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November 1, 2009

Strata-Art 2009 Updates

It's been about a full year, but Strata-Art just got updated with a bunch of new paintings. Here's the list:

  • Cabs in Lower Manhattan (in "Metropolis")
  • Strolling in Union Square (in "A Glance")
  • Outside the Door (in "A Glance")
  • Cats on the Patio (in "A Glance")
  • Ladies at the Farmer's Market (in "Social Animals")
  • Holiday, Hudson River Park (in "Social Animals")
  • Reflection, Park Avenue (in "Social Animals")
  • Union Square Farmer's Market (in "Social Animals")
  • Coney Island Boardwalk (in "Thoughtful Crowd")
  • Levels, Museum of Modern Art (in "The Arts")
  • Vase on a Table (in "Urban Still Life")
  • Still Life with Blue Bottle (in "Urban Still Life")
  • July, Hudson River (in "Travel")
  • The Grecian Urn (in "Travel")
  • Farmer's Market Shopper (in "Sketches")

Also check out Richard Fox's new blog at http://open.salon.com/blog/rhfox

October 26, 2009

Woodbury & Fall Foliage

October 9, 2009

Frommer's Los Angeles

My recent trip to Los Angeles consisted of visiting various cities around the area. The only one that was covered on Frommer's was Santa Monica though. So I uploaded a few photos from there. They're all of Shutters on the Beach and Third Street Promenade.

Whenever I upload photos to one of our destinations, I check out what's already in that slideshow. I the case of Los Angeles, I wouldn't have uploaded mine if there are only a couple of photos up. I always make sure most of the photos are a good representation of the destination first.

Click here for Frommer's Los Angeles

September 29, 2009

Donations to Philippines

I gathered some links for donating to the recent typhoon relief efforts in the Philippines. Each item below was personally link-checked to make sure there was an option for the specific crisis:

Please feel free to republish this post on your own blog. Click here to download the source code for Blogger.

Thank you.

September 17, 2009

ColdFusion / SAML (Part 1)


I decided to create this series of posts because I had no experience working with SAML before this recent project. I found through Google searches that implementing via ColdFusion is extremely scarce, but was able to figure it out by going back and forth between 3 different websites:

1) Adventures in Web Application Development by Phil Duba
2) Webdevwork by Howard Ross
3) Tag: by David Rutter

All of the above are great references and I suggest you use them in addition to my own. Each environment is slightly different, so hopefully my contribution to this subject can help someone else attempting the ColdFusion/SAML combination. I have ColdFusion MX 7.0.2 running on Solaris 10 with Covalent Apache 1.3.


IDP = refers to the identity provider; In this case, it will be the site you're implmenting this for in ColdFusion.
SP = refers to the partner site (or service provider) that the user is trying to get to after logging on to the IDP
KS = keystore w/ signature components
Canonicalizer = an algorithm that formats the XML file to a standard canonical form so that signatures can match up between IDP & SP
Keytool = UNIX key and certificate management utility

Setting Up the ColdFusion Server

1) Download the Apache XML Security library.

2) Download the updated xmlsec.jar file.

3) Place all of these in ColdFusion's /lib directory and restart the server. Since they're in ColfFusion's /lib, they're automatically detected by the server and you shouldn't have to manually enter any paths into the Administrator.

Creating the Keystore

1) In a UNIX window, type in the following, replacing the italicized items with your own values:

keytool -genkey -v -keyalg RSA -alias ALIAS -keystore KEYTORE_FILENAME -storepass PASSWORD

-genkey is the function of keytool that generates a keystore
-v will display step by step instructions (verbose)
-keyalg selects the algorithm to use. The default is DSA, so we need to change it to RSA to be compatible with the XML security library
-alias is the alias of the keystore
-keystore is the name of the keystore file
-storepass is the password to access the keystore

2) Answer all of the questions that come up... name, organizational unit, organization, location, state and country.

3) Verify the keystore creation with:

keytool -list -alias ALIAS -keystore KEYTORE_FILENAME

Enter the password when prompted and you should get an MD5 hash.

4) Now that the keystore is all set, you have to create a certificate for the SP to install in their end. Enter the following command:

keytool -keystore KEYTORE_FILENAME -storepass PASSWORD -export -alias ALIAS -rfc > CERTIFICATE_FILENAME

5) Verify the certificate creation with:

keytool -printcert -v -file CERTIFICATE_FILENAME

You should get an onscreen output of the general keystore info., serial number, expiration date and a digital fingerprint. This certificate contains the public key.

After setting up your ColdFusion server and creating the keystore, all the tools are set for coding to begin. In part 2, I'll get into the XML and all of the components you need to fill in from the IDP's database.

August 8, 2009

Dragonboat 2009

July 23, 2009

Enchantment in the Newsletter

One of the things we were striving for in the Frommers.com Redesign was more stunning visuals. Many infosites feature a large photo to draw the eye in. We concentrated a lot on content with the old site and only had space for small photos. Our newsletter even has a nice, standard aspect ratio photo now. One of my Enchantment photos was featured in today's edition.

