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

Prince of Persia and the birth of motion capture...

Jordan Mechner, the creator of the original 1989 state-of-the-art animation image game Prince of Persia, has recently released the videos he took of his brother that he used for the animations in the game. When this game was released, it really took animations on the PC to a new level. For those that remember playing the game, I'm sure you'll recognize the moves performed in the video—especially his brother "struggling" to get up the wall.

It's pretty impressive to see the original footage that lead to the ground breaking animation. It's basically the birth of motion capture in video games.

AC/DC Releases First Ever Music Video Done Purely in MS Excel...

I have no idea what prompted this idea, but AC/DC has released what they call "the world's first music video in Excel format." You can download the video from AC/DC's website. Here's the YouTube video of the video with audio from AC/DC's new single Rock-n-Roll Train.

Barney Boisvert releases FlexChart v2.0

Barney Boisvert released FlexChart 2.0 yesterday. This is a Flex-based charting tool that can be used to easily adding graphs to your ColdFusion projects. While ColdFusion does have a number of Charting tools integrated into the product, it seems every time I go to use them I run into limitation after limitation that prevents me from using them. So, if you're looking for alternative charting for ColdFusion, the you should check out the FlexChart demos.

Chimpanzee Rides Segway

Segway's are so easy to use, even a Chimp can use one! This just cracks me up—but I get a kick out of just any video that stars a Chimpanzee.

Linkselect jQuery Plug-in Released!

My current employer (Giva, Inc) has released another jQuery plug-in today called the Linkselect jQuery Plug-in. This plug-in converts a normal <select /> element into a component that can be highly stylized via CSS. While there are a number of similar plug-ins already, there are a several of key differences which we think make this unique:

  • Drop down menus are intelligently positioned to stay in the viewport
  • Specifically designed to work in a limited amount of real estate
  • Specifically designed to work well with elements aligned on the right edge of the viewport
  • Full keyboard support (emulates IE6's <select /> element)
  • Feature rich API (for updating value, replacing options, disabling elements, etc)
  • Many callback features to control behavior (on change, on init, on format, etc.)
  • Supports tabindex

We've put together an example page that demos many of the features and how to use the plug-in.

Gas prices... $2.92/gallon for premium in Central Ohio...

I just filled up the tank this morning and for the first time in a long time I saw "Premium" under $3/gallon. I filled up at Giant Eagle's GetGo here in Hilliard, OH (so I could take advantage of our fuel perks) and premium was listed at $2.92/gallon. I've seen the price of regular drop under the $3 mark a couple of times in the past few years, but this is the first time I remember seeing premium under the mark.

I'm beginning to think the oil companies are worried that the US is really serious about trying to find other renewal energy sources this time and is dropping prices in hopes that it stalls the momentum of change.

Find all tags with an attribute containing a specific phrase in Eclipse

If you want to quickly find all tags that have an attribute containing a specific value, you can use the following regular expression:


You can use this from either the Global Search (CTRL+H) or from the Find/Replace (CTRL+F) dialogs (just remember to check the "regular expressions" option.)

You'll need to replace the following tokens in the string with the correct values:

TAGNAME = The name of the tag
ATTRIBUTE = The tag's attribute to search
VALUE = The value to search for in the tag's attribute

This regular expression is designed to find the VALUE anywhere in the attribute's value. If you wanted to find exact values, you can remove the [^"]* around the (VALUE) string to make it find exact values.

For example, to find all anchor tags pointing to the file "hello_world.htm" you could use:


Finding all matching open/close tags in Eclipse

If you want to quickly find all matching open and close tags, you can use the following regular expression:


You can use this from either the Global Search (CTRL+H) or from the Find/Replace (CTRL+F) dialogs (just remember to check the "regular expressions" option.)

The "(?is)" makes the regular expression ignore case and search over multiple lines. Just replace the string "TAGNAME" with the tag you want to search. For example, to find all <cfloop> tags, just do: