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Topics - barney [ switch to compact view ]

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BD (Baby Daughter) has been tasked with converting some Lat-Long deg-min-sec coordinates to decimal.  There are a number of Web services to accomplish this, several with .gov TLDs, more with .EDU TLDs.

There are also several forae that discuss Excel macros to accomplish this end. 

However, nothing I've found so far really fills the bill  :(.

BD's requirements are to take a [significant] number of degrees-minutes-seconds values and convert them to a decimal equivalent.  I'm thinkin' it would be nice to be able to reverse that process, as well.

It's been a decade since I did anything with Excel (Office 2000), so I'm more than a bit rusty  :tellme:.

Checked DC - several discussions involved - but nothing I found seems to cover this.

Anyone have a pointer to such a bit of code?  (I'd personally prefer an application for this, but considering the number of conversions to be made - and corporate paranoia - a spreadsheet solution would be better).  (If it matters, they are using Office 2003, soon to upgrade to 2007:  really progressive  :P.)s

Living Room / In search of ... a bluetooth ear piece finder
« on: September 14, 2011, 07:03 PM »
Baby Daughter (BD) bought a Jawbone - don't know which one - for her [shudder  :-\] iPhone.

Now she cannot locate it  :'(.

Anyone know of a means to track/trace a bluetooth ear piece?  Kinda like unto calling a lost cell phone?  (Google's been no help.)  She'd really like to locate it  :P.

 :'( When it rains ...

This may be a bit odd  :-\.  I need to identify the program that made a system backup from the files that it produced.  There are several sets of files dated a week apart, including .zip and .xml files along with a few that have no extension.  (There are about six (6) months worth of files for [apparently] weekly backups.)  However, the little - darling?  yeah, that's the word! - doesn't know what program was used to perform the backups.  Memory failure  :D.

Google searches have netted nothing on this.  There many,many,many pages on how to find the files produced by various backup programs, but not a one (1) I can find on how to identify the software that produced the backup files.

Any ideas on this one?

(The little darling is a software junkie, so I can't just try what's installed ... too many  :o.)

Living Room / In search of ... external video support
« on: August 26, 2011, 02:51 PM »

I'm looking for something that will allow me to connect a laptop to multiple external monitors.  Right now I'm interested in the ViDock series, but I'm not really comfortable with their representation of the specs.  I assume, from the online literature, that the ViDock will take pretty much any card - I have a Sapphire, HD5770 that I've never been able to use - but what I don't see is whether there'll be conflict between that card in the ViDock and the GEForce 3xx in my laptop.  Don't know how well nVidia and ATI cooperate  ;D.

So, any of ya have any experience with the ViDock series?  I know there are some hardware nuts here  :D.  It seems a bit pricey, at least for the one I think I'd need, but if it'll let me do what I want, it'll be worth it.

OK, for hardware configs, this is a Dell Vostro 3700, i7 processor, 4G RAM, Win7 Ultimate.  Currently I'm connected to one (1) external monitor via the HDMI slot.  I tried another monitor via the VGA slot, but the video driver only supports two (2) monitors  :(.  I'd like to stretch that to three (3) or four (4), if possible, but at least two (2) extermal. 

Living Room / Samsung Galaxy tablet ... work for scripting?
« on: August 22, 2011, 08:02 PM »

I'm trying to find out if the Samsung Galaxy tablet(s), prolly the 10.1, can handle PHP scripting to a MySQL - or other, of course - database.  There's a lot of discussion 'bout what the Samsungs can do, but I've not found anything along these lines.

Point here is to be able to demo stuff on the fly, perhaps make script adjustments on location.  Yah, that can be done on a laptop, but the weight differential is significant, donchano, and there would be a certain impressiveness engendered.

The database would not have to be MySQL, any database that could be addressed via PHP/HTML/JavaScript code would suffice, as the point would be to make script adjustments, not copy database schemas or content.

Guess you could call it a [very] basic troubleshooting system/platform/tool  ;).

