Computer hardware failures suck!

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This truly sucks! In the same day we had both a harddrive and video give up the ghost. The drive is out of warranty but the video card will be replaced/fixed by the store we got it from. The drive luckily didn't have anything irreplaceable on it, ironically I had put a lot of what was on it onto DVDs the other day, good timing or what. So, time to get our backup routine in order. <knocks-on-wood>

Sajax makes Ajax easy!

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The pseudo-standard "AJAX", which is just a buzzword for Javascript + XML (which was done for years without the fancy name) is a bit tricky at times. For most simple needs, though, the Sajax API makes life extremely easy, especially if you use multiple languages (PHP, Python, ColdFusion, etc). Well worth learning, it makes life just so easy!

The Mootrix has you!

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At work today I was reminded of the fact that a) I'm a geek, b) I'm nuts.

A few months ago I was working on a program, an events calendar as it happened. I needed a way to be able to count up a list of week ordinals (first, second, third, etc) so I put them in a matrix, and because it was an Ordinal MaTRIX I called it mootrix.

Secure file transfers on Windows

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For the two geeks who read this, here are some tools for doing secure file transfers to/from Windows, most of them free.

Server:

  • freeSSHd is really easy to install and use, and uses the built in Windows user accounts so you don't have another set of passwords to manage. Well worth trying.
  • copSSH is a bundling of the cygwin ssh daemon in a more user friendly package.

Clients:

  • WinSCP is the defacto SFTP/SCP tool for Windows. Its easy to use and free, what more do you want?
  • Directory Opus, the amazingly powerful file manager, has an Advanced FTP plugin available, which costs about $8 per computer. If you use Directory Opus you should use this.

I came across these while looking for a way to secure our file transfers at work. After fiddling with multiple server programs I realized that the freeSSHd program was going to serve our needs much better than many commercial server programs, including Serv-U and Gene6 FTP Server! Also, WinSCP is a much better choice than CuteFTP Pro if you don't need its advanced features and just want a simple file transfer program.

Found an awesome video converter!

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I've found an awesome video file converter called RiverPast Video Cleaner Pro that'll let me convert files from the standard Motion JPEG AVI format that our digital camera uses into tiny MPEG-4 that I can easily redistribute online. This paves the way for me to put our years of video footage online for you all to download, without having to take forever to do so or use up all of our web space.

It has two really cool features that I like. Firstly you can add a whole bunch of files to its list to process at once, secondly you can set it to store the new files where the original ones came from. Putting these two together I was able to queue up 400+ files to be converted, hit the convert button and continue on with my work while it churned away. Simply awesome!

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