Back to WordPress

I’ve moved my site back to WordPress from Drupal.  I’m just more comfortable developing for WordPress, which means I can make some cool plugins and such.  Also, I can update posts from my phone so maybe I’ll be able to update more than once a century….

Overhaul the US Patent System

This is but the latest in on-going show of fighting with lawyers instead of features.  And to make it perfectly clear, while this example is specifically about Apple, they’re not the only ones at fault.

I really don’t understand how an injuction can be issued for a unified search interface…  Search engines have been around since the 90′s.  They unify results from multiple websites (databases) in one concise list.  Not only that, but how anyone can say that a unified search interface is a core feature of a smartphone and, if sold, would stifle sales of another smartphone is just baffling.

The patent system is just broken.  Completely, utterly, broken.

Starting Virtualbox VM’s in headless mode before user login

I have two virtualmachines that I need to start automatically, preferably without a window taking up space in my taskbar, when my computer starts up.  One runs FreePBX, the other is a web host for my development sites.  Virtualbox takes care of the headless aspect with vboxheadless.exe, but how do you get that to start automatically on computer boot?

First, download HSTART.  This is a small executable that allows a program to be started and run in the background.  You can get it at – extract the downloaded files to C:\Program Files\HSTART

Then, create a new directory to hold your startup script.  I put mine at C:\Startup

Paste the following into a batch file in the startup folder:

"C:\Program Files\HSTART\hstart64.exe" /NOCONSOLE /SILENT "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\vboxheadless.exe --startvm "Debian Dev Hosting""
"C:\Program Files\HSTART\hstart64.exe" /NOCONSOLE /SILENT "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\vboxheadless.exe --startvm "FreePBX""

Modify the VM names, and add as many lines as you want.

Next, click on Start -> Right click on Computer -> Select Manage.  Go to the Scheduled Tasks, and hit the Create Task… action.  Configure the task as follows:

  • General
    • Name: Whatever you wish to name this task
    • Change User or Group:  Click this button, and search for Administrators.  This should add the BUILTIN\Administrators group
    • Run with highest privileges: Select this checkbox
  • Triggers
    • Click new, and change the Begin the task: dropdown to read At Startup
  • Actions
    • Click new
      • Action:  Change this dropdown to read Start a program
      • Program/Script:  Insert the path to the batch file you created
  • Conditions
    • Modify these options as needed.  I didn’t change anything here
  • Settings
    • Make sure the following options are selected:
      • Allow task to be run on demand
      • If the running task does not end when requested, force it to stop

Click ok.  Now, under Task Schedular you should see a Task Scheduler Library – click that, right click on your Start Virtual Machine task, and select Run.

I’ve found that this will *not* show the machines as running in the Virtualbox gui – likely because they are not running under the current user.  To validate they are running, either look in your task manager for the vboxheadless.exe processes, or attempt to log in to your machines via SSH/RDP/Any other enabled remote protocol (after giving the VM ample time to boot that is.)


New Rig

I’ve taken the plunge and pieced together my new rig for business/gaming:

Case: Corsair Obsidian 800D
Motherboard: EVGA Z68 SLI
Processor:  Intel Core i7 2600k
Ram: 16GB Corsair Vengeance (4 x 4 GB) DDR3 1600 MHz
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 650AX
Video: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 1024MB
Monitor: Dual Asus VS247H-P

I eventually plan on either getting another 560 for SLI, or dropping it to a PHYSX card and getting two better cards for SLI.  Also want to raid my system storage across 2 SSD’s, and watercool as well.

Pics to come soon.

Automatically creating working directory and remote github repo

After migrating to github and cleaning up my local dev environment, I wanted to automate creation of new projects as much as possible. is a bash function I added (actually, it’s two) to help me automate some of the process.

The first function in that gist is newproject. First, it creates the repo using the github API. It then creates both a public directory where the local repo is initialized, and also a second, testing directory that I use to actually test the code from so that I can keep passwords and such.

In order to keep these two directories in sync, I also use the cptest function to rsync between the two (This is the second function).

newproject then initiates the local repo, links it to remote, adds a README file and pushes it to remote to ensure the repo works.

This is saving me a lot of time in converting my old projects and cleaning up my dev environment.