Category Archives: Tech

Twitch.TV

Just for fun this week I have decided to start streaming my normal game sessions. Why? Well it’s more of something to do because I love playing with the software and hardware. It’s not about trying to get attention or thousands of viewers, even though that would be an awesome experience.

Everything is streamed using Open Broadcaster Software. It is very easy to use for recording and streaming. I have used it before to record most of my YouTube videos too.

With that being said, of course I enjoy making some graphics for the stream. Here are the first few graphics I’ve thrown together for transitions and “breaks” during the stream.

BREAK-small

Info Panel

Of course I’ll plan on updating and adding to this if it keeps going. I do enjoy this kind of stuff in my personal time.

When in session you can watch @ twitch.tv/rrfarmer2000

Stock images from Shutterstock.com, Image IDs: 140828680 & 110852534

Website Security 101

Well the last year has been crazy. Half of my client sites were effected by the Revolution Slider vulnerability. Open Realty was also hacked. Brute force login attempts to WordPress admin has been constant, at times enough to crash the whole server.

But now I think all of this is behind me.
I have added iThemes Security plugin to all WordPress installs. This software is very nice to both auto secure the big things and alert you to what could be tighter in the medium and small things.

Two features really stand out to me in this plugin: brute force protection and active file monitoring.

The brute force protection will ban anyone trying to login in two ways. First is normal three strikes and you are out. Second is any IP address attempting to log in as admin is immediately banned. This is great! I have always left the default WordPress install user as “admin” for years! This is a huge flaw and the easiest for the bots to exploit. Recently I removed the default username and added my own with a stronger password. IMMEDIATELY the server is faster; using less resources and cutting down notification emails.

Active file monitoring is done by alerting me via daily mail of any file changes. This is very useful when trying to find a script that is making files in hidden places, then that file executing to send spam email. HUGE HEADACHE!

Do you have any security tips for WordPress? Let me know!

@nickvegas CrossProcess iPhone App Review

I’m not much of a photographer. And I will rarely take pictures much less also then post them somewhere. So naturally I will not be the guy with any kind of picture editing application on my iPhone.

However, (and that is a BIG “however”) I am one of those people who likes almost everything Nick Campbell, aka “Gorilla” does. Also I was needing something to play with on my new iPhone 4 to see how good the pictures really are. Therefore I remembered seeing the CrossProcess App.

App: “CrossProcess”

Website: http://www.crossprocessapp.com/

Price: $0.99

For the price this app is one of those good deals. It could easily be selling for $1.99 or $1.99! But it is simple and easy to use. I can’t explain what it does better than just showing you some of the test pictures I have taken.

Loading Screen

Options Page

Options Page

Office Supplies

Summer behind a fan

Finally Free WiFi at Starbucks

Finally free wifi at Starbucks!
I know it started over a month ago, but I am just now publishing this article because at first I couldn’t believe what they were finally it giving away. But going to Starbucks is now much more enjoyable. It may have taken McDonald’s getting free Internet first, along with their cheaper coffee, but wifi should be free. Especially if the coffee costs $5!

iPhone 4 vs. iMac from 2000

2000 iMac
Operating System – Mac OS 9.0.4
Processor – 500 MHz PowerPC G3 CPU, 128MB Memory
Graphics – ATI Rage 128 Pro, 8MB of memory (8 million triangles)
Screen – 786K pixels
Data Transfer Speeds – 1.3-12.5 MB/s (DVD-ROM-1/100 Ethernet)
Storage – 30GB Hard Drive
Dimensions – 15.0 x 15.0 x 17.1 inches
Weight – 34.7 pounds

2010 iPhone 4
Operating System – iOS 4.0
Processor – 1 Ghz ARM A4 CPU, 512MB Memory
Graphics – PowerVR SGX 535, uses system memory (28 million triangles)
Screen – 614K pixels
Data Transfer Speeds – .04-20MB/s (3G-WiFi)
Storage – 32GB Flash Drive
Dimensions – 4.5 x 2.31 x .31 inches
Weight – 4.8 ounces

What will the device be like in 2020?

About the July/August 2010 Header

I hope you like the header for July/August!

I’m just going to list some info on where it came from.

It may look a little familiar to some people. It was inspired by the Discovery Channel’s re-brand they did a few months ago. Then Nick Campbell over at greyscalegorilla.com picked it up and tried to replicate it the re-brand. So I went off of that and made a cool header graphic.

Also, the words in the header and the glass composite was also based on things from greyscalegorilla.com

Hope you enjoyed it and I might make all the files available soon for download to accompany the tutorials they were based on!

Nice!

