Default to Standards mode

I am very excited to hear that Microsoft has decided to reverse it’s decision on the default behavior of IE 8. This is great news for the Web and should keep us moving in a more standards based web platform. Every good decision like this helps to further the standards movement within browsers and keeps raising the level of functionality available to web developers/designers.


Now that I have successfully moved to my new web hosting provider, I am ready to get back to blogging more regularly. The move was relatively easy, but took time to get everyone to play nicely and move the DNS records and get WordPress upgraded and all the old articles restored.

One of the first things I have decided to play with is Twitter. I am going to use the IM -> twitter interface for the common updates, since I don’t have a text-messaging plan on my phone anymore. Since I always have IM open at work, and they have a nice interface from GTalk->Twitter… why not.

VPN issues when Local network matches Corporate network

I have been experiencing this problem more and more, as the proliferation of non-routable ip networks increases. Basically, I am at an airport, hotel, customer site, or other location and they happen to be using the same ip address range as we do at the corporate offices.

For example:

Corporate uses 10.1.x.x network range (mail server is at as an example)

The location that I am getting network from uses either 10.x.x.x or maybe just 10.1.1.x… but either way, the problem is the same.

The VPN connects successfully however after that all traffic for the mail server (as an example) is not routed thru the VPN since it matches the local network and doesn’t forward it thru the tunnel.

Possible solutions:

1) Setup a secondary VPN server on a different ip network and over-lay for example a 192.168.x.x range over the 10.1.x.x range (but all servers would need an address on both networks, hard to maintain)… and the user would need to change the “mail server” in their client to use the other VPN connection.

2) Attempt to get a “routable” ip address from the location you are at… this may be viable if you are using a cable-modem or DSL from a provider and will be doing this all the time. However, the typical hotspot isn’t going to be willing to accomodate you and may not even have a clue when you ask.

3) Try another VPN solution…. PPTP or IPSEC or OpenVPN… but they all are routed and expect that you will not have matching networks.

4) Final solution, and one that I have working as a “demo” but am not really happy with the administration overhead of the solution…. is to use SSH tunneling to get to specific servers. This is fast and works pretty well… but then mail clients/etc need to be configured to use localhost:port with special ports for each service…. and they need to have a putty ssh window open to the ssh-server (minor I know). But if you configure the mail client to use this as their mail server… then even when they are in the building they would need to download all their emails thru this ssh tunnel (not ideal).

I am still searching for the best practice for this issue… and I have to imagine that we are not the only company running into this issue. However, this isn’t something that google has turned up any great ideas for. Please post a comment with your suggestions or send me an email with your solution to this problem.

WebRunner (site specific browser)

Mozilla has been working on a “Site Specific Browser” implementation called WebRunner that is a stripped down version of Firefox that allows you to connect to a particular site and it appears as an application to your desktop. It can have a desktop icon, it appears in Alt-Tab list by itself, and can be assigned an “icon” as well. This works great for website like Google Reader, or Google Calendar… providing you with a seperate instance for each that you can alt-tab to. You don’t need to go to your browser, and then switch tabs in the browser to see it.

External links open in your default browser, and with the minimal interface (basically just a status bar and the minimize, maximize and close buttons at the top… it gives as much space as possible to the web app you are using.

You can read more about it here:

Profile Error Currently Fighting

I have been researching and trying to resolve this error for the past couple of weeks (off and on). It only happens on Windows 2000 machines, and seems to have started sometime in Aug-2007. Other items, it only happens if the machine is left on over night, and rebooting will fix the problem.

The “Details: The system cannot find the file specified” would be helpful if it listed a file it was having problems with.


TIDBIT: This post was the first using the Adobe Air Application “Bee” and it’s ability to work with my Flickr Photos and this blog at the same time.

Flash CS3 using fscommand and batch files

I ran into a particularly odd problem when I moved to Flash CS3. It no
longer allowed me to place batch files in the fscommand directory and call
them from a flash projector file. I found this article while searching for
a reason why, and it provides an excellent way to overcome the current issue
with Flash CS3 (and helps with the “flashing black dos boxes” that many
people have to work around when using batch files in fscommand).

Basically, it provides a software proxy by which you can call out to those
Batch files from Flash projector files (and eliminate the DOS box at the
same time). Just download proxy.exe and rename to match the batch file you
want it to execute.

Example: Want to run “dosomething.bat” so you rename proxy.exe to be
and in flash you would call it similarly: fscommand(“exec”,

Support for MacBook Pro

Called Apple Care today, regarding a MacBook Pro that appears to have a
“moldy” spot on the LCD just to the left of center. They indicated that I
would need to take the unit to an Authorized Service Center or the local
Apple Store and have the techs review it and determine what needs to be

They provided me with two Authorized Service Centers that were supposedly
local to me. When I called to make sure that I could just stop by they
indicated that I would need to go to their “Depot” center both more than
30mins away. So I called back and asked for a “reservation” at the Apple
Store for the review/repair. If I am going to drive 30mins, I might as well
do it at the Apple Store instead of an authorized service center. I was
able to acquire a timeslot just after lunch at 1pm.

I am frustrated with the Apple Care program, and the requirements and lack
of service that I have received so far. If I am purchasing a premium
product, and the associated “Apple Care” Support for it, I would expect
immediate service. “Take it to a service center or apple store” so that
they can “review” your complaint…. When none of them are within a short
drive (less than 30mins one way).

More details to follow, after I trek over to the Legacy Village Apple Store
and find out what they are willing to do about this problem.


Well, I was able to convince the Genius at the Genius Bar that the problem warrants a replacement (or at least an attempt at a replacement). He did make me aware that they a certain amount of “pixel” problems are considered “normal” and not covered under the warranty. However, he couldn’t make that determination and was willing to send it in and see if what “they” think. What made the experience frustrating is that I had to drive 35mins to then stand and wait for 30mins (beyond my appointment time) to get someone to look at it… and then another 30mins for him to agree and get all the paperwork filled out. I guess if two hours of my day warrants a new screen *maybe* it is worth it…. but it definitely is more work than it needs to be.

*UPDATE* Oct-5th, Received the laptop back from Apple with a new screen. No charge. It took a fair amount of hassle to get this outcome, but at least it was fixed.