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  • Jay Versluis 7:01 am on August 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Health Monitor   

    Categories: Plesk, Screencasts ( 37 )

    How to adjust Health Monitor Alarms in Plesk 

    In this screencast I’ll show you how to adjust the Health Monitor thresholds. Those are the ones that tell Health Monitor when to send an email and when to display a “Needs Attention” or “Problem” message.

    Health Monitor works with XML configuration files which can easily be changed to suit your needs.

    In this example, one of my servers has seen an increase in Apache CPU usage and has been bombarding me with emails because the “Problem” threshold is set to trigger at 25%. After investigating the issue I’ve increased this value to 95% and now I can sleep a little easier.

  • Jay Versluis 7:32 am on August 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

    Categories: Plesk, Screencasts ( 37 )

    How to upgrade from Plesk 11.5 to Plesk 12 on CentOS 

    In this screencast I’m showing you how to upgrade from an older version to Plesk 12. Specifically, I’m showing this with a Plesk 11.5 installation, but the principles still apply from Plesk 10.x onwards.

    Plesk 12 comes in four flavours, and depending on the previous license you’ve held you’ll be upgraded to one of the new types – check them out here:

  • Jay Versluis 11:54 am on August 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Assembly,   

    Categories: Commodore ( 18 )

    How to locate and set the cursor on your Commodore C128 

    Commodore LogoSadly the Commodore machines don’t offer a routine to locate or set the current cursor position via BASIC. There is however a Kernel routine named PLOT which can do this in Machine Language.

    Here’s how we can utilise it.

    Getting the Cursor Position

    . 01300  38       sec
    . 01301  20 f0 ff jsr $fff0
    . 01304  8e 00 14 stx $1400
    . 01307  8c 01 14 sty $1401
    . 0130a  60       rts

    This snippet sets the carry flag, calls the PLOT routine at $FFF0 and returns the cursor position in the X and Y registers. We’ll put them in a safe place into $1400 and $1401 to use.

    You can call it from BASIC with

    SYS DEC("1300")
    PRINT PEEK(DEC"1400") : rem row
    PRINT PEEK (DEC("1401") : rem coumn

    Setting the Cursor Position

    . 01310  18       clc
    . 01311  ae 00 14 ldx $1400
    . 01314  ac 01 14 ldy $1401
    . 01317  20 f0 ff jsr $fff0
    . 0131a  60       rts

    Call it from BASIC by POKEing your desired coordinates into $1400 and $1401, then call SYS DEC(“1310″).

    This snippet will do the reverse of the above: populate the X and Y registers from our safe place and then call PLOT. We clear the carry flag first, because it decides if the position is read (carry clear) or set (carry set).

    PLOT should work fine on the C64 and Plus/4 as well but I didn’t get a chance to test it yet.

  • Jay Versluis 11:46 am on August 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

    Categories: iOS, Screencasts ( 219 )

    Core Data Nugget #1: How to speak Core Data 

    In this screencast I’ll talk you through the lingo of Core Data: those scary classes and expressions that you’ll frequently come across. In fact, this is the start of a new series:

    Core Data Nuggets are bite-sized chunks about the framework. Dip in and out or watch them all in a row and learn how this super complicated framework works and what it has to offer.

    Don’t get overwhelmed by Core Data: it wants to help – it’s just not designed with humans in mind.

    As always, enjoy!

  • Jay Versluis 2:55 pm on July 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Microsoft, Office,   

    Categories: Bookmarks, Screencasts ( 17 )

    How to update Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 – despite Microsoft Database Daemon and SyncServicesAgent errors 

    Every time I try to update Microsoft Office 2011 on my Mac I get this ridiculous window popping up. No matter how hard you try, those two services – Microsoft Database Daemon and SyncServicesAgent – keep relaunching themselves, forever preventing you to apply the update.