July/August 2010 Header

Basic Intro to Global Illumination

A while back when I was just starting to get into the 3D scene, and trying to get good looking renders from my application, I had a hard time getting started. I had no idea what I was doing, and rendering was no exception. My preferred application (right now) is Cinema 4D R11.5 from Maxon. Getting images and sequences out of that program was totally a different monster than Compressor or After Effects.

But this isn’t an article on rendering. It is about Global Illumination or for short “GI.” I posted a few weeks ago an article on some good GI presets, but I didn’t go into what GI was or how it is successfully used. Well, this is everything I should have already posted weeks ago.

I can’t even begin to explain what GI is without showing exactly what it does and looks like. To the people close to me, you know how big something is when I call it my “easy button.” and this sure is one of them!

With GI

With GI

Just notice how much better the picture with GI looks than the one without.

No GI

No GI

I call GI my easy button because it basically lights my scenes for me! Now that doesn’t exactly reflect what the feature actually does, but it sure does seem that way most of the time. Lights still have to be placed in the near-right places; the GI just adds the realistic shadows, reflections and the light depth.

Hopefully later I will be able to go deeper into explaining GI. But for now, I’ll just leave this intro article at my simple illustration!

My iMac Mini

iMac Mini

Hopefully the search engines will pick the title up very nicely.
I don’t really have an Apple product called “iMac Mini” even if that is a nice name.
What I actually have is an iPad with dock and wireless bluetooth keyboard!

This seriously feels like an iMac, but smaller. I constantly reach for the mouse or trackpad that doesn’t exist!

So I guess I will throw in my few comments with the pile of other iPad comments. First of all, I literally just got my iPad and the accessories I am using. So I will probably give my opinions a few months down the road on what I think after using the device for a while.
And here are my first thoughts:

Wordpress

It is literally too easy to use! I mean, I have used the iPhone OS for almost three years this June, and the iPad really is just a BIG and faster iPod Touch (and way way faster iPhone!). But, that shouldn’t make you not want it any less. In fact, I am beginning to think just the opposite! With this device, I don’t need an iPod Touch or iPhone. I would probably now be just fine with a regular cheap phone. However, I am very use to having a constant internet connection, so things like instant email or browsing the web or whatever else I am use top doing on the iPhone would have to stop or be replaced somehow. Yes, right now I only have the WiFi iPad and not the 3G version. I have two reasons for that: to avoid the temptation of activating the $30/month cellular fee and the other….. a slightly geekier one…. to have the iPad a few weeks sooner. But, also I didn’t have to spend the extra $129 for the extra connectivity. My next thing I would replace since I have iPad, is my laptop. I currently own the 2.8 Ghz Unibody MacBook Pro. Now why do I need a laptop when I have the iPad? My roommate, Chris, and I were talking about this the other day, but if you have an iPad that can do all your mobile browsing and typing and everything on the go, why even have a laptop? So I am considering selling my brand new laptop, and getting a cheaper and just as powerful small iMac desktop! Now, I don’t know about you, but the sound of $1200 difference in the price and money in the bank instead sounds pretty good to me! So please, leave your comments and let me know what you think about that one!

So I will leave this as a short post. But I will put stuff about the iPad and how I use it in posts often in the coming weeks!

By the way, this whole post was written directly on the iPad in the WordPress app. So those of you who think it is hard to type on the iPad, you should actually try it yourself.

Setting Up My Mac

You get home from the computer store, hastily open the box and plastic and endless twistie-ties, and turn on your new computer! Now what?

Well, for me this is a BIG process. I have the Adobe Suite to install, Final Cut Studio, Cinema 4D, and countless other small applications to set up along with updates galore for all! But I get all this done in around 3 hours or less. How do I do it?

The answer is kinda simple and right to the point: an external hard drive.

You may be thinking now about Time Machine or Carbon Copy or some other backup system, but I’m not talking about this at all. Ok, maybe for my user folders and iTunes library and preferences (what DropBox and MobileMe don’t sync) I use Time Machine, but I’m talking about something even bigger! I’m talking about all my applications!

I keep a 500GB hard drive with all my CDs and DVDs as digital images. These are a combination of DMGs, .toast images and .iso images. So the logic behind this crazy theory is just this: I hate optical drives cause they are slow and the media is prone to scratches. So let’s convert them all to images and store them on an external HD.

As a result, the difference in install time from a FireWire 800 connection compared to a CD/DVD drive connection is SEVERAL hours, if not days, when the transfer load is about 200GB.

Details:

  • Made DVD/CD images with Roxio Toast
  • They mount with Disk Image Mounter if Toast isn’t installed
  • I also install Windows 7 on another partition and use the same process to install everything
  • On another note, I also partition part of my HD right off with a backup of the operating install disk.