Curated max mind table for geoip timezones

Posted on January 25, 2013
by

So I was playing with GeoIP and the free MaxMind databases (the GeoLite version). From the IP address, this database can determine a country and a region. And from the country and the region you can determine the timezone. MaxMind gives away the CSV file and coding examples with the correspondance country/region and timezone, and they claim the timezones names are standard IANA, but it’s outdated… (hopefully one of my early users was in a conflictual timezone, so I could find out about this). If you have an up to date OLSON database, then you’d like to take into account my curated list.

For example, MaxMind will give you “America/Indianapolis” whereas the correct IANA name for that timezone nowadays is “America/Indiana/Indianapolis”. From my test, I found 18 timezones names that are not IANA compliant, here is the list.

MaxMind name Correct IANA name
America/Indianapolis America/Indiana/Indianapolis
Australia/Canberra Australia/Sydney
Australia/NSW Australia/Sydney
Australia/North Australia/Darwin
Australia/Queensland Australia/Brisbane
Australia/South Australia/Adelaide
Australia/Tasmania Australia/Hobart
Australia/Victoria Australia/Melbourne
Australia/West Australia/Perth
US/Samoa Pacific/Pago_Pago
Africa/Asmera Africa/Asmara
Asia/Calcutta Asia/Kolkata
Asia/Istanbul Europe/Istanbul
Asia/Katmandu Asia/Kathmandu
Asia/Macao Asia/Macau
Atlantic/Faeroe Atlantic/Faroe
Chile/Continental America/Santiago
Pacific/Samoa Pacific/Pago_Pago

Or you can download the curated CSV file here: curated time_zone.csv MaxMind.

My secure home-based NAS for nomads

Posted on June 11, 2012
by


I am a nomad, which means I change location a lot, and thus I need to travel light. The only thing I need for working is my laptop and an Internet connection, so virtually I can work from anywhere in the world, and that’s actually what I am doing. But there is a drawback when everything which is valuable to me (work files, personal pictures…) is in only one place: my laptop, which is in my backpack. If I lose my bag (or if it gets snatched, which is likely to happen here in the Philippines), I lose EVERYTHING and it’ll be very hard to recover from this.

Of course, one solution is that notorious “cloud”, where you store all of your data in a remote location, somewhere in the Internet. Yes but, you are giving your personal/work data to a third-party company (being accessible to third-party people you don’t know, and thus don’t trust). And even though they might be honest, you’re never sure this company is not going to close, or to get hacked. I am the cautious (paranoid?) type of guy, I like my data to be safely stored in a place where no people can access it but me, like “physically” can’t even access it.

The nomad worker outfit

Posted on March 13, 2012
by

There are many aspects of my life that have changed since I decided to be a full time traveller, and I had to make many adjustments to the way I work in order to fit with my new lifestyle. The two new constraints I have to deal with are:

  • I can’t carry much (one suitcase less than 20 kilos + one backpack)
  • I must be able to manage my business with the same efficiency, like when I used to be sedentary

Therefore, there are a few items I had to buy, some others I had to throw away, and I started to make bigger use of the Cloud. I carry all of my office in my one backpack, which includes the following:

  • 1 macbook pro 15″
  • 1 huawei e5 (see my post: Nomad Internet with Huawei e5)
  • 1 notebook + pen
  • all the necessary accessories such as: power cable, iPhone cable, earphones, USB cables, USB sticks…

Co.lab Manila, my new office

Posted on March 4, 2012
by

Whether you are a freelance worker, a young startup entrepreneur or simply belong to the category of people who don’t need to go to an office for working, then you should definitely give a try to coworking.

I experienced coworking for the first time as recently as last week, when moving in my first coworking space here in Manila, Philippines. It’s called Co.Lab, and they have two locations here in Legaspi Village (Makati) and in Barangay Kapitolyo (Pasig). Coworking is a style of work in which you share your working environment with other work-at-home professionals. Unlike incubators or standard offices, they include a social dimension that makes the whole thing almost non-formal and encourages collaboration, meetings and exchanges. It’s warm, it’s young and it’s full of creative energy!

People I could meet at Co.Lab so far have the following profiles: freelance web-developers/graphics designers, professional bloggers, subcontractors for foreign companies, web show directors, startups, internet entrepreneurs. I can see many advantages working near this kind of people: I meet people who have the same interests and maybe lifestyle, I meet potential business partners, I can share and exchange ideas of projects, I can listen and learn from a wide variety of profiles (which happen to be international profiles also), I can help and/or ask for help with high skilled people who work in the same field, and I can also possibly make friends!

I think I found something cool there, and wherever my life brings me in this world, I will definitely always look for a coworking space around me to spend my days in from now on. By the way, I happily heard that the first coworking space in Strasbourg, France (the city where I used to live, study and work for a couple of years) is going to open its doors soon in March 2012 at Rivétoile. Check it out if you’re an independent professional from Strasbourg, I know you’re many and it’s worth giving it a try.

Weird 302 redirect at GoDaddy

Posted on January 5, 2012
by
It took me some time to realise what was going on, but I finally found out a weird bug (or feature?) on my GoDaddy web hosting this afternoon. Which made me switch to Namecheap later on.

This is what happens, totally randomly when a client is accessing a file. Let’s say you try to access the following URL: mysite.com/blog. These are the consecutive HTTP requests that will occur:

  1. GET mysite.com/blog
    302 redirect mysite.com/AbCdE/blog
  2. GET mysite.com/AbCdE/blog
    302 redirect mysite.com/blog
  3. GET mysite.com/blog
    200 OK

Where AbCdE is always a random string made of 5 characters. That’s right, randomly, requests happen to be redirected twice through a random directory that doesn’t exist before the server finally delivers the resource. What’s the matter, you will say? Well, this has absolutely no reason to happen, and even if a visitor wouldn’t notice it by loading the URL in his browser, this can have an impact in other fields.

First, Google tends to index the temporary URLs that doesn’t exist, and this leads to undesired pages to be indexed. Secondly, as this is an unexpected behaviour, this can fuck your scripts in some situations. It especially happened to me, when apps that are connected to my website couldn’t manage redirections that don’t output more than 255 characters for example. Because of this unwanted random 302 redirect, I couldn’t guarantee the availability of my app anymore.

I am sorry, but I am not responsible, as a developer, for this, and I don’t have to adjust my code to my web hosting in this situation. It seems to be a recurring problem at GoDaddy’s, you can check it out on Google, many people are talking about it, and GoDaddy doesn’t seem to be fixing the issue…

But I really wonder where this bug (or feature) comes from. I bet maybe for a feature, where by differing the actual delivery of the resource, it’s freeing some load on the server when too many connections are coming in at the same time.

Anyways, I am now hosting my site on Namecheap.

What a 15 euros phone has that an iPhone doesn’t

Posted on November 12, 2011
by

Since I needed a Filipino number in addition to my French number, I ended up buying the cheapest phone I could find here. It’s a Samsung GT-E1080F that costed me around 15 euros in a Samsung store. I kept my iPhone for my French number and so I am using both of them. I intend to use my Filipino phone only for calls and text messaging, but I surprisingly found out 4 cool native features that my iPhone is missing. Two of them are unforgivable though and should really be implemented in the iPhone, the other one is just funny 🙂

Auto-reject calls

Very handy when you don’t want to hear about some people. Enter her number to the block list, and all the calls from that number will be automatically rejected. I remember a friend of mine needed that feature last year, and we could never find something that works on his iPhone, neither in the native features nor in installable apps (even from the Cydia store).

Text messages: Block number

This is the same feature as the previous one, but for text messages. Again, you can edit a block list of numbers that you don’t want to receive SMSs from.

Fake call

That feature is funny. Actually, I haven’t checked if there is an app for it, there is probably one on the Cydia store. Well, this is a native feature on my Samsung phone. While in an annoying meeting that you want to escape, put your hand in your pocket and press four times the DOWN key of your phone. Then, after a variable amount of seconds (that you can change in the settings of the phone) a fake call from an unknown callee will make your phone to ring.

Privacy lock

This is quite redundant with the passcode lock of the iPhone, but still useful. Instead of locking the whole device with a passcode, the Samsung GT-E1080F will instead add locks to the key applications you wish, such as the calls logs, the address book or the SMS. So someone can still use your phone, like playing games or using the calculator, and the privacy of your SMS is still good. I think that could be a good feature for iPhone, as it often happens that I give my iPhone to friends who want to play, but not necessarily feel comfortable that they read my texts or calls logs.

There it is, I find the comparison between that little Samsung phone and a 50-times-more-expensive iPhone funny, regarding this foor little features. If you have a solution/workaround for the foor of them on iPhone, thanks to comment on that post, I am personally interested in knowing them!

