Sunday, January 30, 2011

Today's Spiritual Message: What is the Role of an Apostle?

Elder David A. Bednar (an Apostle) answers the question:

I was unable to embed, please click on the image to see the video.
I hope you enjoy it, and please share any questions/comments, below.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Quickly Removing Annoying Line Breaks: Textifier

I often copy lines from sources like a pdf and paste them into my notes.  When I'm writing in bulleted format, I find this especially nauseating because docs treats each skinny paragraph line as its own bullet.


Annoying paste format.
Thankfully, I found an online tool that gets rid of this nonsense:  Textifier

Just paste, click, copy again, re-pate, and all the annoying < br >s (line breaks) are gone!  (See below.)

"At last, such immense joy!"
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Please share your experiences/comments/questions, below.

How to Fix Your WPA2-Enterprise (Work/School) Network Woes on Your Cr-48 (Hopefully)

Ah, the beauties of wireless (and the headaches).
HUGE UPDATE: This walk around is now unnecessary, as the issue has basically been fixed!

IMPORTANT UPDATE:  I've written a post to help you avoid creating these settings every time you go back to school/work.

Okay, I've been thinking about posting something like this and, thanks to a lovely error message, "Your HTML cannot be accepted: Must be at most 4,096 characters," when I tried to comment on Jay Lee's blog, I've decided to have out with it, here.

PLEASE NOTE:  For my help to work at all, you'll need to read the post linked above, along with the instructions linked to there.  (It's a small world, after all!)  That said, please read on.

My WPA2-Enterprise experience can probably best be described as someone who didn't know what he was doing and who did have the initiative to figure it out on his own (with some school IT help, which I'll explain in a moment, and, clearly, some help from David Burrow and the forum friend who linked me to David's how-to).

1. I got the David Burrow link from a friend in a forum and, when I saw the instructions, I thought I was way over my head.
2. I sent the instruction list to my school IT guys, asking if it would work and got a response that it definitely could.
3. I set to work on my school network and probably spent at least 5-20 hours (over different days) trying to connect and work out the kinks (just ask the guy sitting next to me in Corporations 2!).
4. Here are some insights I feel are most important about my experience and that I hope can help someone else:

A. Make sure to follow the wiki.utah (David Burrow) instructions exactly, varying only when your network is different (e.g., I completely skipped step 6. because our network doesn't require certificate validation - which may be the whole reason this worked, in the first place).

B. Unless you "know what you're doing," be sure to check with your IT department on where and how your configuration is different than the base instructions.

You may feel like you've graduated,
if you can get this fix to work for you.
Hey, I was pretty stoked . . .
C. Your Cr-48 may struggle locking into a specific entry point on the network (I believe this is called a "bssid").  How can you tell?  If, once you've got everything set up, the Cr-48 keeps getting rejected at different bssids and frequencies, you may want to lock into a specific bssid.

C1. Rejection signs. You can tell your Cr-48's being rejected, when it keeps cycling through different associate/authenticate indicators, like this one: "Trying to authenticate with 00:17:9a:33:db:a4 (SSID= 'dlink' freq=2412 MHz)."  The 00:17:9a:33:db:a4 is the "bssid," which I'll explain next.

C2. Deciding on the right bssid, if necessary. After much cycling through associate/authenticate indicators (and after randomly connecting here and there, only to be disconnected later) and gnashing of teeth, I hypothesized that my Cr-48 (or the network itself) would work best (or only) at certain frequencies. So here's what I did (after "trial and error[ing]" the "help" menu):  I typed in the separate commands, "scan" and "scan_results". This provides me a list of available networks (ssids) with their various bssids, frequencies, signal levels (how strong it is?), flags (network configurations?), and the ssid (network ID/name) itself.  I figured my network/Cr-48 liked frequencies at 4xxx and above, which takes us to the next step.

C3. Setting the right bssid, if necessary.  Once you see the details for a bssid that sits on a frequency you believe will work, enter the following, exactly as typed, except with your info where the brackets are:  bssid [your network #] [the bssid you're trying to tap]. Here's an example:  bssid 0 00:17:9a:33:db:a4  What this tells your Cr-48 to set the entered bssid as the bssid for the specific network, in my example 0. Next, type status. If you're disconnected, type reconnect. If you've followed the wiki.utah instructions correctly and identified an appropriate bssid/frequency, I believe you will be all set. And there was much rejoicing!

I hope you love generic images as much as I do.
D. You may have to repeat C3. . . . a lot.  If someone out there knows how to program the wpa_cli so that it will automatically connect to an appropriate bssid/frequency, I'd love to hear it!  Otherwise, my solution requires the user to do "scan" "scan_results" "bssid [network] [desired bssid]" and probably "reconnect" just about any time the user moves a significant physical distance (my law school's bigger than one office), and about a million times in between.  :)  Hey, I guess this is what beta testing's all about!

Well, I hope this helps, I hope this issue gets fixed soon, and I hope you'll ask questions here and on Jay Lee's Cr-48/Chrome OS blog post about this issue.

Jay Lee and David Burrow, thanks for putting all this together and please feel free to correct any heresies.

