[Gas Prices and the minimum wage] [inFamous 2 UGC Dia Shape Set] [Bing's test page] [Meta description and keywords test page] [Modifying the Wii Guitar Hero Drum kit for the PS3][SonicStage and Windows 7][PS3 firmware woes] [My Wii quit working] [Viper Skin] [Streaming music to the PSP] [Word to Publisher woes] [Unlocking Visio Shapes] [Getting Organized] [slfn]
[Corrupted swf files] [Installing Subversion]
A friend started a conversation on twitter about gas prices. It got me thinking about price history adjusting for inflation and how the minimum wage has not kept up with inflation. To visualize this I made a line chart that shows how long a minimum wage employee must work to earn a gallon of gas.
During the inFamous 2 UGC beta I created a shape set for [Dia]. Now that the beta is over and I'm no longer restricted by the NDA, I can share my work!
There are 22 shapes these are all based on the beta icons, except the script shape. I could not get the curves right on that one so I simplified the design. Again these shapes are based on the beta icons not the final retail icons. I'll make the necessary adjustments once I get some time with the retail version.
Hopefully this will be useful to those of us that want to flowchart inFamous 2 UGC mission ideas.
1) Download and un-zip the [inFamous2-UGC-Dia-Shapes] zip file. In this zip there are two folders "sheets" and "shapes"
2) In the sheets folder copy the"inFamous_2.sheet" file to your Dia sheets directory. This should be C:\Program Files\Dia\sheets
3) In the shapes folder copy the "inFamous_2" folder to your Dia shapes directory. This should be C:\Program Files\Dia\shapes
Using the Set:
1) Open Dia, above the default or last used shape set is a drop down. Click the drop down menu.
2) Click on Other Sheets.
3) Click on inFamous 2
I was a my [local bookstore] and they had a used PS3 Rock Band (RB) set. Bookmans gives you credit for items you trade in and I had enough credit for the set so I picked it up. I already had Guitar Hero World Tour (GT:WT) but everyone raves how much better RB is so I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I got it home, set it up and RB IMHO is much better than GH:WT with one exception; the drum kit is missing cymbals. Not wanting to shell out extra cash for RB2 + the cymbal kit; I decided to merge my PS3 RB and Wii GH:WT kits.
Tools I used:
I had already taken my Wii drums apart, the cymbals got twisted around and the wires were pulled out. To fix it I had to solder on new connectors. So when you look at the pictures they have RCA connectors instead of the stock 1/8 mono phone jack connectors.
Dissassembling the Rock Band Set:
I removed the RB drum set from the stand. I flipped the RB drum set over and removed all the screws. Using my thumb I applied downward pressure to the drum pad and using my fingers I lifted the drum set. This removed the pad from the drum base. I did this for all 4 pads.
I then leaned the set against the wall and laid the pads flat.
I peeled back the ends of the foam to reveal more screws. These screws hold the middle and the bottom parts of the drum set. I removed all of these screws.
I cut each of the pad wires where they connect at the mini circuit boards
I removed the mount that holds the USB cable
I this point I had the the RB drum set completely apart. The middle pads and controller unit however were one piece
Using the dremel tool I cut the pad holders from the controller. The white lines in the image is where I cut using the dremel tool. Make sure you don't cut any wires.
I then cut a 3' cat 5 cable in half and connected the cat5 cable to the PS3 drum controller. I also cut a phone cable and soldered this to the drum lines on the PS3 controller.
Cat5 Orange Pair to Controller Red Pair.
Cat5 Brown Pair to Controller Yellow Pair.
Cat5 Blue Pair to Controller Blue Pair.
Cat5 Green Pair to Controller Green Pair.
Controller Drum Red to Phone Cable Green.
Controller Drum Red/Black to Phone Cable Red.
I carefully taped the wires to the circuit board and route the cat5 cable around the screw hole on the right side. I then placed a zip tie around the phone cable to prevent it from pulling out of the controller.
Installing the RB parts in the Will Drum set:
I removed the drum from the stand. I flipped the Wii drum set and removed all the screws. I then soldered the phone cable to Wii as shown. The red line will be on the left side and the green line on the right
Using the rock band pads I removed the two screws that hold the sensor to the bottom of the pad.
I removed the foam that was above the sensor mount. You will need these later.
Carefully I mounted the RB sensor next to the Wii sensor, making sure the tape was firmly around the surface. To make sure that the sensor did not move I placed the foam between sensor and the pad. I repeated these steps for the all the pads, execpt yellow.
Using the dremel I tool cut some notches for the phone and the cat 5 cable. I mounted the phone cable and cat 5 cable under the Wii remote holder. I then connected the couplers.
Connect the cat5 cable to the sensors using the same wiring as the controller:
Cat5 Orange Pair to Sensor Red Pair.
Cat5 Brown Pair to Sensor Yellow Pair.
Cat5 Blue Pair to Sensor Blue Pair.
Cat5 Green Pair to Sensor Green Pair.
I removed the screws for the yellow Wii cymbal and using the dremel tool cut off the support strut. Carefully I removed the yellow RB sensor from the foam. I then super glued the RB sensor down, and applied electricians tape to hold the sensor down.
Using the tape and foam that was originally on the sensor; I put this back on and installed the original spring.
I placed one of the circular foam pieces from the RB kit under the cymbal mount.
I then removed one of the triangle shaped foam pieces from the RB kit, cut a small square piece and placed it on the spring.
Carefully I replaced the cymbal cover and screwed it down.
The Kick pedals are not interchangeable so I had to keep the Rock Band kick pedal.
Here is an image of the set assembled.
The modfied drum set in use.
I still use and am quite happy with my minidisc player. I have a [MZ-DH10P], and don't
see myself getting rid of it anytime soon. I have been a mindisc user for a long time and all my music is in OMA format. For those of you that don't know, Sony dropped support for the format and the last update of the software in the U.S. was 4.3. So with Windows 7 on the horizon I was concerned that I might not be able to use the aging software.
My first install proved my fears. I installed the most recent version of SonicStage from the [full installer] I downloaded from the connect site... It would not install. :-(
I then discovered a [SonicStage Japan Wiki] site and found an [update for 4.3] that was not released in the U.S. In the release notes the translation for the new features added says: "Vista in SonicStage was not to a privilege escalation dialog was displayed at startup." Hoping this update might fix my issue in windows 7 I set out to make an installer.
Luckily the patch from the Japan site worked on my Windows XP install of SonicStage. Using [inno setup] I have created an installer that integrates the patch with the most recent U.S. version of 4.3. This installer also has:
-The icons from SonicStage V install.
-It removes the connect player branding.
-I changed the default background image.
-I added a skin that I modified from the Japan wiki.
-Avrin from the [minidisc forums] made a similar installer, this included a link to the minidisc fourms page, I liked this idea and added that plus a link to the SonicStage Wikidpedia page.
When you run the installer it does the following:
-Installs Music Server Controller from SonicStage 4.3.1
-Installs the SetupReg software from the [SonicStage 5.2 Installer.]
-Installs OpenMG version 5.4 from SonicStage 5.2
-Installs SonicStage 4.3.1
-Installs the AddOn from SonicStage 4.3.1. This is modified to: Add links to the support menu, replace the default splash screen (I created a new one from the version V install) and the title menu images were replaced.
-Installs the 4.3.02.14200 update - I downloaded from [the Japan site.]
-Installs the Security update - I got this from the [Sony esupport page]
-Installs the pa Driver from [SonicStage 4.4]
-Copies the icons from SonicStage V, I created a new "AboutBox" image, a skin I modified from the Japan Wiki, and a new background replaces the old one.
-Installs [PxEngine] 188.8.131.520
Thanks to Avrin at the minidsic forums for suggesting OpenMG 5.4
I have tested this on windows XP SP3 and Windows 7 RC1 Build 7100. It worked on two different clean installs of Windows 7 RC1. If you tried SonicStage on Windows 7 from another installer and it failed, before you try this installer make sure that you:
-Remove SonicStage and OpenMG from Add/Remove Programs
-Remove the SonicStage folder in program files.