[Edit:  sorry, typos]

I'm assuming that someone here has already explored this avenue, and I'd very much like to benefit from the experiences gleaned.  What can I say ... I'm lazy  :P.

General Software Discussion / In search of ... a way to kill tabs
« on: August 16, 2011, 10:41 PM »
OK, this one seems a bit stupid ... I seem to do a lot of those, don't I :(?

I'm in process of rebuilding a box that crashed.  Part of that rebuilding involves rewriting segments of PHP code that were lost.  Mostly, that's going well, but there's one problem that seems unresolvable. 

This script uses MySQL as part of the record keeping.  But whenever I try to populate an HTML textarea from a text column in the tables, it's always prefaced by either five (5) or six (6) tab characters.  None of the trim() functions are effective.  I can find many Google references to adding tabbing capability, but none, so far, to eradicating them.  I've checked - and rebuilt - the tables with several different versions of MySQL, even tried different versions of PHP.  The PHP SQL is simple -

Code: PHP [Select]
  1. select NoteContent from notes where NoteKey=n
  2. $notes=trim($notes)
  3. insert into notes (NoteContent) values (\$note\")
  4. or
  5. update notes set NoteContent=\"$note\" where NoteKey=n
I left out some of the script, the if/then/else structures, but what's there is the relevant stuff.  The textarea bit is just
<... type=textarea ...><php? echo $note ?></textarea>
But every time, the textarea shows the text with leading tabs, tabs that do not exist in the table's text field.  Oh, yeah, it's not browser-specific.  I've tried FF 3.x, FF 6, IE9, Safari, Opera, all with the same result.  These tabs are pulling my cork - something that seems easily accomplished, lately -and I've run out of places to look for an answer, save for DC.

Anybody got any ideas?

OK, I know this is stupid, but my diminished library cannot provide me an answer  :(.

Using PHP conventions, there are two (2) ways to indicate inequality, !$var==[somevalue] and $var<>[somevalue].

I recall from my corporate days that there is a difference 'twixt the two (2), but cannot for the life of me recall it  :-\.  In fact, those differences may not apply to PHP - I just cannot find an adequate reference  >:(, so I'm consulting my ultimate reference:  DC :).

There's a time to use $var<> and a time to use !$var==, but I simply cannot recall the rules and rationales  :-[.

I've been rebuilding a box for someone, and need to rebuild some PHP code as best I can - catastrophic failure combined with inadequate - dare I say inane? - backups has produced a need to rebuild some corrupted code segments.  Trying to understand the logic of the original (?) coder is made more difficult by the use of these two (2) conventions.

Living Room / In search of ... a lost note app
« on: August 09, 2011, 08:57 PM »
This is embarrassing :-[.  This past weekend, I hosted a small patio party - beer, wine, grill - the usual weekend stuff.  The family that was over has - that very nearly became had! - a young son, prolly approaching twelve (12) years.  He has reinforced my belief in the bunghole theory (When a child reaches three (3), you place said child in a barrel, feeding through the bunghole - when said child turns eighteen (18), you drive in the bung!).

Anyway, the little ... darling  >:( ... decided to play in the computer room.  I've managed to correct most all that he did - I think! - but one thing I cannot recover.  'Twas prior to my weekly full backup, unfortunately.

There was/is a note-taking app that produces a small bar, 'bout the size of an em dash on the screen.  When you mouse over it, it pops up a note window, dual pane, with the left pane holding an outline-ish structure and the right pane holding notes related to the selected left pane item.  I don't remember the name of it.  I has several Windows keys that I now need to recover, or I'm toast.  If it helps, the note window had a kinda, sorta purple background. 

As mentioned, this is embarrassing :-[.  Does anyone happen to know the name of this little beastie?  The data file is still extant - I had better sense than to restore - and recoverable if I can just figure out what app to reload.  It still is on the NAS, but w/o a name I'll play Hell finding it out of several thousand files.  (I've got to find a decent tagging system.)

