Archive for the 'Internet Stuff' Category
Today I cut the cable cord. No more TV. Done. Just Internet for us from now on. Netflix online, Boxee, Hulu, iTunes Movie Rentals, etc.
I wonder how many movies I could rent for the $500 a year I will save ;-)1 comment
I was interested in monitoring a website for changes (to see when something was back in stock). I found a website that would allow me to do that very easily aptly named www.changedetection.com. The site is very simple. Just enter the URL you want to monitor and your email address. From there you get controls on the frequency, type of change you are looking for (any change, large change, additions, subtractions, etc).
They also have a social component in that you can see what other people are monitoring. Sounds like maybe an interesting digg like thing in a way….social bookmarking of sorts.
Anyway, not a day later I found another nice use for the site. I made an FTP upload directory for my clients. Either the client would have to email me when they uploaded something or I would have to check daily. But by simply putting a .htaccess file in that directory (with a single line of “Options +indexes”), I could make the upload directory listable which allows changedetection.com to check it for changes. Works like a champ.
Only issue might be security as now anyone can see the FTP directory. But for what I am using it for (uploading recorded video clips which will be on the main website in a day anyway) this is a perfect match.No comments
When you go to web pages with forms, most modern web browsers will try and help you fill in the form by remembering what you typed into a form in the past. So if you start typing your name into a field that is depicted as a “name” field, then the browser will offer up suggestions as you type. This is a great thing.
But once upon a time I typo’d my email address in a form….instead of email@example.com I entered firstname.lastname@example.org. I don’t recall what form it was for, but I think I realized it when I never got email from that site. No big deal, I just re-did the form on that site and went along my way.
But what happened was that Firefox remembered my typo. So now when I fill in forms with email addresses, I would get two suggestions for my email address…one correct and one typo. Worse yet, the typo one was the first choice. This has stung me a few times when I was in a hurry so today I searched for the fix.
Turns out Firefox stores form suggestions in a file called formhistory.sqlite located in /Users/someuser/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/someprofile.default/formhistory.sqlite
I opened the file in a text editor initially just to see if I could find the typo and it was there. Before I made any changes, I made a copy of the file (for me it was a 700KB file…and not something I could afford to f-up). After making a copy, I tried to make the correction by changing the text to the correct spelling of my email address. I figured it would simply have two “Correct” spellings after that change. But the edit I did made the form file not work anymore. Thank god I made a backup.
So I went to versiontracker.com and looked for anything in the Mac OS X area that allowed browsing and editing of SQLITE database files. I found MesaSQLite. Once I downloaded the software (shareware), I was able to open the formhistory file (even double-click to open) and search for the typo email address. I played with the table and field search settings till I found which one had the data I needed:
table=moz_formhistory value=<my typo'd email address>
I edited (in my case deleted) the record and COMMITed the change. Put the changed formhistory file in place of the old file and restarted Firefox.
No more typo!12 comments
I use Gmail to host my carlhutzler.com email. It is free and very versatile. They have great spam fighting as well. But I started to get concerned about false positives with Gmail the other day when my buddy Tken said an email I just sent to him went to his spam folder (he hosts his domain on gmail as well).
Then yesterday I found out one of my client’s had responded to me about 3 weeks ago and her email went to my spam folder. Not that this is a big cause for alarm, one false positive (that I have noticed) in two years is not bad. But maybe there are more?
As one preventative step, I decided to look at my gmail address book (contacts) to see how many were in the list. Turns out I only had 75 contacts! But my local email program on my desktop had over 2000. Hmmmm. I guess Gmail does not “collect” addresses as I send them from my desktop email program (via SMTP). Or maybe there is a setting to allow that? I am not aware of one, but boy should they have it.
Anyway, I use Thunderbird for my email client and I did a quick google search and found a plugin called “Zindus” that will allow you to sunc (bi-directional if you like) to gmail from thunderbird. While the interface/set-up is a little clunky looking, it does work. After a little playing, I was able to sync my 2000+ contacts to Google. And it removed dupes as well!
This should help with spam reliability from people I already email regularly and will make using the Google webmail interface more versatile as I don’t have to remember everyone’s address if I am away from my laptop.
Oh, and I also found that you can now sign into AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) from within the Gmail web interface now. Bonus :-)No comments
I started using Skype last year because I found it very convenient for technical support and other 1-800 type calls where you might be on hold for a long time. Skype also was nice as on a Mac Laptop it performs VERY well as a full duplex speakerphone without any additional things to buy/plugin. This allows me to do stuff while I talk to a tech support person.