After you reboot the computer you will get a bit of a lag, as you boot to the desktop you will see a screen that says "Converting SonicStage database"
Unless it's a completely new install, I would not bother with running this on Windows XP. Although the batch section of the installer that copies the SonicStage V images and some of the other customizations works for both windows XP and Windows 7; if your install works there is not much of a benefit for XP.
download: [SonicStage] 4.3.02.14200
This was tested on a 32bit platform.
Uninstall any versions of SonicStage you have installed, make sure you back up your databases. Run this from a user account that has administrative rights.
If you want to uninstall go to Add/Remove Programs or Programs and Features. Remove SonicStage 4.3 first, then remove OpenMG 5.4
If you have [questions or comments] please let me know.
Images of the install process on a clean install of Win7 RC1:
First Page of the install wizard.
Setup is Patching to 4.3.02.
Setup is finished. Reboot!
After boot SonicStage Converts the database.
SonicStage Installed on Windows 7 RC1.
I use my Playstation 3 a lot, and the most heavily used feature is the DLNA support. This feature was added with [firmware 1.80] and allows you to stream data from a computer with [DLNA enabled software] or from a [hardware device with DLNA support.]
I have updated my firmware twice in the past 2.50 and 2.60 and had no issues, after each update my previous settings were kept. Not once did I have to make changes, each firmware update retained my settings as expected. So, with this past good firmware experience, I did not think twice about updating again. In fact Sony forces you update if you use any of the online stuff like the PS3 store.
So I updated...
and the update broke the DLNA capability. Below is the e-mail thread with PS3 support:
-Me After the update of firmware 2.70 the PS3 refuses to connect to my DLNA server. As a result of this I am no longer able to stream any media to my PS3. I know that the culprit is the firmware update as minutes before the update I was streaming media with no issues on firmware 2.60. When can I expect a fix to this broken firmware?
Response (Catrina G.) 04/17/2009 06:40 PM Hello Matthew, We sympathize with your situation you are having with your DLNA setup not working properly. The firmware did not harm your unit in any way. Check to make sure the videos your are attempting to view do not have any copyright issues. This could be the reason you are unable to view them. As for your connections make sure your Media Server Connection is still showing as enabled. You may not have changed the settings but when the system restarted they may have gone back to default. The following Knowledge Center articles may help resolve your problem: Article Title: Movie & video file formats Article Link: http://playstation.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/playstation.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=361&p_created=1193250629 Article Title: DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) Article Link: http://playstation.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/playstation.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=430&p_created=1194548486 Regards, Catrina G
omg really?? Totally canned response, very annoying! Not only did they totally disregard the possibility that the firmware might be to blame but they are suggesting that I'm streaming copyrighted material. Errrr!
-Me Hi No copywrite issues on the videos, they are camcorder videos of my kids at the park, my wedding, and other camcorder events. I have triple checked and the Media Server Connection its showing as enabled. I know its not the file format. I have rendered my videos using Vegas Video to a compatible Mp4 format, and it was working before the update. All I can tell you is it was working literally right before the update and quit working right after the update. No changes on the DLNA server although I have rebooted it and un-installed / re-installed the server software for good measure. btw I'm using Mezzmo. I'm pretty sure it was the 2.70 firmware update.
Response (Julio B.) 04/18/2009 08:31 AM Hello Matthew, We apologize for any inconvenience you are experiencing with the DLNAs feature on the PLAYSTATION(R) 3 computer entertainment system. As much as we would like to address all of your questions, there are certain topics that are simply out of the scope of this department within Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA). You have reached the Consumer Services Department within SCEA, and we handle all general inquiries for our PlayStation(R) family of products, warranty and repair information, installation and troubleshooting, general corporate business inquiries, PlayStation(R) Underground(TM) Club Membership inquiries, and third party software referrals, just to name a few. Very specific questions on any particular product (e.g., manufacturing process), programming details of software or hardware, 'reasons or beliefs' on why a product did or did not include certain features, personal opinions, and personal contact information for developers, publishers, and other company employees, are some of the topics that cannot be addressed. Also, there are certain topics that we may not be able to address due to the fact that they are confidential and proprietary to SCEA. Regards, Julio B.
