Friday, September 28, 2007

Its been that long?

I was sitting around this morning, checking news and catching up before delving into my work (usually hip deep in perl code) when I remembered, "oops, I have a geek blog I haven't updated in a while.

Well, here is my update. I have been particularly busy this month between my daughter's birthday, projects at work and the finding of the online learning tools here at work. That has been of particular interest to me since it is the same system that I was using to learn a bunch of topics at my last job (before my access was pulled due to me terminating my employment by resigning).

Well, I have finished up the Perl courses on CGI that I had been taking and am working to become a lot more familiar with that aspect of Perl coding. It is rather handy when it comes to Web Development to be able to understand the inner workings of CGI. Having that down pat is a huge advantage in the job market as well. The next course(s) that I am taking is/are all about XML. That is another thing that I have been wanting to learn more about and learn to parse with Perl.

Unfortunately, they do not have any courses on Perl DBI but I have a book I am reading/studying that is teaching me what I need to know. Once I get all that figured out I can go ahead and start working on a website that will help me carve the CGI and DBI knowledge in stone into my brain.

I had a project placed into my lap earlier this week and was told that it is something that needed to be done in short order. Ok, I have no problem with that. I was also told that there was another project for the same client that could be cloned to get this new project up and running quicker. Now, having a project to clone is great, so long as the code used in that other project isn't about unmaintainable. I emailed my colleague the other day to say that between coding the project from scratch and trying to figure out the cloned code, I would rather code it from scratch as it would take less time and also be correct.

My colleague came back and gave me the thumbs up to just code it and said that he usually didn't touch the old code because of its unmaintainability. (Then WHY would you tell me to use it if you knew it was like that?) Thankfully my colleague is understanding and flexible (not to mention easy going about things, so long as things happen and get done). Well, after a day of mulling over my keyboard yesterday I completed the initial coding of the project and even whipped out an estimate for another job that is coming down the pipe.

Anywho, that's what's been going on.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A post about Perl?

Ok, so its been a while since the word Perl was in a blog posting here. He he, more like almost a month. For those of you yearning, I am sorry. I have had a bunch of things happening and haven't really gotten around to sitting down and posting some Perl code here. I will shortly though, don't worry.

Please know though, that this IS a geek blog and not limited to Perl alone. I did just want to let everyone know that I am still doing Perl most of the time. In fact the amount I do has increased, if it can that is.

Anywho, keep watching.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

How to save that flash file you really like

I don't know about the rest of you, but every once in a while, I come across either some flash animation or a flash video/movie that I would really like to download and archive. This way, I can show it to others and share the wealth.

Well, one thing that I always hate is not knowing how to do something that should not be that trivial. One of those things that I had resolved earlier on was how to save a flash file to your hard drive from a website. Believe it or not, its really not that difficult.

NOTE: I am only going to show you how to do this in Firefox as I refuse to fire up that crap program called IE. If you want to know how to do it in there, then you figure it out. I don't use it and I am not going to use it even just to find this out.

That said, the first think you should do is to load the page containing the flash animation that you wish to download. Once you have that done, you now have two choices of how to do this, which I will explain here.

The less geeky/nerdy way:

Once the page is loaded, in your Firefox menu bar, go to "Tools -> File Info". This will bring up a box with a few tabs. One of the tabs is "Media". Click on it. You will see anywhere from one to a bunch of files listed in the Address section of the Media tab. What you want to do is scan through and click on the ".swf" file that you are wanting. Then, once you have done that, simply click on the "Save as" button and select a place to save it on your computer and click "Save".

Believe it or not, thats it.

The more geeky/nerdy/power user way:

Again, once the page is loaded, you want to open a new tab (Ctrl-T for those not in the know). Then, in that tab type the following in the URL bar: about:cache?device=disk

This will bring up a list of EVERYTHING that is in the Firefox cache on your computer. Simply browse it for the file you want. It will have the path to the website it is hosted on. All you have to do is right click and click on "Save as" and save the file wherever you want on your computer.

Again, it is that easy.

So, the next time someone asks about saving flash files, you can prod them in the right direction on how to do it.

Friday, September 07, 2007

The New Printer

The wife told me the other day that she wants a printer here in our "temporary" computer room that used to be a full fledged dining room. (this because my two kids have their own rooms and I am in the middle of creating a home office in my basement that I haven't had a second to touch in about a year. **UGH***) Anyway, going on what she wanted, which was a printer that could print relatively quickly and print well I began to asses what we had in "storage". I have a Canon photo printer. Sure, its capable of printing text, but it is MUCH better at photo's, I must say. The only other printer that I have is a HP Laserjet 1100 which needs a new roller assembly since the present one likes to take in every sheet of paper fed into it all at once. So, you cannot put more than one sheet into it at any given time. This is quite an annoyance when you want to do some heavier printing.

So, I remembered the Sunday ads and that Best"Try" had an HP Laserjet on sale for $99 that printed 15 ppm and was relatively small. So, last night we went to look at it. Sure it was quaint, and I was about to see if they had any in stock when the wife says, "Hey, check this one out, its even a copier." Well, far be it for me to not look at another model. It was a laser printer, copier and color scanner all in one. It was nice and it was a "Brother".

We tested it and it seemed to work great, printing 20 ppm. So, we talked and decided to go with it. Sure, it was double the other one in price, but we could now use it to print out copies of stuff from kids books for the kids to write and color on without destroying the original. Plus, printing was quicker and a breeze.

Well, got it home and last night I hooked it up and were printing in only a few minutes. Gosh I just love new toys. Now I have to hook my Linux laptop up to it and see if I can get it printing.
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