Archive for January, 2011

Agile Retrospectives Book Review

January 31st, 2011 Leave a comment
Agile Retrospectives Book Review

Software development is, unfortunately, very often viewed less as a methodology and more as an improv show; managers and sales reps throw in features, programmers throw in functions, and the code base spirals into mediocrity as programmers are more concerned with new functionality than they are with stable development and bug-squashing. This is, in part, what the Agile method of software development is intended to address; by breaking the process into iterative release cycles, development teams are better able to adapt to a rapidly changing set of conditions and feature creep. The problem with this is that occasionally, in such a… View full post »

Brand Name Switches: Worth the Cost?

January 25th, 2011 (Guest Blogger)Leave a comment
Brand Name Switches: Worth the Cost?

The vast majority of network administrators have their preferred networking vendor. Whether it’s Cisco, Juniper, or HP, you’ll often hear the same old chestnuts come down from the server room. Very often, the search for a good switch is drowned out by two sides – those who insist you have to pay dearly for quality, and those who insist a switch is a switch, and the 48-port gigabit offering from anywhere is going to suit you just fine. In today’s IT world, the answer matters quite a bit. There is a very understandable need, especially in the recent years, of saving… View full post »

Outsourcing Email to the Cloud

January 18th, 2011 (Guest Blogger)Leave a comment
Outsourcing Email to the Cloud

In recent months, the “cloud” buzzword has been thrown around quite often. Cloud applications, cloud storage, cloud email, cloud Sharepoint… the list seems endless, and at times it sounds as if the marketing drones in the IT world simply add “cloud” to whatever tag they can think of and try to pitch it to unsuspecting higher-ups who get dazzled by the hype and buy into the cloud. The cloud, however, isn’t always hype. The fact of the matter is that there are occasions where it is both advantageous and cost-effective to host your services in the cloud, and in this article… View full post »

reCAPTCHA with CakePHP Forms Tutorial

January 14th, 2011 Leave a comment
reCAPTCHA with CakePHP Forms Tutorial

Unfortunately, as a developer today, you have to consider the possibility of spammers using automated scripts to submit the forms on your web site. One popular method for preventing this is to use a CAPTCHA. A CAPTCHA is an image that contains words or an alphanumeric code. The image is often slightly distorted. The user must correctly enter the words or code for the form to be considered valid. This prevents scripts from submitting forms since the CAPTCHA is not readable by automated systems. The most popular system for implementing CAPTCHA is reCAPTCHA by Google. … View full post »

What is Dalvik, Anyway?

January 10th, 2011 Leave a comment 4 comments
What is Dalvik, Anyway?

If you have heard much about Google’s mobile operating system, Android, or have been following the recent Oracle lawsuit against Google, you have probably encountered the term “Dalvik”. If Android is “Java based”, what exactly is Dalvik and what does it do? To understand Dalvik, you must first understand that Android is not Java. Android being “Java based” is a great oversimplification that many in the media and tech news have used to avoid getting too deep into the details. However, Android has never claimed that it was 100% compatible with Java. Java syntax is used to… View full post »

Google Public DNS – Performance and Security

January 5th, 2011 Leave a comment 3 comments
Google Public DNS - Performance and Security

DNS is necessary for the Internet to function properly. Unfortunately, poor network performance from DNS servers can slow down the browsing experience. While performance problems are serious, DNS is also vulnerable to even more serious security threats such as cache poisoning. Typically, the DNS servers used for browsing the Internet are either the ones run by your Internet provider or servers that you run which forward requests to the root servers (i.e. a caching-only nameserver). Fortunately for your performance and your security, there is another option. Google runs a public DNS system where you can… View full post »

Convert HTML to PDF with PHP and html2pdf

January 3rd, 2011 Leave a comment 4 comments
Convert HTML to PDF with PHP and html2pdf

There are cases when a web application may need to create a custom PDF file. There are several methods for accomplishing this as well. Recently, I worked on a project that involved an employment application. For this project, I needed to provide a HTML preview of the completed application as well as a PDF. Since I was going to be formatting the application with HTML anyway, I wanted to find a method to turn this into a PDF. The solution I found was html2pdf, a series of scripts for turning an HTML page into a… View full post »