Saturday, October 03, 2009

xampp on Vista: Problem Solved

So xampp is cool. When it works. It's everything you need all rolled into an easy-to-install package to turn your computer into a web server. (This is crucial if you are a web developer and are trying to build/debug a web site. You must have one of the computers that is in the same room with you acting as a web server...)

But here's the problem: there's so much junk installed on computers these days that it is quite common to get "port conflicts" with some other piece of installed software. When you try to enable the Apache web server or the MySQL database server that are installed with xampp, sometimes they just won't start up. They seem like they're trying to, but then... nothing.

I googled it. Turn off skype, they say. I don't have Skype, can't be that.

Google again. Turn off the anti-virus. Nope. Not that.

Google again. Turn off World Wide Web Publishing Service. Nope. Not there. Not even listed as a service on my Vista laptop.

For the life of me, I could not see what was opening port 80. I use Process Explorer all the time on Windows. But there are so many things running on my Vista laptop, it would have taken me forever to find port 80 looking through things one at a time. I finally traced it down to a process called "System:4" (process ID 4, that is) by using a tool called Tcpview, from the same very cool cat that keeps Process Explorer in tip top shape. Thanks, Mark.

Finally... google led me to this post saying that I should also turn off "SQL Server Reporting Services (MSSQLServer)". Additionally, I turned off everything else SQL Server related in the services control panel. I really probably don't need them for anything that I actually use. They were "accidentally" installed/activated as a side effect of installing some Visual Studio or SDK, I'm sure...

Whew. Hopefully this helps somebody out. Maybe save you the handful of hours I just donated to the bit bucket.

One more comment: I really do not understand why Skype, WWW Publishing, SQL Reporting, or any of these other things should be grabbing onto port 80. What the heck? Port 80's for a web server. Go away unless you're a web server! Leave me alone so when I want to run a web server, it just works like it's supposed to. Or at least show me something when I go to http://localhost in my browser.

But hey, I'm done ranting. Apache and MySQL are running now. I can run CDash on my Vista laptop again and....

Life is Good (really, it is.... :-)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Last Day of July

Too busy lately. Kids about to start college. Have we started summer yet? It's been a strange month. But oddly enough, we've been relaxed and happy despite the busy-ness. And there's time to squeeze in a few rounds of golf now and again.

But, hey: we finally got iPhones. And all my music and pictures fit in 20G. I am carrying them all in my pocket, at least for now. :-)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Toll Free Bridging -- way cool article about "toll free bridging" -- the mechanism used to make CFString look like NSString on Mac OSX.... -- thanks to Rob Fahrni for the pointer

Monday, June 22, 2009

Reading List

Also on the must read list: anything by Seth Godin. Purple Cow. Permission Marketing. Not that I've read them yet, but they are on the must read list. So someday.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Vacation Photos

Last September, we took an awesome vacation in the beautiful land of Scotland. Then, later on, I finally went through all the photos and uploaded the best of them to a web album... For those of you we've talked to recently and promised to send you a link to them, here they are:


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Frackle: It's Here!

It's here!

Frackle: The simplest fractal explorer on the planet. Now available as Frackle, in the iTunes app store. (Click this link directly, which launches iTunes, or search for Frackle by DLR softWare LLC in the app store...)

Frackle documentation online here:

Check it out. Buy it. Put it on your iPhone or your iPod Touch.

Let me know how you like it. Or if you have a brilliant idea to improve Frackle.

I'm thinking maybe a blog entry a week featuring a cool fractal image straight from Frackle would be a neat way to show it off... Maybe I'll do that.

Take it easy,

Friday, April 10, 2009

Get a Job

So I read this book in the fall of 2008. "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Timothy Ferriss. You may want to read it, you may not. It'll only take a few hours at most. You might believe some of what he says, you might be skeptical. The concept is simple: stop spending so much time making a living and create something that produces income for you without as much effort as a "real job." If you could do that, you could spend your time pursuing what you want to pursue, and forget about going to work all the time. Stop making a living and make a life instead...

He recommends going on an information diet: consume less of the daily internet headlines, blogs, books, magazines, newspapers, tv, radio... And do stuff instead. Be more productive. Make more time for yourself by taking charge of your day each and every day. Ignore the unimportant.

But then he has four must read "other book" recommendations near the end of his book. Someday I'm going to read all of these, too:

  • The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

  • How to Make Millions with Your Ideas by Dan S. Kennedy

  • The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

  • Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

(Big long subtitles of all five of these books omitted in all cases to save me time typing this...)

Maybe I'll come back later and put in links to these books on amazon. Or maybe I won't.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Coming soon...

Frackle: The simplest fractal explorer on the planet. For iPhone.

Documentation is online now:


(which, for now, immediately redirects to and then to

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Deep in the text of this posting is how to find the file "" using Spotlight on a Mac:

Whew! Not sure why that file has to be quite so hidden, but there you go.