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Personal Blog


My Camera Equipment

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Business Correspondence Template Updates

I use the Microsoft Office Professional Suite (Microsoft Office Professional 2019 link is for the latest version) for most of my business productivity needs.

Examples of how I use the Microsoft Office Professional Suite of products include:

  • Business Letterhead MS Word
  • Fax Cover Sheets MS Word
  • Presentations MS Publisher or MS PowerPoint
  • Vector Graphics MS PowerPoint see note below
  • Affiliate Database MS Access
  • Contacts MS Access
  • Savings Daily Interest Tracking MS Excel

Note, I use Microsoft Image Composer for most of my graphics work, which is not part of the Microsoft Office Suite of products. I use PowerPoint to create and manipulate vector graphics.

Recently, I put together a presentation which required my business letterhead and a Publisher presentation. I designed the MS Word Letterhead template for business correspondence several years ago, and decided it was time for an update.

Searching online, I found several options for MS Word templates and chose the following set:

I customized the set for my requirements and very pleased with how this might work out for business productivity efforts. The original template set was designed for Microsoft Word 2007 or later. I use an earlier version of the productivity suite.


Saturday, October 17, 2020

Camera's Image Sensor

The Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Digital Camera I purchased last year, came with a number of accessories, including a cleaning kit.

Recently, I noticed imperfections with some of my photos and tried cleaning the camera lens to resolve the issues. I noticed the problem after a series of shots of a midday moon against a blue sky.

While researching this problem, I read- shooting a blank white wall can also highlight photo image errors.

Dirt on the lens was not the problem, so I then checked the Camera's Image Sensor. Yes, I noticed a smear and dust on the sensor, so I used the blower that came with my camera kit and also tried the camera's internal "Sensor cleaning" feature.

Neither of these solutions corrected the problem. What worked? A non-abrasive, ammonia free wipe that I had on hand which I normally use with glasses, mobile devices, and monitors.

My caution, most of the videos and articles I researched, as to what to use on a camera's image sensor- indicated a special kit should be used to insure no damage is done to the sensor. The concern, a wipe that is too dry or soaked in a cleaner to abrasive- may damage the sensor.

Below, I provide some of the more popular cleaning solutions I found for use with a camera's image sensor.


Thursday, October 08, 2020

Homemade Enchilada Seasoning

Enchiladas are a favorite and I try to keep on hand, ingredients for this dish. My version of this entrée includes:

  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • McCormick Enchilada Seasoning Mix
  • Old El Paso Hot Enchilada Sauce
  • Onion
  • Green Pepper
  • Mission Super Soft Corn Tortillas
  • Colby Jack or Mild Cheddar Cheese
  • Sometimes I add extra tomato sauce and water

Over the summer, I discovered local markets could not keep the McCormick Enchilada Seasoning Mix I normally use with this dish, in stock. With the many restaurant closings, perhaps many found themselves in the kitchen trying new recipes.

I researched several options and found I liked this homemade recipe for Enchilada Seasoning.

I like mild banana peppers and Tabasco sauce with this dish.


Friday, September 18, 2020

WiredPages' New Database

Yesterday, I noticed the WiredPages "What's New" interface located in the lower right corner of the home page- showed nothing. The tool was a Java Servlet powered by Facebook, which accessed the Facebook WiredPages Notes page and provided the 3 most recent posts.

After a moment of research, I found, a Facebook app permission that I had requested in December 2017, had been revoked because of new policy changes for app developments.

When I first requested the Facebook app permission (Page Public Content Access), I thought I would be using the access to power an events interface I wanted to use with the WiredPages Style & Events page. Initially, Facebook allowed programmatic access to events associated with a page, however changed the policy.

Long story short, I used the app permission to access the notes of the WiredPages Facebook page and not the events-- and believe this is why the app permission was revoked.

The initial app permission request- provided a video and details explaining the events tool I wanted to create, and not the What's New interface I eventually created using the app permission.

Yesterday, when I discovered the issue, I thought about my options for a moment and decided to create a new database which would power a new Java JDBC Servlet. Factors in this decision process:

  • The original servlet was a little slow, accessing the Facebook data pool the most likely cause.
  • I have several tools accessing the WiredPages Facebook page, and when I added a new note, I had to insure the real estate plugin also powered by the Facebook page, was not affected.
  • Honestly, tired of worrying about policy changes.

I developed the Java JDBC Servlet and database in local mode and then ported everything to hosting-q.com (around 7pm last night), where I maintain most of the tools associated with WiredPages.

A couple of minor glitches installing the new database and servlet on the live site, however happy to report everything is working again.


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Image Update...

Folks in my area are allowing their hair, to take on beautiful shades of gray. I wish my coloring allowed me to consider this option.

Over the weekend I did my hair...

I was watching a review of the Dyson Airwrap Complete Styler for Multiple Hair Types and noted the total time- the young lady took to achieve her blowout.

I set my hair at night. It takes about 40 minutes. I use a very hot Conair 1" Curling Iron and then set each curl in a soft roller for overnight wear. I use an ISOPlus conditioner on the ends, just before winding each section of hair on the curling iron. My hair is deceptively full (lot thinner than it looks).

