The miscellaneous ramblings and thoughts of Dan G. Switzer, II

From The 80s File: Mr. T Sings About Mothers!

What a great way to start off the day. Mr. T sings about the glory of Mothers! Funny, funny stuff—Mr. T singing that is...

Upgrade your PSP v2.0 Firmware!

Ok, so while the "official" PSP v2.0 firmware for the US hasn't been released, it has been confirmed that the Japanese release that came out today will in fact work. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Download the PSP v2.0 Japanese firmware.
  2. Plug your PSP so it's being powered off the AC adapter.
  3. Connect your PSP to your PC via USB cable.
  4. Goto the directory /PSP/GAME/ in your memory stick.
  5. Create a sub-directory named "UPDATE" (MUST be uppercase)
  6. Copy the downloaded PBP file into this directory.
  7. Rename it to "EBOOT.PBP" (MUST be uppercase too)
  8. Disconnect the PSP from the PC
  9. In PSP's XMB interface, goto "Game" -> "Memory Stick"
  10. Browse to the Update file and run it by clicking on the "X" button.

I've just installed it. I'm so excited about being able to finally use the WAN feature. Up to this point I haven't been willing to move back from WPA-SKA to WEP.


Remote Control You User's PC via a URL...

Sean Tierney blogged about a pretty cool little open source project called UltraVNC Single-Click.

Basically if you're running Windows and you need tech support from me, I point you to an executable on my site and it gives me VNC control over your system. What this means is no more 30min tech support sessions with relatives walking them through the process of troubleshooting a faulty device driver or some other obscure problem over the phone ("what do you see now?"). No matter what computer they're working on you send them to a URL and take control of their system remotely and let them watch how you fix it. And if you want to take it a step further and preserve the solution as a movie so they can reference it later, use this cross-platform VNC2SWF screen recorder (like camtasia only for a VNC session).

Text Fades For Scrolling Content...

Simon Collison blogged a pretty cool CSS technique he called Image fades for overflow: auto. Essentially this technique allows you fade the text as it nears the edge of the box before it would hide from view. Here's the image Simon shows on his site:

This technique could probably use some improvement. It's probably something you could wrap up in a JS library to apply to elements automatically. Regardless, it's a cool looking effect. Kudos to Simon!

NFL Films - Pittsburgh Steelers - The Complete History On Sale 8/2...

Go buy your copy of NFL Films - Pittsburgh Steelers - The Complete History right now!

This two-disc set celebrates the rich history of the Pittsburgh Steelers, from the inception through their incredible run in 2004. Bonus program is the NFL Films production of Super Bowl XIII, the 35-31 thriller in which the Steelers topped the Cowboys. Includes tons of bonus features on the greatest Steeler moments, games and players.

CFEclipse BER Now Available via CFEclipse.org

Spike Milligan posted on his blog today that CFEclipse has completely moved to CFEclipse.org. He's no longer going to be offering nightly builds/bleeding edge releases (BER) on his site. The good news is, you can now get the BERs directly from CFEclipse.org.

See the Downloads page for instructions on how to download stable and BER releases automatically using CFEclipse.

Install Multiple Version of Internet Explorer On You PC!

You learn new stuff every day. Thanks to Brendan Smith for pointing out to me that some creative web guys have come up with a solution for running multiple versions of IE on a PC without having to run anything in a virtual machine.

Ryan Parman over at skyzyx.com has been nice enough to encapsulate all the version in nice little zip files that you can just extract to a directory and run. It doesn't appear that people have 100% success using this hack, but it seems to work for most people. The only noticable issue is that the "Help > About" will always list the current version of IE installed, but apparently the user agent reports back the expected results.

Download Standalone Microsoft Internet Explorer v3 - v6


Old News, News To Me: IE7 Being Released For WinXP SP2

Ok, this is I guess is old news, but it's news to me. Apparently Microsoft has changed their stance on releasing another version of Internet Explorer for their current OS line.

Originally, Microsoft had taken a stance that IE 7 would be a "Longhorn" (now officially named Windows Vista) product only and that v6 was going to be the last release for all current versions of the Microsoft OS. It's now looking like that stance has changed.

Building on those advancements, Gates announced Internet Explorer 7.0, designed to add new levels of security to Windows XP SP2 while maintaining the level of extensibility and compatibility that customers have come to expect. Internet Explorer 7.0 will also provide even stronger defenses against phishing, malicious software and spyware. The beta release is scheduled to be available this summer.


Using XML Entities To Define "Variables" In Your Documents...

Wayne Graham has posted a nice blog entry on how to use XML entities to provide "dynamic" variables in your XML documents. The article is really geared towards users using the CFMX Model-Glue framework, but the technique of using XML entities will work with any XML document.

New PSP Firmware On It's Way!!!

There's a new PSP firmware on it's way.


  1. WPA-PSK wireless encrption (Finally, I can use the PSP w/my WAN!)
  2. Built-in browser
  3. Virtual Keyboard
  4. "Portable TV" (I'd presume some streaming media player)


Fiddler - Great Free HTTP Proxy/Monitor for Windows...

I ran across this a reference to Fiddler a couple of days ago and I downloaded it, but hadn't had a chance to install it and evaluate it. I just figured I'd play around with it the next time I needed an HTTP proxy/monitor. Well, this morning I finally had a need for one.

This morning a friend of mine pinged me over IM having a problem using cfform to generate a Flash-based form that was talking w/a CFC. He had a simple example that was working, but when plugged into the live content it wasn't.

