Don't assume that Netflix has it all

Over the last year or so I have become more and more dissatisfied with Netflix. The problem is not their DVD shipping service, I like that. The problem is their instant streaming service. Many tech journalists will tell you that you can cancel your cable/satellite subscription and just use Netflix. But if you do that, you will be missing many things:
1. Sports.
2. Most TV shows that are on air today.

Not to mention that their movie catalog is very small. If you want to instantly stream a movie, I hope you're content with independent and old moldy films. Because that's mostly what you'll get.

As far as TV shows, Netflix only has SOME of the most popular TV shows. Mythbusters? Nope. Chuck? Only one old season. Anything current (like, released last week?) Forget it.

But I've recently been trying to find the movie/show I want on other services besides Netflix. Amazon has a streaming video service, and I found that they have Mythbusters (and yes, even the current in-progress season!) Youtube also has a service that has some of the content you won't find on Netflix. And there is also Hulu and Vudu (not to mention lots of other lesser known services.) And many of those services are pay as you go (meaning, no monthly subscription...you just pay for the shows you watch.)

So I have not yet decided to cancel my Netflix subscription, but I may do that soon. And I am planning to cancel my Cable subscription later this year (after the contract runs out.) These services (and the fact that I don't watch much TV nor many movies these days) make that prospect a lot less scary.

Happy Birthday Blog

My blog turns 8 years old today. Wow! That seems like a long time, but I know there are other people out there that started blogs a while before me. I remember when I first started hearing about the term "blog". I ignored it for a few months, and then finally decided to go figure out what "blog" means. I remember thinking that "blog" is a dumb term for what basically seemed like a web journal. The rest is history. :)

I am not a prolific blogger, but I'm not apologizing for that. The way I see it, this is my blog and I don't owe anybody anything for it. If I only post once a month, I'm just hurting myself. So you'll never see me post one of those, "Man...I haven't been posting very often here. Sorry guys!" posts. It is what it is. I post when I want to say something, and when I don't, I don't post. So I generally don't want to say anything. :)

As I always do on my blog anniversary, I'll post some stats*:

Total Number of Entries:438
First Entry:05/21/02
Total Comments:1244
Average Comments Per Entry:2.84
Total Views:919467
Average Views Per Entry:2099.24

Top 10 posts, by page view

JavaScript URL variables40329
JavaScript isNumeric function35882
Obtaining Affected rows from SQL Query18666
Top 10 Crazy Eclipse Plugins11811
Mozilla's answer to Adobe AIR6622
Speed up page loads, defer your JavaScript6271
Comet: Server Push to Browser6171
ColdFusion dynamic variable names6056
What does your name mean?5930
Deselect all items in a Select List5923

*My blog originally was on Blogger (before they were bought by Google). I lost all of the stats from my blog when I converted to BlogCFC. I can't remember when that was exactly, but I think these stats cover at least 4 years, maybe 5 or 6.

7 year blogger

My first blog entry was 7 years ago today. I am very proud of that fact, but I am not proud of the frequency of my posts over the years. I just did the math, and I have averaged 5 posts a month. Not horrible, but not as many as I would have liked. Oh well.

When I first started blogging I had grandiose ideals that I was starting what would eventually become a very popular news site. I mostly blogged about current tech news stories. I was not a ColdFusion programmer back then, so I was not blogging about that yet (while that is my most prolific topic today, however).

As I do every blog anniversary post, here are some stats for the curious:

  • I have been blogging for 2554 days.
  • I have had 1130 comments (actually more than that because I lost a lot when I converted from Blogger a few years ago).
  • I have had 663790 blog views.
  • I have averaged 1596 views per entry.

That last statistic is very surprising. I think it is because I have a few entries that have received a lot of google traffic over the years. For example, these two entries have had about 28,000 views each since they were posted: JavaScript isNumeric function, JavaScript URL variables. So it's not that I have very popular entries, but rather that those few popular entries throw off the average.

Setup Linksys WRT54G as a bridge

I have a bunch of networkable devices in my entertainment center in the living room. I wanted to find out of I could buy a cheap wireless router and then set it up as a bridge to our primary wireless router, instead of running an Ethernet cable to the living room. I found a way to do this.

As the title says, I did this using a Linksys WRT54G (I found a cheap one on ebay). The primary router can be any brand/model, because you just connect to it like a normal WiFi client (you don't make any settings changes on the primary router). To make this work, you have to download and flash a 3rd party firmware called DD-WRT. This is free, and it adds some extra features to your WRT54G (it also supports some other routers on the market, btw).

After you've flashed the DD-WRT firmware, you can follow this tutorial for configuring the second router as a client-bridge.

Housing Sharing site for travellers?

I normally think it's silly when people use their blog to ask a question, but I couldn't think of a better place to ask this question.

I read a while ago about a website where people come together to trade housing for trips. So for example, if I lived in Denver and wanted to take a vacation in Chicago, I would go on the site and find people living in Chicago that would be willing to either trade houses for the week, or maybe they'd let me stay at their house for cheap. Has anybody heard of a site like this? I can't seem to find it, so I figured I'd reach out to my readers.

