Access WMI directly from java

Did you know that you can make WMI (Windows Management Interface) queries directly from Java? In this tutorial, I present the jWMI library which provides access to the WMI in pure java. With jWMI, you no longer need JNI, COM, or other libraries to query the Windows registry, system services or other Windows information. Take a look at the article here: http://OFFLINEZIP.wpsho/software/jwmi-query-windows-wmi-from-java/. Join nearly 1000 other developers who are already using jWMI!

Updated airsoft ballistic goggle review

If you are looking for a an inexpensive pair of ballistic, mil-spec rated goggles for airsoft or other sports, you need to take a look at this review of the Pyramex XSG Ballistic goggle: http://OFFLINEZIP.wpsho/reviews/airsoft-goggle-review-pyramex-xsg-ballistic-goggles/.

Ooma review: 1 year update

It has been almost a year since we purchased and installed the Ooma Telo and we have recently added a couple of “vintage” cord-style phones to our home phone system.  So far, they are working great with the Ooma Telo.  Take a look at this review for an unvarnished perspective on the Ooma Telo VOIP phone system: http://OFFLINEZIP.wpsho/reviews/ooma-review-a-real-look-at-the-ooma-voip-phone-system/.

Syndicate Press released

With a new season, comes new features in Syndicate Press.  This version allows the admin to preserve or remove the formatting in a feed article.  Additionally, a customized message can now be displayed when a feed is not available.  If you are looking for a great news aggregation plugin for WordPress, look no further than Syndicate Press:  http://OFFLINEZIP.wpsho/software/syndicate-press/.

WordPress requested URL ‘/$’ error

If you recently updated your WordPress installation, you may see the following error when trying to post a comment: “The requested URL ‘/$’ was not found on this server. “ If  you see this error, relax… it is likely just a plugin that is not compatible with your new version of WordPress.  To fix the problem, simply update all of your plugins to their latest versions, then try posting a comment again.  The problem should be resolved.

How to backup your website

Backing up your website does not have to be a difficult thing to do.  If you have a static website, the easiest way to make a backup is by using the open-source tool ‘wget’. To recursively back up your site, including all of the images, execute the following at a command line: wget -r -k -p yourWebsiteURL After the application completes, your website will be replicated locally on your system, with all relative links converted to work from your filesystem.

Filter coffee with a bombilla

Did you know that a bombilla makes a great coffee filter?   The bombilla is a traditional South American drinking straw with a filter on the bottom and is typically used to filter yerba mate.   While the bombilla has a long history as a yerba mate filter, it also works great as a coffee filter. To use a bombilla with coffee, simply fill your cup with hot water and pour in a few teaspoons of coffee grounds.  Let the coffee steep for a few minutes and give it a stir with your bombilla.  Then drop your bombilla in the brew and enjoy your fresh, hot cup of coffee.  One of the best bombillas available right now is the Ultimate Bombilla.  It only costs a couple of dollars and is perfect for yerba mate, coffee and loose-leaf tea!  Get yours today!  For a deeper discussion of the bombilla and some of the great yerba mate brands, check out this review: http://OFFLINEZIP.wpsho/reviews/yerba-mate-reviews/

Hot yerba mate for cool fall evenings!

What is better on a brisk fall evening than a hot cup of yerba mate?  Not much compares to a cup full of strawberry or vanilla yerba mate on a chilly fall evening.  If you are looking for some good flavors of yerba mate and an honest review of some of the brands, then checkout my reviews here: http://OFFLINEZIP.wpsho/reviews/yerba-mate-reviews/

New review of the Blue LiPo brand battery

In the market for a LiPo battery that works in your airsoft AEG gun, model airplane, helicopter or RC car and won’t cost an arm and a leg?  Hopefully you are looking for just the right balance of price and performance.  If so, then I think I have found the perfect candidate for you.  Take a look at my new review of the Blue LiPo branded Lithium Polymer battery here: http://OFFLINEZIP.wpsho/reviews/blue-lipo-battery-review/

Syndicate Press released

Syndicate Press has been receiving a lot of new users lately.  In this release, we have added a new feature that displays the feed item publication time-stamp.  See the Syndicate Press homepage here: http://OFFLINEZIP.wpsho/software/syndicate-press/.   If you have not yet donated, please show your support for Syndicate Press by donating via the Paypal link.

Mint, strawberry and vanilla flavored Yerba Mate for the summer!

Cool summer mornings, hot summer days and beautiful summer evenings… What better way to enjoy the summer than with a cup of iced yerba mate! Take a look at this review for some great summer mate recommendations: http://OFFLINEZIP.wpsho/reviews/yerba-mate-reviews/.   If you are a fan of iced tea and you have not yet tried iced yerba mate, then you are missing out on a great experience.  Yerba mate is a South American drink similar to tea, but much smoother and less acidic.  There are numerous flavored mate’s and my three favorites are mint, strawberry and vanilla.

New tutorial on how to find out where a java class was loaded from

Have you ever been working on some java code, when all of the sudden it appears that the app is NOT doing what you expect and the code clearly does something different than the compiled app?  You probably have an old version of the compiled class lurking somewhere in your classpath!  Check out this new tutorial that puts the power back in your hands when it comes to sniffing out that sneaky class: http://OFFLINEZIP.wpsho/tutorials/how-to-determine-where-a-java-class-is-being-loaded-from/

Awesome tequila shrimp!

