Webmail Compose – a must have Firefox add on!

For all of us Webmail users (Yahoo! Mail, GMail etc.), the Webmail Compose extension for Firefox launches Webmail when an email address is clicked on – not Outlook Express, Mail, Thunderbird. Unfortunately, the original extension stopped working for Firefox once it got to version 2.0 and needs to be ‘hacked’ in order to work with Firefox 2.x

The hack is posted at the link below and is cross platform (works on my Mac, Windows and Ubuntu machines every time with no problems whatsoever!):

Ubuntu 7.10 – a computer for every room!

I have been successfully running two older Pentium III computers with Ubuntu 7.10 and D-Link DWL-520+ PCI cards for WiFi and at this point I’m sold – it’s great! I plan to add a couple more similarly configured machines to the house so that family and friends can all get on the Web if they want during the upcoming holidays without having to wait for me to get off of my Mac in order to do so!

MySQL – calculating minutes between start and end times

I made a simple table in MySQL to use for start and end times (i.e., for billing a job):

CREATE TABLE `billing` (
`start` datetime NOT NULL default ‘0000-00-00 00:00:00’,
`stop` datetime NOT NULL default ‘0000-00-00 00:00:00’,
`total` int(11) NOT NULL default ‘0’

Took me awhile to figure out how to get the actual minutes, but by converting the datetime to unix_timestamp first (then dividing by 60) it worked – yay!

UPDATE billing SET total = (unix_timestamp(stop) – unix_timestamp(start)) / 60

To quickly get the total minutes for the column:

SELECT SUM(total) FROM billing

To show hours:

SELECT SUM(total / 60) FROM billing

Gary Thomas – flute solo on Alone Together

Yesterday I finished transcribing Gary Thomas’ flute solo on the jazz standard, “Alone Together” (from the album “Jazz for a Lazy Day” with Wallace Roney). A couple of weeks ago, I heard this album playing in the background at ‘The Slice of Life’ and the flute solo on ‘Alone Together’ got my attention. I asked to see the album, but there were no liner notes on the flutist. When I got home, I searched about the album and found out who it was – Gary Thomas. Then I downloaded the track off of iTunes here.

I like Gary’s playing very much – it’s rhythmically and idea rich. The ‘Alone Together’ flute solo is only a chorus long (the band drops a couple of bars in the form behind him too – so it’s even shorter!), but Gary packs a lot of hip material into it as he double times his way through. I started transcribing the solo on 10/20 but because of the way I work and other things going on, could only do a few bars at a time. Now that the transcription is done, I can see I have material from which to draw continued inspiration for many years to come. Thank you Gary!

How to get an index of all your Blogger posts using Google Reader

I found that by increasing the amount of posts in the Google Reader widget to 200 (I’m not really sure what the upper limit is), I could generate a master index of posts. For example, here’s an unstyled version of the posts on this blog:

Here’s what the hack looks like:

<script src=”http://www.google.com/reader/ui/publisher.js” type=”text/javascript”></script>
<script src=”http://www.google.com/reader/public/javascript/feed/http://www.fluteplayer.net/atom.xml?n=200&amp;callback=GRC_p%28%7Bc%3A%27-%27%2Ct%3A%27%27%2Cs%3A%27false%27%7D%29%3Bnew%20GRC” type=”text/javascript”></script>

How to add an AddThis widget in Blogger (pre-Beta)

To add an ‘AddThis‘ bookmark widget (like at the end of this post) to a pre-Beta Blogger template like Minima, I hacked the code like so:

<!– AddThis Bookmark Button BEGIN –>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
addthis_url = “<$BlogItemPermalinkUrl$>”;
addthis_title = “FlutePlayer.net: <$BlogItemTitle$>”;
addthis_pub = ‘fluteplayer’;
</script><script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://s7.addthis.com/js/addthis_widget.php?v=12″ ></script>
<!– AddThis Bookmark Button END –>

Note: I’ve noticed that in Firefox, the ‘Favorites’ option puts the bookmark in the left sidebar (both on my Mac and a PC running Ubuntu). It also doesn’t work at all in Safari. 😐
Does it work in IE?

Fortunately, the Digg, delicious and other options all seem to work fine with the widget, so I’m thinking this may be a temporary bug that ‘AddThis’ will fix. At least I hope so …

iOutliner – free online outliner that works!

Today I discovered iOutliner — and I’m happy to report that it is EXCELLENT! Like iJot, it’s a simple outliner also sporting drag ‘n drop functionality (and for me, being able to move things around easily simply by dragging is a feature I must have in an outliner — a feature which unfortunately is missing from LooseStitch as well as the Wiki software I’ve tried using — without drag ‘n drop, an outliner is more work than it’s worth, sorry).

Unlike iJot, iOutliner offers privacy for free and also can make columns – very cool! I do wish it had checkboxes like IN CONTROL had (perhaps someday there will be that and other features too!), but as far as free online outliners go, iOutliner looks to be the best so far. Check it out!

UPDATE 12/19/08 I revisited iOutliner today and I’m sorry to say, things just don’t work. 🙁
Among other things, I can’t get the delete link to work at all. It appears the project has been abandoned. Too bad, iOutliner had great potential.

Blogger: Comment Count hack

About a year ago, I posted my hack on Blogger User Support for getting a comment count in the sidebar like I’d seen on some WordPress blogs (again, this hack is for pre-Beta Blogger templates like this site). Shortly thereafter, the post was picked up by Freshblog and a little while after that, I ended up modifying the hack further to better match the color scheme and logic of this site:

Here’s the hack (goes in the the sidebar of the template):

<h2 class=”sidebar-title”>Recent Posts</h2>
<ul id=”recently”>
<li><a href=”<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>”><$BlogPreviousItemTitle$></a><span class=”class1″><a class=”comment-link” href=”<$BlogItemCommentCreate$>”<$BlogItemCommentFormOnclick$>” title=”comments”>(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>)</a></span></li>

And here’s the CSS (goes in the body):

.class1 A:link {color: #999; text-decoration: none;}
.class1 A:visited {color: #999; text-decoration: none;}
.class1 A:active {color: #c60; text-decoration: none;}
.class1 A:hover {text-decoration: none; text-decoration: underline; color: #c60;}