-{ a hewer of maps }-

Record internet radio with VLC, updated

I needed to record a CBC radio piece today. For most cases, it appears the easiest route is to use streamtuner and streamripper, however there is something about my particular computer or CBC’s streaming style that made it difficult for me. Since it took a couple of hours to figure it all out, I figured I’d better save it for future reference. So here is a vlc only method which works, but with more clicks and it’s is easier to select a combination of options that don’t work than do. This is the combination which finally worked for me:

Retrieve members of AD group

How to retrieve members and email of an Active Directory group in a re-usable format.

Locate dsget command line utility and put it in path.

Open an administrative command shell and:

dsget group "CN=mygroup,OU=mydepartment,OU=Users and Groups,DC=mydomain,DC=ca" -members |dsget user -samid -display -email


Searching Active Directory

This is from the I can't believe I didn't know that and whyhaven't I been using it for the last ten years!?? department.

Many times in the last decade I'veneeded to*search Active Directory*for a person's name, login name, what members belong to what group and so on. Each time the need has been pressing enough I've gone out and searched the 'net for solutions, and each time after a time come up with a solution. Said time might have been 10 mintues or 2 hours depending on what in particular I was trying to do.  The solutions I've found and used ranged from the easy to use AD-Explorer to roll continue.

Printable Stack Exchange editing help

Attached is a printable version of the Stack Exchange editing help page, formatted for a tabloid (11"x17") page size, in MS Word 2003 and PDF format. CC attribution-share-a-like license.

Firefox resume .part download

Sometimes a download is halted, perhaps closing a laptop lid, and normal resumedoesn't work. Here is a fix courtesy of orion188:

  1. You have two files on the destination folder. One with the original name and one with an extra ".PART" extension. Move both of these files to some other folder (Move! not copy)
  2. Start your download again from the beginning (you have access to the download link, don't you?)
  3. Let it download a few bytes, just to have those two files created again, with the exact same name. Now PAUSE this download.
  4. Go to continue.

Convert X to dvd-player

how to convert videos into a format understood by my standalone divx-compliant dvd player (yamaha dvd-s661).


Set video to MPEG-4 ASP, audio to MP3, format to AVI, and save.

If low quality input, e.g. from VCR tape, resize to 352x480 under filters. Play with the Auto settings (PSP,Ipod) for easy adding of black borders etc.

Make sure to test audio is still in sync by fast forwarding to near end of video and watching & listening for a bit, in another application and on the player.


This simple line below took hours and hoursto figure out, spread over many days. sheesh.

ffmpeg -i infile.avi -vcodec mpeg4 -vtag divx -sameq out.avi

A more evolved continue.

Installing Leo Editor on Windows

This is for a virgin system without python etc installed. Skip any step not needed. Consider this a placeholder. Eventually this page or something like it will be folded into the Leo docs and this will be irrelevant.

lightly updated April 2013

  1. Install Python 2.x - There are many sources, but from http://www.python.org/download/releases/ is good.

  2. Install PyQt - acquire and run Binary Package from http://www.riverbankcomputing.co.uk/software/pyqt/download which matches installed Python version (so for python 2.7 scan for the Py2.7 in filename)

  3. Install Leo

  4. Head to http://sourceforge.net/projects/leo/ and slap [Download Now]

  5. You can unpack the .zip file anywhere, including Python’s site-packages folder, for example, C:\Python27\Lib\site-packages\leo-4-10-final

  6. [optional] Generate/update continue.

GDAL Extras

Frank Warmerdam is pretty good at following the release early, release often creed of open source development. It’s not uncommon to get more than one FWToolsrelease a month. Go Frank!   However this proficiency adds work which this end user would just as soon avoid. So being a lazy guy, I spent a number of hours writing some scripts to save me 15 minutes everytime there is a new release. ;-)

The result is gdal_extras which is now available from http://code.google.com/p/maphew/

Basic use guide:

  1. unpack gdal_extras somewhere
  2. Install latest version of FWTools
  3. Open FWTools Shell and run c:\path\to\gdal_extras\gdal-extras-install.bat

And that’s it.

Other than the ease of adding these improvements to new installs, the utility continue.

Projecting with GDAL

I find myself using gdalwarp in preference to ArcGIS ProjectRaster more and more often. Historically I’ve just used gdal when speed is important, large batch jobs for example, but now I’m finding it more reliable as well. For instance this morning I tried for 20 minutes to project a small DEM from geobase.ca but kept getting error messages which didn’t tell me the nature of the problem, “An error was encountered while executing ProjectRaster. Failed to execute (ProjectRaster_3)”. The projection should only have taken 30 seconds or so, including defining all the parameters.

The difficulty with gdalwarp is that I’m always forgetting the correct syntax and options so I have to go look continue.

Show Gmail tab in Thunderbird 3

Open Tools > Error Console  and paste the following

Components.classes['@mozilla.org/appshell/window-mediator;1'].getService(Components.interfaces.nsIWindowMediator).getMostRecentWindow("mail:3pane").document.getElementById("tabmail").openTab("contentTab", {contentPage: "[mail.google.com]"});

discovered by way of Lifehacker, reproduced here so I have a memorable place to copy/paste from the next time I close the tab by accident.

Dear lazyweb: how can this be turned into a button, menu item, or preference checkbox?

Previous »