Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is not universally respected and/or admired.  Viewing this video of him ranting about Cloud Computing may  or may not  change your opinion of him, but it will help you understand why Oracle’s “Cloud” offerings are not good deals.     For example, Oracle is now offering IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) that features Oracle selling you  some hardware and software to run your own “cloud” on your premises.

how to take clomid tablets


In other words—the cloud is the same old same old—we make a product, dump it on you, say goodbye, and then you do your computing.

Ellison, and therefore Oracle, just doesn’t “get” the Cloud, which he admits in the video.  In his words, “What the hell is Cloud Computing?”Even though Ellison says, with false modesty, at one point, “Maybe I’m an idiot.,”   It’s clear that he chooses to ridicule what he just doesn’t understand.   And there’s a reason—other than him being an idiot— that he and his company don’t understand.   They are locked into the product-driven model.   The Cloud is a metaphor–Yes, Larry, everybody—except you—understands that water vapor has not replaced hardware and software—-a metaphor for the networked environment created by the Internet.
In the Cloud, economies of scale can be gained by leveraging computing resources to serve multiple users.   This computing model is service-driven, not product-driven, so it is difficult for people who have done well in a product-driven world.   Being service-driven means staying with the enduser customer, working with them , to maximize the effectiveness of their computing capacity, whether it’s owned, leased, or in the Cloud. The Product model is”Dump and run.”   The Service model is, “We’ll help you get the job done.”   For decades some technology companies have treated service as a cost center, and the only attention executives like Ellison have paid is to squeeze the costs, and to deliver as little post-sale support as  possible.  Now, with the customer more in the driver’s seat, able to buy only what they need  in the service-driven computing model, it’s understandable that some of the old-line product mavens feel lost and confused, which is a better title for the Ellison video.






discount order viagra



At Blazing Systems we practice “human-centric” technology.  We design and develop web-based technology that starts and ends with human interface as the priority. Our clients start with ideas about what they want to communicate and achieve with their website—They know the people-oriented requirements, and it’s our job to help translate those requirements into a functioning technical product . To do this successsfully, we need to listen and then translate into what is possible.  One of our first goals with each new client is to de-mystify technology, to simplify it, so that clients can decide which options are best for them.  Too many technology companies  take a product-centric approach, and seek to inflict pre-conceived technical solutions on people.   We make technology more human,and that starts a process that results in websites that people  like—they get a site that is more what they want, they are more a part of the design process.This is important, because they know what will connect and work best with their customers.

 Friendly and Honest

We recently completed a new website for a client that demonstrates how the human factor works. EP Energy Solutions president, W. David Wallace, worked with us to design a website that speaks to his customers and prospective customers in ways which he knows are most effective.   As you can see immediately when you visit the site,, you are greeted by afriendly photo of David that introduces him and personalizes the content.The photo is casual and candid–not formal and photo-shopped—-friendly and honest.   He knew that people are most interested in, and would look at, videos and high-impact graphics.  He wanted the site to convey the core values of friendly honesty.
IN web design personal values can be communicated as much by what you don’t do, as what you do.  So, the overall design is clean, uncluttered, and easy to read and navigate—friendly and honest.  There are no pop-ups or gadgets or noise-makers—no banner ads or whirling graphics or pretentious energy techno-babble articles
Instead, the whole right side of the index page is devoted to video streaming and some nifty heat map images of heat escaping  areas that most people have in their homes.   The website development process took David’s vision of what will work best for his folks,  and  built technology that delivers that vision to people who visit the site.  From one person’s vision to multiple persons viewing,  web-based technology works efficiently for people when you use  a human-centric  methodology.


WordPress Permissions and Security

Our clients have found the functionality for the wordpress framework to be quite good at putting power to control content and information on their site. We also find the wordpress framework to be flexible and powerful to use as developers.That said all this functionality does come with a price. Security and file access permissions are important to set-up properly. Instructions on what to do are also vague/hard to follow.

