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

Outlook errors when retrieving mail from POP3 server

A problem I've been having more and more frequently is that I'll get a piece of spam in my POP3 account which Outlook is unable to process. This causes Outlook to keep downloading the same messages over and over from the server and it's unable to grab the latest messages.

Fortunately I found a nice little freeware utility years ago called Vallen POP3 Mail Checker that allows you to connect to a POP account and remove delete messages setting in your spool. This little utility works really great and doesn't require any installation—you can just unzip the exe into a folder and run the pop3.exe.

This little utility is also great for checking other miscellaneous POP3 accounts. I use it to occasionally connect to account that are set up for automation, so I can delete a message if it's causing problems with the server.

Anyway, since I just had to run this program again to delete some spam from my mail server, I thought I'd post about this great little tool.

Extreme Reunion, New Album and Summer Tour...

Well, this isn't exactly news, but it's news to me. Extreme has wrapped up a new album and is planning a Summer Tour (rumored to be with King's X and possibly Living Color.) The album is scheduled to be released "Spring 2008."

Now this news really excites me. I thought III Sides to Every Story and Waiting for the Punchline were two of the best albums in the 1990s and was extremely sadden when they decided to part ways. If you listen to Extreme's albums from their first album to their last, they just kept getting better and better. So I'm really excited to see what the new album we be like.

Being a big fan of Extreme, I followed Gary and Nuno's post-Extreme careers pretty closely. While I've always loved Nuno's guitar work, I was never a big fan of his post Extreme work. I thought Schizophonic was a decent album. I've listen to all his other projects (Population One, Mourning Windows, Dramagods,) but nothing really hooked me like his work with Extreme.

Gary Cherone on the other hand has done several things I've really loved. I thought Tribe of Judah's Exit Elvis was a great album. I also really dig the EP he put out titled Need I Say More—which is sort of an adult contemporary, funk, pop thing. The song Love Got Left Behind's got this really cool funk/Sade vibe to it. I actually really love all the songs on that EP (which you can buy/download from either iTunes or Amazon,) but don't expect anything that really resembles Extreme (except for maybe the title track, Need I Say More which definitely has a When I First Kissed You/More Than Words vibe to it.)

Anyway, here's to hoping the new Extreme album continues the excellent trend that Pornograffiti, III Sides and Punchline all set.

UDF for converting a PDF page to Images using CF8 & Java

[UPDATED: Monday, November 21, 2011 at 8:33:18 AM]

I'm working on a project where I'm trying to create thumbnails for documents the user uploads. Since CF8 has introduced the <cfpdf /> tag, I thought it would be pretty straightforward to turn page 1 of a PDF into a thumbnail image—turns out I was wrong.

While the <cfpdf /> does work, it was causing me to jump through some various hoops some of which I could easily overcome. The issues I had were:


I'm F*cking Obama!

This is a really well done parody of the Sarah Silverman song...

Preview: jQuery Multicolumn Dropdown Plug-in

One of the UI components I'm in need of from time to time, is a hierarchy tree where the user needs to select an option. While there are plenty of "tree" scripts, they take up a lot of screen reality and involve lots of clicking. I've always thought I could come up with a better UI component, so we started working on script that would create downdown component that supported hierarchical data.

The problem with doing a dropdown is that if you have a lot of data (which is often the case for us) data really quickly rolls off the screen. To resolve this issue, we split the list into multiple columns when there's too much data. Here's a screenshot of what the dropdown looks like:

Multicolumn Dropdown Screenshot


This is for all the "Ladies of the World" (and the men too...)

CNET is giving away downloads to two Flight of the Concord tunes—Ladies of the World and Business Time. If you're unfamiliar with this band, the best way I can describe it funny funky melodic music.

Keep an eye for more contests like I ran yesterday...

Yesterday I ran an announced "contest", which was a simple post of "Speak the word." Although know one knew it was a contest, Jim Priest won being the first person to correctly respond with the answer "Revolution." Jim won a gift off his Amazon Wishlist.

For those of you who don't understand the answer, it's a reference to the song Speak by Queensryche—off their masterpiece Operation Mindcrime. While this was a pretty obscure reference, I knew enough of my readers had pretty similar tastes in music so I thought someone would get the reference. I was a bit surprise Jim got it right off the bat, but it's also what I was hoping would happen.

I got the idea while walking my dog over lunch and listening to my iPod. One of my good friends and I used to play a "game" where we'd just walk up to each and quote some random lyric and you were expected to answer. So, I might pass him in the office and whisper "Speak the word" and I'd expect him to whisper back "Revolution." Anyway, I thought I'd post something to my blog and see if anyone else got the reference. I then decided to make it into a little contest.

I plan to run more of these seemingly random contest, so keep an eye for them. They'll be cryptic postings and I'll provide clues if needed. I'm not sure how often I'll run the contests, but as long as your reading my blog on regular basis, you won't miss it.

As far as the content for the contests, who knows what it'll be. I'll try to make them either broad enough for everyone or at least try to make sure I'm not focusing on a specific genre. I won't do anything to explicitly mark the entry as a content, but it'll be something that appears very cryptic or sound like a riddle. You'll just have to keep reading daily to watch out for the contests. :)


The word.