Holiday Greetings

I wanted to send some sort of holiday greeting to my friends, but it is so
difficult in today’s world to know exactly what to say without offending
someone. So I met with my attorney yesterday, and on his advice I wish to
say the following:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an
environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, nonaddictive,
gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced with
the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion or secular practices
of your choice with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or
traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular
traditions at all.

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically
uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar
year 2006, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other
cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great (not
to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is
the only “America” in the western hemisphere) and without regard to the
race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual
preference of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms:

  1. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal.
  2. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting.
  3. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher.
  4. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a
    new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

Disclaimer: No trees were harmed in the sending of this message; however, a
significant number of electrons were slightly inconvenienced.

New Year's Resolution

  1. Travel to two new continents.
  2. Lose the last 20 pounds lingering around my waste.

Regarding the first resolution I’ve started researching both destinations along with gear. As for destinations I’ve decided on visiting Europe and Asia. In Europe I’m hoping to visit Amsterdam and Prague with the possibility of Rome. In Asia I plan on visiting Dubai. As with any travels, especially international travel, much planning will go into these trips. I’ve targeted May or Jun for my Europe trip and next fall for my Dubai trip. I’ve started researching airfare, places to stay and required gear. Thus far below is what I have so far.

  1. Get a passport.
  2. Unlock my Motorola RAZR V3.
  3. Research and purchase international SIM card(s).
  4. Purchase a large back pack with enough room for gear, clothes, maps and some food. Preferably have a CamelPak built in.
  5. Purchase a Palm Pilot with Bluetooth and WiFi. Additionally, purchase translation software and a Bluetooth GPS unit with European maps.
  6. Research health insurance coverage in Europe and, if needed, purchase trip insurance.
  7. Purchase a new digital camera.

Have you traveled abroad? If so, what would you add to the list? I’m especially curious to hear from people who have traveled to the Eastern Bloc and the Middle East. I’m also extremely interested in what I should put on my list of sights to see and what I can safely ignore. Where should I stay? I hear hostels are the way to go for the most part in Europe.

My highest priority when choosing the gear above was mobility. I don’t plan on taking a laptop for both mobility and security reasons (I don’t want it getting stolen in a hostel). That’s also my reasoning behind purchasing a backpack and not taking a suitcase. I also plan on taking an analog notebook to write down directions, numbers, notes, etc.

As for the second goal, I’ve been slowly working my way down to 200 pounds from 265 pounds for the last 1.5 years. I’ve got a diet and exercise plan that works for me, it’s just a matter of focusing on it. I’ve also managed to change my eating habits to the point where when I quit dieting I’m able to maintain my weight. This is, obviously, the easier and less expensive of my two new resolutions.

IE continues to suck

As some of you may know I run a small picture hosting site. A user emailed me the other day to say that Internet Explorer was only allowing her to download images at BMP images, despite the image being a JPG or a GIF. Turns out this is a known issue. I figured that had to be a way to turn off caching via the HTTP headers and I think I have a solution. If you’re sending dynamic files via PHP give these headers a try.


<?php

// Your file's extension
$ext = 'jpg';

// Your file's name
$name = 'goofypicture.jpg';

// Your file's location
$src = '/path/to/'.$name;

header("Pragma: public");
header("Expires: 0");
header("Cache-Control: must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre-check=0");
header("Cache-Control: private",false);
header("Content-Type: image/".$ext);
header('Content-Disposition: inline; filename="'.$name.'"');
header("Content-Length: ".filesize($src));

?>

Enotes 6.0 Launches

It is with great pleasure that I announce Enotes 6.0. This is the 6th major iteration of the site since I’ve come on board and is by far the largest undertaking thus far. This iteration includes, in no particular order, the following upgrades.

  1. Completely redesigned by PBDH
  2. Expanded the content catalogue by over 20,000 articles
  3. All code is PHP5 E_STRICT compliant (except the code in PEAR)
  4. Moved to a monthly subscription model
  5. Added thousands of lines of code, stylesheets, HTML and XSLT
  6. Numerous other enhancements, tweaks and upgrades

It’s taken our developer team just over four months to take this from concept to reality. This has included upgrading to PHP5 (no small feat when you have 60,000 lines of code that are all PHP4 OOP), installing and configuring additional webservers, installing and configuring a Google Search Appliance, completely rewriting the shopping cart and creating an automated rebilling system from scratch.

Needless to say this wasn’t a one man show. I’d especially like to thank Ian and Matt for putting in extra hours to make sure we launched before the new semester. The team at PBDH deserves many thanks for their prompt and professional design services. And, finally, I’d like to thank caffeine. Without our beloved coffee Brad, Alex, Heather, Brandi, Ian, Matthew and myself would have passed out a long time ago.

For comparison here is a screenshot of the old site.

Christmas

A few family members have been asking what I want for Christmas. The answer is nothing. I’ve got more toys than I know what to do with as it stands. I’ve got more clothes than most women and I just bought two new pairs of shoes. But, for those who insist on purchasing me something for Christmas here is a short list of my “needs”.

Whatever you do don’t purchase me clothes or toys. I don’t need either. Also, don’t use my Amazon wishlist as reference it’s fairly outdated, though I won’t complain too much if I get a few DVD’s this year.

Before you think “Hey, I should get Joe something for Christmas” look at the last bullet point on this list and ask yourself if I really need what you were thinking about getting me.