Thursday, September 16. 2010
This evening when trying to stream Netflix using the Netflix widget on my Vizio TV, I ran into an issue where only my Instant Queue was available. Having seen a similar issues before, I first checked that all my other Netflix enabled devices. They all worked perfectly so I ended up having to dig a little deeper into the Vizio widget. Last time I had streamed a movie to this particular TV was a couple of weeks ago; at which time it was working fine and all the queues were available for selection, so I knew something was broken here. After some troubleshooting with no luck, I ended up just searching the Net to see if anyone else was having the same issue. Sure enough I wasn't alone. The problem seems to have started a little over a week ago.
After a few hours of searching I finally found someone who figure out how to get it working again. It appears the widget was recently updated and in order to get all the queues to show up, the widget needed to be deactivated and then reactivated. Sounds simple enough, but unfortunately not so straightforward. The widget doesn't have an option to do this via the UI. You are required to send a serious of commands via the remote in order to access the hidden functionality.
Once in your instant queue, enter the following commands on the remote:
up up down down left right left right up up up up
This brings up the prompt to deactivate the widget from your Netflix account. Select yes and then confirm. Once successfully deactivate, just restart the widget, reactivate it against your account and you should happily now see all the queues now available for selection.
Tuesday, May 11. 2010
Tuesday, July 14. 2009
June 30th is a day I will never forget. It was the day I witnessed my sister pass away from lung cancer. A woman who was a non-smoker and lived an extraordinary life, I always believed Tracy would beat the odds. It really pisses me off. She wasn't a smoker, had a family, including 3 beautiful kids, yet was cut down in the prime of her life. She was only 3 years older than I and I cry foul!. All I can think of is the poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night". We must all live life to the fullest which means taking advantage of every opportunity that arises and having the courage to do what we are afraid of doing. We all must "Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
I have always been the black sheep in my family. Doing things against the grain and not considered the norm. Although they didn't always agree with my choices, my family always supported my decisions. I really want to thank them with all my heart for that. Mom, I bet you never thought I would be where I am today Without everyone's support, I know I would never have achieved everything I have nor be where I am today. I thank you all for that. Julie, you have alway been there for me. No matter what I have been feeliing, you have always been there for me. No matter what you have always looked out for us.
Life is too short to just play by the book. We all need to take chances, do what makes us happy. How many of us regret not having had the courage to kiss the girl or say what we really want to say because we are scared of what other people think? My life hasn't been easy and I experienced all of this, so don't think its not normal. It wasn't until I realized that I don't really care what other people think as long as I am happy and I know what I am doing is right that I could truly live a life worth living. For that matter had I not been, I doubt that Julie and I would ever have gotten together, gotten married and eventually have our beautiful son Dean.
I ramble on..... I think the essence of what I am trying to say is that life is too short for fear, doubt, hate... We have to do what makes us happy. We need to experience everything that life has to give us. Being from farm country in Maine, I just have to quote Tim McGraw when he sings "Live Like You Were Dying". I really cannot sum it up better than his song.
Tracy, We love you.
Wednesday, February 4. 2009
I can remember back to last years php|tek. The morning of my web services workshop I found out that I was going to be a Dad. Needless to say that is one presentation I will never forget. It has been a long 9 months, but I am happy to say that I am now officially a father. My son Dean was born at 1:03 am on Jan 27th. Both Julie and Dean are doing well, though Dean gets to sleep much more than we do. Life sure is going to change dramatically, but none of us would have it any other way. Dean, if you happen to be reading this years from now, pulled from the archives of some search engine, I just have to say that you are the most precious thing to your mother and I (seeing you don't have any siblings....yet).
Monday, September 22. 2008
I've been getting a number of emails asking if I'm still alive and kicking. The answer is yes, just have had a lot of things going on lately. Those of you who were at php|tek in Chicago this year know that my wife and I are having our first baby. We've been busy doing the doctor's visits, shopping, getting nursery ready, shopping, wondering if we have everything we need, and did I mention shopping. Never realized how expensive babies are and he's not even here yet (Yes, I said "he", we are having a boy).