Recently one of our clients who maintains her own site was hacked. Now you hear a lot about hacking, but most folks don’t know what that actually means. Here is a picture of the hack that was added to plugins on her wordpress site.

best pharmacy viagra


That looks like a lot of gibberish but what it is is encrypted code using a base64 encoding which a lot of software uses for non-malicious means. If we translate it we get this:

Ok more code gibberish for the non-coders, but to give a quick translation this = referring sites like facebook, google, myspace etc are re-directed from your site to another site of their choosing. This makes it hard for you to know you have been infected unless you regularly check your site from outside locations (not typing in the URL directly and instead looking at search results).

So what do you do? First off don’t panic. And really don’t panic if you have good backups. (Ok official shout-out to our friends at rackspace managed backup. We backup entire file structure for all our servers daily. Combine that with the awesome customer service we get from our Managed Backup Team, and you know why our team sleeps well at night).

First Step-Clean up the Mess

Finding whats been infected is an important first step (You need to know what needs to be cleaned.) Start with a couple of key directories:

1) /wp-content/themes/your_active_theme

2) /wp-content/plugins/All Plugins

Take a look at these directories and in particular to the last time edited time stamp. Infections will likely have been done all at one, so you will be able to discover the date you were infected. Move these directories to a safe place for now.

3) copy your wp-content/uploads directory to a safe location. This usually has files/images that aren’t as open to infections, and  you’ll want to save them in the long run.

4) Your theme’s directory is important. If it has been infected cleaning it by hand can be a laborious process. This is where backups come in extremely handy. Once you know the date of infection, restore a version of your themes directory from your backups. If you do not have backups you are left with 2 options:

a) Manually disinfect removing all malicious code. This is hard…in one file on her site she literally had 1000 different encodings which make automation difficult. You also have to be aware of restoring the file to its previous state.

b) Download a fresh theme and re-deploy your customizations. This is also hard, but you should be able to at least see your customizations in your infected theme directory to give you guidance.

5) The final step is to download and install a fresh version of the wordpress framework. Move your uploads directory and themes directory to the new fresh version, and finally re-download and install your fresh plugins.

All together if you have good back-ups the process can be done in under 20 minutes. Without backups the time to back up goes upwards of 10-20 hours.


Second Step-Security and Permissions: Or how to make this never happen again.

This is where online guides tend to get pretty vague. We at Blazing Systems are not a fan of vagueness so with two clients permissions we set-up a bit of a permissions test to find out what worked best. What we did was change permissions on two sites at different times to see what exposed the site, and what didn’t expose the site to intrusion. Here is the permissions set-up that seemed to provide the most security while keeping most of the framework functionality intact.

1) General Permissions: We want to have the framework and the majority of files outside control of apache/users. So start with changing ownership of all files in the wordpress directory to ownership of the FTP user that accesses the site:

Example: chown -R site_owner:site_owner_group /wordpress_install_directory

Next we want to change access permissions: 655 or 755 seems to be good permissions to keep these files protected.

Example: chmod -R 755 /wordpress_install_directory.

2) Specific Permissions: You still want to be able to upload files and complete upgrades. Also a lot of the functionality in wordpress will give permission errors with the above settings. So we want to open permissions on 2 directories inside wp-content

chown -R apache:apache /wp-content/uploads and chown -R apache:apache /wp-content/upgrade

chmod -R 755 /wp-content/uploads and chown -R apache:apache /wp-content/upgrade

3) Open and Close Permissions: Some themes have very cool functionality making it easy to change the look and feel of the site on the fly. These files are in your theme directory, but opening them up = exposure, plus all the troubles above. We recommend only opening and closing permissions on this directory while actively working on it, then immediately re-securing when your completed.





We enjoy working with non-profit organizations.  The Internet offers great potential to help people who are trying to help people; and our latest project gave us a chance to help someone who is trying to help people who are helping animals.  Jake Raudabaugh is six years old.  He is my grandson.  Recently he was moved by a commercial for ASPCA on the TV.  He was surprised and saddened to find out that some dogs and cats did not have homes, and that some were mistreated.  Fortunately, Jake has great parents who are both intelligent and caring.  The conversation eventually developed to include the concept of charity.


buy cheap amoxil without prescription


Jake liked the idea of charity, and decided that he wanted to be charitable to animals in need.  That night, he founded Jake’s Pals, dedicated to helping animals.  With his parents’ help, he developed a plan to help shelters and

any organizations that are caring for animals.
He decided to collect donations of food, supplies, and eventually money, and distribute those donations to worthy organizations.