-Me So nobody is going to help me?
Response (Julio B.) 04/18/2009 11:49 AM Hello Matthew, Thank you for writing us about the DLNA issue after the 2.70 update for the PLAYSTATION(R)3 computer entertainment system. We are aware of your concerns and we are working diligently to correct it. We will be updating the status of this issue on the PlayStation Knowledge Center, located at www.us.playstation.com/Support. Please visit our Knowledge Center in the future for available updates and notifications Regards, Julio B.
It looks like they are aware of the issue and are working on a fix. A post at [trustedreviews] also suggests that Sony is aware of the issue. Hopefully Sony will provide a fix soon.
I wanted to play some Guitar Hero World Tour yesterday... Instead I was welcomed to this message: "The system files are corrupted." The message then suggested that I check the manual for troubleshooting steps. So I dig in my closet for the box and discover that the manual has nothing to say about corrupted system files. [Nintendo's website] however says that the system memory is corrupted and that I have send the unit in for repair.
Unfortunately the unit is out of warranty. I bought it when they first came out in Nov of 06 and the extra warranty I bought from ebgames expired in Nov of 08. Sucks how it gave up the ghost right after the warranty expired. Why do I buy those?? Anyway its costing me 75.00 plus 7.50 shipping to get it fixed. Hopefully I get back soon. I really want to play GHWT!!
Update: I got the Wii back on the 16th and it was wiped clean, no save game data was saved. Unfortunately I had not made a backup of my save game data. :(
To celebrate the premier of Battlestar Galactica's 4th and final season, I have made my Wipeout Pulse viper skin available for download. Check the [WipeOut] section for more information.
Changed hosting companies - March 25, 2008
When Firmware 3.80 came out for the PSP I was really excited. I was hoping that built-in I could point to my favorite streams. Unfortunately that was not possible, built in all you can do is browse from generic streams in the shoutcast/icecast directories. Really wanting to stream my own music collection to the PSP I did some google digging and found some tools to get the job done.
There are a few ways you can setup your own streaming media server. One of them involves using winamp and a DSP plugin to stream music along with the track information. This guide does not use that method, but rather provides a generic way of getting your collection to stream using any media player.
If you do this wrong you could potentially have a streaming server that is available to everyone, and that could violate copywrite laws in your area. Be sure that your server is only streaming on your local network.
You will need the following tools:
To stream your own music collection.
[Oddcast V3 Standalone]
This tool takes all the data from your sound card and feeds it to the icecast server software.
[Killzone Kid's PSP Player BETA v1.1]
To pick your own shoutcast/icecast streams on the PSP.
Step one: Install and configure the icecast server.
Download the [server software] and run the installer. During the icecast install wizard use the default settings.
To configure your new icecast server run icecast then click on Configuration > next, click on Edit Configuration. A icecast.xml configuration file should open in your default text editor. I'm not going into what each value does, there is a [unofficial how to] that provides a wealth of information. All I changed in my config file was the Clients number under Limits and the passwords under authentication. [My config file] can be used to help out if you get lost.
Now that the icecast server is setup we can move on...
Step Two: install Oddcast V3 Standalone.
Follow the Oddcast V3 Standalone install wizard, at the "Select components to install screen" place a check in the box for Lame Encoder dll (for MP3 encoding). The wizard will let you know that the lame.dll is not included with the installer. Click Yes to go to the site and download version LAME 3.97 release. Copy the lame_enc.dll file to the C:\Program Files\OddcastV3 folder. Run The oddcast V3 Program and click on the Add Encoder button. The default encoder is vorbis, to change this to Mp3 double click on "vorbis quality disconnected"
Click on the Encoder Type drop down and select Mp3. Change the Server Type to Icecast, as shown in Configuration screenshot.
