Author Archives: Tyler Mulligan

List the contents of a zip file

I post a lot of zip files on forums to trade information with my fellow gamers, programmers, internetards and what have you. As such, I like to tell them what the zip contains. Now the title of this post is a bit of a misnomer as I haven’t really created the zip yet… but I figured it would be just as helpful. The only extra step you would have in doing an actual zip file would be to extract the files to a folder but enough of the intro, lets dive in.

Step one: Have a folder with the files you want to list

Folder with files
(Whats with your image icons d00d? My images are associated with irfanview)

Step two: Open the Command prompt.

Do this by going to start -> Run… and typing in “cmd

cmd

Step three: Navigate to your folder with “cd” (change directory) and list the files without any attributes using “dir /b

Change directory

Step four: Right click anywhere in the black and choose, “Mark“, this allows you to highlight the outputted text.

cmd - Mark

Highlight your filelist

Highlighted Text

When you right click again, the text is copied to your clipboard and you can paste it anywhere you’d like

Paste the text

I Have Entrecard Seller Status!

I’m proud to announce that I’m one of the Entrecard users with seller status. I will begin selling Card Redesigns, Quality reviews, Ad space shortly and possibly some t-shirts in the future.

To give you an idea of the quality of my work, here are two cards I’ve designed for forum goers who took advantage of my free offer. There are 2 spots left… if you’re interested, act fast. Otherwise, it’ll cost you 400 Credits.

Inspiring Quotes

Treat Infamy

Congratulations to the rest of the winners and too readers uninterested in Entrecard, I have some more how-tos and lifehacks on the way!

I you’d like a check check out My Entrecard Page.

Happy New Years 2008!

The Simple Organizer

I’ve always had some trouble staying organized in real life (IRL). I think part of the reason is that other people’s methods don’t really work for me.

This tool is designed to help me deal with ‘mind overflow’. That is, more information than my brain is willing to process at one time. An organizer of sorts. That is what I consider my project to be. It is neither a notepad or a day planner, a scribble pad or a journal; it is what you need it to be, fast.

Used in conjunction with its bigger brother, who we’ll call ‘Homebase’, the device ‘Soldier’ is a fully customizable, expandable, archivable, seperatable ‘mind overflow system’.

Soldier is able to hold ~10-30 pages of 3 ringed paper 3.5″x5.5″. He can find relief from older documents by redistributing them to Homebase.

The Simple Organizer

Notice the pen on the outside edge. This is intentionally done for quick access to the pen when TSO is closed.

How about this for Entrecard?

Entrecard users knew from the start that not everyone was in it for the same reasons and lets face it, there are some blogs we’d rather not waste our time viewing. Blogs that waste our time trying to get rich off their garbage content. Unfortunately, the only system in place as of now, is reviews. Unfortunately, these were being gamed until recently.

So Tyler, what do you suggest?

Well, I wouldn’t want to tamper with the one-click drop method because that would be silly but I want to integrate something into the widget so a user can tell a lot about a blog just by being at said blog.

My proposal is a system such as this:

Entrecard - Rating System Proposal

With this integrated voting system, it will be easier for other bloggers to know if it’s a reputable source or just some more internet garbage so some degree. In an ideal world, there would be some crazy algorithms to back this thing up to prevent gaming but I’ll leave that logic to the Entrecard guys if they like my idea!

Another approach Entrecard can take to limit the amount of abuse would be some additions to the forum. Staying true to the proud design of Entrecard, I’ve crafted my idea of a simple solution.

Entrecard - Forum System Ideas

The reputation would preferably use some ajax that would pop up with a box to fill in a reason. Reporting posts would help admins moderate the forum. A quick link to message a user would be handy as would the edit post button.

What do you all think?

Edit: There is a thread on the Entrecard Forums that answers some FUD related questions.

Google, I love you but wtf?

There is something Google did a while back that ruffled my feathers a bit. When they updated their style to move the bar to the top. They removed a feature I used quite often.

Say I want to search for “Tyler Mulligan”

Google Search - Wtf Google?

but last second I decide I’d rather see my sexy mug than a bunch of text. When you change your search type (i.e. web to images), your search string disappears!

Google Search - Wtf Google 2?

Am I alone in missing this feature? Certain other search engines don’t have this problem.

Entrecard – Introducing Stores

Entrecard has announced it’s addition of the ‘Store’ module which uses EC credits as currency. Currently, Entrecard is the only seller, offering a few things to promote your blog faster but they are planning on giving users seller status in the future. If I were to have a store it would benefit both Entrecard any myself as I would offer not only adspace on my blog but quality reviews and business card redesigns.

A rough idea of what I would sell:

- 20 Card Redesigns at 400 Credits a pop
- Quality reviews at 500 credits a pop (a note about this, by quality, I mean in my writing. If your site sucks, I’ll say so. I’m not going to help promote internet garbage.)
- Ad space on my blog, 2 weeks for 2500 credits / 1 month for 4000
- T-shirts with on line creative says fresh out a book of ideas I’ve been compiling for a few months… the price of these is undetermined at this moment.

If you aren’t familiar with entrecard, check it out below.

Entrecard

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas Eve and Happy Holidays to all. I hope you are enjoying time with loved ones and family. On my time off I’ve been doing a little research. I’m trying to learn more about 3d modeling so I can create more than just maps for the great game, Nexuiz. I’ve been dabbling in Blender 3d, which I came across some some awesome video tutorials. You can check out those Awesome Blender 3d Video Tutorials Here. This kid is really good at breaking down the tools and usage of the program.