On the flip side, work has been very hectic. Things are going well and we are very busy. For the past 5-6 months, on top of my regular work on our proxy, I have been living and breathing OAuth. Unlike OpenID, which is really only found in the social networking/blogging areas, and Information Cards which is still new and has some ways to go for more widespread adoption, companies have started actively adopting and implementing OAuth for use with their APIs. Things should start getting interesting once they start rolling these out to the general public.
I'm still involved with my xmlseclibs project, PHP and libxml2/libxslt. I just haven't had as much time over the past few months. I try to fix what I can when I get a chance, but my participation really has been slacking. With fall having started and winter on the way, I'll have more free time to work on these things. Hope to hit some of the feature requests I've gotten in the XML/PHP areas, as well as soon add some additional functionality to xmlseclibs to work with WS-BPEL (just needs some additional testing). If there are any additional feature requests or bugs I haven't looked at yet (I got a number via email that aren't in any of the bug systems - so may have forgotten about them), let me know and I'll make sure they make my TODO list.
Friday, July 18. 2008
My buddies over at AITCOM did it again. On July 10th, around 5:45 pm EST my server went mia. Being a Friday and occasionally experiencing the minor outages (< 5 minutes), I didn't give it much thought and left it for the night. The outage wasn't as minor as I had thought, the next morning I go to check email and nothing... The server was dead in the water. Calls to AIT pretty much fell on deaf ears. They performed a reboot and called it fixed. Of course they test things really well. After my forever long wait on hold back on the phone with them and once again my outage report falls on deaf ears. They tell me that they went ahead and found no hardware failure, so this must be my fault and I have to pay them to look into it. Their admins much be morons, after a couple of minutes, without any access to their network, I was able to determine that my IP addresses had been re-assigned elsewhere. Would you believe that even after telling them this, they said there is no hardware problem and that I had to pay them to get this issue resolved. WTF?!?!?!
After a few deep breaths, I said fine as long as once they found out that the problem was theirs that I wasn't going to be charged. Day after day, no progress. I spent many hours on the phone ripping their customer service people new ones. I hate dealing with customer service people. Their roll is simply to be cannon fodder for the times serious issues arise. All they can say is that they are sorry, someone is working on it and no one else there can help, so I have to be patient. Between that and their incompetent engineers, I am surprised they are still in business. Finally after 5 days, they come back and tell me things are fixed and I wont be charged because it was due to a hardware failure on their end. It took 5 frickin days to figure out there was a hardware failure somewhere (that only was affecting my server of course) and they even knew where to start looking from? Things didn't sound right to me. At least I was able to get my mail back online along with my blog. The problem is that I still don't have 6 of my IP addresses. I am now on day 7 of this and my server is only limping along. The only saving grace here is that the server isn't running anything critical. Imagine being a business customer and having a complete outage for 5 days and after 7 days you still are only partially online. I think it might be time to look for a new provider :/
Tuesday, May 27. 2008
Did you ever think you would have to worry about your data while visiting the grocery store? Less than 3 months ago, I was one of the victims of the Hannaford data breach where my credit card number was stolen and fraudulently used. This is kind of ironic. I talk about the digital identities and keeping your data safe. I never thought I would end up on the receiving end of this. Discover card has an excellent fraud department, imo, and immediately of detecting fraudulent use, contacted me. I was issued a new card and it was sent overnight. On Saturday, while in Chicago for php|tek, I received another message from Discover card about fraudulent use. It really sucks when this happens while traveling because the card gets shut-off. I was leaving on Sunday morning, so an overnight delivery wouldn't even reach me. Anyways, I got things settled and was able to check out of the hotel - even paying my bill .
