alangenh's home page
aka, fun with google pages

firefox extensions

A relatively up-to-date list of FireFox extensions I'm using.

undoclosetab enh for deerpark

OUTDATED: Not needed with Firefox 2.0+.

I like undoclosetab_enh, a Firefox extension which provides a pulldown menu of recently closed browser tabs. I've been installing it using the extension Nightly Tester Tools, since on its own it is not compatible with Firefox 1.5+. I tried getting the developers to just up the version number so it would install, but I never got a response. But guess what? Firefox extensions are just zip files with the file extension xpi. So I unpacked, changed a single digit to allow this extension to run in newer versions of Firefox, and repacked it. Voila! You can install it by downloading this file, then opening it in Firefox, which will ask if you want to intall.

Disclaimer: All credit goes to the original developers, here. I only changed one digit, but you know, if it crashes your computer don't blame me.

out-of-market baseball games on tv

OUTDATED: There is now a program for this, BaseballAlerts_1.1.dmg

Please download that (Macintosh only) and ignore the rest of this page.  Please see http://alangenh.livejournal.com for information and updates.

I got tired of missing Cardinals games on TV because I didn't realize they were on, so I wrote a script to bring up a dialog box on my computer when the Cards game is going to be televised in my area that day. I think this will mostly be useful for fans outside of the St. Louis area, because if you're in St. Louis then you'd get an alert every day, and that seems more annoying than useful.

So if you want to be informed with a dialog box when the Cardinals game will be televised on a station your cable company carries, try the following.

1. Download this text file to your computer. It's a perl script called "cardsalert.pl".

2. Open the file in TextEdit and edit the "my @channels" line to list your channels. Take a look at stlouiscardinalsnews.com to see some example channel names. Note that this script doesn't know anything about blackouts and may tell you the wrong channel if a blackout applies in your area. If your team isn't the Cardinals, that's okay, this script should work for you too. You just need to replace the "stlouiscardinalsnews" in the script with the name of your club's website. You can get the right URL by browsing the list of teams in the left column of mlbbaseballonline.com.

3. Save the script in the place you want to keep it. I made a directory called "bin" and saved the file as "/Users/myaccount/bin/cardsalert.pl".

4. Open the Terminal program, and go to that directory. For example, I did "cd /Users/myaccount/bin". Change the permissions so that this script can be executed. I used "chmod 755 ./cardsalert.pl".

5. Now it should run! Type "./cardsalert.pl" (or whatever you named your script) in the Terminal. If there's no Cards game televised for you today, it won't bring up a dialog. If there is, you should see a dialog box with the details, where you can click "OK". For testing purposes, you can temporarily edit your channels to include FSMW or some channel where it's airing today, and make sure you get the dialog box.

6. You don't want to have to type the script name into the Terminal every day. There are graphical utilities available to run the script every day, like Cronnix. I just use cron from the Terminal. So if you want the script to run every day, here's how you would set that up with cron. Edit a plain text file to contain the following:


# To perform these jobs at the requested intervals: crontab cron_jobs
#
#minute hour day month weekday script to execute
#(0-59) (0-23) (1-31) (1-12) (0-6;0=Sun) (executable)
0 12 * * * /Users/myaccount/bin/cardsalert.pl

The above will cause the script to run at noon every day, but you can set up the times however you like. The asterisk means "every," so an asterisk in the "day" column means run the script every day. Save this to a file called cron_jobs in the same directory as cardsalert.pl. (Unless you already are using cron, but in that case you won't be needing these directions.) Make sure you're still in the directory containing the two files, and type "crontab ./cron_jobs". That's it! It will keep running your command every day whenever you're logged in. If you should want cron to stop running your job every day, type the command "crontab -r" in the Terminal.

Disclaimer: This software comes with no guarantees, etc, etc. Do not sue me if you crash your computer.