Nomad Internet with Huawei e5

Posted on October 23, 2011
by

I am writing this post from a coffee shop in Quezon City (Manila, Philippines) from my 3G connection that gives me a fair 1.5Mbps up/down for a bit less than 1 euro per day. (just for you to know the context)

Long before moving to Manila (Philippines) I have had wanted to get my hands on the Huawei e5 for its capability to turn a 3G connection into a wifi hotspot. I had tried to find it in Europe (France, UK, Romania…) and in the USA (Los Angeles, New York City), but now way to find any. Actually, that device seems to be available only in Asia (or online, but as I was going to the Philippines soon, I could wait).

Basically, what the Huawei e5 does, is to turn your 3G connection into a WIFI hotspot where you can connect up to 5 devices. There is also a USB port that allows you to connect another computer like any USB modem. So you can in the end connect up to 6 devices.

Steve Jobs is gone

Posted on October 6, 2011
by

Steve Jobs has passed away last night, 5th of October 2011. He was a great innovator, inspiration for all the IT people and entrepreneurs and we will regret him a lot.

My breakfast was bitter this morning when I read the news, but later on I found myself energised back and got some big motivation. Eclipse/Photoshop are open and working hard this afternoon. I remember Steve, and how hard work, creativity, innovation and courage led him to build this empire. Yes, even if you’re gone, you will still be a model of entrepreneurship and innovation to me and my fellows. You can rest in peace now, Steve.

Note 1: homage to Steve Jobs is on Apple’s website
Note 2: you can send condolences to rememberingsteve@apple.com

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

Downgrade Mac OSX Lion with Time Machine

Posted on July 27, 2011
by

Snow Leopard

Last days, I told you about my disappointment when I rushed at installing Mac OSX Lion only a few hours after it was released. Quickly, I decided to downgrade back to Snow Leopard. Hopefully, Time Machine is a very good piece of software that works pretty well for restoring your OS to the exact state of the desired date. Here is how to do it.

  1. Check that yo have saved/backuped all of your work and data you carried out since you installed Lion (USB sticks, DVDs, whatever)
  2. Insert your DVD of Snow Leopard and shut down your mac
  3. When starting your mac again, press the OPTION key and wait until it offers a list of volumes to boot from. Select the Snow Leopard DVD
  4. In the Installer, don’t go on the process of installation. Instead, click on the Utilities menu, then choose Restore System from Backup
  5. Check that you are connected to your time capsule:
    for networked time capsules, I recommend to link an ethernet wire instead of using wifi, it will be quicker. If you really can’t use a wire, then connect to your wifi access point via the Airport Utilities menu at the top left of the screen
    for USB time capsules (or external HDD), you don’t have to do anything special
  6. In the list, select your Time Machine volume
  7. In the list, select the date at which you want to restore your system to. Dates and versions of the system are indicated, so just take the most recent backup you’ve made on Snow Leopard before you installed Lion

Now you’re good for waiting several hours, depending on the size of your backup and the speed of your connection. You have the time to go and make a coffee. Wait and relax, and forget about how Steve raped you with 24 euros.

Some hours later, your mac will reboot and your system is back like before. Lion is just now an old bad memory to you, until the day you have no choice but to upgrade because major softwares will not be supported on Snow Leopard anymore.

 

NB: if you don’t use Time Machine, I guess you’re going to have much more troubles while downgrading from Lion (if not possible at all?). Probabilities are that you’re to make a new clean install of Snow Leopard. And that you start to use Time Machine, at last (sorry dudes).

Seriously, is OSX Lion a joke?

Posted on July 20, 2011
by

Seriously, OSX Lion is a joke, isinit?

I’m a huge fan of Apple products, and especially their OS for Mac, to me there is no better OS for my personal and professional usage. Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) was released just this afternoon, 20th of July 2011, and in the next hour I already bought and downloaded the new fresh OS. Upgrade from my Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) went well, I haven’t lost any of my data, and all of my applications are compatible with the new OS.

At first, I was especially excited about the security improvements, such as Filevault 2, Versions, and the ability to crypt Time Machine too. But now, I’m already very disappointed by Lion, on many points. I’ve been playing with Lion just for an evening, so the list of my disappointments might not be so exhaustive at the time I’m writing these lines, but here they are.