Oh, and finally, if you are having this issue, and you have yet to do so, PLEASE star it at I think it's being worked on, and I also think it helps to get a few more nudges in the right direction!

I look forward to your questions/comments, below.

UPDATE:  Okay, everyone, if you're pulling your hair out on this after an hour and you feel like you've tried everything, let me make what may seem like an agonizingly obvious suggestion: double-check your password.

I think my school added a new unsecured "guest" network over the weekend, and so I thought something might have changed with our secured network. Nope, I'm pretty confident I was leaving off one character out of the 24 characters lastpass generated for my school password . . .

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Today's Spiritual Message: Great Expectations

I saw this message today and really appreciate hearing encouragement to do better and become what our Father-in-Heaven wants us to be.

Sorry, I failed to embed, clicking will take you to the video page

Friday, January 21, 2011

Verizon iPhone4 Suspense: Seriously?

They're kidding, right?  People have been sitting around, listening to the clock tick for the past two years, just to get a Verizon iPhone that will be obsolete in June (when the iPhone5 launches)?

Okay, I will grant that, based on countless rumormongering (and AT&T network bashing), there have been a number of people waiting for this development for at least a couple years.

On the other hand, I suggest you simply Google iphone 4 wait to see a number of posts suggesting what I'm about to say:  Wait.

Rob Enderle of the eponymous (I love that word) Enderle Group is an analyst who seems to have substantial pull in the tech sphere.  Among other things, Enderle says to wait on getting a Verizon iPhone4 because it will be incapable of running on 4G . . . which is the latest and greatest (and fastest) cellular network technology.

Also, one of my favorite bloggers, Jason Heiner, of Tech Republic, gives five answers about the Verizon iPhone4, also noting the 4G dearth.

Why is Verizon really hyping this thing?  As the dude in the Verizon store told me the other day, Verizon wants to have people buy the iPhone4 to cover the manufacturing costs for the iPhone5.  Can you handle the suspense!!>!!!>?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Click-to-Play in Chrome's about:flags -- I Highly Recommend It

Avoid loading plugins (faster page loads), unless you want to
For the longest time I have had this flag (lab, test feature, whatever you prefer) enabled.  Tonight, I finally put two and two together about what it actually does.

The click-to-play flag provides the user with the option (I think this is what I was confused about, before) to enable manual plugin blocking in the Wrench>Options (Settings if using Chrome OS)>Under the Hood>Content Settings>Plug-ins area.

What is a plug-in?

Plugins are pieces of software (type about:plugins in your address bar, aka the "omnibox," if you're using Chrome, to see which plugins you're currently running) that are like Christmas lights on a house:  Unless they're turned, on we're unable to see their light.  We could see them if we looked closely, even when they're turned off.  When they're turned on, they can take up substantial resources (think Christmas Vacation, here).  Imagine having your Christmas lights on, on the Fourth of July, e.g.  Sometimes plugins can just get in the way.  Which is why I like having the option to block them.

Click-to-play enables the user to manually unblock a plugin, or to white-list (always unblock all plugins on) certain websites.
I had previously been using the Flashblock extension to manually enable/disable Flash plugins (which run thin like YouTube videos and other media).

Click-to-play is shown here as the highlighted, second-to-last selection
I prefer the built-in click-to-play Chrome option over Flashblock because a) I assume it allows me to block more plugins than simply Flash plugins, b) I can avoid having yet another icon in my omnibox, and c) I presume the white-list settings are included or will soon be included in my synced Google Account data (I had to re-do every site on different Chrome builds, using Flashblock - I have at least three Chrome builds).

If you decide to give click-to-play a shot, please let me know what you think.

PLEASE NOTE:  I know this is available in the dev and canary channels.  I'm unsure about beta and I strongly doubt it's available in stable.  If you're confused about what this means, let me know, and I'll fill you in.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Quick Shout Out to the F-Word: I'm Reminded of Windwaker with HTML5's New Logo

Where's Link's sword?

This post goes out to the one I love.  Okay, rather than my wife, it goes out to the F-Word because I think he'll appreciate it (and its brevity).

Here's what I commented on the site where I found the news:
To be candid, I am reminded of Zelda Windwaker, when I see the shield, rather than Superman.

Is this some kind of secret Nintendo conspiracy for world domination, now that the Wii is becoming a has been?
 I look forward to the revelry, below.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Today's Spiritual Message: Placing Family Above All Else

My inspiration for this week's post came when I read an article shared by my man, Alex Chitu of Google Operating System blog.

I was fascinated when I read it (and am still crossing my fingers that it's real).  It's called, Experience:  I Lived with Wolves.

Is that the F-Word?
As amazed as I was with the whole article, my jaw (read the article for the allusion, I think you'll enjoy it) really dropped when I read this last line:
I want to show people that wolves aren't savage and ruthless – they are balanced and trustworthy creatures that place their family above all else.
I'm confident that I'm far from the perfect husband, father, son, or brother.  On the other hand, I'm very grateful for the document on your right, The Family:  A Proclamation to the World because I do believe our Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and that "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ."

Here is a set of five siblings whom I feel provides a glimpse of how rewarding and enjoyable such a family life can be.

