May 08, 2008

Great security!

From the manual for the Best Buy store brand of the DTV->Analog convertor box:

bad security

Fwew. Good thing I don't have to remember my password anymore....

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April 13, 2008

First Google AppEngine app....

Or, in other words, I can't help but play with every new Web 2.0 tool that comes out, and because "signing up for an account" doesn't tell you as much about a development environment as you might hope...

I built a little GAppEngine tool that facilitates uploads to my Amazon S3 account, and then provides a list of the items. It's crufty, but, since I don't do much Python development, I'm proud it's working.

If anyone wants the S3 code, I'll be happy to post it later. Basically, my app will build an S3 Post form for anyone who's on the "admin" list of the application whenever they wander buy. The file gets uploaded directly to my S3 account, which, on success, redirects back to my AppEngine site to record the file upload. Non-logged in users just see a list of uploaded files.

Now that I've used the tool some, a few comments:

  1. The toolkit is actually pretty easy to get started in, if you've done any actual under-the-covers web development. Getting used to the BigTable way of doing data storage is another thing, though.

  2. Even though they currently limit developers to 3 launched apps, it looks like you could have pretty much unlimited apps, if you don't mind unfriendly URLs for your users. Major versions of your code live at the same time - just change the "version" in your app.yaml. The value doesn't have to be numeric - and the value shows up in the URL of the app: {version}.{minornumber}

  3. Deployment is fast, provisioning is non-existant. I hope they announce pricing soon - unless there's a hefy cost per project, I'm likely to use AppEngine for any personal project I write from here on out. Maintaining personal project installations is a drag.

Anyone who wants to poke at the AppEngine-backed front page can surf to If you know me, I'll be happy to add you to the admins list so you can try out uploading on my dime, too.

March 27, 2008

Scalable static hosting, with stats!

Many of you will know that I've been advocating S3 for static hosting of images and whatnot for personal use since, well, at least last year. S3 provides unlimited space, unlimited bandwidth, cheap, continuously scaling service. Despite that, turns out, many people don't want to do this for two reasons:

  1. It's tricky to do
  2. You lose track of how people are using your images

Well, I can't promise it's trivial, though the S3Firefox plugin is my current favorite for quickly posting files.

As for the second, there's now an easy solution, for a measly $2/mo. S3stat generates Webalizer stats for you against your S3 log data, letting you now, easily, also keep track of your site's static S3 usage. S3stat will even let you try the service for 30 days free, so you can test out the reports before you have to pay. Or, for even less, review the service to get in on the cheap bastard plan.

December 04, 2007


Anyone remember this post?

Well, welcome to this morning:

12042007076 12042007077 12042007078

November 14, 2007

Brokenness in Leopard iCal

It used to be possible to re-publish calendars using iCal - merely create a new "group", subscribe to some calendars, and then "publish" the group.

It appears that the new iCal in Leopard can only publish groups from the "Calendars" section, and subscribed calendars are in their own section. Groups in Subscribed calendars cannot be Published using the context menu nor the menubar menu. Yet, during my upgrade, some of my (subscriptions-only) calendar groups survived, and are still republishing. Anyone know how I can start publishing new groups of calendars in the new iCal?

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