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Shoe chroming instructions

The process of “chroming” shoes (at least for dancers) is the process of attaching chrome suede leather to the bottom of shoes.

Beantown dancers chroming their shoesIt’s a good idea to do this in a well-ventilated area.  The entire process takes under an hour if you have all the materials laid out ahead of time.  The materials you need are:

  1. All purpose cement (such as Barge cement)
  2. Chrome leather
  3. Strong scissors / razor blade
  4. Shoes
  5. Wire brush or sandpaper (if the soles of the shoes are very smooth)
  6. A brush and a pen

The 10 step process goes as follows:

  1. Place the leather smoother side up.
  2. Place your shoes on the leather and trace an outline of the soles with a pen.
  3. Cut out the shoe shape from the leather.  Either cut slightly inside the traced lines, or just trim the excess off afterwards.
  4. If  the shoe soles are very smooth, you may want to roughen up the surface with a wire brush at this point.
  5. Brush on cement on the smooth side of the leather.  You may have to apply glue to the leather twice since it can sometimes soak in.
  6. Brush on cement on the soles of the shoes.  Make sure there isn’t so much glue that it’ll glob together; just a thin layer will do.
  7. Allow the glue to dry for about 20 minutes.  The glue should not stick to your finger when you touch it, but it should still feel soft.
  8. Carefully apply each leather piece to the corresponding shoe.  You want to make sure you line them up properly from the beginning because you won’t be able to take it apart and try again!
  9. Press down hard to stick the leather on tight.  You can use a hammer if you have one around, or just walk on the shoes for a while.
  10. If there’s excess leather sticking out, trim it off with a razor blade or knife.
  11. Dance (which involves many more steps…)

One last note is that if you wait about 24 hours, the less likely you are to have the leather peel away from the shoe if it catches on anything.  The shoes can be worn on and off the dance floor, but try to avoid getting them wet.

Reflections on work travel

I just want to record my thoughts on what is acceptable for one’s work to expect of you, and what’s not.

Last Friday I woke up at 4:30am to head to a client. We arrived at around 11am, and worked straight until almost 5pm, where we had to find a conference room (hotel) with Internet access to work with another client from 8:00 until 10:30pm. The return flight was on a Saturday at 9:20am. Not exactly “normal” business hours. What to do if this is the status quo at the company?

I don’t have a good answer to that. I’d like to say you should draw limits, make them clear, and make sure people know what your limits are. But it’s tough when just about everyone is putting in the same kind of crazy hours. This is one of those situations where it really helps for a leader in the organization to live a healthy work life and set the tone of company culture.

As for me, I can do this on occasion. However, I’m sure the lack of sleep will cause me to make other errors, and hopefully not waste anyone’s time as a result. Let’s all try to get our work done responsibly and efficiently.

Getting married, originally uploaded by Rich Moffitt.

My brother was married on March 14, 2008 to Summer Bollenbach in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. It was a whirlwind of a trip to California, but I was really glad to be there. Not only did I attend his wedding, but I was Pat’s best man. I had to meet all his friends, make sure things were ready before the ceremony, and participate in the process.

Oh, and I had to sign the certificate of marriage. Hard to be part of a wedding more than that.

Congratulations to Pat and Summer!

Wireless flash

Bicycle wheel, originally uploaded by Rich Moffitt.

I’m just messing with off-camera flash, since I got a wireless flash trigger pair off of eBay. Interesting stuff, though I haven’t read enough Strobist articles to get a good feel for using it yet.

I can see how the Flash-based photo gallery option in Lightroom is so popular. It’s dead easy to create one, and since the Flash interface hides original filenames, it makes it more difficult for people to steal original image files.

I was interested in another person’s photos because I wanted to view the EXIF data. However, I wasn’t able to do so due to the Flash interface. I figured I’d poke around to see if I could get past this limitation.

Simple answer: Append “/bin/images/large” to the base URL of the gallery. If directory browsing is enabled, you’ll get right through to the largest version of the images.

Digging deeper: I feel like I use Wireshark for just about everything; it’s way more than I need, but does the job. Here’s another such case where I use a packet capture just because I’m comfortable with it.
Since I didn’t know what file structure Lightroom used (and I didn’t use Google to find the answer, previously posted here), I captured a session of browsing a gallery. I looked for all the HTTP GET requests, and saw requests for JPG files. I tried browsing to the file path, and got a listing of all the image files.

If the server disallowed directory browsing, then I’d have to go through the whole album and note all of the GET requests for each image. A pain, but still very much doable.

Countermeasures to this kind of snooping include: disabling directory browsing, or only allow SSL (which would prevent me from doing a packet capture).

Current Mood: creative

Suspending processes

Suspending mcshield.exe, originally uploaded by Rich Moffitt.

Perfect. If you can’t kill ‘em, slow ‘em down. I can’t kill mcshield.exe, but however I can *suspend* it.

That seems to be enough! I was able to run skype without it being immediately deleted, so long as this process is suspended.


While traveling, I noticed that my Skype executable was nowhere to be found, and I didn’t want to pay $0.80 cents a minute roaming. So, I decided to investigate what could have removed the program by performing a reinstall. Sure enough, the program disappeared. I needed to take a snapshot of what was going on.

I like what the guys at Sysinternals did with Process Monitor. It makes it real easy to spy on stuff. Set up the filter conditions for whatever you’re looking for, and you get a real-time view of what system calls are happening.

Here I have Process Monitor catching the disappearance of my Skype.exe. I see that it detects the “suspicious” filename, reads it at various offsets (to do signature matching?) and eventually deletes the file.

So, the first part of the puzzle is solved, in my case. I know that mcshield (McAfee Viruscan) is deleting my stuff. Now I can’t kill the process, so I have to find another way to slow it down…

IST students “graduate”

RSA student group photo, originally uploaded by Rich Moffitt.

Well, this photo is of a bunch of post-grad geeks with graduate certificates in Information Security Technology. BU put on a nice graduation ceremony for us even though it was the middle of June, when most students are already starting to hate their summer internships.

I think that after this experience, I’m really going to continue on for a masters. The program has a way of kicking your butt, then finishing off with a sense that you can keep going. Good ploy — it’s working on me.

Apple just announced Safari for Windows yesterday, and it has probably gotten a number of downloads since being posted to Slashdot. I decided to give it a try. I found that there are some cool things, such as the fact that it passes the Acid2 test. However, some people have already claimed to find vulnerabilities (I’m not terribly surprised).

One thing I have noticed already is that when opening about 8 tabs, my memory usage started to climb pretty quickly. In fact, I think it is less memory efficient than Firefox 2. (Used over 360mb RAM on Windows XP SP2 while having gmail, google maps, google reader, Anandtech, and Amazon.com pages up at the same time for about 2 hours.) That little issue combined with the fact that not all of my mouse functions seem to work in the browser (scroll button, back button) I have decided to keep using Firefox as my primary browser for now.
Undoubtedly we’ll see more in depth reviews of the browser soon. I’m keeping in mind that this is still a beta, and the little “bug” icon is still prominently part of the toolbar. It will still do us good to see what the browser does better than the competition, and what needs work. For now I see that memory consumption could be a big deal over time.

Current Mood: (restless) restless

This RFC defines a NULL encryption algorithm for use in the IPsec ESP protocol. Since there’s not a lot of math involved, the writers got a little creative:

The NULL encryption algorithm combines many of the best features of both block and stream ciphers, while still not requiring the transmission of an IV or analogous cryptographic synchronization data.

Geek humor is funny… if you get it. This still isn’t quite as good as IP over carrier pigeons.

Current Mood: (amused) amused

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