Getting things up and running again

I spent some time this weekend re-organizing my dev environment and updating software to the latest versions. I’m hoping to take some time this week to working on some of my projects after work.

The trouble is, I have tons of things I want to do but not enough time to tackle them all. I might see what state the Android apps are currently in and go from there.

It’s Summer Already!

Time flies when you’re distracted.

This past year has flown by. A lot has gone on and much has changed. I know I was hoping to pay some more attention to the site last October but never really did, but I’m hoping to make a more serious effort this time around.

I’m not sure what this site will turn into or become, but I will try to use it as a launch pad while I try to get something up and running again.

Anyway, stay tuned and hopefully you’ll see some awesomeness :)

A Quick Update

For those checking up on things hello, and well, this post for for you!

Things have been busy as usual it seems and I haven’t been updating the site as much as previously promised. It’s been a busy and sad year overall with personal matters to tend to during the summer months so development has slowed down signifigantly as a result.

That being said, I’ve started to turn around and thinking about new projects or features to work on which reminded me of posting an update on the web site so here we go.

I’ve started brainstorming for a new game using Unity and am beginning to flesh out more details on what I’d like to create. I did update both School Scheduler and Price Compare at the end of the summer and implemented some new features and functionality, including my first widget on the Android platform. All-in-all the deployments of these updates went over very smoothly and I’m pretty proud of myself for that.

Along with my side-job developing for Cryptopone Software I work a full time job, and needless to say a lot of my free time has been spent winding down playing various games and learning about new and interesting topics. Computer/Network/Information Security is still a subject very close to my heart and is something I spend a lot of time reading up on and thinking about.

But when it does come to kicking back and having some fun, outside of work, I am a gamer at heart and as of late my time has been filled by playing World of Tanks and GTA V.

Gaming has changed a lot for me over the years, and my previous work history has helped me appreciate how much effort goes into greating a virtual world to immerse gamers into. I’m not sure if it’s competition, sheer volume of games… or just growing up that has made enjoying games much more difficult compared to years past.

Before, I could rent a game for a weekend and immerse myself in the world, following the rules laid out by the developers to play the game they designed. As years have gone by, games have been played, and as a part of growing up, I’ve been less interested in the actual game rules laid out and have been more interested in the actions that can be performed as a result of the rules that have been laid out. More specifically, I enjoy exploiting the actions that are available to me as a result of use cases that remain undefined or were never thought of in the original development. I’m of course, referring to the metagame.

My time playing GTA V Online has made me realize this more and more, as I can’t remember the last time I’ve had this much fun playing a videogame. The amount of laughter that has come out of me the past couple of weeks has been insane. I think years ago playing Left 4 Dead 2 and Team Fortress 2 with friends has been the last time I’ve had such a great time playing a game.

Perhaps actively seeking the metagame could be considered a skill, and is something I should document for both my own and others benefit. As a result, I’m considering documenting some of my metagame thoughts and comments with regards to GTA 5. I’ll gather some info on some areas that I’ve been actively embracing and post it for the world to see and discuss.

Lexmark x658de Reset Maintenance Count

Posting this as I ran into issues with this myself earlier in the week and I’m hoping I can help someone else out here.

To reset the maintenance counter after installing a maintenance kit in a Lexmark x658de printer, perform the following steps:

1. Power down the printer.
2. Hold 2 and 6 on the printer’s keypad.
3. Power on the printer.
4. You’ll see the progress indicator as per normal but will eventually end up in a configuration menu screen instead of the regular home screen.
5. Select the option to reset maintenance count.
6. Exit the config menu. The printer will restart back into the home screen.

It seems there are steps for other Lexmark printers however I couldn’t find this one no matter how much I looked.

SchoolScheduler 1.3.2

After a long break I finally continued work on both of my Android apps offering new updates for both Price Compare and the full version of School Scheduler. I’ve also updated the download links for School Scheduler on this website. Please contact me if you run into issues downloading the update.

School Scheduler finally has widget support. It’s now possible to view your schedule for the current day as a widget on the home screen.

