Move Cursor To Form Field

Rrrrg.  There is nothing more annoying than having to leave the keyboard and click into a form field before being able to enter any text into it.  Below is the javascript method to pre focus the cursor on a form field.  ( I don’t do it on the search field on this page because a) the search is rarely used upon arriving here and b) focusing at that field moves the top of this page out of view.

In <head> </head> section:
function focus(){document.FORM_NAME.FIELD_NAME.focus();}
// –>

In <body> tag:  <body onLoad=focus() >

Photo Booth, The Digital Archiver

Clothing tag scratching you?  Cut it right out of there!

But wait…what were those care instructions again?

OSX Photo Booth to the rescue!


Copying a DVD, CD, or Disk Image on OSX

There are a quite a few ways to backup DVD’s and other images using the GUI.  This one produces an identical digital image, including the boot camp partitions on a Snow Leopard DVD, of which I was making a backup copy.

Simple method to copy a data CD or DVD:

  1. Open Terminal (Applications>Utilities>Terminal)
  2. Check where the disk is mounted:  df
  3. Unmount the disk:  umount /dev/disk2s3
  4. Copy the disk to a file:  dd if=/dev/disk2s3 of=image-name.iso
  5. Burn using Disk Utility

/dev/disk2s3 is the device location df returned for my DVD drive
image-name.iso is the name of the iso image file that will be created.
Resulting image-name.iso is your CD/DVD image.

Have Technology, Will Travel

My international technical assignments often call for agility, fast response and high tech connectivity.  (Actually I just travel for family visits a few times a year. =)  But still!  I turn to a kit of mobile gizmos that are a must for every road warrior geek.

  1. Air Power:  You need to write code (or watch sci-fi) without worrying about a laptop battery running out.  Mine is the Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter.
  2. Retractable Cables:  Ethernet, USB and Firewire.  When the hotel wireless is out or they are still in 1996 hard-wired land, your own compact cable can be a life saver.  Also helps when you have physical access to a WAP but not the wireless credentials.
  3. International  Adapters:  Laptops generally handle foreign power, so I’ve only ever needed the plug adapters and not the power adapters.
  4. External Hard Drive:  These are just too small and powerful to leave behind.  You can bring a system backup along, software you may need to install or a media library.
  5. USB Key Drive:  Same principle as above but for easy transfers of data, documents, wireless keys, etc.
  6. Wireless Router:  Ok, this sounds like a stretch but imagine a villa, hostel or cabin with one ethernet connection and many residents.  Allowing everyone online from anywhere is a big win since the average Linksys is only 2 pounds including the power adapter.  Since the actual electronics are  the size and weight of a cigarette pack, it seems like these should continue to get smaller and lighter.  You can skip the power adapter completely, via Power Over Ethernet.  Cisco already makes a 1 pound POE WAP for $100.  Not bad.
  7. Tethering:  Configuring your mobile phone to provide connectivity to your laptop gives you almost limitless connectivity.  No more airport and coffee shop charges.  No more PDA only access when stuck on the tarmac.
  8. 10x10_transparent_box

  9. Riedel Sommalier Wine Glasses and protective tote:  When the job is done, celebrate in style.  Ok, just kidding, but I did build this case for in-city transport!  =)

What am I missing?

WordPress UnGallery

UnGallery dynamically publishes directories of images and embeds them into your WordPress blog.  The name describes the goal of the plugin to stay out of your way and allow you to manage your images with no administration in WordPress.

This approach allows your powerful administration tools like FTP, SCP, automation scripts, and image editors to directly manage your image library.  Changes are automatically reflected in WordPress.  There are no web forms to select files for upload.  There is no importing or modifications to the database.  The gallery files are accessed remotely by WordPress and remain accessible and manageable, outside the WordPress environment.

If you’ve ever had to reorganize where your photos are stored, remove a few from a large set, or edit the red-eye of a dozen pictures after uploading, you know how inconvenient it is to return to the website management UI to update everything.  With UnGallery, all these add/remove/edit changes you make to your library are automatically rolled into WordPress.




  • Unlimited depth, breadth, and number of photos. The gallery here has approximately 25,000.
  • Photo library is managed outside of WordPress.  Simply update via FTP, SCP, etc.  UnGallery displays changes automatically.
  • Multiple gallery views:  Top level marquee (optional), thumbnails, browsing previous and next pictures.
  • Gallery hierarchy breadcrumbs with links to parent, present, and sub-galleries
  • Optional and default banner captions
  • Unbrowsable, hidden galleries
  • Caching for faster page reloads
  • Support for MP4 movies embedded within WordPress
  • Automatic image rotation of jpegs with exif orientation, if available


  • The layout is configured for the default WordPress installation.  I use the excellent Atahualpa theme and increase the page width to a modern browser standard.  The sizes of all thumbnails, images, and columns are configurable.
  • Feel free to use it, extend it, or contact me with questions.


  • Grab the current version at
  • The installation steps are mostly standard, though there are couple simple, extra steps, noted in the instructions.