Archive for December, 2006

Thank You 2006. Dec 31 2006

Toasting s'mores at Kayaks Coffee

2006 was a good year.

I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned this year. I’m grateful that I took the opportunity to jump full-time into custom web application development, quitting my day job at Vibe Solutions Group to pursue my goal of having ownership in the projects that I work on. Even though everything hasn’t yet worked out how I had envisioned, I feel that I’m much stronger in many key areas. I’ve seen a lot of successes so far and am looking forward to many more in 2007.

Kuma waiting to cross the street Kuma wearing a santa cap

I’m grateful for all the dog walks I’ve gotten to take with Kuma at 2:00 am in the morning in Tower Grove Park. It’s a quiet time, usually there is nobody else in the park at that hour. I’m grateful that Collabofit is at a stage where I can use it to help motivate me each day to take my 2.2 mile walk, get outside, breathe some fresh air, and enjoy the magnificent resource that is Tower Grove Park.

Kristin's Author Visit to Kahoka, Missouri Mozart painting at Artmart being delivered for framing

I’m grateful that my wife Kristin finished a illustrating a new book — Shepherd, Show Me — for our church that finally puts pictures to the hymn that every child learns first – Shepherd, Show Me How To Go. I’m also grateful that she will be showing a major exhibition of her artwork at Northwest Coffee in Clayton, exhibiting her latest Mozart paintings that continue her Letters to Mozart series.

Pictures from Andy and Val's wedding Pictures from Andy and Val's wedding

I’m grateful to have been able to attend my brother Andy’s wedding and to serve as his best man. It was an honor and a joy. It was also a pleasure to visit Andy and Val in Florida for Thanksgiving this year. Val did an excellent job of preparing the feast.

Kitchen drywall progress Kitchen cabinets getting installed

I’m grateful for the progress on our Kitchen Project and am looking forward to it being completed. It is turning out wonderful, bit by bit.

DSC_0032 DSC_0154

I’m grateful that we had the opportunity to visit our good friend Michael up in Alaska in March when he was still living there and do some cross crountry skiing, snow shoeing and freeze our noses off.

Designing our new countertop

This was my most viewed picture in 2006 (from my Flickr Most Popular Pictures page).

These were the most visited entries on this site this year:

  1. How-to: Use your shiny new Treo 700p as a USB Modem for your laptop and get super-fast Sprint EVDO speeds
  2. digg – Weird Al – Ridin’ Dirty (White & Nerdy) (+lyrics)
  3. Cool — I won the British Lottery!

The #1 most commented entry on this site (written 2 years ago now) is this: Cool — I won the British Lottery! (no, you didn’t…)

To all our friends and family, thank you for your love, support, friendship and laughter.

May 2007 be even better. new design is live! Dec 27 2006 screenshot new design is live! – Individual feed page, originally uploaded by gserafini.

I’m pleased to announce the release of a major facelift for – the site that makes reading a feed easier than ever. The new design places emphasis on easy reading of content – using Georgia as the default reading font, em sizing so that fonts can be increased or decreased properly in all browsers, the ability to vote an entry up or down and thereby influence the RSS feed score for a given RSS feed.

The feed featured in this screenshot is by

Here is the link for Waxy’s link RSS feed:

You can create a user account in seconds and begin adding and reading your favorite feeds. Coming up next is OPML support for both importing and exporting lists of RSS feeds.

Check it out:

The first fitness site that lets you get points for playing VIDEOGAMES!!! Dec 19 2006

We just added 10 new activities to Collabofit, including a special new one: VIDEOGAMES!!!

* Videogames???
Here are the top 3 reasons why we think it’s useful to track your time playing videogames using Collabofit:

  1. Lots of people love playing videogames, and it is common to actually work up a sweat while playing them. i.e. there is _some_ fitness benefit (we think…)
  2. By treating videogames as a fitness activity worth tracking, hopefully people who like to play videogames will look at some of the other activities you can track using Collabofit, and will realize that something as simple as taking a walk is worth more points than playing videogames. Maybe the same competitive drive that leads some players to play for hours on end will also lead them to get out and do something else useful with their time and get some sweet fitness points for doing so. And that’s a good thing, right?
  3. What other fitness site actually gives you points for playing videogames? How cool is that!
  4. If you want an invite, email gserafini [at] with the subject: “Gimme a Collabofit Invite Please” and we’ll hook you up. (Open public signup is coming soon, but sending us an email so we can send you an invite is currently the only way you can get an account.)

    Now get your Dance Dance Revolution on and Wii your way to a slimmer trimmer you!

Read the complete entry:
The first fitness site that lets you get points for playing VIDEOGAMES!!!

If you like it, please vote it up in reddit. Thanks!

Fixing’s IMAP date problem | MostlyGeek Dec 18 2006

Update: I’m now hosting this file here in the hopes that it can be useful to others since the original link doesn’t work anymore. Please note: I cannot provide ANY support for this. I didn’t write it. You should read through the options carefully before running this on your machine. That being said, it did work for me at the time, so hopefully it will work for you as well.

After copying an IMAP account from one server to another I ran into this same problem. The bash script that is supplied worked perfectly for me to fix the problem. They give example scripts for both BSD and Linux.

Fixing’s IMAP date problem

There is one last problem with that I finally got around to fixing today. When I upgraded to Tiger my IMAP accounts didn’t upgrade well so I deleted them and added them again. That fixed the connection and synchronization problems but introduced the IMAP Date problem.

The IMAP Date problem is the result of how figures out the Date Received time for an email. Rather than using the Date: header in the email it uses the time the file was written to the file system. This becomes a problem when files are copied to a new location on the server and the creation time of the file is changed. When the entire contents of a Maildir is copied to a new location this can cause all emails to display with the wrong date and time!

The solution is to change the time stamp of each email message that is wrong. The process is:

  1. Get the Date: header from the email message
  2. Compare it to the file system time stamp
  3. If they are different, change the time stamp to the date in the email

Here is the shell script that accomplishes this. All that needs to be done is to point it at a user’s Maildir and it will handle the rest. A word of warning, this script is likely far from perfect. I did run it on my own Maildir and it fixed about 16,000 emails in about 3 minutes.

Old link (broken): Fixing’s IMAP date problem | MostlyGeek

New link to download the script hosted here:

Here is the contents of the script:

# Date : July 4th, 2005
# Author: Benson Wong
# This shell script corrects email messages where the file system
# date does not match the Date: header in the email.
# This will fix problems with mail clients like Apple's
# which uses the file system timestamp resulting in emails with the
# wrong file system timestamp to display the wrong received date
# This script has to be run by a user [root] with the
# necessary privileges to read/modify files in a user's Maildir.
if [ $# -lt 1 ]
echo "Usage: $0 /path/to/user/Maildir"
exit 1
if [ ! -d "$MDIR_PATH" ]
echo "Error: $MDIR_PATH does not exist"
echo "Usage: $0 /path/to/user/Maildir"
exit 1
if [ ! -r "$MDIR_PATH" ]
echo "Error: $MDIR_PATH is not readable"
echo "Usage: $0 /path/to/user/Maildir"
exit 1
if [ ! -w "$MDIR_PATH" ]
echo "Error: $MDIR_PATH is not writable"
echo "Usage: $0 /path/to/user/Maildir"
exit 1
# set the internal field separator to the newline character
# instead of the default "".
# This is required for handling filenames and directories with spaces
set -f
echo "start"
# Find all emails
for i in `find $MDIR_PATH -type f | \
egrep -v "(courierimap|maildirsize|maildirfolder)"`
EDATE=`awk '/^Date: [A-Za-z]*,/ {print $4,$3,$5,$6}' "$i" | head -1`
if [ -z "$EDATE" ]
FDATE=`ls -l --time-style=long-iso "$i" | awk '{print $6,$7}'`
# Reformat the date for touch.
NDATE=`date -d "$EDATE" "+%Y%m%d%H%M"`
ODATE=`date -d "$FDATE" "+%Y%m%d%H%M"`
if [ "$NDATE" -eq "$ODATE" ]
# Skip it if the times are correct.
echo -n "_"
echo `basename $i` "from $ODATE to $NDATE"
touch -c -t "$NDATE" "$i"
echo "done"

bash script to copy all files in a directory and convert uppercase characters to lowercase Dec 14 2006

So, I recently found out that the version of PHPList that we were using on a client site (2.10.2) had a nasty bug in it where it would convert all URLs in a text version of an email message to lowercase. This bug is fixed in the latest version (2.10.3) but it left a number of subscribers complaining that the links in their email were broken.

I wrote this handy bash script to fix those links for emails that had already been sent out.

To use this script, follow these steps on your server command line. This is a bash script.

First, copy this code to your clipboard:


# This script takes the contents of a directory and will make a copy
# of every file converting any uppercase characters to lowercase
# (Useful because PHPList had a bug where it converted URLs to
# lowercase in text-only mailing list messages and the links were
# therefore broken. This script will enable those links to work.)

for file in *
if [ -f "$file" ]; then
filelower=`echo $file | tr "[:upper:]" "[:lower:]"`
if [ -f "$filelower" ]; then
echo "You are trying to copy a file that has the same name as an existing file."
echo "$filelower file was NOT copied."
echo ""
if [ -d "filelower" ]; then
echo "You are trying to copy a file that has the same name as an existing directory - $filelower"
echo "$filelower file was NOT copied."
echo ""
# not a file or directory. make a copy of the file
cp "$file" "$filelower"

Next, you are going to create a bash script file.

$ vi

Press i and then paste in the code.

Press ESC then :wq to write the file and quit vi.

Next you are going to set the executable permission on the file.

$ chmod 700

Next, change directory to the place you want to run the script on. In this case, we’ll change to the images directory.

$ cd images/

Let’s see what’s in the directory currently:

$ ls

$ Image1.jpg IMAGE2.jpg image3.jpg

Now run the script.

$ ../

The script will make a copy of any file that has an uppercase character in it and name it the same thing except all lowercase. It will tell you if the file already exists as a completely lowercase file (it won’t copy a file onto itself).

Now let’s see what it did:

$ ls

$ Image1.jpg image1.jpg IMAGE2.jpg image2.jpg image3.jpg

Now any URLs should work and any previous text-version emails that were sent out using the old version of PHPList should now have working links again.

DISCLAIMER: This script will copy files on your server. I am not responsible for any problems that this causes. I’ve tested this on my server, but you’d be wise to test what will happen first. If you add an echo in front of the cp command in the script you will see displayed what it would do without actually doing it.

signbot – make your own animated scrolling text LED sign Dec 14 2006

Neat little application to make a scrolling LED style sign for your website.


Write some text and click Generate Sign to make your own animated scrolling text LED sign to use on MySpace, as your forum sig or avatar, or anywhere else.

signbot – make your own animated scrolling text LED sign

Forerunner 205 – Wristwatch GPS unit by Garmin – I want this… Dec 14 2006

Garmin Forerunner 205

I think I kind of want one of these…

Form meets function with Garmin’s next-generation, sleek and stylish line of personal trainers — the Forerunner 205 & 305. Don’t let their good looks fool you. These taskmasters will continually push you to do your personal best. In addition to its new look, the Forerunner 205 includes a high sensitivity GPS receiver and new courses feature for optimal performance.

Designed for athletes of all levels, this running partner and personal trainer has one goal in mind — a better you. It continuously monitors your speed, distance, pace and calories burned so you can train smarter, more effectively. It tracks your every move with a super-sensitive GPS that even works on tree-covered trails and near tall buildings. Receive a detailed post-workout analysis on the PC with included Garmin Training Center software.

Forerunner 205

Kuma wearing a santa cap Dec 13 2006

Kuma wearing a santa cap, originally uploaded by gserafini.

This is pretty awesome. To add a Santa cap to any picture in Flickr, just create a note with this text: “ho ho ho hat” and the Santa hat will magically appear.

Found it on Boing Boing

Myers-Brigss Test Responses – Apparently I’m an ENTP (not a big surprise there) Dec 10 2006

I just took this test:

And these were my results:

  • E=8 Extraversion
  • I=3 Introversion
  • S=5 Sensing
  • N=15 iNtuition
  • T=12 Thinking
  • F=7 Feeling
  • J=6 Judging
  • P=13 Perceiving

You are an ENTP

ENTP – Entrepeneurs, lawyers, psychologists, photographers, consultants, sales represenatives, actors, engineers, scientists, inventors, marketers, computer programmers, comedians, computer analysts, credit investigators, journalists, psychiatrists, public relations, designers, writers, artists, musicians, politicians. Very freedom-oriented, they need a career which allows them to act independent and express their creativity and insight.

The Wikipedia entry on ENTP seems to describe me almost exactly. It’s almost embarrassing when you find your way of thinking and being on the Internet.

Myers-Briggs Personality Type Test

Of course, I’m also a fire dragon.

Kristin is an INFJ.

Interesting, interesting… What are you?

Collabofit weight trend graph Dec 8 2006

Collabofit weight trend graph, originally uploaded by gserafini.

Going in a positive direction, I’m happy to say. Check out Collabofit Online Fitness for more.

Also, if you’d like an invite to join Collabofit which is still in an invitation-only beta state, send me an email with your email address and I’ll hook you up.

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