GCal Sidebar 2.11

GCal Sidebar 2.11 is out. In addition to a timezone fix for all day events, I changed the way it displays shortcode. Previously I simply wrote to the HTML stream. This could lead to errors in layout. Now, I return the HTML to WordPress for injection into the stream. There are no known issues with this release.

Snap-On EPC disc failure

I want to start off by saying that Snap-On’s EPC (Electronic Parts Catalog) support staff is pretty good. I sat on their side of the phone for the better part of fifteen years. From being helpdesk at an ISP, to jack-of-all trades at a router manufacturing company to consulting. On the occasions I have had to call, support focuses more on solving the problem than placing blame, which is a nice change of pace from consumer support I’ve dealt with. Having said that, sometimes I want to slap somebody.

Earlier this year, a client of mine made the decision to move from the workstation version of EPC4 to the client/server version of EPC5. It installed fine, ran for months without a problem. Then, at the latest update, there’s an issue. And suddenly, the program doesn’t work. I tried uninstalling and re installing an older version(EPC4) which failed because there were other EPC installations on the machine. EPC5 installation went normally, but failed on an unlabeled last step. *sigh*.

I called support, showed the guy what was going on. After almost two hours of working on it, he was stumped. I installed eight different releases of the EPC onto that system(Windows 2008), a fresh server Windows 2008, I even built a Windows 2003 server at my house to work on. All with the same effect. I called back with my findings, we collected the logs and sent them off to the programmers.

A few days later, the response back from the programmers was, “Your DVD drive is broken”. I pointed out that that made no logical sense as Every other disc works fine at that location and at my home. It is only the EPC5 disks that are broken, and they break consistently. Support had gotten a bit more information with it. Apparently Snap-On uses a copy protection scheme with their EPC software(Which also appears to have a online licensing component) . The final step was the system trying to install a windows package and not being able to read it because the copy protection went south. Reboot the system to unconfuse the hardware, and everything was fine again until the next update.


$50 PC Tune up in September 2013

Our special for the month of September is a $50 PC tune up. This includes:

  • Clean out inside the case
  • Hard drive optimization
  • Virus scan
  • Hardware test.

Call 219-363-1123 to schedule a tune up for your computer.

Free flash drive in August 2013

PC Repair customers in August will receive a free 16GB thumb drive

PC Repair customers in August will receive a free 16GB thumb drive

$25 off PC Repair for May 2013


$25 off any PC Repair done at our office.

Automatically download blacklists in pfSense

For a recent project, I needed to have pfSense’s proxy filter automatically update the blacklist. Manually logging into the firewall and updating the blacklist is exceedingly tedious. The command line utility to update pfSense blacklists is a free utility. Simply copy it to your pfSense box and put a cron entry pointing to it in your /etc/crontab file.

Within the next month or two, look for an entry on a new blacklist for pfSense.

WordPress Weather plugin

I’m collaborating with Zack Katz of Katz Web Services on a WordPress Plugin for to display weather. What features would you like to see in a plugin like this?

Currently, here’s the features it supports:

  • Shortcode usage
  • Display in Landscape or Portrait mode
  • CSS Layout
  • Accuweather and Weather Underground data sources
  • Caching data for speed and reliability

Here is what will be added for sure:

  • Widget support

I look forward to your responses.

WordPress Themes