Beat Adobe Reader black and red

On a Terminal Server today some users were experiencing red and black patches appearing when they opened PDF files.

A Knowledge Base article at Adobe indicates a similar, but evidently not the same, issue having been rectified in Adobe Reader 8.1 – that of the color not being rendered correctly for the first rectangle object in a section of a PDF document. Evidently not the same because it didn’t work for me. What did work however was disabling Text Smoothing.

Here is how to do it:

Open Adobe Reader | Document | Accessibility Setup Assistant | Set all accessibility options | Next

TICK THE BOX to DISABLE TEXT SMOOTHING

Next | Next | Next | Done

And bingo, no more red and black patches appearing.

Downgrade Vista to XP?

Yup, you can.

Microsoft Vista Business & Vista Ultimate come with ‘Downgrade’ rights.

IBM have a page explaining the process, as do a number of other suppliers.

Why would you want to? Well one client I have is about to purchase some new workstations, rather than upgrade all the other workstations to Vista, or have some running Vista and some running XP, it makes sense for all workstations to be on the same OS, with the same apps. By downgrading to XP now, and having the right to revert back to Vista later makes for an easier transition now.

Dynamic Web Hosting changes

Dynamic Web Hosting has been acquired by Dolphin Technology Group, with whom I am also involved.

It means a change of name, it will now be Dolphin Web Hosting. One of those little things that tickles me is that the TLA (Three Letter Acronym) remains the same – DWH.

Importantly it also means a much larger pool of resources for us, engineers, expertise, hardware and infrastructure.

Lee Hopkins has already noted the change, and over the coming months the change will become more evident (for example, we will redo the web site – we might even makeover the Dolphin Technology web site ;-).

What are MX Records?

I was asked to explain MX records today, here it is for others as well:

MX Records, or Mail eXchange Records, is simply a line of text in a file on a DNS Server on the internet.

What it does however is VERY important. It tells other peoples mail servers where to deliver email they are sending to you.

DNS MX RecordThe first MX record (indicated by a lower number, in this example, 10 mail.domain.com.au) is known as the primary MX record. This is where email servers will try to send email first. If it fails, then it will try subsequent MX records (in this example, 20 mail.domain.com.au).

If your email server is hosted onsite on MS Small Business Server 2003 and you change ISP, you will have a new STATIC IP address assigned. Given that your MX record will be pointing to the old IP address, you won’t be getting any email arrive.

To fix this means editing the MX record to reflect the new IP address. That will involve either lodging a job with your hosting provider, or domain name registrar.

Security isn’t virtual

When speaking with some people, it has been evident that they figured virtual servers were more secure than traditional physical servers.

This quote: “I don’t want to be reverse engineering our products to find exploits or figure out signatures, fundamentally, that means we have to partner. Fortunately, there is a bunch that are happy to partner and I encourage that.” by VMware founder and chief scientist Mendel Rosenblum certainly indicates that there are security concerns (found via: VMTN Blog).

My take on it is this: not only do virtual servers have the same set of security issues as a physical server, but because there are now ‘more components in the system’ there are also more ‘points of failure’, that is, there are now more things to consider in order to make things safe.

Update 21st Sept 2007 3:32pm: see this on latest VMware bugs.

Crises conceal opportunities

Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity.” – Joe Sugarman

I was sent this quote Tuesday this week. It is appropriate on many levels, but particularly so with regard to this web site.

You see, my database, which contains all my blog posts since I can’t remember when was miraculously destroyed. Along with it’s backups. That to me is a CRISIS.

Note to self: paranoia is healthy.

I first began blogging shortly after Chris Pirillo recommended using ‘BLOG’, a windows app that would do scheduled ftp uploads to a web site. I became a Textpattern fan, then switched to WordPress. My database contained all my posts from Textpattern and WordPress, and a whole bunch more.

But as the quote (and title) suggest, crises conceal opportunities. The opportunity here is a fresh start. No ties. A new commitment.

So, here begins not a new chapter, but a new book, the old one is no longer in print.