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H&R Block Updating Errors

(It's been almost a year since I've posted. My intellectual life is busy with other things) I use H&R Block software to prepare my taxes and have been generally very happy, but this year it would not update the program after January 1. Using the automatic update downloaded the updater but it silently failed. Manually […]

Getting multiple pages in the Amazon Wish List

I figured out how to get all the pages from screen-scraping the Amazon wish list. Basically, look for the "Next" button (it's in a <li class=a-last> element). If that element is present, look for the next page. function getwishlistitems ($listID, $page=1){ // ignore parsing warnings $wishlistdom = new DOMDocument(); @$wishlistdom->loadHTMLFile("http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/$listID?disableNav=1&page=$page"); $wishlistxpath = new DOMXPath ($wishlistdom); […]

Odd bug with Date’s

It's been almost a year since I last posted. I'm still programming, but it's mostly visible on github, especially my trying to help with jquery/globalize by implementing nongregorian calendars. I finally solved a bug that was, um, bugging me. In order to test my Julian Day routines, I needed to create a javascript Date at […]

Creating a PowerShell shortcut

I'm sure there must be an easier way to run a program from PowerShell, but I haven't found anything simpler than & "C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\notepad++.exe" with the ampersand and the full path. I could add "C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++" to $env:PATH, but I'd still have to type notepad++.exe file. I wanted some way to make a […]

Scribblish

We love playing Scribblish. It's like the old Telephone game but with pictures, with players alternating writing captions for pictures and drawing pictures for the captions. It's most fun as a non-competitive party game, just reading the cartoons at the end of each round. It's useful as well: we taught it to my daughter's then-boyfriend […]

Running Windows XP in Windows 8

I wanted to run some of my old games (notably Riven) on my shiny new Windows 8.1 machine, but it wouldn't even try to install on a 64-bit operating system. Luckily, Oracle offers VirtualBox to run virtual machines, and Microsoft offers a Windows XP virtual hard drive (.vhd file) through its Windows XP mode for […]

Setting up git

Now that I have my computer working, I want to get back at my github repositories. I could type my password with every push, but it's easier to use SSH with a key pair. Since I'm using Putty for shell access, I use Puttygen that comes with it. The problem is that Puttygen's format is […]

Setting up a New Computer

It's been more than six months since I've posted; I'm still alive and well but haven't had the time to be hacking. Plus our house was robbed and the only thing of value that was taken was my computer, and it's taken me a while to replace it. One of the nice things about the […]

Windows 8

Finally got a new machine (Toshiba Satellite C75), with Windows 8.1, and despite all the negative hype, it doesn't suck. My wife has had a Windows 8 computer for a while now, and I had explained that teh way to think about it was as two separate operating systems: the old, mouse-oriented one; and the […]

Upgrading to Apache 2.4

Just upgraded the server to Apache 2.4, and started getting 500 errors on everything. Turns out the access control was completely changed; instead of Order deny,allow and Deny from all you use Require all denied. That change fixed everything. Hope this helps someone.