Category Archives: off topic

2010 New Years Resolutions

I didn’t make much headway with my formal resolutions last year.

  • I went to a few user group meetings at the beginning, but I trailed off rather quickly.
  • I didn’t contribute ANYTHING to open-source.
  • I didn’t complete any money making projects.
  • And aside from playing around with a few GreaseMonkey scripts I didn’t write any plugins.

However, I did manage to do a few other things in 2009:

And I saved the best for last…



2009 was the year that I met and engaged the love of my life, Sara!

In short, 2009: Best year ever!

Now, on to this year’s resolutions!

Blog More!

Blog More!

Blog More!
I’ve always done a lot of programming outside of work, but I’ve found that blogging incentivizes me to actually (somewhat and sometimes) finish what I start. I’m much more likely to finish something when I plan on, or start to blog about it and I feel that the extra little nudge can make a big difference.

Unfortunately, I have half a dozen unfinished Flex projects to NOT show for my lack of blogging this year, but I hope to get back on track in 2010.



In addition to my 9-5 ColdFusion and JavaScript programming, the last couple years I’ve spent most of my free time in Ruby and ActionScript. This year I wanted to get more into general, gui type programming. It’s been a long time since I wrote a windows application, and my time spent with the Flex compiler has got me feeling nostalgic for a more structured language and programming environment.

I’ve spent a little bit of time over the holidays on a few C# projects, and I’m loving it and I’m looking forward to really diving into C# this year!

Attend User Group Meetings!

Attend User Group Meetings!

Attend User Group Meetings!
I say this every year, but there are a few active user groups in Orlando that I really like, that I should be attending more frequently and consistently.

Here’s a list, for link-love’s sake:

  1. ADOGO
  2. OJUG
  4. ORUG

I figure I should be able to, no excuse, make at least one a month. AT LEAST!

Work Out!

Work Out!

Work Out!
This is another resolution that I make every year. I didn’t lose any weight in 2009, in fact I gained 5lbs. However I’m lifting a lot more weight now, and I feel healthier so I guess I’m doing something right. I plan on continuing this through 2010.

So that’s it for tonight folks, I’m off to bed.

Happy New Year!

IT Conversations and Other Podcasts

I’ve been listening to the IT Conversations Network for a few weeks now, and I couldn’t be happier with it. In short, it provides an aggregated rss feed of free tech podcasts, so if you love podcasts as much as I do, you should give it a shot.

In addition to the always great Stack Overflow Podcast, there were three I found particularly interesting this week.

While I’m on the subject here’s a few of my other favorites. In order of how much I love them:

All free, all great. Go!

Open Letter to Audio Books Makers

Dear Audio Book Makers.

Your products, in my humble opinion are too expensive. Five yes, ten maybe, thirty NO.

Also, while I have your attention: More IT, please. I understand a lot of the techy books I’m interested in may have code examples or diagrams that don’t translate, but if the price is right I’ll deal. Perhaps you could shoot me a pdf with my purchase?

Finally, I wanted to let you know that I’m okay with text to speech. I don’t know if that would save you, and ultimately me, any money but It’s not so bad these days. I might have abandoned you completely for your cousin the eBook Makers, had the Kindle not been smote. Although, a cursory search reveals that I might have some of the same issues with them. Maybe I’ll write them a letter too.

For now, I’ll stick to my podcasts. I’ll check back with you later.

Finding and Fixing Broken Images with Ruby

A family members was having a problem with some mixed up image names on a static html site. I could have fixed it manually in a few shakes, but that’s no fun. Instead I used hpricot to scrape, open-uri to test for broken-ness, Find to search and some good old fashion regex to correct.

This was my first time messing around with hpricot and I found it to be powerful and easy to use, two thumbs up. I foresee some scraping and spidering posts in the near future.

On to the code:

My final script was a bit hairy so I broke out the bit I used to find the broken images.

If you run the script it’ll print the offending paths to screen:

ruby image_scanner.rb

Or you can call the get_broken_images method to get an array back:

require 'image_scanner'
scanner =
broken_images = scanner.get_broken_images ""

In case you’re interested, I’ve also uploaded the full code that I used to search for and correct the images although it’s implementation specific, riddled with lazy and is poorly tested. Read the disclaimer!

Just run it and be amazed!

ruby image_scanner.rb /media_folder /busted.html /fixed.html

Download only the broken image scanner
Download the full script