    Clearly Microsoft (or Apple) don’t want us to update Office for Mac:

    Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 14.49.45Usually I give up and live without such updates. I only use M$ Office once in a blue moon and really don’t care. Today I got curious and researched this phenomenon – and thought I’d tell you about it.

    Several suggestions are available to combat this superb example of a terrible user experience:

    • rename those processes
    • log out, then log back in with the shift key held down
    • go offline just before this message comes up
    • kill the processes with the Activity Monitor Utility

    None of those suggestions worked for me, and besides: what a hack any of these solutions are to apply a simple security patch.

    What did work was a very clever suggestion by someone named vrleboss: Use a while loop on the command line and continually kill those processes until you’re done.

    Here’s how to do it: Open the Terminal utility on your Mac and paste the following code:

    while true; do kill $(ps -ef | grep -i SyncServices | grep -v grep | awk '{print $2} '); done

    You can do this without quitting anything else, even while the pesky “close applications” window is displayed. Make sure the whole command is on the same line. The is a BASH loop that will find both processes and kill them as soon as they start up again. Don’t worry about the continuous text output in the window.

    Back in the Microsoft Updater window, hit “Close Applications and Install”. Now it works!

    Once the update is applied, head back to the Terminal window and press CTRL+C – this will stop the killing loop. Close Terminal and Office for Mac is finally updated.

    Then repeat this process next week, when another 140MB of updates will have to be applied.

    Watch the Screencast

  • Jay Versluis 8:45 am on July 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

    Categories: Screencasts, Themes, WordPress ( 52 )

    How to use the TwentyThirteen Theme by Automattic 

    In this screencast I’ll show you how to use TwentyThirteen, a simple yet powerful WordPress theme that looks gorgeous and is mobile friendly. I’ll explain Post Formats and their impact, how to show images in galleries and how to embed videos to your WordPress site too.

    I’ll finish it off by demonstrating how the site looks like on a desktop browser as well as the iOS Simulator on iPad and iPhone. I’m using WordPress 3.9 for this demo.

    I’m referencing some related articles in this video – here they are:

  • Jay Versluis 5:59 pm on July 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Firefox,   

    Categories: How To ( 25 )

    How to clear your Browser Cache 

    Apple SafariWeb Browsers like to save websites that you’ve visited earlier to speed up how quickly they can be displayed.

    Everything that should be downloaded from the web is saved as local files (up to a point), and if a browser sees that you’re visiting site again that you’ve just been to, he serves the saved files rather than request them from the web again.

    You can clear this cache and force the browser to load the results from the web. Eventually the cache clears itself, but it depends on “when the browser feels like it”.


    If you’re using Safari, you can clear the cache by heading to Safari – Reset Safari. Tick “reset all website data” is usually enough, but you can clear several other things while you’re there too (like the history).

    Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 17.33.20


    On Firefox this option is option is rather hidden under Firefox – Preferences – Advanced – Network, and under Cached Web Content there’s a button “clear now”. It’s always good to have a second browser installed just so you can check up on the other one (and trust neither).

    Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 17.33.20

    Alternatively, hold down CMD on Mac (or CTRL on Windows) and reload a page – this sometimes works on a “per page” basis, especially if you don’t trust what you’re seeing.

    iOS also has this option under Settings – Safari – Clear History and Website Data.

    Just something to keep in mind when you’re seeing unexpected results.

    Thanks to Jerry and his new book for this article – I just explained this to him in an email and thought this would make an excellent blog post ;-)

  • Jay Versluis 9:01 am on July 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Categories: Commodore ( 18 )

    How to merge BASIC programmes on your Commodore C64, C128 and Plus/4 

    Commodore LogoYou can merge / combine / concatenate BASIC programmes on a Commodore computer. It’s often useful to develop shorter chunks of code and put them together for a larger app.

    Sadly there’s no built-in command that lets you do this, even though the C128 user guide hints that the CONCAT command can do this (if you’ve ever tried you know that this is not the case and only works for sequential data files).