P.S. I hate meddling, undisciplined children!

(There's prolly a topic already here, but I couldn't find it  :-[.)

Don't want to start any wars, but I'd really like to get opinions on the various IDEs and editors that are useful for Web code.  At the moment, I'm using Komodo Edit (the IDE version seems aimed at team development), CodeLobster, Rapid PHP 2010, Code Chameleon, Coffee Cup HTML Editor, HippoEdit, just to name a few.

Well ... I'm using Komodo, primarily, and dabbling with the others as time permits.  Probably my all-time favorite was HomeSite, but Nick Bradbury went in anther direction, so updates and new capabilities are no longer available.  The others previously mentioned all have certain, mostly different, strengths and weaknesses.

What I'd like to see here is what other tools are used by the DC folk, and why they prefer them.  It simply is not possible for an individual to be aware of, much less test, all such tools currently extant.

Most of what I do now is PHP/JavaScript/HTML(5), but I'm tempted to get back into ASP & VB for a couple-two-t'ree projects, and I'd like to [try to] learn C#.  So I'm looking for a single tool that'll work well for multiple environments, if possible.

Yes, I've read a number of online reviews, but had no gauge as to the trustworthiness of the authors.  And the best part about some of the tools I've tried was the review  :o :P.  Since there are a number of developers on DC (Gee, who'da guessed  :tellme:?!?, and since their products tend to be above average (based upon NANY products, as well as looking at their Web pages), I thought to bring the question here. 

It's understood that answers to such questions tend to be subjective, just like politics and choosing a vehicle  :tellme:, and thus may not be as appropriate for others as for the reviewer.

I'd really like to find the Philosopher's Stone :-* of coding environments, but that's prolly a reach too far  :P.


Recently I was about to read an article (Google RSS feeds) about Windows 7 reinstall.  The title implied reinstallation w/o loss of data or installed software.  Unfortunately, I was called away before I could read or save it, and I failed to mark it as unread.

I've searched the RSS feeds, as well as checked the PC World site - which I thought was its point of origin - to no avail.  Anyone, perhaps, have a reference to it?  Have a friend I consider in need of a reinstall, but she's adamant that she is unwilling to lose her current configuration or application installations.  I'd like to be able to point her to this article, but I simply cannot find it  :huh:.

Anyone have a pointer to it?  Please?

Living Room / Warning, rant:
« on: July 18, 2011, 10:05 PM »
<rant>Got interested in a BDJ offer for CodeLobster (CL) for PHP.  I've looked at it in the past, but could never see my way clear to the outlay for what I could see from the free version.  However, it seems as though I just dropped ~%50 for the free version - with a 30-day time limit!

Got the registration code, downloaded the latest version, installed.  Nothing abnormal - so far!

Entered the appropriate registration information as it was sent to me.  CL said all was good, that I should reboot for the software to recognize the registration:  I did, it didn't.  Tried this several times - Einsteinians, belay comment.  Made a comment to the BDJ on the problem.  'Twas 'splained to me that I must do it properly.  I had.

Then I contacted CL directly.  Same response.  I had clearly stated the steps I took, step by step, quoting the source(s) of the registration code I was using.  First response, don't use the free registration code.  Second response - none!

Somehow, I have trouble putting trust in software when the so-called help facility responds in such a fashion.  Maybe it's just me, but if their help facility is that unresponsive - and apparently unable to read a fairly simple email - how much trust can I put into the product?</rant>

(edit for notification)

I installed the trial for AnySQL Maestro, but it doesn't want to talk to MySQL, at least not natively, and its connection wizard would be right at home in Id  :P.

Then pulled down & installed MySQL Maestro, but haven't had much time to play with it.

Is this stuff worth the time to evaluate?  Been using the community edition of SQLyog for most MySQL stuff, but I'm not really wild about it - it is functional, but that's about it.

