WordPress, BlogJet, and XMLRPC

Setting up BlogJet, and I saw this helpful error:
Invalid Blog Response

Firing up a network sniffer, we can see that this (un)helpful error is actually a :
403 Forbidden

Digging a bit further, it seems some webhosts block access to XML-RPC.PHP.

One Solution: renamed the XML-RPC.PHP to something different.

edit: have also seen the error with Windows Live Writer.

Comedy reviews.

I now know why I hate comedy reviews.

They are one person’s subjective view of one particular performance.  Most (all?) reviews don’t mention what the AUDIENCE thinks, only the reviewers thought based on their years of reviewing comedy.

Their years of reviewing comedy …

Surely the important measure is whether the audience liked it or not?

If we’re going to put up with reviews, wouldn’t we at least be better of ditching the “*” system?  My vote is for a system like the “Little Man” system of the San Francisco Chronicle.

littleman-thumb-500x49

Robert Ebert explained the system here.

Comedy at MICF 2015

You could replace the banjo with a shotgun, in this pose.

You could replace the banjo with a shotgun, in this pose.  (photo courtesy Anne Edmonds)

32 shows, 26 nights.

Saw some great comedians at Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Don’t trust the reviews” is what I learned.  Youtube, recommendations from comedians I enjoyed and friends proved to be the best strategy.

2015
The standout comedians for me were:

* –  saw these performers more than once.  It was the very talented DeAnne Smith who said to me “Come see my show it, it grows.”.  Which was good advice.
(list sorted in alphabetical order)

Creepiest thing at MICF 2015
At Gen Fricker‘s show, turning to the bloke next to me
“So how do you pick which shows to see?”
I’m single and hope to pick up a female comedian.’

Ewwwww.

Comedians I missed from 2014
But firstly, out of the 10 comedians I missed last year, I saw four of them. (Celia Pacquola, Jennifer Wong, Rose Callaghan & Hayley Brennan).  They were all good.

Had a ticket to Alexis Simmonds, but couldn’t make her show, darn it!

The other four didn’t have solo shows at MICF.  Perhaps next year.
(Cam Knight, Sonia Di Ioria, Lana Schwarcz & Beau Stegmann)

More next year …
There were comedians I wanted to see, Claire Sullivan and Susie Youssef come to mind; as they asked me while they were flyering. I just couldn’t find a gap in my schedule.  For MICF 2016, I’m going to try this advice from Erin Davidson

  1. First step is to put in all the ones after 9:45pm and before 6pm. You should be able to see all of those.

  2. All the shows over 1 hour go to the bottom of the list.

  3. Next step is to pick venues that have 4 shows all in a row. I remember one night I stayed in the same room at the town hall. The only problem is you don’t always know which actual rooms the artists get until the festival starts.

  4. Be prepared to be flexible. Sometimes shows are cancelled, shows are added, shows are moved and shows run late. If you can’t get to see shows at the same venue, at least stay in the one area.

Interim Roaming Profile Writes?

WIndows 2008 R2In the Citrix Optimization Guide: User Logon, there are two lines which seem a bit cryptic:

With Windows Server 2008 R2 Active Directory, enable interim roaming profile writes.  Alternatively, use a third-party profile solution that manages multiple sessions more appropriately.

“With Windows Server 2008 R2 Active Directory, enable interim roaming profile writes.”

I can’t find a reference to interim roaming profile writes.  The closest setting I can find with Windows 2008 R2 is the Group Policy setting Background upload of a roaming user profile’s registry file while user is logged on.  According to Microsoft’s Ned Pyle, Folder Redirection should take care of the rest of the profile data, which you should be storing in known folders.

So this is the likely setting Citrix is referring to.

“Alternatively, use a third-party profile solution that manages multiple sessions more appropriately.”

In the case of Citrix, they are probably referring to the Active Write Back feature of their Profile Management tool.  With Active Write Back “Changes are copied back to the network profile when updated files are closed, subject to no further updates in a window of 10 seconds after the close“.

References:

Group Policy Logging on Vista/Windows 7,8,10

group_policy_failedAt the end of “Our roaming profiles aren’t being saved …”, I wrote that

For Windows Vista and later, the log information is stored in the Event Log.  Under Applications and Services Logs\Microsoft\Windows\Group Policy\Operational.  Further information of this can be found in this Microsoft Technet post, Group Policy Logging on Windows Vista

Well it is in the event log, but there is another .log file.  You can enable the Group Policy Client Service (GPSVC) log file.  It seems to solely provide information about what Group Policy settings are being applied.

GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:476 DebugPrintGPOList2: Options: 2, GPOName: {31B2F340-016D-11D2-945F-4FB98400C0F9} DisplayName: Default Domain Policy
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:483 PrintGPWMIInfo: WMIInfo: GPOName:{15A0E08F-4917-F60B-8358-8B78E802A8B7}, QueryId:{81430147-9924-9351-456D-2329BF3F317F}, NameSpace:noddyland.inside
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:483 PrintGPWMIInfo: WMIInfo: bFilterAllowed: TRUE, Rules:1;3;10;108;WQL;root\CIMv2;select * from Win32_OperatingSystem where (Version like "5.1%" or Version like "5.2%") and ProductType = "1";
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:484 GetFgPolicySettingImpl (bSync: 1)
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:485 SaveGPOsToLocalCache(Machine): Server SKU runs in sync mode, skip cache operations.
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:486 GetGPOInfo: Get 5 GPOs to after filtering.
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:486 DebugPrintGPOList2: Options: 0, GPOName: Local Group Policy DisplayName: Local Group Policy
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:487 DebugPrintGPOList2: Options: 0, GPOName: {55DD0EE9-4A06-4707-940B-5482CB34C9EF} DisplayName: Domain Policy - Log files
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:488 DebugPrintGPOList2: Options: 0, GPOName: {02263A92-9FC5-4B95-B9C0-127ECC8A6C32} DisplayName: COMPUTEROBJECT-Desktops-Everyone
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:493 DebugPrintGPOList2: Options: 0, GPOName: {E1692B3D-D2DA-4DA6-8683-2663C08C6F69} DisplayName: COMPUTERUSER-User Base settings
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:494 DebugPrintGPOList2: Options: 2, GPOName: {3140B2F3-016D-11D2-945F-00CFB98044F9} DisplayName: Default Domain Policy
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:494 GetGPOInfo:  Leaving with 1
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:495 GetGPOInfo:  ********************************
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:496 ProcessGPOs(Machine): Get 5 GPOs to process.
GPSVC(1278.1dfc) 15:09:59:496 ReadExtStatus: Reading Previous Status for extension {3378E5AC-683F-11D2-A89A-04FBB00CCFA2}

To enable the log file:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion
  3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click Key.
  4. Type Diagnostics, and then press ENTER.
  5. Right-click the Diagnostics subkey, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  6. Type GPSvcDebugLevel, and then press ENTER.
  7. Right-click GPSvcDebugLevel, and then click Modify.
  8. In the Value data box, type 0x30002, and then click OK.
  9. Exit Registry Editor.
  10. At a command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    gpupdate /force
  11. View the Gpsvc.log file in the following folder:
    %windir%\debug\usermode

    Note – if the usermode folder does not exist under %WINDIR%\debug\ the gpsvc.log file will not be created. If the usermode folder does not exist, create it under %windir%\debug.

References:

Reducing image sizes somehow else (Smush.it is dead)

With images for this blog, I reduce their sizes with Yahoo’s Smush.it utility.  The benefit of this is that it leads to small image sizes, which means less for your web browser to download.

This image, with Smush.It, reduces from 436KB to to 386KB:
Bendigo Tram No. 21
Unfortunately, Smush.It has been not so reliable of late, so I was thinking of writing my own replacement.  It’s not difficult to replicate what Smush.It has done, essentially:

  • if the image is a GIF, convert to PNG
  • optimize PNG images with pngcrush.
  • optimize JPEG images with jpegtran.

So it would be fairly simple to code something up, which calls pngcrush and jpegtran.

Or I could Google to see what’s out there, and see what other people have done.  After an hour of stuffing about, I finally settled on Radical Image Optimization Tool (RIOT)
Radical Image Optimization ToolThe Bendigo Tram image reduces down from 436KB to 126KB.  The image quality looks the same to me, and it’s good enough for a web blog.   So I’ll be using it in future for pre-processing images for this blog.  Plus it has “batch” processing, which I’d find useful as well.

If I was using a Macintosh, I’d look at using ImagOptim

References:

What are these strange files that the Macintosh dropped on my USB stick?

Lending, or just been given a USB stick from someone, can be hazardous from your computer’s health.

You’ve heard of the car-park study where security researchers dropped a handful of USB keys in a company car-pack, and just waited for some silly people to go

“Oh look!  Free USB stick!  Lucky Me!”

And plug them into their work PC.

This post isn’t about that.

It’s about the hidden files that Apple Macintoshes drop onto your USB stick.  Not a big thing if you’re expecting it, but a bit of a surprise if you’re using a PC; and you’re not.
Deleting spotlight files

.Spotlight-V100, .Trashes, .fseventsd and .DS_Store.

These files are created by Mac OS X to assist with searching, file modification and deletion tracking and desktop incon placement.

You can safely delete them.

Reference:  Hostilefork – .Trashes, .fseventsd, and .Spotlight-V100