Click on the OK button.
Click in the Black bar to turn the volume meter on.
Be sure to set the Oddcast Volume one notch from 0.
Set your Wave Volume control to 50%.
Do this so your music does not sound distorted at high volumes.
If you want to play with the sample and bit rates be sure to follow the mp3 specs.
The best rates to use are...
Sampling rates: 32, 44.1 and 48 kHz Bitrates: 32, 48, 56, 64, 80, 96, 112, 128, 160, 192, 224, 256, 320 and 384 kbit/s
If you don't follow mp3 specs on the sample rates you will get a lame_enc.dll encoding error.
There are some [lower sample rates] you can use but the quality is really low. 44100 with 96 is generally what you will use.
Now that Oddcast is configured to send data to the icecast server, we can move on...
Step Three: installing Killzone Kid's PSP Player Beta v1.1
After you un-zip the kk_player software you will have one file called "kk_player.prs" and one folder called "kk_player".
Copy the kk_player.prs file and the kk_player folder to the \PSP\RADIOPLAYER folder on your PSP.
In the KK_player folder you want to edit the streams.js file to add your own stream URLs. Be sure to follow the instructions listed. The URL to connect to the Icecast server is the IP Address of the computer you used to install Icecast. If you used the defaults your URL will look something like this:
After you have added your favorite stations to the streams.js file, go to the Internet radio under network on your PSP. If you did everything right you will see a "KK PSP Radio BETA v1.1" button.
I have uploaded a video to youtube that shows the player in use.
The first part shows KillZone Kid's original layout.
The second part shows a modified version with a custom skin that I created.
You can download KK_player from [Killzone's Page]
If you like my modified skin you can [download it here.]
Recently I was working on a project that required converting Microsoft Word Pages to Microsoft Publisher (both 2003 versions). I thought it was going to be an easy task, both are Microsoft apps so they should be able to export and import right? Opening Word I click on "save as", and discover there is not an option to save as publisher. Thanks Microsoft! So I try to export it has an MTH web archive, I get a pop up stating that:
"Small caps will become All caps. Pictures and objects with top and bottom wrapping may shift upward in the document."
Well... Thats not going to work! So I saved it as an xml file but publisher does not have the ability to open xml files, frustrating!! I opened Publisher and in publisher I tired to open the word document directly; it started to import but I did not see my text, and the images were all messed up. It was pretty much worthless. Not being one to give up I did some google searching and found this gem of a script [Word2MediaWiki.]
I added Word2MediaWiki to my word doc as a Macro, ran the macro, which loads all the Word Document items to the clipboard. In publisher I did a paste and everything was copied over, all in its own container all I needed to do was arrange the containers to my liking. This saved me so much time, Thanks Word2MediaWiki guys!!
Attempting to resize a Visio layout to fit on an 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper, gave me this error:
"Shape protection and/or layer properties prevent complete execution of this command"
Objects on the sheet were grouped and I was not able to resize them. Using the script from this [Microsoft KB Article] as a template, I created a Macro that changes the protection level for each shape on the sheet. After each shape was unlocked I was able to resize the sheet by going to Page Setup, from there I selected Drawing Scale then Custom Drawing Scale. I tried various settings on the Custom Drawing Scale till I got something that I was happy with, example:
Start with 0.2in for as your base, to make the whole thing smaller you would increase the number so 0.2in = 4.6 ft would be smaller than 0.2in = 1 ft.
Download the [ResetLocks] Visio VB script.
In Visio press alt+f8 you should get the Macros window. Click on file then import and click on the ResetLocks.bas file you downloaded. To run the Macro, Press alt+f8 highlight on ResetLocks.bas and click on run.
