jQuery 1.11.3 & DataTables

Last night I finished up some final touches on a plugin that I have been working on for my WordPress website.  Working on my local development server, everything looked and worked great!  So, I fired up FileZilla and uploaded the plugin to my production server.  I ran it through a test and found it didn’t work the way I expected it to.  Hmmmm.

The portion of the plugin in question was using Ajax to get a text file and display it’s contents in a jQuery DataTables.  On my production server, using Chrome’s debug console, I could see my code was producing the following error;

Uncaught TypeError: Cannot use ‘in’ operator to search for ‘length’ in


A few minutes of Google searching led me to this post on StackOverflow, which ultimately helped me solve the issue.  The issue presents itself when using jQuery version 1.11.3 and the DataTables extension version 1.10.6.  With a little digging, it was easy to find out why this issue presented itself on one site and not another.  My development site is on WordPress 4.2 and my production site is on WordPress 4.3.  The difference is the jQuery version loaded by the WordPress core (versions 1.11.2 and 1.11.3 respectively).

Now, the decision is to downgrade jQuery to 1.11.2 in the WordPress core (which is NEVER a good idea), or look at changing versions of DataTables.  According to the SO post linked above, DataTables versions 1.10.7 and 1.10.8-dev did not fix the issue for one commenter using jQuery 1.11.3, while the 1.10.7 update resolved the issue for another commenter who was using jQuery 2.1.4.  Luckily,  DataTables version 1.10.9 has been out since September 2015, which resolved the issue for me, using jQuery version 1.11.3 (WordPress 4.3 core).


The frustrations of Linux (UPDATED)

If Linux really wants to see itself installed on the average Joe’s home computer, it HAS to be better than it’s counter-part, Windows. As an OS (Operating System), it IS — it’s light-years ahead of the Windows architecture, IMHO. However, there is a side to Linux that is SERIOUSLY lacking — error and system messages — they SUCK large.

Now, I don’t claim to be a super-user, but I do my fair share of computing — from websites, to blogging, to programming, to just plain old web-surfing — I’ve used my fair share of computers, right on up from the TRS-80. Accordingly, I am not in the “{whatever} For Dummies” category either. I’m “above average”, as far as the general public would be concerned, simply because of the time I spend on computers. I’ve seen my share of error messages, let me tell you. So, if I’m complaining about them not being descriptive/helpful, what do you think the general public is seeing?

On to the problem…

Read more The frustrations of Linux (UPDATED)

Banned IP Blocks (UPDATED)

Well, today I simply got tired of wading through the crap posted by Russian guests — so I’ve blocked the entire country. While I was at it, I’ve also blocked Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia & Estonia.

Turkish universities, web hosts and Turk Telekom customers – scammers, spammers, phishing websites and server script exploiters have been blocked.

Read more Banned IP Blocks (UPDATED)

Junebug USB PIC Laboratory

Well, I thought I’d start an Electronics section on my little blog, for those of you interested in electronics as a hobby, or just wish to read a little about embedded devices, such as the PIC Microcontroller, to gain a little insight as to how they work. So, with the need to start somewhere, let’s start off by taking a look at the Junebug  USB PIC Laboratory programmer and debugger (ICD – In Circuit Debugger), from BlueRoomElectronics.com.

Junebug Programmer & TutorClick the image for a full size view

Read more Junebug USB PIC Laboratory

Oh Brother!

Brother_PPF-1820Just this past Thursday I was waiting on a fax to come through with a BOL (Bill Of Lading) for a package that I needed to get shipped out ASAP. I got a call back from the trucking company dispatcher that she was getting “no” as a reply to their faxes. “No”, I asked? “That’s what it replies with”, she said. Well, I was about 1/2 hour away and was on my way back, so I told her I’d check it out and get back to her.

Upon my arrival to my shop, I looked at the fax machine — a Brother Intellifax 1820C — it said “Machine Error – Code 41 — Unplug machine and call Brother”. So, I unplugged the machine and let it sit for about 10 minutes and plugged it back in — with the same results.

That’s when I hit Google up for some answers. A simple search for “Machine Error Code 41” produced all the answers I needed. The error is caused by the printhead — which is not sensing a quick enough voltage change during it’s initialization. A real quick explanation of it is, the machine uses voltage to heat the ink to the proper temperature before/as it is “sprayed” through the ink jets — if that doesn’t happen, the ink doesn’t flow properly.

Read more Oh Brother!