Continue reading "Brick & Mortar No Safer Than Online"
Saturday, January 26. 2008
My unemployment streak is coming to an end. Earlier this week I accepted a position at Mashery as Senior Software Architect, where I will be working full time with XML and web services. This is now also going to allow me to spend more time working on these within the PHP code base as well as libxml2. It's great when you get to work full time on the things you like to do. I'll still be working from the east coast and make the occasional trip to San Fransisco, which although I don't want to live there, I really enjoy visiting.
Everyone I know keeps telling me how great it must be to have some time off and all that jazz. I am curious if they actually have ever gone through an unexpected and forced lay off. As I don't start until the beginning of February, and my time off so far has been spent on pursuing my next job, I am going to finally take a week off before I start and unwind. Something much needed after all of this.
Saturday, January 5. 2008
2008 is sure off to a lousy start. I went back to work the first work day of the new year after some relaxing time off just to be told the entire IT department has been let go effective immediately. I am just praying this isn't an indication about how the rest of the year is going to go. I get enough of the open position emails, but the trouble is that I am not going to leave Maine. I like it here and it's a great place to raise a family. That being said, if anyone is looking or knows of someone looking for a developer in Maine (I'm trying to avoid doing Java full time) or that allows for a full time telecommuter, I would appreciate any leads: You either already have my email address or contact me via: =rob.richards.
As far as outside projects I am involved in and work on, I do plan on continuing working on them, although I might be a bit MIA for some time until I get settled. My apologies for tagging this in all categories, but hey I need to get maximum exposure here.
Thursday, December 28. 2006
People have been wondering why my server has been going up and down since Christmas morning. It hasn't been hacked or anything along those lines. I do want to thank everyone who was worried about that and offering temporary space/hosting until I got things resolved. This is not really how I wanted to spend my Christmas, but I figured it was the best time for maintenance. My server will probably be up and down a few more times this week until I finally finish everything (hopefully by the end of the week).
Updated 1/17/2007: Holy S*%$#, I just got a call that they are still working on it!
Updated 1/10/2007: This is taking them forever as its still in progress and my server is now a bit of a mess from it :/. All I need is the server installed with an OS. Can it really take them this long????
I have been running Red Hat 9 for quite some time now and decided it was finally time to upgrade it to a more recent Fedora release. The biggest reason for this was when I tried to build PHP 5.2 on it. The XSL extension now requires a 1.1.x version (the 1.1.x versions have been out for a couple of years) - yet my installed version was of the 1.0.x line. On the other hand, I have kept the libxml2 libraries up to date. I figured it was time to bring them both up to the latest versions, so went about to build some rpms - just to keep things in synch. Come to find out the newer libxml2 needs a newer version of python than what I had installed on my server. I really didnt want to build libxml2 and libxslt without python support and trying to update python and all the rpm dependencies was going to be a real nightmare, so I figured an OS upgrade would get me up to date with everything more easily (and this is where things got fun).
This is a remote dedicated server so I all I had was my handle terminal window and the yum command line tool. I found some great reference material on upgrading from older RH releases to recent Fedora releases. One worth mentioning can be found here (be sure to read everything including notes about a specific upgrade before attempting). It was pretty straight forward and worked other than an issue which I spent a few days tracking down.
Trying to speed things up a bit I upgraded from RH 9 directly to Fedora Core 2. The instructions for the Core 3 upgrade seemed a bit longer so I was going to do that as a small incremental from 2=>3. Upgrade went very smooth and quick, with a successful reboot showing me the nice Fedora Core 2 indicator. The one thing I hadn't done yet was to boot into the new kernel. The server was still running the 2.4.25 kernel and not the 2.6.10 one from the FC2 upgrade. I have done a number of upgrades from RH to FC including a test run on a different machine going from RH9 to FC2 using yum and encountered no problems. I never imagine I would run into a problem and blindly set lilo to boot into the 2.6.10 kernel as its default and rebooted.
BIG MISTAKE: I will never blindly set a default kernel again without at least a test boot into it.
Continue reading "System Upgrades"
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I can be reached via my i-name: =Rob.Richards