Monthly Archives: April 2010

Google’s URL Shortener and QR Code Generator – goo.gl

Apparently, Google has been working on a URL Shortener – think tinyurl.com or bit.ly.  I was unaware that Google was getting in the URL shortening business, but apparently there has been some hype about its pending arrival around the interwebs (It is Google afterall)..

Apparently, the URL Shortener service is currently only available as a addon/plugin/extension for Google products.  Fortunately, one such product is Chromium – for which there is a handy-dandy plugin that allows you to generate shortened goo.gl URLs for any page that you visit!

What makes this plug in even cooler (something else I just learned – literally at the same time as learning of goo.gl) is that this URL Shortener also generates a QR Bar Code (the bar code pictured to the left, if scanned with a QR capable device, will take you to THIS POST!)!!!  To generate the bar code, all that is needed to be done is append ‘.qr’ to the goo.gl generated URL and “BAM!” MAGIC!  You have a custom QR generated for whatever URL you are browsing!  Example: “http://goo.gl/9yi5” will take you to this post and “http://goo.gl/9yi5.qr” is the bar code to the left!

Neat, huh?!

Practical Django Projects 2nd Ed. (Apress) – CH3 TinyMCE Problem

Updated: April 6, 2010 9:50pm CST – Correction (Below)

When reading/working through the 2nd edition of Apress’ ‘Practical Django Projects’, I hit a hang.  A big hang.  And like most big hangs, it was actually a very small (technically speaking) bump in the road.   The problem is that when looking to “how to” books such as ‘Practical Django Projects’, it is easy to fall back to the book’s printed text as the absolute code bible of what is and what is not correct in this world of code.  Unfortunatly, as was the case with me, this can lead to wasted hours and (after-the-fact) embarrassing frustration.

As I have seen this mentioned on forums around the interwebs while researching this myself, I figured I would document the solution here.  I am happy to say that I do not have to cite reference here as I figured this out myself and have submitted an errata report to the publisher.  What I am not as happy to admit is the fact that when you see what the problem here is, you will not be impressed (and will likely kick yourself as clearly you are reading this for help – and don’t really need it)…  So on to the meat…

PG.24-25 – the tiny_mce.js referral to load TinyMCE in your Flatpages… You set it up, just as the book instructs and BAM – nothing… No TinyMCE and a Firebug inspection of the page shows that the tiny_mce.js cannot be found (404).. Again, the error is actually quite simple, of course making it all the more simple to overlook when error correcting…

On page 24, the reader is instructed to set ‘document_root’:’/path/to/tiny_mce’.  In the explanatory following paragraph, the example directory “/Users/jbennett/javascript/TinyMCE/jscripts/tiny_mce” is given.

On page 25, the reader is told to set the TinyMCE script up on the template as follows: <script type=”text/javascript” src=”/tiny_mce/tiny_mce.js”></script>.  Since we already set the document_root (pg25) to ‘../jscripts/tiny_mce/’, the ‘tiny_mce” portion is not needed here and of course is not a valid src referral as the tiny_mce.js is located in ‘../tiny_mce/’ and not in ‘../tiny_mce/tiny_mce/.

Hope this helps someone…

UPDATE:  Ok, so stepping back to it today, I don’t know quite what I was thinking last night and am sorry to Apress for incorrectly identifying this supposed error.  In reworking through this, the text it 100% correct.  I am blaming the lack of sleep for my confusion (because that is less of an ego blow than blaming stupidity).  My misunderstanding came about from a ASSumption made by me on the meaning of document_root and the Javascript referral.  Reading this helped me better understand where the two meet (aka not a literal direct path relationship): How To Serve Static Files… The “How to do it” section pretty much sums it up 🙂  Sorry for my confusion!!!

Linux Method: PS3 3.21 Firmware Update Bypass – OtherOS

Just as was the case with with other dozen or so people in the world who use the OtherOS functionality of the PS3, I was very disappointed to learn 2 weeks back that Sony would be removing OtherOS functionality by means of a System Update (assumed to be related to fears stemming from GeoHot’s Exploit Release for the PS3 HyperVisor).

Sure enough, After declining the mandatory update, I found myself unable to log into PSN  (post-April 1st, 2010).  Fortunately, after some extensive Googling, I ran across this gem [Warning: Sketchy pop-ups and redirects – be safe]- how to setup your own DNS and Webserver for allowing the PS3 to “check for updates”!  Thanks, DaGraver!