Why does it take so long? To achieve longer lasting curls-- each curl (16 total), has to stay wound on the curling iron for an 80 count. Eighty seconds? No, just an 80 count which is probably less than 80 seconds.

Do I take my hair out every day? No. Do I use weaves or other sources of hair? No. I keep my hair straighter, by using a blow dryer and curling iron to take out most of the natural wave.

I wanted to snap new photos for Linkedin and other business services I use, however I am not sure I want to use the photos shown here. They are screen grabs from my Android as taken by my Canon EOS M50 (see info in the blog header) using the portrait setting and the two second timer. The hair length for a business photo- the problem? No. My conservative earrings are overshadowed and I am not sure why.



Monday, September 07, 2020

Apache Tomcat

In 2009, I switched from a shared to a private Tomcat jsp hosting plan for use with qisoftware.com.

What is Tomcat?

Apache Tomcat is a long-lived, open source Java servlet container that implements several core Java enterprise specs, namely the Java Servlet, JavaServer Pages (JSP), and WebSockets.

The switch [on qisoftware.com's servers] enabled me to restart my private Tomcat service whenever the need arose.

The switch for hosting-q.com, where I maintain most of my Java Servlets, occurred in October 2018.

When I started using private Tomcat services, I only needed to be able to restart Tomcat so updates to the web.xml file and new Java .class files were recognized.

This to say, that if I ever had a problem with either shared or private Tomcat services-- I simply decided my web hosting providers should research and fix the problem.

In October 2018, a newer Tomcat private service was established on hosting-q.com, for which (quite frankly), I had to do a bit of research- to have it work correctly. Last week, I forgot I had to do this. Yes (even then), I tried asking the web hosting provider to resolve some of the issues, however now I realize, they feel if you ask for a private Tomcat hosting plan, then you know how to run a private Tomcat service.

Last Wednesday (September 2, 2020), when I okayed the update for the current Java JDK version 1.6, the web hosts also indicated they would update both Tomcat to version- 8 (8.5) and the Java JDK to 1.8. When this happened, the site dropped almost immediately.

Java JDK 1.8 is considered a must have to handle today's SSL issues, and since I have been developing in that environment (JDK 1.8) since December 2019, I knew it was a must have for qisoftware.com servers.

Preliminary tests showed, I could not even install a simple Java JDK 1.8 test servlet on qisoftware.com servers without dropping the entire site (keep in mind when you use a private Tomcat service the Apache Tomcat server is used to run the entire site).

The other issue, for the last year or so, I have been migrating new tools, or updates of existing tools to hosting-q.com because qisoftware.com's versions of Java and Tomcat simply could not handle the new interfaces.

Two weeks ago, when hosting-q.com experienced an overload, I knew I had to do something about qisoftware.com- to assist in the efficient distribution and deployment of Java class files, between the two sites.

I had errands to run Wednesday (September 2, 2020) morning, and knew before I left- I had a lot of problems. When I returned, I was able to figure out how to map qisoftware.com and reginadenisethomas.com to the new Apache Tomcat Server.

By the end of Wednesday evening, I had the following sub-domains mapped.

  • forums.qisoftware.com
  • personal.qisoftware.com
  • remix.qisoftware.com
  • wiredpages.qisoftware.com

I probably should not admit to this, however here goes. While trying to get the sub-domains mapped, I inadvertently deleted all of the files in most of the sub-domains, reginadenisethomas.com and the rest of the lower directories under the main level.

No problem- remix.qisoftware.com and personal.qisoftware.com are Thingamablogs so I simply ran the local software and reinstalled each blog (personal.qisoftware.com took over nine hours to reinstall on a Verizon FiOS network-- think we are sharing some of our throughput with neighbors).

As requested two days before (August 31, 2020) by my web hosting providers, I made a backup of the entire site (oddly enough, Tomcat & WiredPages directories were missing), so it was easy to use a secure copy command to replace the deleted directory structures.



Other issues I had to resolve:

cgiemail-- though the cgi-bin directory appeared to be mapped, the MIT Form to Email application I have used since 2004 or so, simply would not work. Created a PHP Form-to-email Function to handle qisoftware.com/contact.html and wiredpages.qisoftware.com/busdir/SubmitListing.html.

index.php not recognized for forums.qisoftware.com. The following command set did work for 10 minutes and then suddenly dropped the Tomcat Server.

Had to come up with another way, which I am not happy about.

Continuing to look at this problem.

All of this to say, at this time, qblog.qisoftware.com (Q's Wire, MySQL Database uncorrupted) and blog.qisoftware.com (original Business Blog) are not installed. Very easy to use the secure copy command to load these sub-domains and the associated directory trees. I am simply weighing the options.

Did you want to ask if you should use Java Servlet Technology or use someone like me to develop custom tools? Yes. Most big sites use Java technology. It is more secure and executes faster than most scripting languages. Smaller sites can use a shared Tomcat environment. Developers like me-- need the Private Tomcat Server.




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