Busy Bee

Busy Bee

One of my hobbies, like many others, is photography.  This last week I busted out my 50MM and started taking some photos.  This was one of my better captures.  The bee is about as spot on as it can be.  You’ll probably start to see some more of my photography up here.  All photos copyright me, Christian Dorr!

How to survive the VOBFUS worm/virus

Friday April 19th 2013 was not like any other Friday.  My Fridays at work are usually fairly low key.  It’s usually when I can get caught up and just make sure everything is in order heading into the weekend.  However at about 9 am all hell broke lose.

It started with a user coming and talking to my fellow systems administrator saying that her network drives weren’t working.  He took a look and thought it was a piece of malware.  I soon got a call after that.  It was at this point that we realized something, besides malware, was doing damage and we called in reinforcements.  By 10 AM we’d shut down our network and shut down most of the non-vital computers.  It was touch and go the rest of the day, but in the end we got the paper out the door and were a little worse for wear.

So here’s how you survive VOBFUS.

  • – Lots of caffeine.  We put in 20 hours on Friday, 8 on Saturday and a lowly 4 on Sunday only to begin the work week on Monday.  The most I’ve worked on any day and most of it was on adrenaline. A little over one week later and I’m now just starting to feel normal.  
  • – Shut your network down.  This actually may not help you now but the iteration we had would contact it’s ‘mothership’ and get new variations or other pieces.  
  • – Look for other antivirus providers and see if they have a solution.  This site, VirusTotal.com, is a great resource to see what you have and who has a patch out for it.  The only problem is that green does not mean they have a solution.  
  • – Educate your users.  I think this will help a bit, but in the end people who are writing virus/worms are probably not going to be easily detected.  They’ve become great at social engineering through e-mail, websites and other stuff.  This worm by the way comes in through websites, e-mail and external devices (hard drives, flash drives etc)
  • – Lastly to NOT catch VOBFUS just disconnect your computer from the internet!!!  It’s only going to get worse as more and more people rely on the internet for everything.  

Hopefully this week I can get some more information on PyroCMS.


Laravel 4 Information

These blog’s were recommended to me yesterday when I was looking for some beginner information on Laravel 4.  I haven’t read through all of them just yet, but they might help some of you on your way to Laravel 4. There is of course the documentation, here, but for someone that requires some baby steps, it was a step or 2 above what I was looking for.

As I’ve been posting a lot about PyroCMS on here you might be wondering why I’m looking at Laravel. Well in a couple of versions CodeIgniter will be replaced with Laravel 4.  I’m not sure what the process will be for developing with it, but the more that you know on Laravel 4, the better off you’ll be when this switch happens.

Happy coding.


PyroCMS Theme Creation: Must create blog templates

If you are creating a new theme for PyroCMS to sell or to keep for yourself here’s something to keep in mind.  By default Pyro comes with a blog ready to use and a contact page.  The contact page will use your default template, however the blog will not. You will need to modify/create templates for the blog.  This is documented here, but I’ll cover it anyways.

  • In your theme create a modules folder inside of views and then create a blog folder.  So you end up with something that looks like this.
  • Inside of that blog folder you’ll put the four files that are required for the blog.  Those 4 files are:

I think I’ve mentioned on here in a previous post that I’ve been in and out of PyroCMS a few times.  This site first existed as a PyroCMS site.  I had a few extra dollars in my PayPal account and I found a theme that I liked so I bought it.  Got it setup and was ready to roll. But wait.  It didn’t have a blog theme.  I had to set that up.  I mucked around with it for a bit and then decided I’d be best moving this site to WordPress.  So if you are a theme developer I’d encourage you to setup a blog template.  I don’t believe most people will be buying your theme for the blog stuff, but there’s a chance.  I feel like you should cover all of your bases with what is installed by default.  Additionally don’t make your users do any extra work. Do as much work for them as possible.

Open Source Projects and Help!

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time in the various PyroCMS places that one can receive help.  I’m hoping to learn something and hoping to be able to help someone else who might just be coming to the project. However I’ve noticed something the last couple of days.  I really should say I noticed someone.