This week Jake visited Blazing Systems and sat down for hours with his Uncle Will.  Together they designed a website for Jake’s Pals,   Will guided the work, presented the design options, and implemented  the design, using  a LAMP-stack/WordPress architecture;  and Jake made all the design choices on the spot in our dev lab, just as most of our clients like to do.


This summer Jake started building his donations by selling lemonade at yard sales, and he visited the Montgomery County ASPCA to find out their priority needs.  We’re hoping his new website will give his charity some visibility and help generate donations .   We’re honored to be his pals.


Open Source as an Advantage: Cost isn't the Only Advantage

We were talking with an Industry Marketing Committee today who are in the beginning stages of selecting a new platform for their online presence. The discussion included talking about some of the advantages of using an open source platform versus a closed CMS systems.

It may surprise you to know that if you have used the internet in the last 10 years you have actually used Open Source software without even knowing it.  Apache webserver,, is a great example. Apache is the system that runs websites on servers. Simply put it’s what directs you to the proper place to see the website you were looking for and controls how and what you see on your system.

best propecia


Apache dominates market share by an almost 7:1 ratio to the next most used version.   So we know it’s the most popular, but why?

  • Cost: $0 Licensing costs means anyone can get it anytime for free.
  • Performance:  Apache is one of the fastest webservers available.
  • Cross Platform: Apache runs on every operating system generally used.
  • Uptime: Our primary apache  server has 587 Days of uptime since its last re-start. (That was the day the server was brought online out of the box).
  • Modularity: Gobs of Modules have been developed to enhance/improve/modify apache to meet specific needs:
    • We use Apache-Mod-Rewrite to join together XML templates on serving to add layers and layers of customization to our netMLS Software
    • We use Apache mod-cache to improve performance of WordPress Sites (It makes Databases and Applications a bit smarter in how they utilize resources).

Apache is certainly an example of a very popular and successful open source project. Another thats worth mentioning is the very software I am writing this article in. WordPress, is a software set built in php and mysql (two other open source projects!). Its quite easy to deploy and use, but more importantly, anyone can go in and modify/add/change/use a whole host of plugins, themes, or systems to enhance or meet their needs.

An example is http:/ Powered by WordPress it’s easy to update/add/change content using a word like interface (just like below):


Ok that’s pretty cool, but even better is the site’s calendar function. Boyertown has a lot of events, and Building a Better Boyertown wanted to highlight all the great things going in.  Event calendars may seem like a small thing, but the one they use is feature rich, with color categories,  dynamic jquery effects,  the ability to slice and dice displays, and highlight specific categories.

From a cost standpoint it was a no-brainer for Boyertown. We were able to deploy the entire site, with calendar and donation functions for about the same a closed source shop would have charged for just the donation portion.

But the real advantage is found in features. Well done open source software is feature rich, supported, stable, and highly customizable. Ultimately it just works for our clients and that’s why we are proud to be an  open source development shop.





Yahoo Chief 's Resume Scandal

Here we go again.  It’s not just another guy with a bad goatee…Scott Thompson, CEO at Yahoo, former president of Pay Pal/eBay, has been exposed for falsely inflating his resume.
In a series of articles in Business Insider,this mistake is described in detail.  Also, reportedly, Yahoo employees are very upset and angry at Thompson.  This is, at a minimum, ironic. If Yahoo employees fit national averages, about 25% of them probably lied on their resumes too.   But, folks like to be righteous, and they absolutely love to be self-righteous.  It’s a contest to see who can throw the first stone, the hardest.  In this age of being able to find out everything about everybody, exposing people has become a blood sport.

azithromycin pills


Lying on your resume is a stupid thing to do.   So is lying on your profile in Facebook  (hmmm—check that one out).  If you do it, you’re a jerk, but you are still a member of the human race, and last I heard we honored the principle of forgiveness.



