Anniversaries, patches, games and the invisible failwhale


Happy Anniversary to me! In the past week, I’ve had 2 major anniversaries in my life:

  1. 20 years of marriage
  2. 1 year since purchasing my first MacBook Pro

I love my Mac, I love my wife more. (and the small voice in my head says, “right answer”)

Speaking of the MBP, OS X 10.5.8 was released this week. It’s the last expected major release before Snow Leopard comes out in September. I installed it on Wednesday and everything has been fine with no hiccups. Hopefully it will stay that way.

When I purchased my 17″ MBP last year, it was just a few weeks before the unibody models were released. I’ve had the opportunity to play with some unibody models and I’m tossed on whether I will upgrade or not. I like them, but primarily for the memory capacity (8GB vs 4GB that I have now) and not really for anything else. 4GB has served me well and I’ll probably hold out for at least another year before upgrading hardware.

The other thing I don’t like about the unibody is no full size DVI out. I live on 2 monitors, but if I had to use a dongle, I would.

Snow Leopard is a whole other story. I’m tossed right now whether or not I’m going to upgrade. For $29, it’s a no brainer. However, my MBP is my business (minus my accounting software and screen capture/editing software which still runs on Windows), so I really can’t afford any downtime.

I’m considering upgrading my harddrive (currently I have a 250GB 5400rpm) and then doing a clean install of Snow Leopard. To me, that seems to be the best option right now and would be an “easy” weekend project and I could still pop the old drive back in if there are any issues. I’ll just have to wait and see. Question is will it void my warranty? That’s what I need to find out at my local Apple store.


But not this weekend.


It’s sale tax free weekend in North Carolina. Last year, I went to the Apple store in Charlotte and the lines were nuts. Fortunately, one of the Apple folks gave me a heads up that I could just order through their online store and they would take care of the sales tax adjustment. Since I was custom building my MBP anyway, I went with a friend down the food court and enjoyed lunch instead of standing in line for nothing.

I’ll put in writing what I’ve told people. The *only* reason I switched to a Mac was to do iPhone development. I was already using Cygwin and mostly open source software for development on the PC platform, so I had a good and robust toolset configured.

Honestly, I still do all my audio and video editing on the PC because that’s the software that I have. iMovie is a pain, but it works in a pinch. I’ve got Audacity on the MBP and it’s been fine, but it’s rare that I use it. I guess at some point, I’ll need to cut all that stuff over to the MBP, but until I have to, there’s no reason to. I turned my old Dell 810 into a rocking A/V machine, so for now, it does all the heavy A/V work and my MBP all about development.


Along with OS X 10.5.8 coming out this week, Apple also release iPhone OS 3.0.1 which fixes a SMS vulnerability. I was holding off on upgrading from 2.2.1 because I wanted a device with the old OS for development purposes (Cut, Copy and Paste just aren’t that cool to me). However, once I read some of the coverage from Black Hat/DEFCON this week on how quickly a reporter’s phone was pwned, I decided to go ahead and upgrade. So far, everything is working good, but a few of my apps are showing some issues that I’m trying to figure how to fix. Hopefully those will be buttoned up next week.

If you are doing iPhone development and have already installed 3.0.1 like I have, you will have some issues building to the device. Login to your Apple developer account and look at the documented titled “iPhone OS 3.0.1 Advisory.” That will give you the instructions on how to get around this issue.

The last big patch of the week that caused extra work for me this week is WordPress 2.8.3. I had just finished patching to 2.8.1 and 2.8.2 and then 2.8.3 came out right after that. I don’t have that many WordPress installations that I maintain, but just enough to keep me busy for a while to get everything upgraded. I typically install using the Subversion method, but I’ve been doing the upgrades inside the app. I think I need to write a script on every server that I’m on to do the upgrades using Subversion as well. That would probably save me a lot of time. I’ll just have to test it and see.

One other CMS I’ve been maintaining is Joomla. They have been coming out fast and furious with security releases recently. I’ve recently picked up the maintenance gig of a Joomla site that was hacked. I’ve played with Joomla in the past, but now I see that’s it’s a cool piece of software. It’s not typically the type of work that I do, but it does help me be versed in multiple options when people ask me what they should do.

One of the first things that I did was to download the OWASP Joomla Vulnerability Scanner. It helped me find a couple of other issues I was able to lock down. I love OWASP. I use a lot of their products and methodologies on a daily basis for client work.

I wish I had more time in the day to devote to penetration and vulnerability testing. That’s fun work to do.

On the lighter side, I’ve put in my order for the Blu-ray edition of Battlestar Galactica. I didn’t watch the series when it was in production, so having ~20 Blu-ray discs to watch should keep me busy for a while. In the meantime, I’m really into Warehouse 13.

If only Chuck and Warehouse 13 would do a crossover episode. They are part of the same family of companies. It could happen. (One could only hope.)

As I’ve talked about in the past few weeks, one of my client’s iPhone apps went live this week. It’s called KeyMABA and it’s little brother KeyMABA Lite. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, check it out.

Finally, Twitter was down after a DoS attack on Thursday without even a failwhale in sight.

Did your life continue while Twitter was down?

Mine did.

I’m still putting together my iPhone development course, so if you have anything you would like to see in it, send me a note.