MySQL Databases for the Adobe ColdFusion Curriculum

Adobe wrote these great, free ColdFusion Curriculum projects for new and intermediate ColdFusion developers. I recently had a friend interested in getting started with ColdFusion, and I pointed him in this direction. He came back to me a few days later, wondering if ColdFusion was really supported on the Mac. I asked him why he was wondering that, and he said that the curriculum databases provided were Access files, and ColdFusion doesn’t support Access on the Mac.

This was a silly oversight, and I ended up using the MySQL Migration Toolkit to convert those Access databases to MySQL dump files for him. And here they are for all of you!



How To Clean your Mighty Mouse Scroll Ball

I love my Mighty Mouse. Like many others, my grubby hands eventually caused the scroll ball to stop scrolling in one or more directions. I tried the official Apple instructions to clean the ball, but it didn’t really work. Others have suggested compressed air and other tricks, but I didn’t have any luck with those, either.

I came across this solution out of frustration, nearly ready to give in and buy a new mouse.

WARNING: Follow these steps at your own risk. The mouse ball is a rubbery substance, and you might end up shredding it like an eraser.

  1. You will need a clean sheet of paper, along with a stack of paper or a full envelope.
  2. Place the clean sheet of paper on top of the other material on a table, so you have a slightly cushioned surface.
  3. Holding your unplugged mouse upside down, drag the ball along back and forth across the paper. I suggest working in a cross pattern (up and down, also left and right), and a circle pattern.
  4. You’ll see the gunk coming off the sensors onto the paper. I recommend avoiding to continue rolling the ball across anything that comes off onto the paper.
  5. When you’re done, be careful, that ball is probably HOT. Blow on it for a few seconds before trying out your newly cleaned mouse.

PayPal resolution center is useless

Twice now, I’ve had companies where I paid for services via PayPal. Last year, I was co-locating one of my servers with FDC Servers. They decided one day to unplug my server and throw it in a closet, and hold it hostage for an evening. Needless to say, I canceled my service and moved it to a datacenter in Madison. The following month, they decided to continue charging me for a service I had canceled a month prior, through PayPal. I filed a dispute with PayPal, and after a month, I got the verdict that they couldn’t help me because my claim was not for a physical item. Screwed by FDC, screwed by PayPal.

More recently, I made the mistake of trying to get iStockphoto to honor their return policy. They refused, and said to file a complaint with PayPal. I did, and again, PayPal waited a month to tell me that they couldn’t help because there was no physical item. Double-screwed again.

Here’s a screenshot of the resolution center options, when you try to file a claim:

PayPal Resolution Center

PayPal Resolution Center

As you can see, you can only dispute if a physical item doesn’t arrive as promised, or if someone has fraudulently accessed your account. With iStockphoto’s return policy scam, I called PayPal, and was assured that even though there was no option for a virtual good in the dispute center, each claim would be reviewed properly. Obviously this is not the case, given PayPal’s reply to my claim:

Unfortunately, we were unable to resolve this claim in your favor because the item purchased was virtual or intangible. As a result, we have not taken any action against the seller at this time but we have noted your dissatisfaction in the seller’s record for future reference.

Thanks for nothing, PayPal.

(PayPal helps you to buy Bitcoins. You can check it out yourself)


How to stop Charter’s DNS hijacking

As a new Charter customer, I quickly became frustrated with Charter’s automatic search page. What happens is, if you type something like “google” into your browser’s URL bar, you get redirected to a Charter branded search page. This is extremely frustrating, and the best that Charter offers is an opt-out cookie that you have to set on every browser on every machine and virtual machine you have. This is not good enough.

The real solution, besides Charter giving up on this practice, is to switch your router settings to use the free service from OpenDNS. I just signed up for the service after reading about how they’re blocking the Conficker worm for their users by making the domains the worm uses not resolve. Also, all of these features can be turned on or off if you create a free account.

Use OpenDNS