Sep 28

I got to meet the Montreal Canadians today

Sometimes this job has its benefits! I have been helping out our local TeenRanch with network and internet setup for about 6 years, I usually get calls late at night asking me to come in and fix up the internet for a visiting group. Last night I was asked to come in and set up for the Montreal Canadians, so today I had the pleasure of meeting many of the coaching staff and players while I set up their computers and repaired the bridge connection.

Today I will also have the pleasure of having lunch with the team members (while I fix up their computers of course) so even if I am not a Canadians die hard, its certainly a privilege to be able to get so close to such sporting icons! I am sure there are lots of people who wish they were in my shoes, well today at least!

Chris…

Sep 28

Is Zend for i5 Really Free?

I am not sure why this question is not solved but I have been corresponding with an IBM ‘i’ user who Zend is telling that Zend Core for i5 is only free for the first year? Has anyone else been approached with this same information?

The user has been trying to get a definitive answer since a sales rep from Zend contacted them stating they needed to purchase Zend Core for their system after a one year free trial? Here is the information which was send to the user
[QUOTE]
“We can install Zend Core for i5 and all nine developers can use Zend Studio for i5 and we can continue to utilize these products free of charge for one year and one year only. When the first, free year concludes, in order to continue using the Zend products, we will need to purchase…” [/QUOTE]

The user has requested a response from Jim Dillard at Zend who it appears confirmed that they would in fact have to pay for Zend Core?

We have been using Zend Core on our systems now for over 3 years with no indication that we would have to pay for the product? Is this a recent ruling or has anyone else been informed that they also need to pay for Zend Core for i5?

Chris…

Sep 23

5733SC1 downloads

Due to some issues with open downloads and allowing users to register without sanctioning them first, we have had to remove the download capabilities from everyone who is not a registered user. We have also added the downloads to our members pages on the main website. Both instances require you to register before you can download.

Sorry for the inconvenience but some spoil it for everyone else!

Chris…

Sep 10

Small issue with C function atoi()

We have found a small feature with the atoi() function in ‘C’. When we created a function to zero left fill a string field we found that it worked sometimes and failed others.

The code we started with…

short int tmpid;
char JobInf[6] = "123";
char NewId[6];
char zf[7];
memset(zf,'\0',7);
memcpy(zf,JobInf,6);
tmpid = atoi(zf);
sprintf(NewId,"%.6d",tmpid);
printf("%.6s\n",NewId);

At first we saw the correct output 000123 but sometime it would output -00404, so we changed the tmpid parameter to an integer

int tmpid;
char JobInf[6] = "123";
char NewId[6];
char zf[7];
memset(zf,'\0',7);
memcpy(zf,JobInf,6);
tmpid = atoi(zf);
sprintf(NewId,"%.6d",tmpid);
printf("%.6s\n",NewId);

Now we get the right output 000123.

So the atoi() function requires an integer, a short integer is not acceptable..

Chris…

Sep 09

Yes we had been hacked!

After a long day of upgrading and analysis it appears we were in fact hacked due to a security problem in WordPress. The hackers were able to gain access by registering as a subscriber and then using http requests to open up some of the admin pages using a double slash in the request. This then allowed them to set up the permalinks problem. The theory is that eventually they would come back and wreak further havoc once they had gained access to certain settings in WordPress.

This has resulted in us taking the actions we have, we no longer allow anyone to register without us sanitizing their information, we have made all downloads and uploads restricted and have upgraded to the latest levels for all of our plugins and WordPress software. Hopefully that will be enough to stop further attacks using this loop hole. In future we will be upgrading as soon as a new level is available, no more hours of rebuilding and research if we can help it.

If you are running a Blog using WordPress I suggest you move up to the latest level 2.8.4 NOW, it is not affected by this problem.. It will save you a whole load of problems later.

Now we can get back to posting about what we love, the IBM ‘i’…..

Chris…

Sep 08

Need a download you need to register again

If you want to download any item from the Download page you will need to register with us! Due to a recent security issue we have also removed the ability to register immediately, so if you need one of the downloads you have to register and we have to put extra checks in place to ensure your information.

Sorry for the inconvenience, but we have been forced into this by a few mindless idiots!

Chris…

Sep 08

Thought we had been hacked?

I was posting a new entry when I noticed the permalinks in WordPress were different, I then went to view the post on the site and I could not see the post I had just published!

I looked through the web to see if it was something I should be aware of, I was surprised to find that a worm was spreading which would compromise my posts and comments by getting round the security of WordPress! I then found out that this was a known problem and I should upgrade immediately which I did. After some issues with my service providers interface we finally managed to get the new level installed and all of the plugin’s installed as well. Unfortunately I was still getting problems with the permalinks, every so often it would come back with a 404 not found error. The permalinks were still the same! I was thinking that I had not been able to eradicate the problem and would need to go through the entire upgrade process again, but everything I had read said the upgrade should resolve the issue? (I did all of the other things such as changing passwords and removing users who had administrator profiles)

After a bit of looking around I noticed that my permalinks setting had been changed to custom from the default? Setting the default now correctly shows all of the posts and comments correctly! I am not sure if the hack running in the wild has a derivative which just causes this problem but if you see the extended permalinks and your posts stop showing check out the permalinks settings..

I will keep an eye on the access to see if we start getting strange http requests and monitor for changes. If you think you have been compromised check out the following link, the scanner worked well on my system..

http://ocaoimh.ie/did-your-wordpress-site-get-hacked/

Sep 08

IManifest North America

OK just in case like me you didn’t know, we now have a North American iManifest. So if you are passionate about the IBM ‘i’ get off your backside and join the group. Better still start telling everyone else you know about it and tell them to join as well. If we as users and sellers of the platform do nothing no one else will…
Here is a link to the website dedicated to the project
OK just in case like me you didn’t know, we now have a North American iManifest. So if you are passionate about the IBM ‘i’ get off your backside and join the group. Better still start telling everyone else you know about it and tell them to join as well. If we as users and sellers of the platform do nothing no one else will…

iManifest-US

Chris…

Chris…

Sep 03

Problems generating PTF’s

We are using the software product API’s to generate our products as LPP’s and the PTF’s. We had a problem today when we created a PTF. The PTF installed without any problems on our system, but a customer said it refused to load! We looked at the problem closely and found it was refusing to load the PTF because it superseded the previous PTF. We thought OK well the PTF is installed and we simply want it to *APYPERM the previous PTF. Nothing worked, it wasn’t until we manually permanently applied the previous PTF that the second one would load then apply successfully!

That got us thinking, when we generated the PTF it was generated with the first PTF in a *PERM applied status, so we removed the LPP, re-installed and reloaded and applied the first PTF. We then generated the PTF again and when it applied it did what we expected and *PERM applied the first PTF as part of the load process. So if we generate a PTF using the IBM API’s with a previous PTF temporarily applied it recognizes the fact that because we have duplicate objects across the PTF’s this one is superseding the last one! When it installs it knows it has to permanently apply the first one before it loads the new objects. Why it doesn’t recognize it when the previous PTF is permanently applied is strange!

A bad side effect of this is the exit program from the first PTF is now run when you apply the second PTF (I suppose nothing is perfect!) not that is has any significant issues but some actions do cause the exit program to end abnormally (Trying to create logical files that already exist) so we should encourage all of our customers to apply the initial PTF’s permanently before loading subsequent ones.

Chris…