The Seldom Updated Weblog of Dave Delbridge


A Better Pinterest RSS Feed with ColdFusion

January 05, 2013 · By David Delbridge · 6 Comments

If you've used IFTTT (If-This-Then-That) to aggregate your Pinterest updates to other social networks (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), then you've probably discovered that Pinterest's RSS feed is lacking.  As of this writing, titles are cut off at twenty characters while image links point to low-resolution thumbnails rather than the full-resolution images we would like to share with our Twitter audience (or any feed subscriber, for that matter).  Fortunately, there's an ultra-simple workaround available to developers, as demonstrated by Thomas Jolland's Improved Pinterest RSS Feed applet hosted on Google's AppSpot (where it could not meet demand, unfortunately - see Thomas' blog for details).  Hence, I chose to develop and host my own feed translator.  I'll demonstrate with ColdFusion, though you may easily adapt this to jQuery, JavaScript, etc.

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6 CommentsTags: Computer Tech

A Musician's Guide to Creative Commons, Part 2

June 01, 2011 · By David Delbridge · No Comments

Creative Commons LogoIn Part 1 of this tutorial, I introduced you to Creative Commons, a convenient, no-cost alternative to traditional copyright, but stopped short of implementation and the inherent technobabble.  Here, we'll discuss the first of two steps recommended by the organization for proper implementation of Creative Commons:  file tagging.

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No CommentsTags: Music Tech

A Musician's Guide to Creative Commons, Part 1

May 16, 2011 · By David Delbridge · No Comments

Creative Commons LogoFor musicians who offer free music downloads, Creative Commons represents a simple, free alternative to traditional copyright registration.  No tedious forms.  No filing fees.  No waiting.  It's instant, no-cost copyright goodness.  What's more, the protections offered by Creative Commons are flexible, to allow for certain uses of your music, such as remixing or incorporation into commercial or non-commercial video and other derivative works, if that's what you want.  This is a boon for DIY musicians whose traditional '©' and 'circle-P' symbols tell DJs, podcasters and filmmakers, "hands off my music."  And so, they use somebody else's music instead.  Opportunity lost.

On the downside, implementing Creative Commons properly isn't entirely straightforward, and the examples demonstrated on the org's website are highly technical, aimed squarely at developers.  Assuming that your drummer is also your "web guy" and that he doesn't know an MP3 ID3 tag frame from an SHA1 hash, a little help here could go a long way.  Let's jam.

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No CommentsTags: Music Tech

How To Pass Multiple Name/Value Pairs from ColdFusion to jQuery

April 29, 2011 · By David Delbridge · 1 Comment

ColdFusion and jQuery complement each other quite nicely.  The first facilitates all manner of back-end über-awesomeness while the other, comparatively new kid on the block, puts some bling on your front-end, so to speak.  Thankfully, getting these two to share data through Document Object Model (DOM) elements is easy, if altogether undocumented.  And by "undocumented," I of course mean that it's well-documented, but in nomenclature that evaded this seasoned ColdFusion developer for hours of tedious Google searching.

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1 CommentTags: Computer Tech

Optimizing Your ColdFusion Site for Commercial Hosting

April 18, 2011 · By David Delbridge · No Comments

When moving your ColdFusion website to a commercial hosting provider, between providers or even from an internal development server to your own production server, problems may arise from inconsistencies between the two locations; problems that are most easily remedied by that proverbial, cruel, mocking "ounce of prevention."

Relocating a site between hosts already implies downtime and frazzled nerves.  The last thing you need in this situation is a slew of fresh page errors.  Here are some very simple tips for improving the portability of your ColdFusion site.

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No CommentsTags: Computer Tech

Tracking Japan's Nuclear Radiation

March 17, 2011 · By David Delbridge · 3 Comments

Standing downwind from Japan's damaged nuclear reactors, its understandable that some Americans have turned their nuclear radiation panic dials to "11."  Misinformation published on the Internet has only compounded the problem.  Thankfully, The New York Times has published an animated computer model that predicts "extremely minor health consequences."  And now that we have a weather prediction, all we need is a real-time radiation weather map.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a "radiation weather map."  So instead, let's grab some real-time EPA data and throw it into Microsoft Excel....

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3 CommentsTags: Computer Tech

Tackling Twitter's OAuth with ColdFusion

October 26, 2010 · By David Delbridge · 26 Comments

In September of 2010, Twitter pulled the plug on Basic Authentication, imposing an open authorization (OAuth) security protocol on application developers.  The trouble with OAuth?  It's a wee bit complicated.  Worse still, as of this writing, ColdFusion is noticeably absent from Twitter's API wiki, offering no libraries or examples to work from.

On the upside, a handful of ColdFusion solutions have surfaced, like the impressive Twitter4J Java library and a component library adapted from PHP by Harry Klein.  But, if you're new to OAuth, then you may have found those solutions difficult to understand.  Or perhaps you'd rather roll your own.  Either way, I thought it worthwhile to compose an OAuth primer for ColdFusion developers.  For the purposes of education, the code samples are traditional and heavily commented.  I hope you find it helpful.

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26 CommentsTags: Computer Tech

A Musician's Guide to QR Code

June 25, 2010 · By David Delbridge · 16 Comments

QR CodeFor DIY musicians, Quick Response Code, or "QR Code," may represent the biggest thing to hit guerilla music marketing since the vuvuzela.  And by "hit," I mean a right sucker punch to the mouth.  Already the rage in Japan, passers-by can scan a band's gig poster into their smartphone and download a free music sample on the spot, or be transported to a special web page with discounted ticket and merchandise offers.

But elsewhere - I'm looking at you, America - QR Code is only just catching on.   And that's good news for ambitious bands looking to capitalize on emerging trends.  Bleeding edge, be damned!  Let's put these codes to work for us now, while the novelty is hot and before the competition catches up.

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16 CommentsTags: Music Tech

Mouse Trouble in Microsoft Word After Windows Update

March 31, 2010 · By David Delbridge · No Comments

It must be Wednesday.  My Windows desktop is blissfully clean where three-hundred Firefox windows once were, and Microsoft Word 2007 has gone funky - the mouse doesn't work, except for opening menus.  Yup, it's Wednesday, when Microsoft pushes out its Windows updates.  I've seen this four times now and, though it has been documented elsewhere, I'm composing this blog post - a note to myself, really - so that I may never again need to Google the solution.

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No CommentsTags: Computer Tech

How to Install ColdFusion 9 on Windows 2000 / IIS 5

March 06, 2010 · By David Delbridge · 11 Comments

With the release of Coldfusion 9, Adobe has officially discontinued CF support for Windows 2000, this just prior to the operating system's official EOL.  However, while the workaround is tedious and officially "unsupported" by Adobe, I'm happy to report that ColdFusion 9 can indeed be installed on Windows 2000 with IIS. For step-by-step instructions, read on....

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11 CommentsTags: Computer Tech