How to Hide Digsby Ads

I use Digsby as my instant messenger client. A couple minutes ago, I received an update which set ads to display in the conversation windows by default. I immediately decided I'd try to figure out how to remove the ads, or switch back to Pidgin, the free open source client. Turns out it was simple to turn off the ads. When you're done, you'll need to reopen your conversation windows to see the changes.

From the Buddy List window:

  1. Tools -> Preferences
  2. Conversations
  3. Uncheck "Support Digsby development by showing an ad in the IM window"

Automatically convert to and from Base64

I just finished a small, simple, yet interesting script for detecting whether code is base64 and encoding or decoding it based on the result. Let's be honest, PHP made it super easy for me with the base64_encode() and base64_decode() functions. I just wrapped it up in what I think is a pretty handy little tool that I know at least one person will get some use out of!

Try it out: Base64 Converter

Chrome Extensions: History Button, Extensions Button, Downloads Button

I just created some very simple extensions for Chrome shortly after I taught myself how to create extensions.

As I said, they're VERY simple, but I find them useful, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to share them.

Each extension is a simple lightweight extension that adds a shortcut button to your browser for quick access to your history, extensions, or downloads. It either opens a new tab, or switches to the respective tab if you already have it open in a tab you're not using.

You could nearly accomplish the same thing if you made a bookmark, but this assures you won't open multiple tabs and I like to keep some things separate from the bookmarks bar.

Chrome Extensions Button

Chrome History Button

Chrome Downloads Button

How To Convert Large XML Files to CSV

I usually struggle with converting very large XML files to other formats just because they are in a dynamic format and most programs you find run out of memory before properly parsing them.¬†Well, I’m happy to say, I found a FAST and EASY solution. Of course this will work for small files as well as big files.

You’ll want to grab a copy of the msxsl command line utility from Microsoft.

After you’ve got that, you’ll need to setup a XSL file to tell the program how to format your file. If you’re unfamiliar with XSL, you can familiarize yourself here.

After you’ve got your XSL file created, it’s a simple command line entry:

msxsl xml_file.xml xsl_file.xsl -o output_file.csv

The following is a sample XML and XSL file that I used.

XML File:

	
		772500
		Tue, 20 Jan 2009 16:28:08 CST
		Tue, 20 Jan 2009 16:51:01 CST

			61951
			The Hills Season 1

		773000
		Tue, 20 Jan 2009 16:28:08 CST
		Tue, 20 Jan 2009 16:53:54 CST

			61926
			Hogan Knows Best Season 2

		775500
		Thu, 22 Jan 2009 14:49:12 CST
		Thu, 22 Jan 2009 14:51:35 CST

			62068
			Carlos Mencia 2007

			1402
			Comedy Central

XSL File (Creates tab-delimited file)


	

HTML Optimizer & Compressor

Quite often I create an HTML file, possibly generated dynamically, that sees a ton of exposure. To save loading time and bandwidth, I optimize/compress the static files (HTML, CSS, and Javascript). I’ve found very good tools for packing Javascript and CSS, Dean Edwards’ packer and CSS Drive’s compressor respectively, but haven’t found a great tool for optimizing HTML. The following tool is something I whipped up in VB.net which simply removes whitespace and comments from HTML and tells you how much disk space you are saving. Careful, it could possibly mess up your javascript or anything else whitespace sensitive (pre tags, etc), but should do the job for most tasks. Admittedly this might be more convenient as a web application, and it wouldn’t take much, but I created it personally for my uses so I can use it offline as well.

Download: HTMLOptimizer.zip (7.92KB)

Free Web FLV Flash Player

I’ve used this product multiple times myself, so I thought it would be worthwhile posting it for anyone else looking for a web flash player. The great thing about it is it is very versatile, customizable, and FREE. The JW FLV Media player is suitable to handle FLV, MP4, MP3, AAC, JPG, PNG and GIF formats.

The player, which can play both audio and video, was written by Jeroen Wijering quite a while ago and became very successful. He has since ran with the success and co-founded Longtail Video.

A useful thing to do with this player is to download a copy onto your computer. You can then load FLV’s you’ve downloaded from Youtube, etc. into it and play them offline. This eliminates the need to install a bloated FLV player onto your PC (which likely isn’t a problem for most, but meh.).

To see the video player in action, check out these funny videos.

Website Monitoring Service

I use Site24x7 for my website monitoring service – it’s nice because you can be notified via email and/or SMS whenever your site goes down. Sorry, it’s not free – I only use it because I signed up when they started and was grandfathered in. The website I’ve been working on has recently been having a lot of problems and I wanted to keep close tabs on it. This runs into a problem because Site24x7 only allows a maximum of 5 minute intervals for site requests.

A quick search on Google found HostTracker. It’s a handy web tool which does every Site24x7 can do (as far as I can tell). Better than that though, the 30 day trial allows up to 1 minute site request intervals…bingo! Very handy. The site is very easy to use and very helpful. I’d definitely recommend giving it a try.