Basically, I'd like to find something that will let me construct tables, then build and test queries against them.  PHP can troubleshoot a lot of stuff, with appropriate echo or print lines scattered through the code, but that can get pretty cumbersome, 'specially when it comes time to clean up the script.  phpMyAdmin serves well for some stuff, but it's lacking in several areas when troubleshooting time arrives.

Recently - gee, I'm getting repetitive  :P - used a software that allowed me to cause dialogues of a certain [maximum] size to be displayed on the currently active monitor.  And I've lost that one, as well. 

'Twas a TSR that allowed me to specify width and height in pixels.  Then any dialogue window that size or smaller would appear on the monitor where the cursor currently resided.  Think I found it on DC, but cannot find it again.  It may be part of another application, but not certain on that.

Anyone familiar with it?

(These memory lapses of late are getting ver-r-ry frustrating  :o.)

I recently encountered a registry change that will allow Windows - 7 only? not certain - to display loading information on the boot screen.  It's installed on one of the Win7 laptops.  Now I wish to install in on another laptop and on the desktop box.  But I cannot seem to find it again.  Seems as though it'd be easy enough to research - problem is too much data returned.  Anyone know of it?

OK, this is kinda dumb, but I need a think break  :P.

Some acquaintances and I have been having a discussion on database inputs.  I'm partial to using HTML select items for miscellany that, while important to the database app, do not have to be in a table.

For instance, if I'm listing a series of options, particularly if there can be multiple choice, I'll create a select with the available choices with binary values, e.g., 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, ... .  They are hard-coded into the appropriate page/form, and it's easy to make additions when required.

The quarrel is that this data is not truly in the database until a value is selected, thus there is no source for it.  I can appreciate the concept, but at the same time, no call to the database is required to populate the appropriate select(s).

This discussion has been going on for a couple of months - the group involved is, while small, global - and some good points have been made on both sides of the issue.  I suspect this is one of those discussions that no one wants to win, but everyone seems to have a [rather fervent] opinion.

Given that, I'm curious what the folk here might think - and why  :tellme: - one way or the other.  (And, if you happen to be one of the group (yeah, I know, I just branded myself), please abstain from comment - this is a search for outside opinions  :P :P.)

OK, I've had it  :mad:.  I've been using InfoSelect (IS) since before it was a Windows app.  Don't recall the name of the DOS TSR then, though.  Anyway, InfoSelect has been a primary application in my life since its inception.  Until now.

The latest version, 10.x.x, totally broke almost every usage I had for IS.  Formerly, there was search capability on colored text - that's gone.  Formerly there was limited capability to copy both text and image(s) from another document - HTML, PDF, you name it - but that's gone ... hindered might be more accurate, since I've seen it drop from roughly 30%-40% to less than 1%, significantly less.  The devs added that damned ribbon and totally destroyed a reasonably comfortable menu system, which was very customizable.  Currently there is a menu bar which, supposedly can be customized.  So I spent half-an-hour customizing it when I first started using IS v10.  Next time I started IS, all customizations were gone.  Gave it another shot, and another thirty (30) minutes, with the same result.

I just upgraded to a new build - 70 - and lost my last month's work in the process.  When I attempted to recover from internal backups, nothing was there  :mad:.  So, what had been reliable in the past was, along with other things, rendered unusable.  There's more, but I'd be incited to extreme profanity should I continue in this vein. 

What I'd absolutely love to find is something that has the following capabilities:
  • allow drag and drop from almost any other application
  • record the URL of the drag and drop origin if a URL, or the title bar if a non-Web application
  • record the date (and time?) of any drag and drop operation
  • include images along with text in any drag and drop operation
  • allow creation of individual notes interactively
  • allow - but not require - a tree/outline structure (in order to pre-classify note or drag and drop entities)
There's more, of course, but that would be a good start.  I'm not quite willing to trade my immortal soul - if I still have one  ;) - but such a software would indeed be so dear to me that I might amortize it  :-\.