Anyway, I quickly realized that it would be great to be able to call any number. So I subscribed to SKYPE OUT and found it was great and I used it more and more.
But the only issue I found was that sometimes when I called someone using SKYPE they would not answer. Why? Because the called id would come across as “not available” or some weird number like (123) 456-7890.
Today I had a similar experience and decided to look into it. I found that you can assign a caller ID to your SKYPE out calls by typing in the number you would like to use (like your cell phone #) and then confirming you own that number via an SMS confirmation code process.
I just did it and the process worked perfectly. They said my caller id would be activated within 24 hours and they would send me a confirmation when it was complete. Nice!3 comments
Don’t know about the rest of you, but my blog seemed to load very slowly of late. I tried a bunch of things but could not figure it out and started to suspect my hosting company (1and1.com). Being Christmas Eve and all, I decided today would be a good time to find out.
I went with Dreamhost and signed up for their yearly plan ($10 a month…same as 1and1 business hosting). I heard they were a good provider and I was hoping that the speed issue was indeed 1and1.com and not my blog set-up itself.
My blog was hosted as a directory off of my main site (carlhutzler.com/blog). I wanted to be able to move the main site (my photo business) and the blog as close to seemlessly as possible. I was a little nervous as I had not moved a WordPress blog before. My website was simple…just a bunch of html files, but the blog had a MySQL database with all kinds of data in it along with my configuration settings and even a little .htaccess rewrite rules for the pretty URL stuff.
I read up a little on the subject and decided to go with the steps after the break… Read more2 comments
I shoot a lot of performance photography (ballet/dance). At the end of a week of shows, I might have several thousand images to go through and upload to my SmugMug.com site for parents/dancers to purchase. I can’t possibly edit every image to prepare them for printing as most images never get purchased and it would simply take way too long.
So what I began doing is uplaoding the raw from camera images to SmugMug and then setting the gallery to have a “7 Day Proof” period. So when a customer comes along and orders, their order is held for 7 days to allow me a chance to fully edit/color corrected, etc the image from their specific order.
This worked just fine except the SmugMug “Ã‚Â Delayed for proofing & touch-up” page was not very easy nor quick for me to use. What I needed was to be able to replace each image with the color corrected image. While there is a “REPLACE PHOTO” button for each image, the process was very manual. Click the button, BROWSE to the color corrected file on my local machine, upload the image (10 seconds), wait until SmugMug was finished processing the new image (maybe 45 seconds), then rinse and repeat.
Even though I usually could edit 20 images in Photoshop for an order fairly quickly, the longest and most tedious part was just getting them re-uploaded to SmugMug. While the original image upload after the shoot is easy (using the MacDaddy uploader), smugmug provides no way to simply REPLACE images in bulk. (I did send them a request for the enhancement)
In my struggles, I did find one cheat which was that you don’t have to wait the extra 45 seconds for SmugMug to finish processing the image. You can use the browser back button to go back to the full list of images and hit REPLACE PHOTO and start on the next one. This did save some time, but it was still fairly manual on my side.
Today I found a fairly good solution to all of this. There is a firefox add-on called FireUploader which allows you to do the equivalent of an FTP upload to a website which may only support HTTP protocols. Some websites work with FireUploader and some do not. But many popular sites like FlickR and SmugMug do.
Once installed, you just activate FireUploader by clicking on the symbol down in the lower right of your FF window. Then you navigate to your smugmug site and into the folder where the images you want to replace are located. If you then upload a new file/image with the exact same name as one that is on the site, it will ask if you want to overwrite the file on smugmug. Click yes (and apply to all) and the process is automatic from there.
The only issue I notice is that the FTP is fairly slow. The file transfer is very quick, but then it sits for that same 45 seconds while it “waits to complete the transfer”. This may be a smugmug protocol thing where it accepts the file but does not answer back with a “completed” until after smugmug has finished processing the new image for thumbnails, etc.
But regardless of the time penalty, this saves me a lot of time as it is completely automated! Yeah :-)5 comments
One of my clients forgot their password a few days ago for their email address which is hosted on Google Apps. It just so happens that this account was also the admin account for the entire domain!
On top of this issue, for some reason the “I forgot my password” link was just telling us to “check with your domain admin” for assistance. While I was pretty sure I had checked the box allowing us to reset the admin password by sending an email to a secondary email address, this was not showing up.7 comments