Category Archives: TECHNOLOGY

Microsofts Struggling Search Engine Bing

“For Microsoft, any limits imposed on Google might help it improve the fortunes of its struggling search engine, Bing.”

While Nick and Eric’s article is more about Google than Bing, the statement does make us think about Bing as a search engine…

Poor Indexing, Poor Search Results

For the average web searcher Bing, along with the sister Microsoft search engines Yahoo and Search MSN, provides a poor experience to internet users.

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Slow Website for Work Sample

Really Slow Joomla Site for Server and Site Demo

slow website thumbnail imageI received some links to a couple of really slow Joomla websites today. The links came in an e-mail with promotional offers from a South African web developer (competitor?). I don’t like to knock other developers so I won’t mention the sites or his name. However, the slow page loads for the two sites mentioned as recent samples, and the hosting setup mentioned motivates me to write about my findings…

The developer states “all sites hosted on my own server which only has my customers on it…  All  customers have the same server benefits of unlimited email accounts, unlimited website traffic, unlimited website storage…” I was intrigued by the ‘own server’, and decided to have a look at the sites.

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Dreamweaver 8 on Windows 7 64 Bit

Successfully Install Dreamweaver 8 on 64 Bit Windows 7

Dreamweaver 8 can run perfectly with 64 bit Windows 7. Just a few small changes to the basic installation, and a patch from Adobe, and 32 bit DW8 is stable. Dreamweaver 8 is one of the software applications considered not compatible, or only marginally compatible, with Windows 7 or 8 64 bit operating systems. When installing older apps on 64 bit Windows, it’s always a good idea to Google the installation of the app… Some users found Dreamweaver 8 runs on 64 bit Windows 7 without problems – more experienced intermittent crashes and other issues.

Consensus is Dreamweaver 8 needs the DW802_unwrapped.zip patch available from Adobe: Download from this link http://www.adobe.com/support/dreamweaver/ts/documents/kb400150/DW802_unwrapped.zip to work properly with Windows 7 64 bit.

Installing Dreamweaver

First off, install Dreamweaver. Taking a tip from the process required for Adobe CS2, I installed this to a different folder than the default one used by Windows 7 64 for 32 bit software. (CS2 needs installation in a compatible DOS named folder – i.e. with folder name length of 8 characters or less.) It’s probably not necessary to follow this step, but you  may as well do it this way now, and not find problems later on.

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iTunes 11 for 64 bit Windows

iTunes 11 for Windows – New Look Media Player

iTunes 11 looks different. That’s the first thing that grabs one’s attention. Apple have designed iTunes 11 to strongly resemble the Mac App Store…  It looks totally different; a brand new icon, different user interface, edgeless design, and most noticeable the familiar sidebar – or I should say, no sidebar! You can get the sidebar back; click the View menu and select “Show Sidebar”. The good news for sidebar fans is the icons are once again in colour – something lost with iTunes 10

image of iTunes 11 new look

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Apple Touch Icon Precomposed Not Found

Apple Touch Icon 404 Errors

Are you seeing 404 errors for a range of image files called apple-touch-icon.png and apple-touch-icon-precomposed.png with a range of size attributes and wondering where these are coming from?

No, it’s not a WordPress plugin conflict or bug as some ‘Pressers have believed. It’s bad behaviour by Apple devices – iPhones and iPads. These devices look for these dedicated icons by default, instead of looking for the apple-icon link in page header, and using the normal favicon if the link isn’t found. It’s annoying, unnecessary, and easily resolved (and a waste of valuable time).

The issue becomes more complicated as Apple devices now look for a range of icons in several sizes

With the iPad (3rd generation) there are now four icon sizes 57×57, 72×72, 114×114, 144×144.

Because retina icons are exactly double the size of the standard icons we really only need to make 2 icons: 114 x 114 and 144 x 144. By setting the retina sized icon to the corresponding standard icon iOS will scale them accordingly.

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What is Data Shaping

Internet Access Data Shaping

Internet access data shaping, also known as “packet shaping” and “traffic shaping” is the method used by some Internet Service Providers providers to limit certain types of internet data traffic. The internet provider may impose data shaping for several reasons, the most common being insufficient network capacity; nearly always a result of the “profit motive”  – ISPs oversell capacity and try to load as many paying customers on to a network as possible, to grab extra profit from the limited resources.

Internet service providers will seldom admit their sole reason for data shaping is profit, they will usually tell clients they regulate  network data transfer rates to assure a certain level of performance or quality of service (QoS) for all clients. Whether or not their data shaping adversely affects these same clients is of little consequence except in a highly competitive market.

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Msnbot – Ignorant spider

Msnbot – Ignorant spider or Deliberate Rule Breaker

Msnbot – (Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm) – from search.msn.com has become a pest, not only for my websites, but for many others as well.

msnbot spider iconFirst of all, Microsoft sees fit to send multiple bots at the same time; as many as 17 have been reported crawling at once. I regularly have up to 12 on-site simultaneously. This number of bots crawling at the same time is effectively a dDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, possibly locking the server up and preventing normal traffic.

Secondly, the Msnbot often ignores robots.txt disallow rules and crawls prohibited folders and paths, e.g. /js/ folders and Java files (.js). The numerous iterations of msnbot don’t seem to talk to each other – one bot will GET robots.txt, while the rest don’t bother. A good bot, e.g. Googlebot reads robots.txt regularly, and obeys the directives. Good bots also share that information!

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Which ERP Solution

ERP Solutions for Small Business – Which One?

ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning Solutions are the next step up from a basic accounting package.

An ERP system integrates internal and external management information across an entire organization; finance/accounting, manufacturing, sales and service, customer relationship management, etc. ERP systems automate this activity with an integrated software application. The purpose of ERP is to facilitate the flow of information between all business functions inside the boundaries of the organization… (Wikipadia.org)

ERP Solutions are not for everyone. First of all they are much more complicated to set-up and get working, and a a lot harder to use somatimes too. They can also cost a lot of money. Most small business owners may be satisfied with a basic accounting system, e.g. Quickbooks or similar. But what about the business profesional starting his (or her) own small enterprise, but coming form a corproate or large business envirnment: Such person will be used to a fully integrated system to manage all aspects of the business from a central point, using a single software application.

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Banned IPs

Banning the Bad Hosts

banning bad ips bad boy iconI’m a no-compromise banner. It doesn’t take much effort to get an IP banned from my websites. A single bad event will normally be enough to block access to my sites from an IP address. Several attempts from a range of IP’s with a common service provider will get the entire IP range banned, the hostname or domain banned.

Currently there are about 700 entries in the banned list – representing millions of IPs, and the list gets longer daily. I cannot recall a day this year when at least one new bad IP was not added to the list.

Sharing the Bad IP Info

Mostly these IP’s were simply denied access, and no record was kept about the reason for the ban. At one time I started keeping a record, then lost interest and lacked time to continue. So I decided to start again, this time publishing the info where I can get to it, and other bloggers can also find the details. So now it’s published as a page on this blog…

button link to list of banned ips

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International Telecommuting Challenges

The Challenges of Telecommuting Internationally

telecommuting internationally iconModern information and communication technology introduced a new era in the way we work. It promised a new era where we could work from anywhere, no matter where in the world our office is located, or where in the world our customers came from.  For some of us at least the this new era has arrived.

For others, the promise of telecommuting is only partly realised.

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