September 29, 2006

Advertising in Your Blog


In the past, you and I would struggle to keep advertisement away from our personal homepage or blog seeking to have a clean look on the space given for free. Today, more and more people are requesting ads to be put on their site in expectation of payment and relatively easy income.

As if you haven't noticed, I will tell you that I have put up several advertisements on this space. I trust that you do not find this advertisement obnoxious in any form, but bear with me as I experiment with various advertisers and settings within this space. I've been curious for some time as to the options, scalability, and return on such decisions. I've tried to do some research, but most locations come back saying that they can not reveal any detail. I came to the conclusion that I would just have to make an account myself in order to learn. That being said, there are now several advertisements on this site. You have most likely noticed these ads change size, shape, color, and location as I play with various tools. I do not intend to litter my blog with these ads. I hope you will find that they stay out of the way.

Currently jsickles.blogspot.com is fed advertisement via Google AdSense which has proven to be a relatively fast and easy way to display relevant advertisements. Google ads review information found in the viewed page to display advertisement that might be relative to a viewers interest. Interesting, huh? Check out the Internet's Biggest Google Whores by John Chow concerning several sites incorporating Google's AdSense.

I by no means expect to become rich off this idea in my blog, infact - I don't even expect to make a penny off this idea. Just bear with me as I get to play with the concept on my own terms.




September 28, 2006

Fluctuations

I had a bunch of Canadian dollars I needed to exchange so I went to the currency exchange window at the local bank. Short line ... just one guy in front of me.

The guy in front of me was an Asian guy who was trying to exchange yen for dollars and he was a little agitated ... he asked the teller, "Why it change? Yestoday I get two hunat dolla fo yen - today I get hunat eighty? Why it change?"

The teller replies, "Fluctuations."

The Asian guy says, "Fluc you white guys too!"

September 27, 2006

Rebuild a Lost iTunes Library from an iPod?

Option 1:
Assuming you're moving files legally between your own computers, check out iPodAgent at http://www.ipodsoft.com/

________________________________
Option 2:
The manual way around this problem is to use the iPod in its alter ego - that of portable computer disk drive.

Start with the iPod disconnected from the computer

DO NOT CONNECT THE IPOD YET

  • Open iTunes
  • Open iTunes Preferences - this blocks iTunes from seeing an iPod connection; leave the preferences window up and running
  • Connect the iPod to the computer, wait about 15 seconds before continuing
  • Open 'My Computer'
  • Tools menu, Folder Options, View tab, enable 'show hidden files /folders'
  • Open iPod icon in My Computer
  • Open iPod_Control folder
  • You should see a folder named Music
  • Drag this folder to somewhere on your computer hard drive
  • After the copy completes, right-click the new Music folder on your hard drive and select 'Properties'
  • Cear the checkmark next to 'Hidden'
  • Close that explorer window
  • Eject iPod from System tray "Safely Remove Hardware" icon. This icon looks like a small gray rectangle with a green arrow floating above it. It's only there when a removable device (like the iPod in this case) is attached to the computer.
  • Right-click & select 'Safely remove..', then click 'Stop' in the next window, OK in the next window, and then Close to complete the ejection.
Disconnect the iPod from the computer
  • Go back to iTunes, cancel the preferences window
  • File menu \ Add folder to Library \ find that Music folder copied over from the iPod



Your iTunes library should be back in action! But wait - there's more!!

Long time forum regular Otto42 has a java script/program that can also retrieve the playlists themselves from the iPod as well. Here are his instructions and a link to the most recent thread discussing this tricky process:

This is really useful when you're pulling all the songs off of an iPod to put them back into iTunes, because you lost your library or anything along those lines.

Download this program:
http://otto.homedns.org:8888/iTunes/iPodGetXML.zip
(If you can't download it, try again later. The connection goes up and down a lot.)

Now, put the iPod into Disk Mode or otherwise access the iPod as a drive. Make sure you can see hidden files, then go to the drive and the iPod_Control folder and find the iTunesDB file. Copy it to your PC.

Put the copied iTunesDB file in the same directory as this program, then run the program. It'll read the iTunesDB, get all the playlists, and create an XML file for each one. Now just import those XML files into iTunes to recreate the playlists.

