Large MySQL Database Backup, Restoration, & Offsite Storage at DropBox

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On Monday, my website host’s (DreamHost) database server crashed and they restored the previous week’s data for all of the databases hosted on that server. Eventually, they were able to restore the daily backups to disk, which allowed users to restore that day’s backup. However, when I went to restore the daily backup, it was about 16 hours old.

Within those 16 hours, one forum had hundreds of posts, topics, and forum reorganization; another WordPress blog had two dozen of posts; while my personal blog (this site) had no changes. At the time, my backup scheduled was:
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Homebrewing and Vermont Beer

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My Vermont Brewery tours were delayed a bit due to spending most of our weekends doing home improvement projects and yard work. Also, during the last few months I did get a chance to launch http://www.vtbeer.org and develop a WordPress plug-in using RateBeer API. Finally, I got the chance to make another small batch (1 gallon) of beer. Continue reading

How to convert a street address to longitude and latitude (geocoding) via web services (Google)

Several years ago, I wrote a blog entry detailing how to use geocoder.us (and Yahoo!) web services to geocode an address. Since then both web services have changed a little and I found myself needing to update my code to support non-US locations. Below is sample code showing how to use Google’s Geocoding web service to get longitude and latitude values for addresses.
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How to remove passwords from protected Microsoft Word documents

There’s always been a need to remove passwords from protected Microsoft Word documents when you need to make a change. My most common occurrence is with Human Resource (HR) forms. HR staff will create the MS Word document, password protect it, and then upload it to our company intranet. However, when I need to fill the form out, the only way to do so is to print the form, sign my name, scan the signed & printed form, and them email it back to them. What I would like to do, is to just paste a scan of my signature onto the form, save as a PDF, and them email them the PDF saving printing and scanning time and paper (which would then need to be shredded).

Here’s a trick that I learned a long time ago.
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