I’ve also just finished writing a basic tutorial on map making for Nexuiz. I’ll be back post Christmas with some more application how-tos and such. Happy Holidays!

Taking Screenshots the Easy Way

I’ve mentioned this software before but I feel compelled to show you all why this software has made my list of software I install on a fresh format. This software is MWSnap, a program for taking and manipulating screenshots. When you first open the program, you’re greeted with this:

MWSnap - Take Screenshots Easily

On the left, you have your main options for screenshots and on your right, you have a preview. Each of the screenshots have hotkeys that you can learn by click ‘Capture’ on the menu bar. All of the options are pretty self-explanatory except the ‘Window/menu’ option, which you’ll learn to love fast.

When you select this option, the screen freezes and you have a dotted box that selects whatever menu or window you’re cursor is hovering on.

MWSnap - Window or Menu

This assures for a clean cut every time, quickly and easily.

And if you’re feeling fancy, you can garnish it by adding a cursor from the ‘edit’ menu:

MWSnap - Add Cursor

MWSnap has some interesting tools that come in handy at random times:

MWSnap - Tools

I’d say the ruler is the one I use most often.

MWSnap - Ruler

It’s floats above all other windows and lets you measures them by pixels. Don’t worry, it goes vertically as well.

And while I chose to use ColorPic for my color picking software. MWSnap’s color picker isn’t half bad.

MWSnap - Color Picker

There are only two downsides that I’ve found to this application. First being the lack of ability to crop… that to me is odd but I just open it up in IrfanView and take care of it that way. The other issue is multiple monitors. Unfortunately, MWSnap only recognizes the primary monitor. I don’t really have a work around for this, I just deal with it and drag windows I need to take screenshots of over to my primary monitor.

This software has saved me tons of time, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

NO to the Microsoft Office format as an ISO standard

I ask the national members of ISO to vote “NO” in the ballot of ISO DIS 29500 (Office OpenXML or OOXML format) for the following reasons:

1. There is already a standard ISO26300 named Open Document Format (ODF): a dual standard adds costs, uncertainty and confusion to industry, government and citizens;
2. There is no provable implementation of the OOXML specification: Microsoft Office 2007 produces a special version of OOXML, not a file format which complies with the OOXML specification;
3. There is information missing from the specification document, for example how to do a autoSpaceLikeWord95 or useWord97LineBreakRules;
4. More than 10% of the examples mentioned in the proposed standard do not validate as XML;
5. There is no guarantee that anybody can write software that fully or partially implements the OOXML specification without being liable to patent lawsuits or patent license fees by Microsoft;
6. This format conflicts with existing ISO standards, such as ISO 8601 (Representation of dates and times), ISO 639 (Codes for the Representation of Names and Languages) or ISO/IEC 10118-3 (cryptographic hash);
7. There is a bug in the spreadsheet file format which forbids any date before the year 1900: such bugs affect the OOXML specification as well as software applications like Microsoft Excel 2000, XP, 2003 and 2007.
8. This standard proposal was not created by bringing together the experience and expertise of all interested parties (such as the producers, sellers, buyers, users and regulators), but by Microsoft alone.

Sign the petition here

Daily database backups on dreamhost

To do daily database backups, I use cron jobs. If you aren’t familiar with cron jobs, think of the as scripts that run on a timer. Much like ‘scheduled tasks’ on windows. To edit your cron jobs on dreamhost, locate the ‘cron jobs‘ menu item located under ‘goodies‘ on the main menu:

Location of cron jobs on dreamhost

Before we add a cron job though, I want to familiarize you with the script and have you run a test to save you a headache later.

#! /bin/sh

# Daily backups on your database with email notification
# Tyler Mulligan

# file
dateVar=$(date +%m-%d)          # Date variable to append to filename (default: month-day | 11-24)
savePath="/home/tyler/backups/" # Backups are stored here
fileName="my_db_backup"         # File name minus the date

# email
subject="My Database Backup ${dateVar}"
email="[email protected]"

# database
username="root"      # username
password=""          # password
hostname="localhost" # hostname
database="database"  # database

mysqldump -u $username -p$password -h $hostname $database | gzip  > $savePath$fileName-$dateVar.sql.gz

uuencode $savePath$fileName-$dateVar.sql.gz $fileName-$dateVar.sql.gz | mail -s "$subject" $email

I’ve set it up so you fill out your information like any other config file, the last two lines do all the work.

I suggest you create a new text file called ‘dbbackup.txt’, and paste the above code in and saving it for future reference. It’s always good to have a clean slate to start from. Once you have that done, fill in your file, email and database variables and give it a test run.

Create a shell script through ssh and run that.

Copy your personalized database dump code, log into your server and type:

vi my_db_test.sh
[press i]
right click (to paste the copied code)
[press esc][type ":wq"]
[press enter]

Your script is now written to a file called ‘my_db_test.sh’.

chmod +x the file and run it:

chmod +x my_db_test.sh
./my_db_test.sh

Once you receive the email, check your backup directory and verify that the database was properly dumped. If you don’t receive and email, you did something wrong.

If everything worked fine, return to the dreamhost cron job page, add a cron job and paste your working code into your newly created cron job.

A new cron job on dreamhost

Save, wait a day and you should receive your email. It’s a wise idea to grab a copy of your backup every week or so to store locally.

Dreamhost is actually offering a special for their 10th anniversary right now, 500gb disk space, 5TB transfer for only $5.95 a month. I’ve been with them 2 years and I’ve been pleased.