Bit of a Hack Job

H4XXOR by technochick, on Flickr

Not many people probably got to see it, but my site was hacked for a few hours yesterday. Instead of this lovely bit of interweb, there was a ‘ha ha, you’ve been hacked’ page complete with animated .gifs, horrid background music and the haxxor’s MSN names. The music really was the worst bit.

I started right to work on sorting it out. With help from m’colleague Pat it was easy enough to sort out. He was able to break it down into steps for me which helped as I was a bit busying thinking ‘oh f%#k’.

My WordPress login didn’t work anymore, neither did my FTP account. Thankfully my cPanel login with my webhost did still work. Through this, I was able to change my FTP account and password. I FTP’d into my account and it looked like (as I sort of suspected) the index.php had been changed and not much else.

To be on the safe side, I downloaded my public_html folder. I grabbed a new key from WordPress for my config file. Then, downloaded a fresh copy of WordPress and uploaded all the files just to be on the safe side (and to have a clean new index.php). That sorted the front page so at least my site looked normal again and was completely free of music that heavily featured a poorly used vocoder.

Next stop, phpMyAdmin to grab a backup copy of the database. I checked the username table for WordPress and it had been changed (but they still left the display name as Andrea, lulz). Changed the email address and username on the account so I could use the I Forgot My Password option on the WordPress login page. Bingo, was able to log in again.

Let this be a lesson to me and everyone else to backup more often. Thankfully, once the initial panic was over, this was easy enough to fix.


Having A Little Read

I always thought the iPhone screen was too small to read an actual book on. Much like how I previously thought the screen on a Gameboy Micro was too small to be of any use or to be enjoyable. And just like the Gameboy Micro, I’m found I was wrong. I really should put away any preconceptions I have of small screens being too small.

Recently I’ve been wanting to revisit some of the Stephen King books that I read when I was in my teens. I kept an eye out for any used copies but no joy.  This past weekend I thought what the heck, I’ll download a few and maybe try reading one on my iPhone. I’ve had books on my iPhone before but never got more than a few pages in. I’m not sure if it’s what I was reading or the previously mentioned bias that the screen was too small. I loaded up my phone with Christine as that’s the one I remember the least about (other than it’s about a nerdy guy and his car).

Once I started reading I was hooked. And it was great as the ‘book’ as it were was always in my pocket no matter where I was. Don’t get me wrong, I still adore the form factor of the humblest of books. But it is incredibly handy to just slip your phone out of your pocket in a jam packed train rather than having to riffle through your bag to fetch out a paperback.

There’s loads of free books / ePubs you can get that will work with the iBooks app from Google Books and Project Gutenburg.

Exploration, You See

When I go to London I quite often end up doing a fair bit of walking.  Sometimes a lot of walking.  I tend to just wonder where ever looks interesting, or somewhere I haven’t been before or somewhere I want to see again.  With this, I can’t always exactly remember everywhere I’ve been.  Being a map nerd and an even bigger London affection-ado I like to keep track of these things.

A while ago I started looking into various bits of kit to log my steps.  I first started looking at Garmin eTrex personal navigators, then more simple GPS logging devices until coming around full circle and scoring an eTrex bargain on eBay about a month ago.  

There is a bit of a learning curve with getting it to work on a Mac.  First step was getting a USB cable for the eTrex.  Then finding a driver that will work with the unit on a Mac.  Then some software to get the data off of the device.  I found a piece of software called GPS Babel that works a charm.  It takes the data off the eTrex and will save it as any number of formats, including Google Earth .kml format.  Perfect!

Since then I’ve been messing around with logging and working with the data.  I took the eTrex to London on June 7th and again this past Saturday to track where I’ve been.  I have both routes in Google Earth and now have the .kml files saved online so I can view them in Google Maps and embed them into posts.  Neat eh!

Here’s my track from this past Saturday.

View Larger Map

You can spot times when I use the Tube or a bus to get from places as there’s just a long straight line going between the stops. This particular day I started out at Holborn Tube, walked from there to Embankment (popping into Sir John Soane’s Museum along the way).  Took the Tube from Embankment to Barbican.  From there walked to Farringdon, up to Kings Cross and continuing to Camden with a stop into Old St. Pancras church yard.  You can see the bus trip from Camden down to Waterloo where I had a walk around before taking the Tube to Bond Street.  There is where it looks like my batteries died.  That’s ok as there wasn’t much to log after that!

I’m going to keep playing with it and try out adding markers for start and end points and maybe some photos as well.

Have a look over at my Flickr page for photos from this trip.

Firefox 2.0h noes

Firefox 2.0 for OS X is pretty nice I must say. I’ve been using it instead of Camino since it came out, just to kick the tires, etc. There is one thing that really bugs me though and it happens at work and at home:


The roll-over menus have a bad habit of lingering around. The one pictured is still there. Sometimes with screen artifacts like that you can just switch windows or apps, or minimize and restore the window to get rid of it. Not these though. They’re even on screen no matter what app you are in, as long as Firefox is running and not hidden. You gotta relaunch the ‘Fox to get rid of them. Lets get that fixed up, eh chaps? In other news, Dragon Quest Sword for Wii is teh awesome.