These tequila shrimp are nothing short of awesome and if you like shrimp, then you need to try this.  All you need are some simple ingredients and about 15 minutes including prep and cooking time. Ingredients: 1/2 to 1 pound of raw or cooked shrimp that have been peeled, de-veined, thawed and gently rinsed. I prefer raw shrimp as it gives me more control over the ‘done-ness’ of the shrimp and helps avoid over-cooking them The shrimp should be completely thawed. I like to thaw my shrimp on a metal cookie sheet as the metal appears to help them thaw faster by dissipating the cold temperature. Don’t force thaw shrimp under running water as the water will damage the flesh Cilantro: 1/2 cup of washed, chopped, fresh cilantro Cream or half-and-half: 1/2 pint Butter: about 1/2 stick Salt: 1/4 tablespoon Pepper: 1/8 tablespoon of pepper Garlic: about 1/8 tablespoon of garlic powder or 1 freshly minced clove Tequila: 1 tablespoon of medium to high quality golden or white tequila. Cook ’em up… Mix all the ingredients, except for the shrimp, in a deep sided frying pan.  Bring the sauce to a gentle boil while stirring often.  You don’t want to scorch the butter or cream, so be careful.  You will want to let the sauce gently boil/steam for a while to thicken it up a bit.  If you like really thick sauce you can add rice flour as a thickener.  Rice flour is a perfect thickener because it does not impart flavor like flour or cornstarch. Once the sauce is at the desired consistency, and while it is still ‘cooking’, you can add the shrimp.  If you used raw shrimp, be sure to cook the shrimp in the sauce until they are completely pink.  If you used pre-cooked shrimp, you goal here is not to cook them, but to heat them up. Serve ’em up… You can serve the shrimp as an appetizer or a main course.  The sauce can be used as either a dipping sauce for the shrimp, or as a fantastic complement to thin, angel hair style noodles.

Syndicate Press WordPress plugin being prepped for release

The Syndicate Press RSS/Atom/RDF syndication plugin for WordPress got one step closer to it’s initial release today with the cleanup of code, testing of features and optimization of the formatted output cache.  See http://OFFLINEZIP.wpsho/software/syndicate-press/ for more information. If you would like to be a beta tester, please request the beta release access information by leaving a comment on the Syndicate Press page.

Syndicate Press RSS/Atom feed WordPress plugin nears release

The Syndicate Press plugin for wordpress took a major step forward this week with the release of Version 0.6 for beta testers.  This release uses a completely redesigned feed parser implemented from the ground up. See http://OFFLINEZIP.wpsho/software/syndicate-press/ for more information

Secure that coffee shop wi-fi!

We have all browsed the internet over an unsecured wi-fi network at some point in time. Obviously, this presents numerous security and privacy implications. Fortunately, there is a relatively simple solution that will allow you to securely “tunnel” back to your home broadband network and browse as though you were at your house. The key peice of equipment is the Lynksys NSLU2 device. Read on for more details…

The crippling of PHP’s file_get_contents()

If you have been around the PHP scene for a while now, you are probably aware of the file_get_contents() function. This function has been used in many web applications for years, but has been under increasing attack from nefarious evil doers. Due to the security issues when using this function to download URL content, many web hosts have disabled the URL functionality. Take a look at the PHP HTTP socket Client article for the TinyHttpClient, a simple yet very functional alternative which supports HTTP 1.0 GET, POST and Basic Authentication…

Chicken in a bag

Ever wondered how to transport a chicken in your car when you don’t have a cage or a box? While traveling in East Africa several years ago, my wife and I faced just such a quandary. We had traveled about 4 hours by very rough roads to a small town where we were the lunch guests at the home of the local public school headmaster. After lunch was over, the headmaster presented my wife with two chickens to take home with us. This was an honor that the headmaster was showing us and we could not refuse them without causing offense due to local customs. Not knowing what to do, my father in law came up with a great idea for safely transporting the chickens home. He went around to the back of the truck and rummaged through the “junk” that all work trucks have. Out came two blue, plastic “shopping bags”, like the ones you get at the grocery store. He then proceeded to poke a hole in the bottom corner of each bag and placed the bag over the chicken and poked the chickens head out the little hole. We gently put the legs and tail of the bird into the bag and then tied it up using the bag handles. The bird was content and rode all the way back home over very rough roads at my feet. It never squirmed or even appeared agitated. We drove along the dirt roads for about 4 more hours and when we arrived at our destination, the chicken was relaxed and unharmed.  Best of all, there was no mess.

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It’s just two acres

Two acres.  Before moving out of the city, we thought that two acres was a lot of land.  From the perspective of a suburban dweller, two acres is a lot of space.  After living here for the last five years, our perspective has changed.  Two acres is just about enough for a large garden, a pond and a couple of cows.  It is enough land to eat up your time and but not enough to qualify for agricultural property tax status. The move from a suburban neighborhood to a rural piece of land was a good one.  While we are not ranchers, nor farmers, we do live a more rural lifestyle.  We feel more connected to the land and our food.  Our commute has increased by about 5 miles each way, but we now get to watch the corn, wheat and alfalfa fields mature throughout the season.  Occasionally, we see a calf born on the way to the office. It’s a good life and two acres is about right for now.  There is a richness and a depth in rural life that soothes the soul and calms the mind.  Watching the cows is often more enjoyable than prime time  television… The weird part is that you just don’t get it until you take the plunge and move out of the subdivision.