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Database Modelling

I've been working on a web based tool to create database diagrams - aka Entity Relationship Diagrams. While I've had some success, I also have run into some issues. Tonight while I was browsing the web I came across Mogwai ERDesigner NG. This project has many more features than my simple application does, and most importantly to me at the moment is the ability to connect to an existing database and reverse engineer it to come up with the diagram. This step is a HUGE time saver when you are dealing with large databases.

HTML, SVG, and Drag/Drop with Raphaël

I'm working on a project where I need to create an SVG image on the fly, based on user input, inside a web page. The image will consist of rectangles with various amounts of text within the rectangle. There will be connector lines between the rectangles. And I need to be able to drag the rectangles around.

Converting an audio CD to MP3's

I recently needed to convert a number of files in multiple directories from WAV format to MP3 format. I opted to do this with a script, seeing as most of the directories contained 99 files. Here is the bash script I came up with:

#!/bin/bash

SRCDIR=`pwd`
MP3DIR=$SRCDIR/mp3

for d in Disk*;
do
        WORKDIR=$MP3DIR/"$d"
        mkdir -p "$WORKDIR"
        cd "$d"
        for f in *.wav
        do
                b=`basename "$f" .wav`.mp3
                lame -V2 "$f" "$WORKDIR/$b"
        done 

        cd $SRCDIR
done 

AWK to the rescue!

I mentioned a few posts back that I had built myself a GPS logging tool. Since then, I tweaked it some by putting it into an enclosure (a plastic box), hooking up an external power connector (aka a barrel jack), wired in an OpenLog device and changing the code to log the GPS values to a CSV type file on the SD Card. It is in my truck, powered by a cigarette lighter power chord. Those changes were fun and educational but I hit another wall when I moved on to the "next step" with the project.

Cloudy? With a hint of data loss?

There is a LOT of interest in Cloud Computing these days. I just finished skimming through an article on Ubuntu One (Ubuntu's cloud solution), and I'm noting a disturbing trend. Under the pros and cons, they only pay attention to the features the system offers, or doesn't offer. It totally misses the points that touch on the cloud computing idea itself.

FaceBook playing games with privacy concerns

In the past few weeks FaceBook has been taking flak for privacy concerns with regards to their recent policy changes. These changes are wide and invasive, and set up a default condition for ALL users - new and current - of sharing your profile information with 3rd party sources without your knowledge. Unless you count telling you that the policies have changed, but not the impact of those changes, as letting you know about things.

Protospace and Geek Pride

TV Execs Don't Get IT.

It has been known for a little while that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is a tad thick headed in terms of what government they choose to attack or build up. But it would appear that they do the same thing with picking sides in Technology. That's right, the government sponsored organization blatantly chooses to exclude a large swath of the population that ultimately pays their finances by refusing to allow Linux based workstations to play their videos.

Here's a tip: VIDEO IS JUST A FILE FORMAT. Linux plays ALL formats in one form or another.

When Copyright Goes Bad

Creating new files on OpenLog with Arduino

Sparkfun has made a small electrongic device known as OpenLog. This device takes a micro SD memory card (up to 2 GB), and will automatically create a file on power up and then log anything it sees on a serial input line. Even better, if you hook it up to a computer, you can enter into a command mode and create new files, delete existing files, create directories, etc.

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