The end of paying for Cable TV

Today I turned in my Digital Cable Equipment.  I’ve been wanting to do this for some time not because I don’t enjoy watching television but because I feel like we are finally at the era of watching television in a more on demand way.  I’ll get to that part in a second.  Before giving up cable entirely my wife made me promise that she would still be able to watch everything that she did currently, most of which could be streamed digitally.  There was one small catch.  She wanted to watch the news live every morning.   Continue reading “The end of paying for Cable TV”

Installing Teamviewer over Remote Desktop

Having a TeamViewer unattended host on a server is a million times better than remote desktop in many situations. First off screen resolution by default isn’t an issue. Secondly you can also let someone else see what is going on with the physical server. Today I came across an interesting thing. We had remote access to a server through RDP so we installed TeamViewer (Version 10). With that logged in RDP account. Everything was great and the ID for this account was quickly added into our list of servers that we manage. Then we logged off of Remote Desktop. When this happened we noticed a strange thing, the remote desktop killed the TeamViewer. After a few hours of searching the Internet to no avail and trying over a dozen things we tried locking the screen with the remote desktop. When we did we got the following error with a black screen:

“The screen cannot be captured at the moment. This is probably due to fast user switching or a disconnected/minimized remote desktop session”. That is a great bit of information but gives no solution on how to fix the problem. I thought the service must not be starting with the session so I will try a remote reboot to see if we can force the service. This is when I stumbled on the answer to the problem.

The Remote Desktop Session through RDP has a different TeamViewer ID than the standard service running. When you tell the server to remote reboot it gives you the prompt that “Multi User View Mode is enabled” and that logging on again will require you to log in with the new ID XXX XXX XXX. To connect to the correct ID note it down and then cancel the remote reboot. Once that is finished you can log out of the RDP and then log in with the new TeamViewer ID. This will be your permanent ID outside of the RDP Scope.

I hope this saves someone a few hours of time.

Microsoft SQL PDO for CakePHP 2.x running on Linux

Lots of people looking for something like this on the Internet so I took a lot of information and compiled it together so that people can get hybrid style 2.x sites to connect to both MySQL and MSSQL without the need for a windows machine.

Not much to it folks just download the plugin and then set it up according to the git README. I’ve got a few things I have left to do on this including making some changes to the more advanced features that I haven’t fully tested but this should do for most basic things.

Paypal Web Payments Pro for CakePHP 2.x

For a while now I’ve been using Paypal Web Payments Pro. I also use the cakePHP framework almost exclusively and have written several pieces of code for it. My most recent code was a Component used to access the NVP Methods of the WebPaymentsPro API. I had released this code on BitBucket, but then decided to actually make it into a Plugin available at I hope this helps someone out there using Paypal WPP and CakePHP 2.x. The data is sent using CURL so php5-curl support is required. It is also recommended to use an SSL Certificate when dealing with credit cards on the web.

DNS Mailer Scam coming to several hosting clients.

Several clients have been getting this in the mail. The PDF attachment shows a bill owed for $65.00 to DNS Services. At first glance it looks sound enough and DNS is one of those things that seem like something you need if you have a website. The icing on the cake is that they even point out a few things that are familiar including the current DNS ( / in this case), Mail servers, etc. The big things to note here are the items I highlighted in green. Name Server 3 and 4 while they seem to be from DNS services show inactive. Also in the glob of fine print at the bottom you see “You are under no obligation to make any payments on account of this offer unless you accept this offer.” And finally, “DNS Services is not affiliated with your current Name Server Provider. Despite the warnings several clients have called asking if they owe this bill.

Don’t be scammed by these mailings. This information is all available to anyone publicly via a command known as whois. These people are just trying to get your money much like the fake yellow page ad’s of yesterday’s scammers. While these people aren’t really doing anything illegal they are in my opinion performing shady business practices which try to trick people into becoming their customers.

The reason site design turns bad.

Website design has been around long enough by now that you would think there wouldn’t be so many terrible websites out there. Today I thought I’d discuss my opinions on why so many of these still exist and continue to exist. I’ll be honest with you as well, I’ve even created several of these monsters. Not necessarily willingly but sometimes what the customer wants isn’t what the customer needs and the result turns out to be catastrophic.
Continue reading “The reason site design turns bad.”

Making images [IMG] look nice with CSS Styling

Photos are all over the internet. Someone [or some thing] puts them there with HTML code most generally. This is usually done with a piece of code in HTML known as . The img tag as we’ll refer to it in this post is most generally used to display images on a page but often the image is left bare and raw and causes the page to look ever so BLAH.
Continue reading “Making images [IMG] look nice with CSS Styling”

Being Charitable in a Slow Economy – A look at both sides of the coin

As a business owner and a community volunteer I love helping our local community as much as possible, however, it seems as if I’ve recently noticed a catch in the system. Non-profits most generally operate on funds provided by the charity of others. They have fundraisers and events, and they take the money raised on these things and use it to fund the cause they support. I serve on a number of these boards so I do know that economic booms and slows directly effect these non-profits. In a thriving economy members of these non-profits and community partners tend to be more generous in giving out money, but when they tighten the proverbial belt during slower economic times, some of these extra expenses are the first to be cut from the budget of many corporations. The problem, however is that as these Corporations cut back on the giving, the non-profits suffer because unfortunately they have to cut back as well.

Continue reading “Being Charitable in a Slow Economy – A look at both sides of the coin”