    With a few peeks and pokes we can accomplish what we need. Here’s how:

    • after loading the fist programme, we’ll set the start of BASIC to the end of programme 1
    • then we’ll load the second programme
    • and finally return the start of BASIC to the first one

    We’re left with both programmes in memory – without any changes in line numbers. Depending on how you write the code a quick RENUMBER command may be necessary here. Even though you can run a programme when the line numbers are out of sequence, GOSUB and GOTO routines may not work as expected.

    The commands are slightly different for each machine.

    On the C64

    The start of BASIC is stored in 43/44, and ends just before the variables begin – which is stored in 45/46. Load your first programme, then type this:

    poke 44,n/256
    poke 43,n-256*peek(46)

    Load the second part, then reset the BASIC pointers to where the first part resides:

    poke 43,1
    poke 44,8

    On the Plus/4

    The Plus/4 works almost identical to the C64 in regards to storing the BASIC pointers, however the start of BASIC is at a different address. Load your first programme, then type this (just like on the C64):

    poke 44,n/256
    poke 43,n-256*peek(46)

    Load the second part, then reset the BASIC pointers:

    poke 43,1
    poke 44,16

    On the C128

    The C128 stores variables in a different memory bank. Therefore it has a dedicated pointer to the end of BASIC which is missing on the other computers. The memory map is slightly different, and the start of BASIC is stored in 45/46. Load your first programme, then type this:

    poke 46,n/256
    poke 45,n-256*peek(46)

    Load the second part, then reset the BASIC pointers:

    poke 45,1
    poke 46,28

    And there you have it! Run any of these routines right after a reset or restart.

    Thanks to Rick Kephart for this tip. You may also be interested in another (more complex) solution to this puzzle by Jim Butterfield in which he reads each byte and merges them back on disk.

  • Jay Versluis 9:28 am on July 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply  
    Categories: iOS, Screencasts ( 219 )

    Creating In-App Purchases in iOS 7 

    In this 7-part series I’ll show you how to create an In-App Purchase in iOS 7 with Xcode 5.1. The course will run you through everything from setting up your product in iTunes Connect, creating a custom shop class for easy re-use, making “first contact” with the App Store and how to deal with its responses.

    These are Parts 1+2 which are free to watch. You can see the rest of the course here:

  • Jay Versluis 9:20 pm on July 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply

    Categories: Commodore ( 18 )

    How to listen to your Commodore Datasette 

    datasetteDid you know that there’s a way to “listen” to a Datasette Drive, even though it’s not meant to play back the latest top twenty mixtapes?

    I’ve recently acquired a Commodore Plus/4 with 1531 Datasette. I remember having one of those in the eighties (with an adaptor to connect it to my C64 back then).

    The datasette is misbehaving, allegedly saving programmes but never loading them back in. Power is working fine, but as I no longer have a “cassette player” as such, I have no idea if it’s actually recording anything on the tape, or hearing what’s on it.

    I needed a way to playback the tape when I found this super short and very useful machine code snippet:

    0600 LDA $01 
    0602 ADC #$38 
    0604 STA $FF11 
    0607 STA $FF19 
    060A JMP $0600 

    When started with SYS 1536 the outer border of the Plus/4 will change according to what’s coming from the tape when you press play, and audio is quasi-modulated to the speaker output. It sounds rather distorted, but nevertheless you can hear what’s on the tape!

    To enter the programme, first type MONITOR which will take your out of BASIC and into the machine language monitor. Then type A 0600 followed by the first command (LDA $01). Now TEDMON will give you the next hex address, so just type the next command.

    When you’re done hit return, then type X (and return) to exit to BASIC. Here you can start the programme with SYS 1536, then PRESS PLAY ON TAPE. Enjoy!

    Note that this will not work on the C64, but you can hunt around for several “tape alignment” programmes which will work with similar principles – but I couldn’t find one for the Plus/4.

    Thanks for Marton for the code:

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