State legislature websites, compared

Having recently spent some time with OpenStates data, I noticed the state government websites varied … a lot. Wanting to quantify this variation, I used the SSL Labs scanner, Lighthouse, and some Ruby scripts to compare the 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico’s legislature’s websites. The table below covers usability (is the hostname flexible), security …

Installing and updating Creative Suite 6

After upgrading from Mojave to Catalina and Big Sur, Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design Standard no longer worked (despite Illustrator and Photoshop being 64-bit apps). Not wanting to spend $60/month for occasional use, running these under Mojave in a VM was my next-best option. After repeatedly running into an error using a VirtualBox setup script, …

Updating a ThinkPad z60t

I recently refurbished an old IBM ThinkPad z60t to make it usable and suitable for donation. This involved two areas of work: Installing Linux Upgrading the firmware Upgrading the firmware The ThinkPad has two different firmware upgrades: BIOS Embedded Controller ThinkWiki’s list is pretty comprehensive, and pointed me to BIOS 1.24 and EC 1.18. Because …

Cosmo’s power pancakes, metric edition

I’m a huge fan of Carla Lalli’s Music’s pancakes (aka Bin It to Win It Pancakes aka Cosmo’s Power Pancakes). We make them a bunch, and have fed them to appreciative family and friends. Carla initially shared the recipe in a Bon Appetit video from April 2017. The recipe was approcumented by a sketchy recipe …

HOWTO move WordPress from MyISAM to InnoDB

When importing an old WordPress database, it may have tables in MyISAM. You can convert them to InndoDB in MySQL like so: If you run into errors like this: It’s because of the SQL mode. You need to remove NO_ZERO_DATE from the mode. First, see what SQL mode you have set: Then, set it to …

Password rotation is dumb

Many organizations have policies requiring you to change your passwords every 90 days. These policies are dumb, and make security worse. The following material should help you fight back against this nonsense. You don’t have to believe Paul Schreiber, but you should believe NIST, the FTC and the UK’s NSCS. NIST In 2016, the National …