Saturday, March 31, 2007


Linkify is a simple, but effective bookmarklet that makes it easy to create hyperlinks from a term or phrase, in browser text entry fields.  To use it, just select some text, and then click on the Linkify. Then an iframe appears with search results from Google.

Each result entry also has a "create link" link.  If that link is selected, the selected text is replaced with the html link.

[via Matt Cutts SEO blog]

Friday, March 30, 2007

comments fixed

I have fixed comments on this site.  I was playing with the closecomments plugin for LifeType, which automatically disables comments after they reach a certain age.  Guess what... comments get disabled.

I am now re-enabling comments on all posts, so things should be back to normal.



Universcale is a cool web app.  It lets you compare the size of various things from the Universe, galaxies, major monuments, and various animals.

You could spend a lot of time playing with this app.

[via Webware]

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

links for 2007-03-28

Automatic backup to ftp server

This page has a pretty simple script for backing up specified directories, and all mysql databases to a ftp server.


Linux Media Center Edition looks very cool. LinuxMCE is a add-on to Ubuntu distribution of linux, that gives a easy interface to access your media. Here is a comparision videos that compare Linux MCE with Windows MCE.

With the features that are described, I would love to build a Linux MCE box.  I would want to make sure that the PC would have CableCard slots.

Friday, March 23, 2007

links for 2007-03-24

Ferrari F1 cars

This is a pretty cool commercial for Shell, where various historic Ferrari Formula 1 cars are racing through cities around the world.

This is making me look forward to the San Jose Grand Prix this summer.  (I know that Formula 1 is not the same as Champ Car.)

[via Autoblog]

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

links for 2007-03-22

posting within

Sometimes I find interesting sites that I want to post about, but I don't want to do a whole post. has the ability to automatically make daily posts with the bookmarks for a day.

This is definitely an experimental feature.  The setting ui, accessed from settings / daily blog posting, is definitely minimalistic:

Daily Blog Posting

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

links for 2007-03-21

LifeType 1.2

LifeType 1.2 has been released.  This adds some new features like:

I have installed this on several installations, and it works seamlessly.

MySpace and hot linking

I have noticed that some MySpace pages have been hotlinking to some images on my server.  Here are some links that describe how to prevent hotlinking:

Now, I am looking into porting the Hotlink prevention plugin to the 1.2 version of LifeType.

Monday, March 19, 2007


For someone who is not that excited about Twitter, I sure seem to be spending a lot of time on it.  Twitterific is an application that lets you post tweets from Mac OS X.

There are some pretty cool features in Twitterific:

  • audio notification when new tweets arive

  • Automatically shortens urls with

I do wonder if it would be better to be a Dashboard Widget.  The UI is pretty similar to a widget.

Ideas for Twitter

I am still not sure that I will really use Twitter in the end.  The problem that I have is it is not really part of my daily routine.  I hardly have time to respond to emails, so spending time on something this trivial.

Automated systems are perfect candidates for using Twitter.  This post describes using Twitter for notifications from a home automation system. I think that this is a pefect use of Twitter.  Here are some other ideas:

  • Auto telematics systems to send notifications of car diagnostic status

  • Navigation systems, to send position information (Including urls on Google Maps)

  • Public transit systems to sent status notifications

Gallery 2.2

Gallery 2.2 has been released.  The upgrade from our 2.1.2 install went smoothly.  In addition to some security improvements, there are some interesting features:

  • Downloadable plugins, from within the admin interface.

  • Watermark changes - watermarks can be added to entire albums, instead of only applying to newly added images.

  • WebDAV module - you can mount your gallery as a file system

  • Photo auto-rotation based on EXIF data from camera

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Fixed bug in Post Trackback script

I just fixed a bug in the Post Trackback script.  There was a bug where if your post had a link to an image, the script was attempting to find a trackback url from the image.

I have update the disk image here.

Hawking HNC210

Hawking Hnc210I have been interested in getting a network camera for a while.  I like the concept of having devices connected directly to the network, without needing a computer to be running.  A while ago, I saw that woot was selling the Hawking HNC210 network camera, so I decided to get one.

The setup was pretty easy.  Even though, officially, it only supports Windows PCs for configuration, I was able to set it up on my mac.  All the windows config tool does is looks for any cameras on the network, and presents them in the UI.  Then the tool will set you set the ip address.  You can do the same thing without the PC app, as the web server is always running on the camera.  All you need to do is determine the ip address that the dhcp server sent to the camera.  You can either do network map, or look at the dhcp status page on most broadband routers.


I just don't get it.  I understand that Twitter allows you to keep a "micro-blog", where each entry can only be 140 characters.  I also understand that you can see what your friends are doing, when they enter their "tweets"

If I wanted to post everything, the entries would be "home", "at work", "fixing bugs", "reading email", "working on documentation", "in a meeting".  These are all things can can be communicated though IM status messages.  Also, I am sure that most of my friends would have similar status messages.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Controlling your data

Yesterday, one of the the Spanning Sync service had a configuration issue.  This caused a few errors during synchronization for users.  This makes me think that there is a problem with this solution for synchronizing your data.

Here is a diagram of how I think that Spanning Sync works:

Spanning Sync Diagram

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Small problem in Mac OS X 10.4.9

I just realized that our iMac was having a small problem with the the new version of Mac OS X.  10.4.9 now includes improved checking for damaged disk images.  All of the disk images that I had created so our kids could play their games, without using the CD, now are being reported as being corrupt.  (I doubt that they actually are all corrupt, unless the previous version of Disk Utility created corrupt images.)

