Oct
24
2008
0

WordPress Update to v2.6.3

Wordpress Upgrade

Wordpress Upgrade

Quick Update

or those of you keeping score at home, I’ve updated to WordPress v2.6.3 last night. 1  This version was released as a security fix.  Unlike other WordPress upgrades, this one took only a few seconds.

Less Quick Updates

Admittedly, prior updates probably only take about 10 minutes, max.  This 10 minutes includes roughly 9 minutes of backing the website and database up and 1 minute of actually uploading the new version.  Since the 9 minutes of backing up is essentially all processing/downloading time, there’s nothing for me to monitor which makes the whole process very painless.

Upcoming Updates

The kind folks over at WordPress have been hard at work on the version 2.72  If you scan through the above link, you’ll get to see what the new WordPress 2.7 control panel/dashboard is supposed to look like.

Best Thing About WordPress

(If you just can’t wait, skip down two paragraphs.)  Regular readers have heard me go on and on about the virtues of WordPress3  The interesting thing about new versions of WordPress is that any upgrades would be seamless to a website visitor. 4

A website that is easy to read is a function of the author

Website content is really all that matters to a website visitor.  Visitors don’t care about what software a website owner is using – just as long as the content is useful. 5

A website that is easy to write is a function of the program

The single best thing about WordPress is that this program makes maintaining a website a breeze.  I would recommend WordPress to absolutely anyone interested in creating a website.  For the novice, the program makes it easy to write, edit, and delete single pages or the entire website without any knowledge of programming.  For the tech-minded, the program makes it easy to install, upgrade, and personalize a website.

If you know a little PHP, MySQL, and javascript you could do some c-r-a-z-y things with WordPress. 678

  1. Talk about unnecessary decimal places. []
  2. I call them “kind” since a lot of these people are working for free. []
  3. You know, you three should really form some kind of support group for people who read unnecessarily nerdy and self-referential blogs. []
  4. I think its interesting, anyhow. []
  5. If they don’t care about what kind of software, they sure as heck don’t care its version 2.6.3. []
  6. You could even put together your own workers compensation calculators and EAMS search engines! []
  7. Am I going overboard with these footnotes? []
  8. The answer is “No, I’m not going overboard.”  In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, “You can never go too far.” []
Oct
23
2008
0

New Calculator Features!

Running Puppy

This puppy has nothing to do with this post whatsoever.

Last Friday I announced some “website tweaks.”  Since then a paid subscriber1 reiterated a feature request.2 As a paid subscriber, he is able to calculate an unlimited number of ratings so that they all show up on a single page.  Basically, he wanted to be able to see the dollar value for a particular permanent partial disability percentage at the same time as a rating.

This isn’t the first time I’ve wrestled with the problems in creating such a feature.  There are several problems with incorporating this feature into the calculator’s page.

  1. The rating calculator and the dollar value of permanent disability calculators cannot be open at the same time.
  2. The rating calculator does not require the date of injury, just the age of the injured worker.  Without the date of injury, the website cannot properly display the dollar value of a permanent partial disability percentage.
  3. When a paid subscriber has performed more than one rating calculation on a page, the website cannot decide which rating string to convert into the equivalent number of dollars.

This exact feature had been suggested by other users in the past.3  My original thinking was that trying to accommodate this feature request would involve too many unknown variables.  After giving the matter some more thought, here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • Paid subscribers benefit from improved print formatting. Basically, I’ve created a special file that changes the way the calculator page looks when a paid subscriber is printing. 4  Paid subscribers benefit from having the calculator page streamlined specifically for printing.
  • Paid subscribers can have more than one calculator open at a time. This one feature probably addresses 90% of this user’s concerns.  If you’re able to keep both calculators open at the same time, it should be easy to perform a rating and then turn the percentage into a dollar value.
  • Paid subscribers receive automatic calculations of dollar value of ratings. When a paid subscriber performs a rating calculation, the “Dollar Value of Permanent Disability” calculator automatically opens and the dollar value of the rating is automatically calculated.  The user will still have to adjust calculation to account for the year of the injury.  However, this is probably the most elegant solution to this issue.
  1. As opposed to a free subscriber []
  2. Thanks Marc! []
  3. And even some competitors!!! []
  4. The special file is actually just some CSS to optimize page for printing. []
Oct
22
2008
0

Road Warrior Checklist – Appearances

Mr. Road Warrior, Esq.

