooks, Dell's mini line has had all the press. Do a few searches, and you will see that there are numerous guides for installing mac osx 10.5 and even 10.6 on dell hardware. This may all change...
What is less well known is that Lenovo's S10 previous models (S10, and S10-2) have very similar architecture and components to the Mini line, and the hackintosh community has done a great job of tweaking software to support it.

Now where this leads us, is that the new Lenovo S10-3t (S10-3 being the third generation, and the little "t" stands for tablet!) has some real potential. The S10-3t has a multi-touch compatible touchscreen, and it rotates, so you can flip the screen and use it as a tablet computer! Higher end tablet computers have been doing this for a while, but this is the first netbook using this design tha…

iPad from Apple... thumbs up or thumbs down ? -or- Another Adobe Flash Crusade

Hmm, can anybody guess what my first question was about the new Apple tablet computer-like-device-thing ?Does it support flash ? Answer: nope.

Sorry, but this one issue kills any interest I have in the device. I am a supporter of people who "make things work" too -- remember I have a dell mini 9 netbook hacked to run Mac OSX -- which I still love by the way. It costs was less than an iPad too. Oh, oh, and it supports FLASH.

Am I a hypocrite because I also have an iphone which does not run flash? Good question :) In a mobile platform there are NO good choices for flash support, so I simply need to live without it. Would iphone be better with flash support? heck yeah...

From my experience, it isn't Adobe that is holding up the deployment of flash on Apple's devices, so at some point, people will give up and go wherever they CAN get flash on their mobiles. I seriously hope Apple figures their stuff out and makes it work. They will get a lot more happy develope…