Unfortunately, recreating the disk images from the original CDs does not solve the problem.  The error message still appears.

Secure Mac OS X

This two part (1, 2) article has some great tips for securing Mac OS X.

[via TUAW]

Managing memory in php has a good document that covers memory management in php

.Mac sync with Mac OS X 10.4.9

Last night, I updated to Mac OS X 10.4.9.  After installing, I noticed that .Mac syncing was working a lot better than it had been.  After updating, I was able to see my settings and Keychains on our iMac. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Updated Post Trackback script

When I upgraded to the Mac Book Pro, the Post Trackback script, that is used to send trackbacks from within ecto, stopped working.  The mgrep scripting addition, was only compiled for PPC, so script fails to run on an Intel Mac.

I finally got around to removing the dependancy on this addition.  Now this script runs a perl script with the do shell script command, to to the parsing.

The new version of the script can be found here.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Really Simple Discovery for LifeType

The Really Simple Discovery specification makes it very easy for xmlrpc client to discover the xmlrpc url as well as the xmlrpc APIs that blogging software supports.  If this is implemented, all a user needs to know is the blog url, and their user name and password.  They will not need to know what url needs to be used when using xmlrpc communication.

I decided to implement this as a plugin for LifeType 1.2, and it works very well.  Here is the wiki page for the plugin.  I will update the page to include the real link, once the 1.2 plugins are pushed to sourceforge.  In the mean time, the plugin can be downloaded though svn or in the latest snapshot.

[via Red Sweater Blog]

Friday, March 9, 2007

Scheduled Launching/Quitting Applications

On our Mac mini, I wanted to schedule an application to launch in the morning, and quit at night.  I was able to pretty easily configure launchd and AppleScript to do this.

For example, if I wanted to launch TextEdit, I would create these AppleScripts, and saved them as applications.

tell application "TextEdit"
end tell

tell application "TextEdit"
end tell

Thursday, March 8, 2007


In this post, I mentioned Launchd Editor.  This was not the ideal tool for me, as once you created the plist file, you had to manually install it.  It looks like Lingon solves this problem.

Lingon gives you a graphical interface to create the launchd plist files, and will install them for you.  Another interesting feature is the wizard, which walks you through the steps to create the launchd files.  This is what Apple should have done when initially when they first shipped launchd.

Proliferation of Google Accounts

The number of Google Accounts that I have is steadily increasing.  Now I have 3 4 accounts.

  1. One is my account

  2. One is my [email protected] account with password X (Created in Google Apps for Your Domain)

  3. One is my [email protected] account with password Y (Created in Google Groups)

  4. One is my [email protected] account (Created in Google Adsense)

There is some inconsistancy with where and how these Accounts can be used.  For example, I can use the account to log into most Google services. I can use the credentials that were created in Google Apps to log into Google Apps, but not the main Google services.

When I use Google Notifier or g4me, I can use either the account or the Google Apps account, and I get the correct information, but I can't use my other account credentials..

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Amazon Unbox on TiVo

It is always nice to be able to see something that you worked on actually being used.  While I worked at TiVo, I worked on the project to download video to the DVRs.

Now you can download Amazon Unbox videos directly to Series2 or Series3 TiVos.  I was curious about Amazon Unbox, but previously it was only available on Windows PCs.  Also, I never thought that watching video on a small computer screen was a compelling experience

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Save website bandwidth

This post has some nice tips on how to save bandwidth for websites. I currently am using the gzip option, and I will look into some of the others if I start having high bandwidth usages.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Daylight Saving Time bug in Google Calendar

I have noticed what appears to be a bug in how Google Calendar handles the Daylight Saving Time transition.  Appointements after  March 11th are appearing an hour later than they do before.

For example, I have a weekly meeting shceduled for 3pm PST on Mondays.  On the 12th, the meeting appears to be scheduled for 4pm on March 12th.

Friday, March 2, 2007

How FairPlay Works

This is an interesting article on how Apple's iTunes DRM works.

[via Slashdot]

LifeType 1.2

I have just updated this blog to the latest beta version of LifeType 1.2.  (I had been running it on some other blogs.)  The upgrade was pretty seamless.  The wizard took care of upgrading the database, without any problems.

This page describes the new features in LifeType 1.2

Thursday, March 1, 2007


This post on on Hawk Wings has a suggestion on how to speed up  Essentially this tip removes the fragmentation from the subjects table of Mail's sqlite database.  (VACUUM documentation page)

[via TUAW]

Copy files with resource forks through ssh

This hint on macosxhints has a tip on how to preserve resource forks for file copies through ssh. 

scp -E [email protected]:path/filename path/

This will copy both the data and resource forks, if both machines are running Mac OS X 10.4.


I am very interested in supporting projects and software that promote privacy and security.  I just discovered Vidalia, which is a cross-platform GUI for Tor and Privoxy.

Tor is a network of virtual tunnels that allow network traffic to be sent securely and privately around the internet.  Privoxy is a web proxy that blocks cookies, and removes ads.

Traffic on Google Maps

Google Maps just added real-time traffic data to their maps.  With a quick glance, you can tell which roads are congested.  To view this information while looking at a map or at driving directions, all you need to do is click on the "Traffic" button.

There are a couple of features that I would love to see added:

  1. When the returned driving directions use roads that are showing slow traffic, there should be an option to regenerate directions to avoid those roads.

  2. When viewing driving directions, there should be a "Notify of Traffic Problems" button.  When you click this button, you would be able to enter your cell phone number.  Now, if any of the roads included in the driving directions experiences a slow down, a text message would be sent to your cell phone, with that warning.

[via Google Operating System]