If you don't want to download the script as a bas file you can copy it below:
Sub ResetLocks() Dim visApp As Visio.Application Dim visSelection As Visio.Selection Dim visShape As Visio.Shape Dim iShapeCount Set visApp = ThisDocument.Application Set visSelection = visApp.ActiveWindow.Selection 'Check the count in the collection.' If visSelection.Count = 0 Then MsgBox "No Shape(s) selected.", vbOKOnly, "ResetPerms" Exit Sub End If iShapeCount = visSelection.Count Set visShape = visSelection(iShapeCount) For Each visShape In visSelection visShape.Cells("LockWidth").Formula = 0 visShape.Cells("LockHeight").Formula = 0 visShape.Cells("LockAspect").Formula = 0 visShape.Cells("LockMoveX").Formula = 0 visShape.Cells("LockMoveY").Formula = 0 visShape.Cells("LockRotate").Formula = 0 visShape.Cells("LockBegin").Formula = 0 visShape.Cells("LockEnd").Formula = 0 visShape.Cells("LockDelete").Formula = 0 visShape.Cells("LockSelect").Formula = 0 visShape.Cells("LockFormat").Formula = 0 visShape.Cells("LockCustProp").Formula = 0 visShape.Cells("LockTextEdit").Formula = 0 visShape.Cells("LockVtxEdit").Formula = 0 visShape.Cells("LockCrop").Formula = 0 visShape.Cells("LockGroup").Formula = 0 visShape.Cells("LockCalcWH").Formula = 0 Next visShape End Sub
A couple months ago I came across this article, [7 secrets of the super organized]. I think I found it reading [lifehacker], anyway it has some really good advice on how to get organized. Inspired by this article I have decided that if I find something that I have not used in 6 months I'm giving it away. So be sure to check out the free stuff section on this site. My unwanted stuff could be yours!
slfn - Search Long File Names, is a perl script that scans for directories and file names that exceed their size and path limits. I had a backup job that was failing due to directory names being too deep and exceeding their size. Some Googleing brought me to the Original script created by Circuitbreaker at the [arstechnica site.] This worked well but the output was formatted in a way that did not make it easy to import in a mass reamer like [aren.] Here is a sample output from the original script:
File c:\/WINDOWS/WinSxS/Manifests/x86_Microsoft.Windows.Networking.RtcDll_ 6595b64144ccf1df_184.108.40.206_x-ww_d6bd8b95.cat is 82 characters, which exceeds filename limit of 64 characters
To get that to work with aren I had to to replace "File c:\/" with "c:\" Then I had to get rid of the "which exceeds the filename..." text to make a compatable csv that aren would accept.
So I modified the script a little and with some regex magic got this output:
c:\WINDOWS\WinSxS\Manifests\x86_Microsoft.Windows.Networking.RtcDll_ 6595b64144ccf1df_220.127.116.11_x-ww_d6bd8b95.cat| is 82 characters| the limit is 64
Using the | as a delimiter when the above is imported into Excel you will get three columns. You can now easily hide the "is 82 characters" and "the limit is 64" columns; then export the remaining path to a CVS file which will import nicely into a mass reamer like Aren. I have compiled my changes to Circuitbreaker's script into an exe file. The exe and the source code are available for download in the [programs section.]
A few months ago I had an issue with corrupted swf files. I was using [vnc2swf] to record a session and noticed when my recording went over 20 minutes I would sometimes get a corrupted video. [I did some research] on the issue and using a hex editor discovered how to fix my swf. While this method may only work for swfs created by vnc2swf, I thought I would post it anyway!
[ How To: Recover a corrupted swf file]
Website Changes - Feb 18, 2007
Changed the site look. I was using a separate style sheet for IE and it was not working for both IE browsers. I have redesigned the site to use one style sheet for all browsers.
Getting Subversion to work on Windows can be a tricky task, getting Subversion to work with Trac can be even harder. During my install I found that I was referencing several guides to get Subversion, Trac, and Apache work. So I have taken a bunch of information and my own experience and assembled it into one guide. This guide will probably evolve as new versions of Subversion are released so be sure to check back often.
[How To: Install Subversion on Windows]
First Post - Feb 12, 2007
The site has been created! What's it all about... Random stuff I'm interested in! What else would it be!