Price Compare has had a number of improvements and fixes made to it. The most noticeable one is a new recommendation system to give you a better idea of the price of an item is a good or poor deal in relation to existing items stored in the app.

I’ll continue to try and find time to work on and improve these apps in the coming future. I’ve also been digging into Unity a bit to see if I can come up with any game ideas that would be worth releasing :)

Stay tuned! And thank you for all of your support!

School Scheduler 1.3 Update Released

Hi all,

It took a bit longer than I had planned on but I’ve finally started pushing out the first updates to 1.3. The update has been pushed for Paid users that purchased the app via Google Play.

Version 1.3 includes the ability to cancel individual classes or mark an entire course off for one or more days. Additionally, there’s an option to take the entire day off school either for holidays, spring break or for any other reason.

I also found and fixed a sync bug that has affected a few users since I had introduced the feature of syncing to Google Calendar. If you had deleted an event from Google Calendar before turning off sync, this would not be updated correctly within the School Scheduler app. I added a check now so it can be deleted and thus re-added the next time sync functionality is enabled within the app.

I’ll be keeping an eye on any issues that come up as a result of the new version and will push out an update for free users as well as update the Amazon and SlideMe markets once the version is deemed stable.

Enjoy!

Happy New Year! Upcoming School Scheduler Changes!

Hi all,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update, so here’s a little info of what I’ve been up to in recent months.

After spending some time learning about web based vulnerabilities I’ve also started looking into operating system vulnerabilities and exploitation by analysing malicious software. It’s been a blast so far and I hope to make use of these skills in the future.

As a result of my research in this area, my Android apps have taken a bit of a back seat in recent months. That being said, over the Christmas holidays I started to push ahead and began working towards a new update for School Scheduler, as more and more students are installing the app with the winter semester starting. The next update to School Scheduler will include bug fixes and a new (well requested) feature – the ability to cancel classes or block out holidays within the semester.

While working on the feature I’ve identified a number of areas within the code base that requires re-factoring and in some cases a better implementation all together. As a result I’ll probably look at re-writing the app which will take some additional time, but should yield a much more positive result. I’d also like to improve sync abilities between devices, so I’ll have to put some thought into the best way of implementing that. So the update with holidays/cancellations will be released as 1.3 and the rewrite of the app will most likely arrive as a version 2.0.

 

Price Compare and School Scheduler Black Friday Sale!

With Black Friday in this US this weekend I’ve lowered the price for Price Compare and School Scheduler down to $1.00 each. If you’ve been using the free version of either app and are looking to upgrade now is the time to do so!

Google Play:
School Scheduler
Price Compare

Amazon:
School Scheduler
Price Compare

Slide Me:
School Scheduler

If you haven’t already checked out the apps I strongly encourage you to do so. Please feel free to send any feedback you have on how to improve the app. I’ve been taking notes and have implemented a number of suggested features over previous updates!

This sale will end Nov 26th. I hope Black Friday treats you well and have a good and enjoyable weekend!

Learning More About WordPress Plugins And Web Vulnerabilities

I enjoy reading up on security issues and learning about the latest attack vectors in the wild. As a result, I’ve found penetration testing to be an enjoyable and often rewarding experience. Last month I started reading into pen-testing web applications (specifically php but it also covered other web languages) and I learnt quite a bit as a result. I’d highly recommend reading The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook as it goes into a great amount of detail of some of the most common web vulnerabilities and ways to go about finding them.

After some reading and practice, I took aim at several WordPress plugins to see how secure they really were. Within a couple of days I found a Remote File Inclusion vulnerability for Advanced Custom Fields, which made it possible to execute arbitrary code from a remote host. I found this vulnerability on Oct 17, 2012 and it has been fixed as of 3.5.2 of the plugin.

Full details of the vulnerability can be found on Secunia’s website.

When I have some free time, I’d like to continue diving in on this pen-testing both to gain some credibility and experience in the security field and as a way of winding down and working on something different.