Latest Posts

FlightPath Source Code Stored in Arctic Code Vault

FlightPath source code stored in Arctic code vaultI'm thrilled to announce that the official source code for my open-source advising system, FlightPath, has been stored in the Arctic Code Vault for all time! 

For those that may not know, I created FlightPath while working as a developer for the University of Louisiana Monroe, and since then it has been released as open source under the GNU GPL license. 

It's been in constant development since 2007, and its code repository is hosted on GitHub, which is where this story begins.

Free SSL Certs, Automatically Renewed

Free SSL Cert, Automatically RenewedSSL certificates are basically required for all modern web sites. The problem is that (1) they cost money, and (2) you have to renew them every year or so.  It gets to be a real pain, especially if you manage multiple sites. 

There is an alternative-- create a (free) self-signed certificate, and give it an expiration of 99 years, but anyone who visits your site will see a huge warning message that it is unsafe.

The solution:  Let's Encrypt.

Mac Out Of Date? Install Linux (and make it look like Windows)!

Mac out of date?  Install linux!In my previous post, I described adding an SSD to boost the speed of my mid-2011 Mac mini.  Unfortunately, that wasn't the only issue.  It won't let me upgrade the Mac OS past version 10.12. Apple refuses to let me upgrade to the latest version (10.15 at the time of this writing) without buying a newer computer. 

So, rather than go out and buy a new Mac to keep up, I installed Linux (plus Cinnamon to make it look like Windows) and now have a fast and fully up-to-date computer.

Ubuntu on Mac looks like windows

Make Your Old Mac Run Like New With An SSD

Change HD in mac mini to SSDLike most of you out there, I have a handful of old computers sitting around, getting more and more out of date by the day.  The worst of my collection, though, was my Mac mini from 2011.  I originally bought it for iOS development, and it ran fine at the time. 

But, Apple forces you to keep upgrading to the latest version of both the OS and XCode, and before long, the Mac mini was running horribly slow.

Make Chrome Auto-Accept Your Self-Signed Certificate

Make Chrome auto-accept self signed certificateAs developers, sometimes it's necessary to create self-signed certificates on our servers, but it sure is annoying every time you visit the page and you have to click through Chrome's privacy warning screen. 

Luckily, there is a simple way to let your copy of Chrome always trust your own SSL cert.

Please note: you'll want to view our previous blog post, on how to create a Self-Signed "SAN" Certificate, which is required for Chrome to auto-accept it.

Creating a Self-Signed SAN Certificate on Ubuntu (Which Makes Chrome Happy)

Creating a self-signed SAN certificate on ubuntu, which makes chrome happyAs a developer, you often need to create a secure environment on a real server (not just localhost) while you test things out, prepare for demonstrations, etc.  This blog post will go over how to create not just a self-signed certificate (which is free), but how to also configure it as a "SAN" or Subject Alternative Names certificate. 

This so-called SAN certificate is important later, if we want to let our desktop Chrome automatically accept it and not show a privacy warning screen.

Oracle_query() and Other Oracle Convenience Functions

Oracle_query() and Other Oracle Convenience FunctionsIf you're used to using MySQL with PHP, you already know of the simple and easy to use functions like mysqli_query(), mysqli_fetch_object(), mysqli_affected_rows() and so forth.  But, if you've ever gone to query from an Oracle database, you've no doubt noticed that Oracle's oci_* functions are much less pleasant. 

So, I decided to create a set of functions similar to mysqli.