The FizzBuzz Test

I was stunned when I read that 199 out of 200 programmers can’t program — and I’m not speaking figuratively — they can’t write a single line of code.

This fact intrigued me, so I Google for more information on it. That is when I ran into the FizzBuzz Test. Basically, the test is as follows;

Write a program that prints the numbers from 1 to 100. But for multiples of three print “Fizz” instead of the number and for the multiples of five print “Buzz”. For numbers which are multiples of both three and five print “FizzBuzz”.

Read more The FizzBuzz Test

The power of Linux

I have been an Ubuntu Desktop user for almost two months now, so let me update you a bit.

About a week ago, I made a HUGE mistake when running the command line as root (I can just imagine some of you grinning already). No, I was not using the rm command! That has to be the first line in every Linux book you read — WARNING!!! Then an example of wiping out your system with the rm command.

The ‘mistake’ I made, was not actually done on purpose — it was kind of a ‘wrong place, wrong time’ thing — let me explain. I was in the middle of copying some files to a new, shared directory that I setup to share with my LAN. This is when I had to ‘chown’ (CHange OWNership) the copied files — I started to type the command

sudo chown -R langroup:langroup /

when I was interrupted. Can you see it? The FULL command was going to be

sudo chown -R langroup:langroup /home/lan-shared

as I only wanted to change the ownership on that directory and it’s recursive directories (hence the -R option). But I turned around, after my interruption, and hit the enter key without completing the command.

I still wasn’t aware of what I did — it took about 4 or 5 seconds before I looked at the screen and saw it. Then, I realized what I had done! I had, inadvertently, issued a command, as root (sudo) to change the ownership (chown) of directories and files, recursively (-R), to the ‘langroup’ user and group (langroup:langroup), starting from the ROOT directory (/). Obviously, this is NOT what I wanted. 🙁

I quickly escaped the command (Ctrl-c), but it was waaaaay too late. Almost every directory and file on my system was now owned by ‘langroup’ — you can only imagine the havoc that wreaked.

It took quite a long time to get sorted out — I actually gave up on trying to save the system, but I wanted my files! The short and sweet of the recovery process was to boot the LiveCD in another machine and look at the directory structure and, more importantly, the ownership of the directories/files. From there, boot the machine I was having problems with from the LiveCD and get into recovery mode (ie. the command line — or ‘shell’). There you are root and can start changing ownership to what they should be — therein lies the time. Oh, my goal was simply to get network connectivity back so I could transfer my files. Or even get my CD writer back! Something to allow me to get my files. I ended up achieving network connectivity and was able to get my files.

I will now offer you a tip that would have saved my bacon, had I known it at the time. When installing Linux (any flavor) set yourself up a separate partition for your /home directory. Why? Simply because if you set it up in that manner, you save all your files to a separate partition on your hard drive. In the event of a serious problem, such as I have outlined above, you can simply reinstall the OS without touching (ie. without formatting) the /home partition. As an added bonus, you can install a newer version of the OS (say, for example, when Ubuntu Fiesty 7.x is released) as a clean install, and not an upgrade, if you so desire. The structure would be like so (keep in mind, this is for a single boot, Linux only machine — do a Google search if you need dual boot instructions);

Example — you have an 80G drive.

/ (root) ext3 — 10G
/home ext3 — 69G
/swap linux-swap — 1G

10G is plenty for the OS, and the 1G swap can be altered to your needs (depending on the amount of memory you have, etc.), but is a good base. Assign the majority of your drive to your home directory, as this is where the majority of files will be stored. Now, if you ever have to reinstall, you can choose NOT to format the /home partition and your data will be intact upon completion of the install.

This problem actually worked out better for me, in the long run — here’s why;

I initially installed Ubuntu on a P3 machine, and not one of my better ones, simply because I was testing the OS and didn’t know if I’d like it, or stick with it. I quickly found that I did like it, used it the most, and wished I had put it on a better machine. Part two of that is that I also wanted to install Beryl (a Linux Theme Manager — all kinds of cool stuff that’ll give any Vista user a run for their money!), but it just didn’t like the older hardware (especially the ATI video card!) and wouldn’t run.