Oh, and as I just accidentally broke our popcorn popper, I'll see how much my wife buys into the "forgiveness" part of the Proclamation, once she gets out of the shower . . .

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cocoa Beach: Our Daughter's First Beach Experience

I love how my mother captures the moments.
Yep, regular kite-flyer, here!
I wonder how misaligned this will look, once I'm back it home, putting it on the blog.

I'm in the groove! (and I want paying for my advertisement).
If you want to see the whole album at once, rather than the slideshow, mouse over the slideshow and click on the icon at the bottom right.

By the way, I will now discourage my daughter from ever listing Cocoa Beach as the answer to a security question on any of her online accounts.

Disney World: It's a Packed World, After All

Once again, thanks for understanding my Blogger photo-alignment difficulties.
The adventure begins.
More magical.
Merry Christmas from the Magical Kingdom!

I've got places to go, people, let's move.
It IS a small world, after all!
Grandma and Grandpa, I will love you forever for taking me to Disney World!

If you want to see the whole album at once, rather than the slideshow, mouse over the slideshow and click on the icon at the bottom right.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Universal Studios

This photo pretty much sums up our Universal Studios experience and how awesome Yours Truly truly is.
Can you see my neck muscles popping out?

If you want to see the whole album at once, rather than the slideshow, mouse over the slideshow and click on the icon at the bottom right.

Harry Potter World: My Namesake

If I thought you were still reading this text, rather than skimming through the pictures (or grumbling about how awesome Apple is), I would give you a blow by blow of our Christmas season experience.  As you're probably already looking at the pictures (in all their glory), I hope you enjoy!

Putting my name in the Goblet of Fire.
Honey Duke's/Zonko's
Where are the chocolate frogs?

Which one's Hedwig?
Hog's Head or Three Broomsticks

My wife has been spotted!
If you want to see the whole album at once, rather than the slideshow, mouse over the slideshow and click on the icon at the bottom right.

Merry Christmas!

Top left:  I love my wife's cooking, and boy did we get some for Christmas!  I think we had leftovers for 3-4 weeks.

Top right:  Dad, let's just bury the hatchet and forget I blacked your eye.

Bottom left:  Let the good times roll!

Bottom right:  Thanks to my brother-in-law, I can now look like I'm officially on the Google payroll.

In case you're wondering, I pulled out all my hair using Blogger's interface to put pictures next to each other, and I decided to just use Google Docs, take a screen shot, and call it good.  I think I'd rather eat pigs' feet than go through the Blogger interface for side-to-side pictures ever again.

My daughter likes Christmas.  Maybe less than her juice, and she still likes Christmas.
Hey, once the little one's in bed, we crack out the good stuff (sparkling apple cider).
It's okay, Mom, as you can see in the back, I'm still pounding the wheat grass juice.

Hey, I get tired wearing my parents out.
The Full Slideshow

If you want to see the whole album at once, rather than the slideshow, mouse over the slideshow and click on the icon at the bottom right.

In case you're wondering, my wife is conspicuously absent by choice (hers).

Friday, January 7, 2011

Password Woes? Get LastPass

Do you use the same password for every website?

Do you have crazy-long passwords that seem impossible to remember and get lost amidst all your other "important" documents?

Do you use passwords consisting of only four or five lower-case letters (lacking any capitals, numbers, or symbols)?

Do you use passwords like your spouse's name, your birthday, your favorite actor, where you were born, etc.?

Guys like this dude know how to hack into your online
accounts a lot easier than you might think.
I'll resist using the "s" word on you here (should) and simply urge you to avoid anything listed above . . .  Especially after all the fraudulent emails I've seen from people I know (presumably from Facebook break-ins) and the recent Gawker hack.

In short, password security can be a huge risk.  If you refuse to take my word for it, read this article from CNET News, How secure is your e-mail password?  I'm convinced you'll take password security a lot more seriously after reading it sincerely.

So what's the solution to all these problems?  Well for starters, whatever you do, avoid using the same password for every website, especially if you use Facebook or Gawker.

Next, I suggest what I consider a mindbogglingly simple solution:  get LastPass.

I'd heard about it for a long time, and I kept putting off getting it.  Take my word for it, and just get it.

LastPass:  The solution to all your password problems.
I've been amazed at how simple LastPass really is (which, from its logo, I presume is short for LastPassword).  I remember one super-secure master password, LastPass generates crazy-secure and unique passwords for any website I login to, it encrypts and remembers all my passwords for me, and I can access those passwords from any computer that has internet access.

I'll be upfront and admit I had some weird issues with my imported passwords.  Other than that, I've been blown away with how easy LastPass is and how much more secure I now feel.

To learn more, I strongly suggest this article from DownloadSquad, Three password apps to protect yourself from trouble like the Gawker database hack.

Please let me know what questions you have, and please share your experiences below.  I'd love to hear about both.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Today's Spiritual Message: Look Not Behind Thee

Happy New Year, everyone!

"Faith in Jesus Christ gives us strength to leave the past behind and look ahead to a brighter future. Read Jeffrey R. Holland's article, 'The Best Is Yet to Be':"