I’m not sure how this person found PyroCMS, or even what their skill set is.  They apparently know some CodeIgniter and whomever directed them to CodeIgniter also passed them along to PyroCMS.  Their site currently is in WordPress and they want to convert it over to Pyro. I haven’t seen the full conversation, but what I have seen has seemed like the helpful members of the community were building the plugin and later on the module for them.  I think everyone tried to be polite and help them along.  We were all there, we remember it.  But when it seems like the community is building the module for you, you need to stop and take a few steps back and learn more about the project.  These type of people aren’t new.  I’ve seen them before and try and give them a nudge in the right direction.

If you’re new to an open source project, spend as much time as you can reading about the project. Hopefully the leads of the project do some blogging on the project, but if not I’m sure that you’ll find some people who blog about it. Set up a development environment and install the project.  Then start hacking.  I know people learn differently, but this is the best way to know and understand the project.  Documentation may be poor or it might not be in a format that you understand.  That’s fine.  Hopefully you can figure it out and perhaps at some point you can contribute to the documentation (this is what I’ve been doing a lot of!).

Before I sign off on this post. If there’s a topic you’d like me to talk about for PyroCMS feel free to let me know and I’ll do my best to cover it.  I’ve got somethings I want to do for covering PyroCMS, but a few things need to happen before those happen.

Happy Coding!

Colds are now a family affair

I’ve been absent the last week, maybe a bit longer, but it’s valid!  A few weeks ago my kid caught a cold.  Runny nose, cough, just not feeling good.  He picked up from a couple of kids that he stayed with.  Well at the start of last week, I started feeling allergy symptoms.  By Friday it was so much more than allergies and by Monday I had called into work and went to the emergency care clinic.  They said it was just a cold and I was $88 dollars poorer!

One of the things you may, or may not, think about in becoming a parent is the gunk that your child will carry with them.  They’ve got a much weaker immune system and try their darndest to fight it off, but sometimes they just can’t.  In rare cases, such as last week, they will pass it onto you.  And your wife two.  Which sucks but you find away to get through it and you move forward.

So that’s where I am.  I’m 90% over it and am moving forward.  I’ll probably be a bit low on PyroCMS posts this week, but we’ll see.


PyroCMS Module Development Tip: Config and Multiple Admin Files

Yesterday I was able to get some good solid development time in on a module that I’ve been hacking away on and I discovered a couple of things I think are worth pointing out to other PyroCMS developers. Both of these pertain to module development.

  • Use that config folder to create a CodeIgniter like config file.  Use this for items that you might be repeating over and over again. Pretty straight forward, but it’s not documented at this point.
  • It appears that if you are going to have more than one admin file,  you’ll have to setup some routes, which also reside in the config folder.  For instance your base admin file will be admin.php but if you need another file called admin_widgets.php you’ll have to setup a route similar to this in order for it to work (I’m unsure if there are other ways to accomplish this. I’m basing this off of what I saw in one of the other core modules).
$route['mymodule/admin/admin_widgets(/:any)?'] = 'admin_widgets.php$1';

For right now that’s all I got, but I’m sure I’ll come up with more as I get further into this module. Happy coding.

This was written when PyroCMS was on version 2.2 and was mostly CodeIgniter based.  

Thoughts on design/web development

I don’t know everything nor will I ever pretend to know everything. But one thing I can tell you is that mobile can’t be ignored.  If you are a web developer and a designer you can no longer mobile.

Awhile back when I was on one of my ‘fishing expeditions’ on PyroCMS (I am of course back into PyroCMS) I bought a theme.  It was cheap so I really shouldn’t have expected a whole lot.  But once I got it all unpacked and installed onto a site I was disappointed to see that there was no mobile setup (there was a whole bunch of other issues which led me to switching this site to WordPress).  In PyroCMS this is fairly easy.  You just setup a web folder, for those that are viewing on a web browser and you setup a mobile folder and it will load that for those who are viewing on a mobile device (web view is loaded for iPad’s as most of them have a better resolution than my 27″ monitor!).

So designers/developers if you are not putting thought about mobile, you need to be.  I’m working on a PyroCMS design and one of these things I will include out of the box is a mobile version.  It may not change the world, but most people spend more time on their mobile devices, so it’s worth it.