Open Source Media Player

There’s a lot of free software out there, but just like with Instant Messaging software you have to install many of them to be flexible.


Several years ago I stumbled upon the VideoLAN Client (aka VLC) when researching methods to stream video from my ReplayTV (Tivo predecessor/clone) to my laptop as the files were in MPEG4 format and my previous clients didn’t support it.

I urge you to check it out as it’s an all in one solution, so that you don’t need all of that other bloat-ware installed.


P.S. – I should add that this plays most video and audio formats and is available on most platforms, not just Windows.

Free Instant Messaging (IM) Clients

As indicated way back in my ‘Contact Information’ entry, I use several IM client networks. To make it easier on myself (and my poor computers), it’s usually easier to get an integrated client that connect to many services within one program.

My favorites:

For an even easier way to connect without software installations and to bypass many corporate proxy’s and/or firewalls is to use a web client.

My favorite (as I’m not aware of any others that are still online):


Custom JavaScript error notification

Debugging JavaScript errors is a time-consuming effort requiring keen eyes and a sharp mind.

MSIE typically only gives a cryptic ‘Object Expected’ error message and little more (even with the Microsoft Script Debugger installed!).

Some tools like FireBug and the Venkman debugger (both for Mozilla/Firefox) help in this matter, but often it helps to have an alert when an issue occurs.

Here’s a simple implementation that I’ve found useful…

[script type=”text/javascript”]

function myErrorHandler(msg,url,l){
var txt=”There was an error on this page.\n”;
txt+=”Error: ” + msg + “\n”;
txt+=”URL: ” + url + “\n”;
txt+=”Line: ” + l + “\n\n”;
txt+=”Click OK to continue.\n\n”;
alert(txt); return true; }


That’s it….

JavaScript (intro)

JavaScript is one of the foundations of the internet as we currently know it, but is often misunderstood. It is the “J” in AJAX (to be discussed elsewhere), and is typically used for creation of interactive browser applications with client-side (browser) functionalities such as FORM validation and manipulation of onscreen elements via the DOM (to be discussed elsewhere).

JavaScript is more appropriately called ECMAScript, as it is a ‘Standard’ from the ECMA organization. Early incarnations of this specification were called LiveScript (by Netscape). Microsoft, in typical form, created a VisualBASIC like version that they called JScript, though while mostly compatible, has some proprietary differences.

It’s always preferred to add this to your HEAD section (or the equivalent in HTTP Headers):

<meta http-equiv=”Content-Script-Type” content=”text/javascript” />

To include external files containing JavaScript:

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”/filename.js”></script>

To include XHTML compliant blocks of JavaScript in your page:

<script type=”text/javascript”>
<!– <![CDATA[

//]]> — >

DO NOT use the deprecated ‘language’ attribute:

<script language=”JavaScript”>


P3P 1.0 Implementation guide

Standards documentation is available from W3C at:


  1. Version P3P 1.1 is currently in the works.
  2. Throughout the specifications you’ll see references to “Well-Known Location”, this refers to the default path and naming of these files in the /w3c/ folder.
  3. In my examples below, I have left MOST data empty, the “

xxx” indicates a field that must match between these files.

<link type="text/xml" rel="P3Pv1" href="/w3c/p3p.xml" />

HTTP Header:

p3p: policyref="/w3c/p3p.xml", CP="TST"


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes" ?>
<META xmlns="">
<POLICY-REF about="/w3c/privacy.xml#xxx">
<COOKIE-INCLUDE name="*" value="*" domain="*" path="*" />


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes" ?>
<POLICIES xmlns="">
<POLICY name="xxx" discuri="/index.html" xml:lang="en">
<DATA ref=""></DATA>
<DATA ref="#business.department"></DATA>
<DATA ref=""></DATA>
<DATA ref=""></DATA>
<DATA ref=""></DATA>
<DATA ref=""></DATA>
<DATA ref=""></DATA>
<DATA ref=""></DATA>
<DATA ref=""></DATA>
<DATA ref=""></DATA>
<DATA ref=""></DATA>
<DATA ref=""></DATA>
<DATA ref=""></DATA>
<DISPUTES resolution-type="service" service="/index.html" short-description="Customer Service">
<CONSEQUENCE>We record some information in order to serve your request and to secure and improve our Web site.</CONSEQUENCE>
<DATA ref="#dynamic.clickstream"/>
<DATA ref="#dynamic.http"/>