Well, seeing that I now had to reinstall Ubuntu, now was the perfect time! Instead of reinstalling Ubuntu on that machine, I threw Window$ XP back on it as I still, unfortunately, need a Windows machine (no, I haven’t tried ‘Wine‘… yet!). From there, I copied all the files over from my current XP machine and then installed Ubuntu on that machine — a P4 3.2GHz dual core machine with 2G of ram, 2 x 200G SATA drives, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I’m happy to announce that Beryl installed without a hitch — and man, IS IT SWEET! Do a search for ‘Beryl’ over at YouTube.com — there are a bunch of videos there demonstrating Ubuntu & Beryl.

The moral to this post? The ‘chown’ command can be just as dangerous as the ‘rm’ command, if you’re not careful! 😉

Your supposed to clean them?

A recent post reminded me of an experience I had.

I recently had problems with my ASUS L3500H laptop, where it would turn itself off at (seemingly) random times. The first time or two I simply wrote it off as a software conflict, but it wasn’t long before it was happening regularly — which had me concerned. My initial thought was that I had a virus. I ran check after check (including online scans and other, downloadable, A/V programs from the web — not to mention Spyware, Adware and any other scanner I could think of), which produced nothing.

Hmmm… so, I start Googling various phrases regarding my problem to see if anyone else is having the same problem. It took a little digging, and a bunch of search term modifications, before I found what I was looking for. I don’t have the link to where I actually found this information as it was a couple of months ago now… sorry! Don’t worry, though — that’s what this post is all about! 😉

What I found was a post that talked about various laptops turning themselves off at random times, just like mine! So far, so good — what’s the cause, I wondered, as I read on. As the cause of all my problems revealed itself, I couldn’t believe what I was reading — it seems that all my problems were caused by me! Well, not physically by me, but simply due to my lack of attention to the cleaning of my machine.

Cleaning? You’re supposed to clean them? 🙂

Yup, especially if you have cats!

Upon removal of the cover from my laptop, it was evident this was the problem. Dust Bunnies running wild everywhere — attacking my CPU, RAM and HD! I quickly grabbed for my can of compressed air and started blasting Bunnies (if I could only make some Star Trek type phaser sounds)!

Sorry, got a little excited there! Actually, I did something prior to blasting those nasty Bunnies… I downloaded and installed a program called SpeedFan. Upon running SpeedFan, I recorded all of my current temperatures, shut down my machine and then started blasting Bunnies. It only took about 10 minutes with the compressed air and a small paint brush to clean it up.

Well, here comes the real tell-tale — I fired it up, ran SpeedFan again and checked my temps. Amazing! The temperature was 30 degrees cooler on my CPU! In fact, all temperatures were lower across the board.

I would like to point out that it is not an ASUS problem, nor is it related to any particular manufacturer. I found that this is related to the XP operating system, and is why I didn’t notice the problem until after I wiped out 2K and installed XP (yeah, I know… and that’s why I’ve recently switched to Linux!).

I also noted that these, seemingly, random turn offs were not random at all. The problem is directly related to the temperature of the CPU. The temperature of the CPU goes up under heavy loads, such as virus scanning, which is when I noticed the problem the most. The more the CPU is used, the more heat is generated. Once the “critical” temperature has been reached, the OS will turn off the computer in an effort to avoid physical damage.

I am happy to report that my laptop has been running smoothly ever since the cleaning. I have also gotten into the habit of taking off the covers from all my machines, on a monthly basis, and blowing them out with compressed air! I hope this post has inspired you to clean out those Dust Bunnies as well! 🙂

NOTE: Please be very careful when using compressed air around the CPU, RAM and Motherboard! Compressed air is in a liquid form inside the can — holding it upside-down, or at odd angles can result in liquid being disbursed from the nozzle. This liquid is EXTREMELY cold and can freeze your CPU, RAM and/or other chips on your Motherboard instantly, rendering them useless!

TJX Cos. — computers hacked

Sure, right after I buy a bunch of stuff at HomeSense during the Christmas Season of ’06! 🙁

CBC News – Canadian Press;

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) – The operator of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls discount stores in the United States and the Winners and HomeSense chains in Canada said Wednesday its computer systems were hacked late last year and customer data has been stolen.

TJX Cos. said the full extent of the intrusion is not yet known, but it is conducting a full investigation.

The hackers broke into a system that handles credit and debit card transactions, as well as cheques and merchandise returns for customers in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada and may also involve customers of T.K. Maxx stores in the U.K. and Ireland.

The break-in was discovered in mid-December, but was kept confidential upon the request of law enforcement officials.

TJX said it has hired General Dynamics Corp. and IBM Corp. to upgrade its security system.