Click here for the 7/23 Frommers.com Newsletter

July 1, 2009

Frommer's 2009

Over the past couple of months, Frommers.com underwent a full redesign. The main goal of it was to give it an up-to-date look. Many infosites have made the jump to an XVGA resolution, so it was about time to do so with Frommer's. The new space would also provide opportunities for all of the feature that needed promotion and more standard ad units. One major change that users won't notice and actually, non-technical staff as well was the coding standard used. The code under the hood is now XHTML 1.0 Transitional instead of HTML 4.0 Loose. It's cleaner as it follows XML formatting and is much easier to use with CSS.

The color palette is roughly the same as before, so users will still feel that level of comfort. Some non-daily users may not even notice the difference. The improvements to the interface include...

1) a personalized CSS dropdown navigation with Pluck SiteLife login & Omniture Search.

2) JQuery slideshow to promote new features.

3) extremely prominent search boxes, since that's the primary means of navigation these days.

4) better integration of our world events, that were previously buried because of a bandaid approach applied to an acquired entity.

5) direct access API widgets everywhere that plugin to SiteLife blogs, forums and photo galleries.

June 11, 2009

Enchantment on Frommer's

I just posted some of my vacation photos up on Frommers.com. We have many different levels of photos now and I have to think about where I want to upload them. For Key West and Cozumel, I placed them into the official Destination Guides. Since we don't have a photo feature for cruises, I upload the Enchantment of the Seas images to my Community account.

- Key West Slideshow

- Cozumel Slideshow

- Enchantment User Gallery

June 8, 2009

May 12, 2009

Web Design w/ Pencils

I reached a point in one of my projects today where I had to start sketching out web designs. That's right... sketching with pencil and paper! I'm probably the only person in the office with a pencil and electric sharpener. Edward Kinney, one of my computer art professors at SCAD always said that an artist should never be at the computer without a plan in mind. Working things out on paper seems to be more effective. In front of a computer, there's too much exposure to automatic tools and filters. This leads to a tendency to jump ahead and work on details rather than the basic idea. Back then, we were learning electronic painting and animation, but this applies to web design as well.

We already had a bunch of pages figured out, but I ran across a page that was somewhere between a main menu and content page. If I had jumped straight to Photoshop to do the design, I'd be wasting time with what each page section looked like. On paper, I needed to figure out which layout would make the best use of the space. The details could be filled in with my imagination. I made two sketches and then easily picked the one that worked out the solution best. Tomorrow, I'll be all set to jump into the XHTML & CSS... not even going to the Photoshop step!

April 11, 2009

NY International Auto Show

I made it a point to go to the NY International Auto Show this year because it's been a while since the last time. So despite the rain, my longer-than-expected doctor's visit and train delays, I made it there at 1pm. It was crowded, but not as packed as past events (probably due to weather & the holiday weekend). The cars that were fenced off were easy to shoot. Thefully exposed ones were a little harder to get pictures of, but all I had to do was wait a few minutes until they cleared up.

The theme this year seemed to be hybrid and electric cars, but I went to get a closer look at all of the muscle car remakes... Shelby GT 500, Camaro SS, Challenger, etc. Most interesting of all was the Camaro exhibit because of the life-size Bumblebee replica from Transformers.

Click here for photos and details about each of the cars I looked at.

These photos have also been uploaded to RCT Performance.

Related: NY Auto Show, Jacob Javits Center, Transformers Movie

March 24, 2009

Wheels and Tires

RCT Performance just got a couple of new machines to add to their wide variety of services. To promote it on the website, a detailed slideshow was added to the homepage in place of the large photo. A smaller version of the slideshow was duplicated for the Wheels and Tires detail page, where it was wrapped with a detailed description of the machines.

Click Here for Wheels and Tires

March 8, 2009

Résumé 2009

I finally updated my résumé with a bunch of new items. Over the past 2 years, I added a lot of new technologies, but many of them were not software titles. Instead, it seems like everything went towards web-based services like search engines and Online communities. One of the major goals was to get "SEO" in there. It seems like everything these days is about search engine optimization. I've been to many seminars, read books and applied a lot of that knowledge to all of my sites. I also cleaned up some of the older items like the 3-D animation packages.

Click here for my updated résumé

February 23, 2009

Exhibition List

Part of the redesign that was done last July involved removing the high-maintenance Exhibitions section. Instead, the news box on the homepage was used to promote upcoming events. There was still a need to archive past events though. So a listing page was just added to the About section. The new page lists all of Kim Eng Yeo's exhibitions back to the beginning. It's a dynamic page driven by an MS Access database for easy storage and entry of each exhibition.

February 1, 2009

Miniature Opera House

The Miniature Opera House is up again on Frommers.com as Australia traditionally purchased another beginning of the year sponsorship. It's a great boost for traffic because the site gets higher volume during January and February. Also, Australia has always been one of the more successful contests.

Click here for details