I've been trying WikeNotes - found it here a while back - and it does a lot of what I'd like, but still has quite a way to go, as far as automation is concerned.  It holds much promise, and I suspect it'll be a primary candidate, young as it is, for my future workload.  However, it's difficult to believe there's not a reasonably mature program already in existence.

IS is touted as being a personal information manager (PIM) and it is, but that is not my primary usage for it.  I've used its email capabilities in the past, off and on, but that's not a significant need.  Same thing with the calendar and reminder capabilities.  I just want record keeping adequate to my needs/purposes.  Some of those purposes are keeping code modules, some are aggregating data for reporting - and citing - purposes, some are for brainstorming/idea/concept purposes (much akin to a mind map, albeit non-graphical).  There's also a daily journal I keep - a significant chunk of which was lost, btw - that could be kept elsewhere, but the convenience of having all this in one repository is to some degree beyond measure.

... 'cause none of the books I've bought even come close to providing anything more than concepts and a lot of iOS discussion.

I have a couple of books on the mobile Web, but neither of them really gets into practical coding, other than to discuss concepts.  In another post, I mentioned need for help for a friend's sailing school.  This, it turns out, is related.  A [presumably] young man tried to subscribe to a particular class on a smart phone.  His complaint was that the subscription never completed.

Methinks the reason for that lack was that he failed to scroll one (1) last screen to the right.  When I tried it on my phone, it worked up to the point that I had to commit money.  However, that does point out a flaw in the current subscription system - it's configured for a [minimum] 1024x768 display.  Thus, I need to find out how to re-deploy the display to allow for most smart phones.

Given that, I'd really like to find a reasonably coherent tutorial on mobile web how-to methodology.  I've searched, but have yet to find anything even close to a tutorial worth having.

... or something to that effect.

A friend of mine has recently opened a sailing school, ASA certified, all the training bells and whistles.  What he'd like to do is to set up a way for students to input their review(s) at the classroom, after the testing/certification/approval/disapproval has been completed.  I'm accustomed to setting up database backends, but don't have a great deal of experience with front-end work.  My thinking is that I can use the current IP address, assuming PHP can find it, so that the input form(s) visibility is not site-wide.

Question is whether that is a viable concept, or whether I should take some other approach.

The input/review form needs to be available on one machine initially, but not available to the general public, even though on the same site.  However, that same form needs to be available on the Web site, but only to those who have taken a course, whether pass or fail.  I can limit access on the Web with ASA certification values, so that part is not a problem.  However, I'm uncertain as to how to proceed to allow in-class comments w/o having that certification.  Date/time/class can provide appropriate in-house limits to input capability, but I don't have a good feel on how to limit that particular input to that one machine w/o broadcasting it all over the Web.

Sorry if the description is fuzzy, but the whole situation is somewhat undefined <sigh />.

Living Room / Anyone here familiar with Synology products?
« on: May 06, 2011, 01:25 AM »
I've an old WD WorldBook NAS that has become unreliable.  I've moved everything off it to a Fantom GreenDrive, but I need to replace it with another NAS - the Fantom will not fill that requirement.  I've looked at HP, Iomega, WD, Drobo & Synology.  Synology seems best fitted for my needs, if I'm reading the information correctly.  It'll allow wireless access as well, I thimk, as provide wireless printer access.  However, this is a brand foreign to me, so I'd like to get outside opinions, if any, from someone who's used the product(s).  There's a forum - couple of 'em - on their site, but I distrust vendor-sponsored forae - I've seen more than one that was, uh, cleaned of critical posts.

I'm looking at either a 3TB single drive or 6TB double drive.  Not looking for a RAID configuration if I get the 2-drive model.  My interpretation of the docs implies that I can use a USB dongle for wireless access, and that I can use a 2nd USB port for a printer.  Since this will be across the room from the router, that's gonna be a critical element.

'Preciate any reviews or suggestions.

CC is asking me whether there's a better application for checking a site - broken links, invalid links, orphan pages & the like - than Xenu's LinkSleuth.  Frankly, I don't know.  I've used Xenu for years.  CC says he finds it confusing - as do I from time to time - and would like something ... better? ... simpler? ... easier?

