James's Weblog

How to secure a Drupal website

Fri, 13/01/2017 - 10:45 -- James

OK - I'll hold my hands up. The title of this post is misleading. I'm not going to give you an ABC on how to secure a Drupal site (maybe another day). I'm responding to a post on the Reseller Club blog entitled How to Secure Your Client's Drupal Website.

There is some good advice in that article, but it's mixed in with some bad advice, and in other parts it's just plain confused. In the hope that it helps people, I'm going to try and untangle things.

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Twelve Days of Christmas - Counting the Gifts

Tue, 03/01/2017 - 17:47 -- James

A few days back, I set a maths challenge:

Prove that, for arbitrarily large N, the total number of gifts given up to and including day N is

( N (N+1) (N+2) ) / 6

I hope you enjoyed it. It's time for a solution:

Lemma: Number of gifts on Day N

First, we need a lemma. (In mathematics, a lemma is a something we prove as a stepping stone towards our main result).

Christmas Maths: Twelve Days

Tue, 27/12/2016 - 16:40 -- James

While we're in the Christmas season, here's a Christmas-themed maths problem.

The Christmas season is the 12 days from Christmas Day (25th December) until the day before Epiphany (which is 6th January, so the day before is 5th). From that 12 day period comes the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas. Many of you will know it, but for those who don't:

How far inland is Jerusalem

Tue, 13/12/2016 - 12:08 -- James

It turns out you shouldn't believe everything you read on the internet. Or at least, if the internet gives you some information, use a bit of common sense to check you've been given an answer that feels right, rather than just taking things uncritically and at face value.

I wanted to know how far it was from Jerusalem to the Mediterranean.

So I asked Google:

From Jerusalem to the Sea - take 1

You what? 1000 miles?

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With what rapture

Sun, 04/12/2016 - 15:26 -- James

It's Advent, which traditionally has two focii.

The season is about preparing for the coming of Christ. The more obvious half of that is preparing to celebrate Christmas. The other side to it is about the final return of Christ to this world, when he comes to judge the living and the dead, to usher in the new heavens and the new earth, and to free the cosmos from its bondage to decay. What we, slightly mistakenly, call the "second coming". We remind ourselves that it's coming, and we prepare ourselves for it.

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Don't Buy Games from Nintendo eShop

Sat, 03/12/2016 - 17:08 -- James

I don't normally moan online about things, but I think there's a cautionary tale here that's worth broadcasting.

You see something you can buy online, and you have no way of knowing whether it's a reliable purchase until you try it. In our case, the amount of money lost was small, but some people make much larger purchases, so I think it's worth making sure people are aware of the risks.

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Say hello to PHP 7.1

Fri, 02/12/2016 - 17:20 -- James

This is just a short post:

PHP released version 7.1 yesterday. Congratulations to all those who worked so hard to get this version out of the door. Especial congratulations to Davey Shafik and Joe Watkins, the release managers, and to Anatol Belski who mentored them.

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Peter Leithart on Paedocommunion

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 12:12 -- James

I'd taken a break from reading other people's blogs, but when I had a look to see what I'd been missing I found a superb 4-part essay by Peter Leithart on the subject of paedocommunion - the admission of baptised children to the Lord's Table.

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How To: Install QuickTime engine without the Application

Fri, 04/11/2016 - 12:59 -- James

Apple no longer supports its QuickTime player. Both the player and the browser plugins were found to have security flaws which meant a malicious website could trick you to playing a doctored file in the player / plugin, which would then allow those vulnerabilities to be exploited.

The answer is simple: Install another player. Like VideoLan's VLC Player.

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John 17 - A Rich Prayer

Fri, 28/10/2016 - 11:47 -- James

4 times a year, the three main congregations across our two churches meet together for a combined service. They're great times, with a full building, hearty singing, and the chance for fellowship across congregations who don't often get to worship all together.

We've finished a run through Paul's letter to the Philippians. With its themes of partnership in the gospel, grace, suffering, and God's life-transforming power, it gave us some good times as we gather all together.

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