Ruby Isn’t Too Bad

Posted by Nessa | Tags: , | Posted on May 2, 2007


I haven’t really had a whole time to play around with Ruby, but I managed to write a little script that I call boobs.rb.¬† It was my attempt to take advantage of Ruby’s ability to define your own functions. Maybe if I’m lucky I would be able to actually define my own bra size too.


def sayBoobs(name)
result = "Hey, " + name + " wears a size DD. \n "
return result

puts sayBoobs("Nessa")

This puts out something that looks like this:

PHP 5.2.1 is a Remote Include Hater

Posted by Nessa | Tags: | Posted on April 28, 2007


I found this out after troubleshooting a few sites a couple weeks ago. Unlike all other previous versions of PHP, with 5.2.1 you can no longer use a URL to include files, even if you have allow_url_fopen enabled in your php.ini.

Just a quickie about what an ‘include’ is, it’s a php function that lets you include the contents of a file into another. It usually takes the form of this:


This is a local include, and is usually the preferred method. A remote include is that of a URL:


Most people would agree that remote includes are a major security issue for novice coders who don’t have any kind of file validation in place to protect their scripts, but if you’re convinced that your code is down, you can add this line to your php.ini file to allow remote file includes:

allow_url_include On

Now, this directive did not exist until php 5.2.1 was released so Cpt. Obvious says that:

you cannot use it with versions prior to 5.2.1

2) You’ll need to add it to your php.ini, as you probably won’t find it in there already

3) allow_url_fopen has to be enabled

4) This has to be in the php.ini server-side, and not the .htaccess

If you’d like to know more about remote file inclusions (the bad kind), read my article.

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Posted by Jason | Tags: , | Posted on April 25, 2007


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re some excellent websites out there to be sure, but there are also a lot of dreadful ones too. The latter are the bane of so many people’s existence, especially those who use the Web regularly.

The Net continues to grow in popularity and importance for consumers and businesses alike. Therefore, the quality of sites needs to keep pace. Creating and maintaining high-quality websites is more important now than ever. Higher quality equals more revenue.

The following lists the top ten ways that a website misses the boat and contributes to hair loss and nervous breakdowns. Notice the common thread that runs throughout each of these. Namely, a bad website neglects to consider the site visitor’s experience in some fundamental ways.


Posted by Nessa | Tags: , | Posted on April 24, 2007


I received a note from a friend that on April 30th, participating blogs are supposed to do a blank post with nothing but a single graphic, as a way of honoring the people who were shot at VA tech earlier. I’m not usually one to bathe in tragedy after it happens, but since I have a lot of friends and former colleagues from ECPI that go there, I doesn’t seem to be a bad idea.

Suhosin Will Make your PHP Hard

Posted by Nessa | Tags: ,,, | Posted on April 20, 2007


SuhosinI noticed a vague mention of Sohosin on a PHP blog that I read on occasion and I decided to give it a whirl to see if it’s as sexy as is sounds. So far my server hasn’t crashed, so I’m willing to recommend it to anyone who’s interested in hardening their PHP. Ok, sorry. I really can’t say that without chuckling. Yes, welcome back to third grade.

If you check out the developer’s site you should pretty much get the idea of what it does, but basically closes some of the security holes that we see with PHP all the time. Not to say that it will make your php 4.3/MySQL3/globals on/port 22 open server any more secure, but if you’re running any of the latest stable security releases you might be somewhat interested.

I’m currently running PHP 5.2.1, which is the latest release of PHP5 at the time of this writing. You can essentially install this on any PHP4+ server that you have root SSH access to. I opted to install the DSO, as I absolutely hate recompiling PHP. Installing Suhosin as a dynamic shared module will not require you do recompile anything, and is therefore the preferred method for lazy people.

Note: I’m using the latest (and only) release at the time of my writing, but head over to the download page to see if there is anything newer:

cd /usr/src
tar -xvzf suhosin-0.9.20.tgz
cd suhosin-0.9.20

Now to install:

make install

It should return a line something like this:

Installing shared extensions: /usr/local/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20060613/

Now, all you have to do is add this line to your php.ini and restart Apache. Of course, the path should be what the installation output gave you:


**If you are running eAccelerator, this should be above the eAccerelator configuration

When you load up your phpinfo file you should see the module loaded near the Zend section. Everything should be fine as-is, but it you’re one of those people who has to reconfigure everything, knock yourself out.

Optimizing PHP, Revisited.

Posted by Nessa | Tags: ,,, | Posted on April 16, 2007


I wrote an article a while back on PHP optimization, but it was pretty lacking in most aspects, probably because I’m a lazy poster. I’ve revisited that article and reposted to hopfully have it be a little more helpful on the area.

Timing Your PHP Scripts

Posted by Nessa | Tags: , | Posted on April 15, 2007


This was just a little code addon that I put together as part of a tutorial I wrote on a friend’s site (and copied on mine) about PHP optimization. Added to a page on your site, it will calculate how much time it took for a page or script to execute using PHP’s microtime() function. I only added this to my main page, but you can easily create a plugin or include file to show the generation time of all your pages.

First, add this code to the very beginning of your PHP file:

$stime = microtime();
$sarray = explode(" ", $stime);
$stime = $sarray[1] + $sarray[0];

Now, add this to the very end:

$etime = microtime();
$earray = explode(" ", $etime);
$etime = $earray[1] + $earray[0];
$ttime = $etime - $stime;
$ttime = round($ttime,3);
echo "This page loaded in $ttime seconds.";

That was easy, wasn’t it? You should now see a little line at the bottom of your page that shows how long it took to execute. There is an example on the bottom of my home page.

13 Sexiest WordPress Plugins

Posted by Nessa | Tags: , | Posted on April 13, 2007


I decided to post a list of the WordPress plugins that I’ve found to be the most useful, a majority of which I use on my own site.
To see a list of plugins to avoid, see my other post.

Keep People from Jacking your Images

Posted by Nessa | Tags: ,, | Posted on March 19, 2007


I get this question a lot, so I figured I’d post it here. For those of you who don’t have the convenience of a cPanel-based system, you can block image hotlinking in your .htaccess. Image hotlinking is basically when someone uses an image from your website on their site, but has your site in the <img src..> tags (instead of their own site) so the image loads remotely, and therefore sucks up your bandwidth and resources.

Load up the .htaccess file in your website root (public_html or www folder, usually) and add these lines anywhere in the file:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$ [NC]
RewriteRule .*\.(jpg|jpeg|gif|png|bmp)$ [R,NC]

I’m using my two sites, and it’s parked domain, These are sites that I want to allow to display my images. Please note that with Apache, w’s and https matter. So if you have hotlink protection set for and someone accesses your site via or www., they will not be able to see the images unless your allow them as a referrer. Same goes with your subdomains.

My Puppy’s Cuter than Yours

Posted by Nessa | Tags: ,, | Posted on March 18, 2007


Capone For anyone who hasn’t met the newest addition to the Vasil√© family, I’d like to introduce you to Capone. He’s a purebred pitbull currently at 12 weeks, 25 lbs. His vet estimated that based on his genes he’s probably going to reach about 80-90 lbs by the time he’s a year old. Yes, that means that my puppy is going to be beast, and he’s probably going to make your puppy his bitch. I’m already working on digging a hole in my backyard to dispose of all the contingent body parts he’s probably going to bring home.

Click on the pic for the full image. You can see more pictures of my sexy-ass puppy in my Gallery.