I’ve noticed this principle under durress regarding two other individuals lately—
Michael Vick and Joe Paterno.   When it comes to being kind to animals and not raping young boys, it’s too easy to jump down on the side of goodness and berate and dishonor those who made mistakes.     Too many people seem to be frustrated judges, and they can’t wait to get all ‘holier-than-thou’ on people whose stupidity gets exposed. I guess they are perfect and it frustrates them living with the rest of us slobs.

Look….The guy lied on his resume…That’s cheating and being dishonest.  He should be fired, but let’s tone down the moral outrage.  Until we’ve solved the really serious injustices and cruelties that occur daily in this country, let’s stop making such public victims out of people who do stupid, self-defeating things… Live and let live.

Google and the Open Internet

Google co-founder,  Sergey Brin, was recently quoted extensively in an article in The Guardian   about keeping the Internet open.  He said he is “scared” because current conditions and the trends he sees in the future are endangering the freedom and openness of the ‘Net.  He says that he and Larry Page would not have been able to create Google in today’s environment, due to efforts by governments, the entertainment industry, and “walled gardens, “like Facebook and Apple, to control content .   The warning that he could not have developed Google in today’s environment   is perhaps a bit of hubris from Google’s view of the rest of us.  He is making an argument, trying to convince the reader/listener of a point—that governments and others are controlling content.    To make his point, he’s assuming that we hold Google in such high regard, that we are swayed to his side of the argument by the fear that  a Google-like entity will no longer be possible …

He over-estimates the affinity for Google…..Too bad, Sergey, you wouldn’t be able to make a billion bucks…so sad!    He also seems to under-estimate how the 800 million Facebook users feel about Facebook.  They feel that Facebook is theirs, and they probably take Google for granted.


There are many issues involved with keeping the Internet free and open—-here’s

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s summary:

“We want to keep the internet open for the protester using social media to organise a march in Egypt,” Clinton said in a major policy speech last year. “[For] the college student emailing her family photos of her semester abroad; the lawyer in Vietnam blogging to expose corruption; the teenager in the US who is bullied and finds words of support online; for the small business owner in Kenya using mobile banking to manage her profits; the philosopher in China reading academic journals for her dissertation … internet freedom is about defending the space in which all these things occur.”

These are serious freedom-of-information and freedom-of-speech issues, as opposed to dire predictions and absolute judgements against entities trying to control content on the Internet by the organization whose goal it is to “crawl ” and control all the information on the Internet.  But in recent years Google has not seemed satisfied with acessing and aggregating all the content, they have seemed to be going through an identity crisis.  With Google Apps f0r word processing and spreadsheets, they seemed to want to be Microsoft.With Google Plus, they now seem to want to be Facebook.   They crushed the search engine market, missed the social media market, and are trying play in the app market. ‘Stick to your knitting ‘ is an old strategic planning concept that may apply here.

Keeping the Internet open is important, but we have to remember that we in the US have many decades of experience managing and protecting free speech ( tricky issues, like do the Nazis get to be in the parade in Chicago). The rest of the world needs our help in managing a completely free Internet.  There’s lots of work to be done there….No time for throwing stones at  and raising fears about “walled gardens.”

Google is a great search tool. We all use it, and depend on it more than we perhaps realize.  Let’s hope they thrive and continuously improve, and that the Internet remains free of control by governments….and giant media/entertainment conglomerates.

Bill Patch







Cloud computing is getting all  the attention these days in technology journals and publications.   Major corporations are shifting from in-house data center operations to cloud computing models for two reasons:  better computing for less cost.   To understand cloud computing,and why it is suddenly the hottest trend out there, we need to review the context of the evolution of professional computing during the last two decades or so. In the mid-1980s, in the middle of the PC revolution that was shaking the foundation of mainframe computing, Sun Microsystems was growing rapidly, selling expensive servers running Open Source operating system software.  Today, when we take for granted the huge network called the Internet, it’s difficult to imagine a time when computers were not networked together, except in limited “Local AreaNetwoks” (LANs)
.During that time, Scott McNealy, then-president of Sun, said, “The network is the computer,” with prescient insight that was typical of him.