Is there?  Something later, perhaps easier to configure?  Personally, I think he needs to get off his butt  :huh: and learn to configure the program, but I have thunk that about software in the past and been proved wrong  :o.

To amplify a bit, he has a site with a near myriad of pages, most of which are no longer in use.  He wants to figure out which ones to discard, which ones to save, which ones to relink ... the usual garbage collection for an older site.


While there's been some discussion here of lightbox application, none of it seems to fit current needs.  I'm trying to help a friend (CC), but this time of year seems to bestow a dearth of free time upon me  :huh:.

What's needed is a script, or an application to create a script, that will show some Web pages overlaid upon a home/menu page.  Everything I've found so far wants to use images.  Certainly there's a way around that, but time constraints forbid me to experiment right now  :(.

I remember a marketing app from some years back - prolly 2004 or so - that would create appropriate script.  I likely still have it, but don't recall the name, so a local search for it would be time-consuming, to say the least.  I've looked at a jQuery plugin that seems promising, but can't play with it, and while CC is reasonably adept at HTML/PHP he is ... less than conversant with JS, shall we say?

Anyone know of a reasonably simple approach to this?  A well-annotated script, perhaps, or an application to create a custom script?  He's spent a lot of time on Google, but nothing he's found really works for him.

Basically, CC has a primary Web page with a number of menu items.  He wants a half-dozen or so of those menu items to blur/darken the screen, then display a smaller version of the linked page - or perhaps a <div> containing the page.  The purpose here is never to leave the primary page for these particular links.


A friend/client of mine has suddenly taken it into mind to learn JavaScript (oi, vey!), and they (man & wife team) have asked for advice on an IDE that would help them.  Told 'em I'd check with some experts of whom I know  ;D.

They asked specifically about a couple of Antechinus products, Code Chameleon and JavaScript Editor, neither of which I've ever used ... the price on Code Chameleon isn't bad, but the price on JavaScript Editor strikes me as rather dear if it is a one (1)-trick pony.

Anyone with experience of either product?  Or perhaps you can recommend something similar?  I don't think they'd cavil at spending less than $100, so mention of a reasonably priced product would not be amiss.

I don't even know how to troubleshoot/research this one.  There's a local Apache/MySQL/PHP installation on my dev box, latest - I think? - versions of each.

PHP files load just fine from most of the subdirs of the Web root.  However, there's one HTML (index.html) file that simply does not allow PHP to be recognized.  It's driving me buggy.  I've tried reinstalling both Apache and PHP, to no avail.  Nothing I can find in the HTML and related CSS file(s) would appear to be normal.  But a simple
Code: PHP [Select]
  1. <?php include 'file.ext'; ?>
doesn't work, nor does it highlight properly in the editor (Komodo Edit).  As stated in the post title, I'm bumfuzzled :'(.

General Software Discussion / Win32DiskImager problems ...
« on: March 08, 2011, 07:57 PM »
... and I'm back again  :o.

I've been trying to use this software to write an image to a MicroSD card: two (2) of 'em, actually, a one (1) Gig SanDisk and an eight Gig SanDisk.  Every time I try, with either card, the software comes back to me with a message that the target has insufficient capacity  :(.  The image file I'm trying to write is only 124+ Meg  :huh:.  I've tried several forae with no result, and none of my searches have displayed an error of this nature ... so I'm back here again.

Oh, if it matters, I'm doing this to play with my new NookColor  :-*.

BufferZonePro is now freeware.  

Thought it might be worthwhile, but still a bit dubious of sandbox software.  

Last DC mention I saw of its use was CWuestefeld's comments here, 2007-08-28, 10:12:47.

The current version is v3.41, but have no idea the version that was panned.  Saw a reference to it at Gizmo's, but that's not always the recommendation it's cracked up to be  :).  Has anyone had experience of it since then? 
[Edit for typos.]

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