Premature Ops

In addition to pre-mature optimization in code, there's also premature optimization in operations. I mean like setting up load-balancers and multiple servers when you don't even have users...

Don't do that. 

This app of mine is hosted on an EC2  t2.small instance. It's smoking fast.

I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t have a robust backup solution and appropriate planning for mission-critical apps. If it absolutely can’t go down, then do what you have to do. Just don’t go crazy deploying your weekend project because you “know” it’s going to be a huge hit.

Launch first, scale later. In fact, most times that will be scale never, so why waste your time? 

Late adopter

I think being a late adopter has way more advantages that being on the cutting edge. As a consultant writing code for others, I stick to old and proven tech. I feel like this confers quite a few advantages. 

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2017 Recap

Someone on twitter said that doing a yearly retrospective is extremely valuable - so here I am. I've decided one of my 2018 goals will be to live a more public-facing life, partially for professional reasons, and this is a good first step.

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How to batch change the date received on Office 365 mail

Sometimes bad things happen to good mailboxes. We were recently doing a fairly standard mailbox migration from Google Apps to Office 365. This mailbox in particular was about 30 GB and had mail going back 20+ years. It also had some previous migration history.

The History
Nothing too unusual here. In 2014 the mailbox was migrated off of Exchange server and onto Google Apps. Now, in 2017, it was being migrated from Google Apps to Office 365.

Everything went perfectly, but there was one problem. A large portion of the mail was showing an incorrect date received. During the initial migration, Google Apps had set the Received Date to be the date of the migration on a large portion of messages.

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Split And Encrypt PDF

Why
At my company, we recently had a need internally where we wanted to split and subsequently encrypt each page of a PDF. In our exact case, we wanted to split a payroll PDF file into individual paystubs based upon the employee's name. Once we had each page separated, we also wanted to encrypt the employee's paystub using a password that they provided.

Check it out on github 

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C# replacement of ODWEK applet

NOTE: I've recently coded this up the "correct" way using the Java Api. See here: https://www.michaelwda.com/odwek-middleware-with-spring-boot/

NPAPI
Google Chrome completely removed NPAPI as of September 2015. http://www.chromium.org/developers/npapi-deprecation

I think most people would agree that this is a *good* thing for security and web-standards. Remember when Apple said NO to Adobe Flash on the iPhone and everybody went crazy? I feel like history has proven that decision the be correct, and this is just an extension of that.

Anyways, google provided plenty of notice that they were going to do this. They even deprecated the feature, but left a way to turn it back on for a short time. A smart developer would have seen this and been hard at work implementing a new solution that doesn't rely on NPAPI. Apparently, I am not smart.

As a consultant, I'm not really in the seat most of the time. I was using an IBM applet that relied on NPAPI it and it worked, so everything was good. I eventually got the call that the ODWEK viewer wouldn't load and they couldn't view receipts. The client had to go back to using the desktop client instead of being able to click the link from the CSR portal I had written. Sure, they could just switch to IE, but I decided to go a different route.

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