Calling all Math Nerds

Here's a problem that is a real life question I'd like to solve. I don't know if you could do this using ColdFusion (I know you don't need to), but if you do use CF, you get extra credit. :)

My wife and I have argued about which of two possible routes home is the quickest, and I figured some of the Math geniuses out there would be able to quickly solve this. The diagram below represents a part of my normal daily travels. I want to get from point A to C. I have the choice of taking the A->B->C route, or the A->D->C route. As you can see, all for sides of the square are 1/2 mile. Let's also assume that I always start from a complete stop at point A, regardless of which route I choose, and I have to come to a complete stop at the end (point C), regardless of which route I choose.

Math Diagram

The tricky part is that there are varying speed limits. The first route (shown in red):

  1. A->B = 40 mph.
  2. No stop sign at B.
  3. B->C = 25 mph.
Let's assume that I can take the B corner at 8 miles an hour (no stop sign, and assuming that there are no cars coming that I'd have to stop for before making the turn).

The second route (shown in blue):

  1. A->D = 30 mph.
  2. Stop sign at D.
  3. D->C = 30 mph.

Assuming I didn't miss any assumptions, which route of the two would be fastest?

Migrate ALL Firefox stuff between PCs

I tend to keep a fairly static setup for a couple of years when it comes to my PCs/Laptops. So I don't migrate personal settings between PCs very often. But next week is my birthday, and my present was a new desktop PC (I built it from scratch). Anyway, one of the pain points for my migrations in the past was always Firefox. It's easy to get the bookmarks, but I typically just started over for everything else (saved passwords, extensions, etc.) Well, I wanted this to be a lot easier this time, so I did some googling and found MozBackup. This little utility is AWESOME! With it I was able to backup ALL of my important Firefox stuff, including Firefox settings I had changed, extensions, saved passwords, saved form data, bookmarks, browser history...the whole freight train. And then restore all of this to my new PC's Firefox. I LOVE it! However, I won't go into details on the pain and suffering I endured just trying to get the %#[email protected]! backup file moved from my old XP laptop to my new Vista PC (the Jury's still out on whether or not I will keep Vista on here or not)...

Off topic, but I know many people like to see what another guy's rig is made up of, so here's my specs:

  • Mother Board: ASUS M3A78-CM
  • CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000 Brisbane 2.6GHz Dual-Core
  • RAM: 4 Gigs, Dual Channel DDR2 800
  • Hard Drive: 250 Gb Seagate Barracuda, SATA 7200RPM
  • Video Card: On-board ATI (I'm not very happy with this so far...will probably buy a PCI Express card later)
  • Case: Mid tower ATX, black Alien look, sweet mama :)
  • Monitor: 19" LCD

Upgrading my wife's PC = My wife ROCKS

Ok, that title may sound cryptic until you hear this story. First a little background. When I met my wife, I was instantly attracted to her because of her brain. She told me she is interested in sci-fi/fantasy books, likes computers and games, and had a job doing PC support stuff. So I'm telling myself...how can I ever expect to find another girl like this? I've got to snatch up this opportunity! Our courtship was actually a lot more complicated than that, but you guys probably don't care to hear all the extra details. :)

Also, Dyany is not really passionate about nerdy PC stuff. She mainly uses her PC for games and web surfing/email. She never reads technical mailing lists/forums, doesn't keep up with the latest trends, and doesn't even have an IT job anymore (but she had one for a few years, a few years ago). But, her brain retains information like a sponge, so every little IT fact she's ever learned is still in there, for the most part. I have tried to talk her into learning ColdFusion, but she's not interested. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

So anyway, last month my wife's PC hard drive was showing signs of imminent death. So we launched the process of getting a replacement and migrating all the data between hard drives. The reason I put "My wife ROCKS" in my post title is because of how this all went down.

First of all, she tells me she wants a 1 TB hard drive. Now that in itself is amazing. How many of your wives would even know what that means, let alone know that this is the amount of space she needs? I should note here that we use my wife's PC as our home "server", and we store all of our music, pictures, and videos on there, so that's why she asked for 1 TB.

So we buy the drive from newegg, and while it's in route my wife starts planning how we're going to migrate the data. Again, this fact alone is astounding compared to most other women out there. She knew that her old drive is SATA, and the new one we bought is SATA. So she asked me if we had an extra SATA cable. We did, but when the drive shows up I found out that her mobo only has one SATA port. So Dyany goes out and finds a free imaging utility and takes an image of the old hard drive (she stores it on a second hard drive in the machine). I swap out the drives for her (she's not a hardware person). Then she puts the image on the new hard drive. She even did some partition reorganization, with a little help from me.

So I ask you guys, how cool is my wife? :D

My Blog is 6 years old

Today marks the anniversary of my first blog post 6 years ago. I usually mark my anniversary by posting some stats, so here they are:

Total posts-361
Total comments-858
Avg. comments per entry-2.4

Visitor stats for the last year:

Page views-15,319
Unique visitors-13,186
Avg. Time on Page-2:48

My top five most popular entries:
JavaScript isNumeric function with 16210 views
JavaScript URL variables with 10,891 views
Obtaining Affected rows from SQL Query with 7,023 views
Top 10 Crazy Eclipse Plugins with 4,526 views
What does your name mean? with 3,785 views

I guess I'm not much of a nerd

NerdTests.com says I'm an Uber Cool Light-Weight Nerd. What are you? Click here!

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