Notes:
(1) The songs in playlist must already be in the iTunes library. If any one of them isn't there, iTunes throws up an error when you try to import the XML file.
(2) The song names, artist names, and album names in the library all must be identical as to what the iPod has. If you just copied all the music off the iPod and into iTunes, this will be the case, so it's generally not a big deal. but you'll get an error if it can't find the song in the iTunes library, so it's something to keep in mind.
(3) It probably won't be able to cope with unusual characters in song names. Dealing with unicode is way annoying.
(4) Smart Playlists get changed into regular playlists.

And there you have it. I picked these instructions up somewhere along the way, and they've just been sitting here on my computer. I thought someone out there might find these useful at some point in time - I know I will.

September 26, 2006

Have Extra Time On Your Hands?

I came across this last week and found it both mildly intruiging and challenging. If you have some extra time and can do any sort of subject/word association, you should have some fun here! Browse out to http://shygypsy.com/farm/p.cgi and start working away!

You will be introduced to the puzzle and greeted with these kind words:

"No single mortal will be able to solve this puzzle alone, so get a few friends and do it together. Good luck!"



If you decide you are no longer going to work at the puzzle, you can click on save game and then merge your puzzle with mine by using the link below. Beware: Upon merging the link below, you will have completed the puzzle. (DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW, rather right click the link, 'copy link location', and paste into the space provided)

Spoiler: Completed Puzzle

September 23, 2006

Verizon Minutes in Firefox

A quick FYI to those of you have that have begun to use the verizon extension in firefox showing your minutes used. I previously mentioned this as a cool add-on to quickly view your minutes used on your verizon single line or family plan. After using this extension for some time, I feel the need to point out that the numbers may sometimes inaccurately reflect reality. When your minutes are getting close to their maximum, put your mouse over the number and take a look at the number following 'Off-Peak'. Note that your minutes used are inaccurate by the number following the Off-Peak value. Unless you are billed for night and weekend airtime, you only need to be concerned about the number following 'Peak'. Alas, you have minutes to use now! Go use them. Call me.

Funny Miller Ad

September 19, 2006

Mitch Hedberg

This guy is pretty good - thought you might enjoy the humor like I did! Only problem with this video - the audio is not normalized, thereby leaving some sections fairly quiet, while overpowering at other times. Be sure to watch it and let me know what you think! Length: 11:37


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXMAi5N0IFI

September 14, 2006

Windows Vista RC1 and VMware

Windows Vista RC1 and VMware - Stuck at "Windows is loading files..."

It took a while, multiple downloads of the 2.5gb ISO, playing with settings, and getting frustrated. But alas, there is a workaround to allow Vista RC1 to load in a VMware session. Simply add the following lines to the appropriate VMX file. Reboot, whala - the graphics aren't the most impressive, but at least you can get the install to work!

Rumor has it that even though the screen stalls on the black "loading files" page, you can still do a Steview Wonder setup. All the screens are there, and if you can press the right buttons at the right time - you'll have a successful install! Something about the refresh of the screen doesn't work right. Anyway, add the following two lines to the VMX file, and you should be set. You can do the install without Stevie.

svga.maxWidth = "640"
svga.maxHeight = "480"

September 09, 2006

Funny Stuff

My Absence

So, a while back Google bought out Blogger; but who knows why. In the past several weeks Google apparently integrated a type of single user sign on, meaning your gmail account can now also provide you access with a blogger account already setup to your name. This is a nice feature, but unfortunately it also backfired.

As I tried one day several weeks back to sign in with my user ID (which is similar to my gmail ID), I was welcomed to creating a new account on blogger, and thrown directly into a setup wizard. I tried without success to log in so that I could create new posts under my existing account, but again and again I was directed to creating a new account with my email from gmail. After attempting this two days in a row I just gave up for a while. Figured someone would alert google as to the problem and it would be resolved in time to come. That brings us up to now. Just now I tried to login, and whala! As you can tell, it worked. That's where I've been. As to where I'll go...why don't we just watch and see.

PEACE