Then and Now

Then, every organization had to be self-sufficient for computing—everyone needed their own processor and storage, and connecting computing equipment was complex and expensive.  Now,  thanks to the Internet, computers can be connected easily and inexpensively. This means that one computer, running on the Internet (the”cloud”), can serve many different organizations.  Now software programs, which used to be needed for each organization who licensed it, could be provided for multiple organizations.  One set of programming being used by multiple customers, running on one server.  The benefits of cloud computing are apparent.  More computing capacity for less expense.  Now, large organizations are taking advantage of the cloud model;and at Blazing Systems we have designed our delivery model to do the same.  The result is that our customers–individual professionals, small-medium businesses, and non-profit organizations, can all gain the same advantages from cloud computing as the large corporations are.We are Open Source, and we endorse the delivery of software as a service(SaaS), not a proprietary product.

Bill Patch






It seems that Congress is becoming an inreasingly ineffective body.  In attempting to stop foreign piracy of copyrighted U.S. material, their best idea is to create draconian laws that would expose many American Internet providers to shutdowns at the whim of large media providers. ‘To solve a problem for one group let’s create one for another, seems to be the congressional mode.  This, coming on the heels of inept work on health care and the debt ceiling, budget , the deficit, or ANY fiscal matter, shows a congress more concerned with partisan bickering than solving problems.  We as citizens need to do a better job sending people to Washington.

viagra canadian pharmacy dosage

Websites are for People

Websites are a great medium for organizations to communicate and conduct transactions.  Websites are “open for business ” 24/7/365, assuming they are well-built and hosted in a secure environment. Unfortunately, too often, people build websites for themselves, and not for their constituents who will be using the site.  These websites, sometimes called “brochureware,” tend to talk a lot about themselves, informing the visitor to the site of everything they ever wanted to know–and more–about the organization.  These sites are difficult to navigate, and the visitor often finds themselves in a dead end spot that is hard to leave, or loses track of where they were, and they end up hitting the “back button” repeatedly to escape.  The pages themselves on these sites are crammed with lots of verbiage, narrative prose content, and not much white space or images.  It’s usually difficult to determine how the visitor can communicate with the organization–because they really aren’t that interested in hearing from you.  These sites are called ‘brochureware” because most of them are just the organization’s marketing brochure copied and pasted on  to a website.


cialis by mail

Effective Websites are designed and built for the people who will be using them.

It takes more effort to design and build a site that anticipates the needs of the people who will be using the site.   You can’t just copy your print media and slam it up there.  You have to think of how the users will perceive the page, and what the will want to do, how they will want to navigate.   When you get on a site that has been well-designed, you can feel it right away.  We call this “intuitive”—
Is it easy to understand, easy to move around?  Are things where you expect them to be?  If so, it’s because somebody paid attention to those factors when they designed the site and loaded the content. One new site that manages to present a huge amount of information and functionality in a very attractive, appealing, intuitive,  user-friendly site is, the website for the Building a Better Boyertown organization.Building a Better Boyertown (BBB) is a non-profit organization formed in 2002.  BBB staff and volunteers develop and accomplish tasks that maintain Boyertown’s historical heritage, promote downtown Boyertown,  and attract people to the community. Many people, from BBB Board members to downtown merchants and visitors rely on the site for timely information about news, events, and meetings.

As you will see when you visit the site, each page contains lots of information, displayed in an easy -to-see and understand format. Special care was taken in the design of the interactive calendar, because so many different constituents use it.  The site is also designed to make it easy for  local businesses and organizations to add and update their information on the site.

Care was also taken to make the donation function clear and easy to use.  This site was designed for the people who need to use it.  As a result,  information will be updated in a timely fashion, and people will enjoy accessing the site for information they need.  Because lots of thought and hard work went into the design, using the site will require less work and generate satisfaction, rather than frustration.