Archive for January, 2013

Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › Rich Beyond my Wildest Dreams thanks to Rev Dr. David Anderson

January 24th, 2013 Comments off
stupid people click on stupid emails

I got an email this morning telling me that I have somehow, miraculously, out of nowhere inherited over ten million dollars. Yahooo! I'm rich beyond my wildest dreams.

All I have to do is email my personal information, my bank account details and my drivers license information to The Very Reverend Doctor David Anderson in China. Once they have verified my information - they will send me $10,500,000.00!



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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › using IBMi FIELDPROC encrypt sensitive data

January 23rd, 2013 Comments off
padlock your data away from hackers eyes

I wrote a data encryption routine a few years ago. In my ongoing mission to refactor my old utilities, I was looking at it this weekend thinking about ways to improve it. The basic premise behind my routine is to read a row of information from a file, perform encryption of said data based on a specific 'key' and then hide the key within the encrypted data - so it can be decrypted correctly at a later date. Keeps data safe from prying eyes even if they manage to get access to the file data itself. This worked very nicely for obfuscating the source code for my Projex4i programs, but has bitten me on a few occasions when somebody has tampered with the data in the file, therefore making my encryption key incorrect. Tampered data means I have effectively lost my ability to decode it.

There must be a better way right?

There is - FIELDPROC in IBM-i v7.1

What is Field Proc?

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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › Laptops and flipflops

January 21st, 2013 Comments off
beach life around Charleston SC

It Consultant desperately seeking long term relationship with single white beach front location

programming on the beachSo, after spending the bulk of 2012 working in the desert (Las Vegas Nevada to be more precise) the New Year means it’s time to head back to my spiritual home... for a little rehydration, southern lifestyle and early morning walks on the beach. I'm officially addicted to Charleston, South Carolina. I’m moving out of my condo in Vegas this month, packing up and heading back to Charleston on Feb 1st.

I'm looking to rent a beach-house (no condos please) with at least two bedrooms, preferably first or second row on Folly Beach, Sullivans Island or Isle of Palms. I'm looking for something long term, a minimum of a year preferably longer. As an IT Consultant I work from home - so all I need is a fast internet connection, smartphone, shorts, flip-flops and if the home office has a view of the beach then I'm sold!

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Steve Pitcher › Chocolate Chip Cookies

January 20th, 2013 Comments off

OK, this post is far from technical but I wanted to share it because I'm a big food guy.

I do a lot of the cooking in our house.  In the last few months I've been trying my hand at baking sweets, cookies, breads, etc.  I may even start a different blog for that type of content. 

I've made some decent chocolate chip cookies in the last little while but they turned out flat like a normal homemade cookie.  I wanted to get more "fluff" so I began playing around with cream cheese as a partial butter substitute.  They ended up really good. Almost like little fluffy chocolate chip cookie cakes but still retaining the "chewy" texture.


    2 & 1/2 cups white flour
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    2 eggs
    1 & 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    a dash of salt to taste
    8 ounces (around 250g) cream cheese
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 cup chocolate chips
    1/2 cup butter

Soften the butter and cream cheese.  Mix them will start to look like cottage cheese at this point.  Add the sugar, brown sugar and vanilla and mix into a paste.  Add the eggs and mix.

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.  Then add it slowly to the wet ingredient bowl stirring gradually.  The key is not to mix it too much.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

I scoop the cookies using a 1/4 cup measuring spoon.  I probably fit 11 or 12 onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Bake for 15 minutes on 350 degrees.  Note that these won't brown up as normal cookies will so they'll look undone.  Take them out of the oven and cool on the pan for 1 minute.  Then transfer to a wire baking rack. 

You can adjust the amount of cream cheese to taste.  If it's too sharp tasting, then use 4 ounces instead of 8, and add 1 cup of butter instead of 1/2.

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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › Let me build your website

January 18th, 2013 Comments off
who knew that Professor Uncle Dave would make this impace

If you want a memorable website that attracts new customers, a website that explains who you are and explains how to contact you... You've come to the right place.

I have always focussed on quality affordable websites designed and built to your requirements. I offer input where needed but strive to build a site that matches your vision. Over the Years I've developed websites for clients worldwide. Once the website is delivered I still stay with you because building your website is only half of the job, your website needs to be properly marketed to generate fresh visitors and sales.

  • Need a website?
  • Want a cool domain name?
  • Email that you can access just like Hotmail?
  • A family website for sharing photos and videos like YouTube?
  • Is your search engine ranking high enough?

I've built websites ranging from single pages to complex eCommerce sites allowing customers to interact with each other on a forum. The key is in listening to your needs and creating a solution that exceeds your expectations.

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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › Drupal7 MediaGallery Colorbox Integration

January 16th, 2013 Comments off
spying spaniel

I recently installed the DRUPAL MEDIA GALLERY module and really like it. Finding a simple to conifgure Drupal Image Gallery has been a thorn in my side for an age. This one works nearly perfectly - except it just will not handle COLOROBOX as its image handler because of its inbuilt integration with LIGHTBOX  - a similar function but I prefer the way colorbox looks looks. So before I was forced to unisntall colorbox and integrate lightbox instead, a quick Google search showed me this simply excellent blog post by Paul Junior.

It's not often I repost someone elses blog but this one is just spot on:

Anyone who has tried to user the Media Gallery module on a site that already has the Colorbox module installed will know that they do not play well together.  If you have both modules enabled, create a gallery (with lightbox capabilities) and try to click a thumbnail, the lightbox will not show.

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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › RPG Debug display large field content

January 15th, 2013 Comments off

How to view big fat fields using the RPG Debugger

In my on-going mission to to prove that you can teach an old dog new tricks… I learned a neat one today. I was trying to debug an IBMi Web Interface program (IBM RPG/FreeFormat Language) that was blowing the 64k field size limit when reading in an XML string containing hundreds of order lines.

"Yes, I know the upgrading to IBMi 6.1+ will solve the problem and increase the field limit to 16MEG (Yum!) but the client is on v5r4 and I’m stuck with that….”

So, after a little XML cleanup routine I go the field size down below the 64k limit but still had a problem with XML validation. More scratching of head and after running around in debug I discovered that my XML-RPG validation routine didn’t like something at character position 34,381 in the string. Of course, when in debug and you look at a variable it only shows you the first 1000 character of any fields data:


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Steve Pitcher › Business Agility and Efficiency with Consolidation

January 14th, 2013 Comments off
At IBM Connect, Tim Rowe, Roxanne Reynolds-Lair and I will review how business value can be achieved with the state-of-the-art collaboration solutions running on Power Systems while keeping a simplified, agile and efficient IT environment.

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