Updated: 11/28/2005; 10:29:34 PM.
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Monday, November 28, 2005

This blog--and the license for the use of the Radio Userland software that manages it--expires on 29 November 2005.  I have moved onto much larger and nicer digs.  Update your bookmarks, and be sure to update the feed in your trusty aggregator. 

Hope to see you around. 

10:29:29 PM    comment []  trackback []

Sunday, November 13, 2005

In the words of the immortal Homer J. Simpson, I am out of here in a virtual sense.  I have moved all of my old posts to my new blog home.  I have moved my blog to http://www.baltimoremick.com/blog, running on the blogging tool that is WordPress.  Please update your links accordingly. 

For those of you who are cool and use aggregators, my new RSS feed can be found at http://www.baltimoremick.com/blog/feed/

Now you know where to find me. 

11:29:58 PM    comment []  trackback []

Friday, November 11, 2005


7:28:49 PM    comment []  trackback []

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I have signed up for a webhosting deal with the folks at A2 Webhosting. Thanks to Merlin at 43Folders for his ringing endorsement. I should get some schwag from him, just on principle. Once my domain name switch is made, I will be moving this blog and its contents to a nice, new WordPress blog.

2:26:43 PM    comment []  trackback []

I love being given an insurmountable challenge and told to find a way to beat it.  Today, I was presented with some Word templates that needed to be modified.  The document templates had been password protected, but of course no one knew the password to unlock the forms for editing.  Thanks to a security advisory and a newsgroup posting, I was able to hack the protection out of the document and make them editable. 

1.) Open the problem document in Word. 
2.) Save the document as an XML document.  Click File|Save As... and make sure that the document type is an XML document. 
3.) Open the XML version of the document in a text editor.  Search for a tag that begins: <w:documentProtection
4.) This is the beginning of the tag that you will want to remove.  The tag should look similar to the following:
<w:documentProtection w:edit="forms" w:enforcement="on" w:unprotectPassword="xxxxxxxx"/>
5.) Select this entire tag, and then hit the Delete key.  Save the document. 
6.) Re-open the document in Word, and it should now be editable, with no protection whatsoever.  Edit the document, and save it as whatever type you want--document, document template, etc. 

This method should work for any document that has been protected from any editing modification--except those documents that require a password to open.  For those documents, I would suggest something like OpenOffice, as it disregards any password protection on an MS Office document. 

2:21:29 PM    comment []  trackback []

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

On a lark, I dropped Adam Curry an email in the hopes that I could get to the bottom of my problem with his podcast, the Daily Source Code.  Essentially, the driver for my Dell MP3 player would complain about the file being corrupt in some way.  This was made more interesting by the fact that I could still play the MP3 files. 

Well, as our email thread grew, Adam suggested that I take a look at my "podcatcher."  For those of you who do not know, a podcatcher is an application that is set to take RSS feeds and parse out the enclosures contained within them.  In this case, a podcatcher is supposed to download the MP3 podcast files enclosed within a RSS feed.  An in-depth article can be found in Wikipedia on podcasting and podcatching.  For those all too unfamiliar with all of these terms, a simple way to think of this is what iTunes has recently begun to do for podcasting--it includes a section to setup and retrieve podcasts. 

In the beginning, there were two podcatchers I tried--Doppler and iPodder.  I did not like iPodder, as I found its interface to leave much to be desired and it initially did not include a way to "clean up" the downloaded podcasts after a specified interval.  Doppler had all these features, so I made it my podcatcher of choice. 

Given my geeky nature, though, I had been using the latest beta of Doppler--Doppler Build
2.9.2041.17630--since August.  I was not having any problems at the time, and all seemed to be in order.  In retrospect--and based on my discovery yesterday--this build of Doppler has some serious problem.  On files that I force it to retrieve--after it initially downloaded and cleaned these files up--some type of corruption occurs.  What causes the corruption is, though, is the mystery.  I can only theorize that this version of Doppler is righting something to the file that the driver does not like.  I presume that if I had more time, I could probably use Filemon to determine what exactly is happening to create this problem.  I, of course, don't have that much free time on my hands.  I did at least report this problem--what I consider to be a potentially dangerous bug--on the Beta Bug forum.  I know that the developer of Doppler has little free time these days, so who knows when the problem may be fixed. 

Instead, my solution was to return to iPodder.  I downloaded and installed it yesterday, and it is nice to see that a lot of improvements have been made in the product.  Its interface is similar to Doppler in some regards, and it has incorporated a very nice directory cleanup feature.  The best part, though, is that the same files I had problems with using Doppler were retrieved and then synced to my Dell without a problem whatsoever. 

It never ceases to amaze me how some of the stranger technical problems can have the simplest of resolutions.  So, my thanks to Adam for helping me get this problem fixed and postponing my purchase of iPod pr0n. 

4:37:10 PM    comment []  trackback []

© Copyright 2005 Jason J. Thomas.




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