Anyway, a quick look w/the Firefox Live HTTP Headers extension told me that his Flash form wasn't seeing his CFC. Easy enough fix—or so I thought. After changing the path to the CFC it still wasn't working, although I could tell the Flash form was now seeing the CFC because I could see the 200/OK responses. However, I couldn't actually see what data was coming back from the server.


qForms v2.0 - Skinning Example

From time to time I've seen people complain about how boring and unflexible HTML forms are in terms of looks. Some of the designers I've talked to really hate the default button elements, especially when it comes to the radio and checkbox elements.

I was doing some surfing last week and came across some example code on Eric Dolecki's blog which he labelled CSS Radio Buttons. Essentially he was using some JavaScript to hide the default input elements and replace them with images. The code was pretty neat, but a little cumbersome and involves having to add a lot of hooks. So, I spent a couple of hours over the weekend and through together a very rudimentary "Skins" plug-in for qForms.

I've only tested the code in Firefox and IE at the moment, but it seems to work pretty well. In order to see the full effect, your browser will have to support the insertBefore() method. Essentially what the code does is parses through the field elements in a form looking for the type of element you're skinning (currently only checkboxes and radio elements are support.) It'll then hide the element by setting the display property to "none". It'll then insert an image into the DOM right before the input element which has event's attached to the onclick event which will replicate the input element's functionality.


Episode III: The Backstroke of the West...

Apparently there are some bootleg versions of Revenge of the Sith going around. The bootlegs are complete with a driect translations in English of what the Chinese intepritation of the script was. (So, it translated from English to Chinese back to English.)

Someone who purchased this bootleg copy, made this nice little slideshow of some of the funnier captions in the movie.

This actually reminds me of when Astavista (and on Search Engine—not sure if they're still around) first released translation services. A buddy of mine, Roy, and I would type up IMs and then run them from English to some language back to English and send our IMs that way. Some of the results were really funny.

Installing the DBEdit Eclipse Plug-in For Use With MS SQL 2000...

I installed the Eclipse DBEdit Plug-in today in order to try to save some development time. The plug-in looks pretty cool, but took some time to install. I first tried to see if I could use the Macromedia JDBC drivers that were on my box, since I already have CFMX 7 installed. Turns out you get an "Restricted Access" message when trying to use the Macromedia drivers when you're not using a Macromedia product. This lead me to installing the Microsoft SQL Server JDBC drivers.

Here's what I had to do to get DBEdit installed. I think many good open source projects go unused because often there's a complete lack of instructions for getting the project installed and getting it operational. So if you're using SQL Server 2000 and Eclipse and want to get DBEdit running, you've come to the right place!

  1. You'll need to download Microsoft's SQL Server 2000 Driver for JDBC.
  2. You'll want to download is the mssqlserver.tar file. You're only worried about the specific class files that Java needs, so no need to download the entire installer.
  3. Create a folder to install the JDBC drivers to. I installed them into my "Microsoft SQL Server" folder into a directory called "jdbc".
  4. You'll need to extract 3 files which are actually inside the msjdbc.tar file which are inside the mssqlserver.tar file. The files can be found in the "lib" folder of the msjdbc.tar file. The files are:
    • msbase.jar
    • mssqlserver.jar
    • msutil.jar
    If using WinRAR, you should be able to open up "mssqlserver.tar" and then open up the "msjdbc.tar" and browse to the "./lib" folder without extracting all the .tar files.
  5. Extract those files into the JDBC folder you created in step 3.
  6. Download the Eclipse DBEdit plug-in.
  7. Unzip the contents of the into your Eclipse folder.
  8. Start Eclipse.
  9. Go to "Window > Open Perspective > Other".
  10. Select the "DBEdit" perspective and click "Ok".
  11. You'll know need to create a Connection.
  12. Go to the "Classpath" tab and click the "Add Archive" button. You'll need to add each of the files you extracted to your JDBC folder one at a time.
  13. Click back on the "Common" tab.
  14. You should see a select of "JDBC Drivers" if you select the drop down. The driver you want to use is the "com.microsoft.jdbc.sqlserver.SQLServerDriver" driver.
  15. Next enter the "Server URL". You'll want to enter:
    If you want to specify database other than the default database for the user you're logging into, you can specify the database to log into by default, by adding the databaseName argument to the URL string. (Where XXX is the name of the database.)

  16. Now enter the log in creditials for the database.
  17. You'll probably want to change the name of the Database Bookmark to something more useful. You can change this by editing the "Name" field above the tabs.
  18. Finally, click "Connect" or "Reconnect" button, which ever is there.


Thunderbird - Removing Entries From "To:" Autocomplete...

Ever had an e-mail address that keeps popping up in your autocomplete field in Thunderbird? If you've used other e-mail clients in the past, usually you can select the entry using the keyboard and hit either [DELETE] ( or [SHIFT]+[DELETE] like you can in Firefox.)

Apparently Thunderbird compiles the autocomplete list not from a cache, but from e-mail addresses in your Address Book or by guessing for users in your domain. So why is that rogue invalid entry in there you ask? Well, perhaps it was added to your Address Book automatically under the "Collected Addresses" section. That's what happened to me.

All of the sudden a name started appearing in the drop down list that was invalid. It was causing me problems because it was always popping up as the first choice when trying to e-mail my boss. So, if you're seeing some invalid e-mail addresses showing up in your autocomplete list in Thunderbird, do the following: