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Archive for November, 2007

Google Embeddable Calendar Helper

November 10, 2007 Leave a comment

There is a new Google Calendar feature within the past few months that makes it possible and easy to share multiple calendars in color. It is called the Google Embeddable Calendar Helper and it has an easy user interface to choose which calendars to share and how to display them. The utility can be found here:

http://www.google.com/calendar/embed/EmbedHelper_en.html

This has only been possible previously by sharing multiple calendars in the same color in this format:
The new Google embedding tool is a great improvement.
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Categories: Appreciation, PC Software

Windows Media Player Skin Editing

November 8, 2007 Leave a comment

I have been looking at Windows Media Player skins for use in a vehicle dashboard and I can’t seem to find exactly what I’m looking for. This leads me to try editing existing skins, and I’m surprised how easy it can be in some cases.

Windows Media Player skins are *.wmz files, but these files are created in a surprisingly trivial way. A *.wms file and lots of *.bmp images, possibly with a *.js file, are compressed in a *.zip file. The *.zip file is renamed to have a *.wmz extension. That’s it.

This also means that existing skins can easily be reverse engineered. The default Windows Media Player skin is not saved as a *.wmz file, however. It may be saved in the same format with a different name, but the solution I found on short notice was to download a look-alike that was close enough for my purposes. The download is available here:
http://rapidshare.com/files/14212526/wmp11_eclipse_v.3.wmz

Here is information on the subject from Microsoft:

MSDN help on creating skins
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms867143.aspx
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms867144.aspx

MSDN Instructinos for Creating Skins:
http://kruckenberg.1.googlepages.com/WMPSkinning.pdf

Categories: PC Software

Saving QuickTime movies from OSU site carmen.osu.edu and viewing them fullscreen

November 1, 2007 Leave a comment

It is very convenient that lecturers at The Ohio State University sometimes post notes in video format on the secure class page on Carmen (http://carmen.osu.edu/). However, these videos can be somewhat inaccessable due to the frame layout of Carmen and the limitations built into the unpaid versions of Quicktime to only play vidos in small windows.

This inconvenience can be amended by the following procedure. The videos can be saved by creating HTML links to the video files and the videos can be viewed in fullscreen mode by using iTunes in place of QuickTime.

Step 1: Find the URL of the .mov file you would like to save

Locate the QuickTime movie you would like to save. In Carmen, you will need to click “Undock this topic” after you start viewing it. This will load the movie by itself. In IE7, the URL is shown at the top of the window so you can copy it. For other pages besides Carmen, you will need to find the URL by viewing the source of the page. (View > Source).

Step 2: Create an HTML file with links to the URL you would like to save

The easiest way to do this is to email yourself with the list of URL’s. The URL’s should automatically be converted to HTML links. This has the added bonus that you don’t have to look up the URL’s if you want to save the videos again. You can just search your email.

Step 3: Save the videos

From the HTML link you create, right-click on it and select “Save target as…” to save the video.

Step 4: Play the video

As mentioned in my introduction, I recommend using iTunes to view QuickTime movies fullscreen. It’s free that way. Download iTunes here (it comes with QuickTime)…
http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/

Use Gmail for OSU email

November 1, 2007 Leave a comment

OSU webmail is lacking in its available inbox space, loading speed, ease of use, and spam filtering. Gmail, on the other hand, lacks none of these, and it’s free. The only real advantage of OSU webmail is that it provides a more professional and reliable name for people to contact. This article describes how to put 2 and 2 together, using Gmail with your OSU email address.

The first step is obviously to get a Gmail account. If you don’t already have one, you can get one here:
http://services.google.com/university/cgi-bin/gmail

Next, you’ll need to set up Gmail to send email from your OSU account. This is done on the settings > accounts tab. See the Gmail support page below.
http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?ctx=%67mail&hl=en&answer=22370

Finally, you need Gmail to read your OSU email. This is done by forwarding your OSU email to Gmail using the OSU account management page below.
https://acctmgt.service.ohio-state.edu/cgi-bin/FWD1FwdgChg