Merging KeePassX 1 Databases

passwordsOne of the things I love most about the Internet is the great diversity of websites and services available at our fingertips. But with these websites and services comes the need for authentication. Passwords. And ID’s. And with each website, we need to remember the site’s URL, the ID we used, and the password we assigned it. That’s a LOT of information. So, it’s helpful to have software to keep track of it all.

I use an open source program called KeePassX. It’s available for Mac, Linux and Windows. But it’s a desktop application, rather than a website; and that becomes a problem as I move between my work computer, and my home machine. I have two copies of KeePassX, and, inevitably, they become out of sync.

Yesterday I spent quite some time merging the two databases, and I’m documenting it here for the next time I may need it, and for others who may run into the same issue.

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How to Connect to Your Vagrant’s MySQL Using Sequel Pro

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 12.07.51

This was a lot less straightforward than I expected. So I’m posting the incantations here in hopes it’ll save others some time.

Sequel Pro is a very capable Mac-based, open source, MySQL client. One of these many capabilities is to tunnel via SSH to another server. In this case, we’re going from your host machine (an OSX desktop), to your Vagrant guest machine, to access the MySQL database server there. If you don’t currently have a Vagrant machine on hand, try

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Connecting External Services With Your Local WordPress

ngrok header graphic

For years I’ve eschewed using services such as HTML validators, because I was developing on my local machine, or even on a Virtual Machine inside my local machine; and external services couldn’t get to my website while it was under development. Worse yet, involving a webhook, a callback from a web based service, to your own website, was a chore because you had to deploy your site to a public-facing server before you could test it.

Until now. (Insert maniacal laugh here.)

I’ve recently started using a clever service called ngrok, which exposes your local development site to the Internet. Even if you’re behind a firewall.

(Quick aside. I believe it’s pronounced “en-grok”, rather than “n. g. rok”. Adherents of AngularJS will have to force themselves to conform.) Continue reading

Cracking Into Your VirtualBox Windows 7 VM When You’ve Forgotten the Password

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m now working with someone who has a couple of NFL handicapping programs. These are written in APL and only run on Windows machines. I have to install these programs, so I can see how they work. But I don’t currently have a running Windows machine. But I do have a Windows 7 virtual machine which runs on VirtualBox.

Great! But, oh, wait, I haven’t used this VM in ages, and I don’t remember the password. So a little googling for “windows 7 virtualbox password” brings me to Don’t get all excited, now. It’s a dud.
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PhotoQ Be Gone

I was recently contacted by Dave Wilson of Dave had been using the PhotoQ WordPress plugin for his photoblog. It allowed him to schedule the release of posts with a given image. It would additionally extract and display the image’s EXIF data. This was before WordPress could schedule posts on its own, and saved Dave all kinds of time. He could spend a few hours loading up pictures and posts, and he’d be set for a month of daily posts.

But nothing lasts forever, and Dave’s happy setup was disturbed as his host’s PHP engine was upgraded, while PhotoQ, now no longer supported, was not. The front end of the site still worked fine, but the admin side had issues.
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Learning the Radio Alphabet


Last year I was taken with a sudden and feverish desire to master what some call the NATO Phonetic Alphabet. You know: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, for ABC.

Except a phonetic alphabet is, in fact, something else; it’s a notational standard for the representation of a language. It’s about how to pronounce the language.

By contrast, the radio alphabet, allows you to accurately transcribe letters by assigning a word for each letter. Handily, the words assigned start with the letter they’re assigned to. So, Alpha for A, Bravo for B, and so on. It’s about reading it out to someone across, say, a radio, and being reasonably certain they won’t mistake a P for a T.

OK, so that’s the What. Continue reading

Migrating Contacts From Palm Pilot to Gmail

Once he finds someting that works for him, my father sticks with it. Which is why, until very recently, he was still using his Palm Pilot Vx. But all things come to an end, and now that he and Mom got His and Her’s Samsung Galaxy S‘s, it was time to get his contacts migrated from the Pilot to Gmail, so they could get picked up by the Android.

This turned out to be less straight-forward and more challenging than anticipated. So, although I don’t expect many will need to run through this, I’m posting for the few who might. This’ll save you a couple of days of heartache.
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Testing Web Sites With IE on OSX Using Parallels

This is the big drawback of developing websites on a Mac: you can’t test with Microsoft Internet Explorer. This is unfortunate, as IE is still one of the most used browsers around. It’s not THE most used browser, of course; that honour rests with Chrome as of May 2012. So, no-can-do on OSX, but you can run IE in a virtual machine, on a Mac. Continue reading

Android Startup Kit

My friend Ian just purchased a Nexus S phone from Wind Mobile. So I thought I’d put together a list of useful apps to get him started on the joy of Android.

There are thousands of apps for the Android platform; so, as if it needed to be said, this is just a personal compilation of apps I find useful and/or fun. I hope you’ll find in it, one or two apps you didn’t know about before, which you decide you can’t live without.

Oh yeah, also should note that these are all free. Continue reading