Road Warrior, Esq.

Appearances, whether for a hearing or deposition, require additional equipment, preparation, and forethought.  Here’s what I carry with me when I’m scheduled to appear.

  • Cell phone
    • Phone numbers for the office, destination, and client programmed in the day before.
    • Photocopier code programmed into the phone.
    • Includes calculator.1
    • Alarm.  When parking at a meter, set the phone’s alarm for 5 minutes before time expires.
  • GPS
    • Address and phone number of destination programmed in the day before.
  • Money
    • $5 is the bare minimum, in case I need to be across a bridge on short notice.
    • Quarters for parking.
    • Bills for photocopies.
    • Copy cards.
      • Every time I use a copy card, I write the date and amount remaining on it in permanent ink.
  • BART tickets
    • I consider $5 a minimum, in case I need to be in S.F. on short notice.
  • Dictaphone
    • Extra batteries.
  • Leather bound folder
    • Legal pad
    • PD chart
    • Mini-rating manual for 1997 and 20052
  • Settlement documents.
    • You never know when a case might unexpectedly settle.
  • Record release forms.
    • You never know when a settlement might fall through.
  • Backpack

Previous “Road Warrior Checklists”:

  1. Since workers’ compensation is really just math. []
  2. I’ve created my own “mini-rating” manual.  Its basically comprised of excerpts from the 1997 and 2005 manuals.  Carrying this obviates the need for the 100+ page manuals. []
Oct
21
2008
0

How to Fix the Remote Desktop Licensing Error

For some reason MS Remote Desktop refuses to work intermittently.  Every 90 days, to be precise.  Like clockwork.1

Among the myriad of incompatibilities between Microsoft’s various products and operating systems is the mind bending error thrown by Remote Desktop.  Remote Desktop should work between any version of Windows starting with XP.  Even when using full versions of MS operating systems, you will likely still get this error:

The remote computer disconnected the session because of an error in licensing protocol.

89 days and counting...

89 days and counting...

There are two reasonable ways around this.

  • First, if you’re not an advanced Windows user, you should really try TightVNC.  Its small, free, open source, uses very little bandwidth, and is easy to install and use.  It will do probably 90% of everything Remote Desktop will do.  As a bonus, you won’t have to monkey with it every 90 days.
  • Second, if you are an advanced Windows user and are comfortable using Regedit, there is another option.  If you’ve never heard of Regedit, you really really should not use this option.  If your Windows registry settings get fouled up, and it is incredibly easy to do, you can kiss your Windows install goodbye.  In any case, the solution is to go to, “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MSLicensing” and delete everything under that heading.  The only downside is that this must be performed every 90 days.

FYI, this second ridiculous work around is from the official MicroSoft website!  You’d think that if your product stopped working every 90 days you’d, you know, try to fix it.  Instead their game plan is to actually suggest users delete vital parts of the operating system.

For what its worth, I use a combination of the two solutions.  I fire up Regedit every 90 days so I can use Remote Desktop and I use TightVNC when I can.

  1. Photo courtesy of Laffy4k []
Oct
20
2008
1

200th Registered User!

It was not very long ago I announced 100 registered users for this site.  Today there are more than 200 registered users of this website.1  Since that time:

Pass Go, Collect 200

Pass Go, Collect 200

Wikipedia has this to say about the number 200:

  • 200 MeV is the temperature of quark-gluon plasma phase transition. 4
  • An HTTP status code indicating a successful connection.
  • The sum of dollars given in the classical Monopoly game to a player passing Go.
  1. Photo courtesy of Mark Strozier. []
  2. Scroll down about halfway to see the list of new calculators. []
  3. As long as the economy and presidential election keeps giving me material, I’m not afraid of writer’s block. []
  4. Of course it is… []

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