Archive for June, 2003

Using ColdFusion to Write Out Binary Data

I have been trying to get ColdFusion to write binary data (image bytes) out to my browser on and off for the last couple of weeks using several different techniques. Thanks to some internal help, this morning, I finally got it.

The idea is that I want to take a byte array and write it directly to the output stream between the server and client and have the image render properly in the browser. That means the data and the output stream can’t be at all corrupted by whitespace, new lines or line returns like it can be if you are only sending back text. The following code illustrates how to get this to work:

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Enter to Win a Free iPod

From now through June 30, when you buy a DevNet subscription, you can enter to win a free iPod. I’m not sure which iPod it is, but at this point, since the cheapest one is 10GB, you can’t go wrong. I just bought a new 10GB iPod last night to replace my “old” 20GB model, and I love it. In particular, the navigation is much better, the form-factor is more compact, it has additional games and PDA functionality, and it comes with a cradle that’s not just for recharging and syncing, but also has audio out for external speakers. I was sad to go down from 20 to 10GB, but the reality is that can’t even listen to 10GB of music on an entire trip.

I also picked up a Belkin TuneCase Mobile FM Transmitter. I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, but it looks promising.

Flash 6 and the Honda Accord

Honda has recently released one of the most amazing commercials I have ever seen. The commercial is such a technical/engineering marvel that they have dedicated a large section of their website to it. You can watch the commercial through the Flash 6 player on Honda’s site, but there is a better version, along with some background on the commercial, available here. Here are a few interesting points:

  • Apparently the film took 606 takes.
  • The commercial is about two minutes long.
  • Everything in the commercial is “real”, meaning nothing was computer generated or enhanced.
  • Make sure you have your speakers turned up. The sound is very important.

TechNotes from Long Beach Airport

I’m at the airport in Long Beach, California, which is basically a couple of big trailers and some vending machines. There’s a TV at the gate that is on a stand with an old VCR, which is the main source of entertainment. Just for fun, I checked for wireless access, and not only does Long Beach Airport offer a fast 802.11b connection, but it’s free! Last week, I was in SFO, and couldn’t even get an expensive connection (though the Intel rep insisted the that airport was thoroughly wired). Since the plane is right outside the gate (I can smell the jet fuel fumes), I’ll see if I can get a connection when I’m waiting to take off, too.

Anyway, I thought I’d blog a couple new TechNotes while I wait to board.

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What’s Your IP Address?

I’m just getting ready to leave Las Vegas to head back east. I’ll post a summary of the TODCON conference when I get home late tonight. In the meantime, here’s a tip on a quick and easy way to find out your IP address, which I find is something I need to do occasionally (which isn’t always easy, depending on the OS you are using). Just go to

TODCON and Flash Remoting

I attended a good session by Tom Muck yesterday on Flash Remoting. He did an excellent job of covering the basics. Tom is the author of Flash Remoting, The Definitive Guide which is being published by O’Reilly later this summer. I will post links to his presentation once it is online.

I’m doing a session on advanced Flash Remoting this afternoon. I now have a single presentation which is extremely comprehensive in scope, covering all the basics up through more advanced techniques like error handling, Flash Remoting and ColdFusion sessions, and using ColdFusion MX’s authentication framework with Flash Remoting. It basically contains everything in my last Flashforward presentation with a an additional “advanced” section added. I will post it after the conference.

And now for the blackjack update. I managed to win another $20 last night, which means I’m up $40 for the trip. I know $40 doesn’t sound like much, but you can’t compare $40 to $0. Compare it to -$40 or -$100 or -$1,000, for that matter. Although I am only up $40, I have probably won (and lost) several hundred cumulative dollars in the process of getting there. So now I am trying to decide whether I should quit while I’m ahead, or further “invest” my $40.

TODCON Las Vegas Off To a Hot Start

I mean that figuratively and literally. Literally, someone’s rental car was reporting 112 degrees in Vegas yesterday afternoon. By the time I got in from nice breezy cool San Francisco, it was 102 degrees. I tried to walk to Walgreens to buy a telephone cord so I could work from my hotel room, and I had to turn back for fear of straying too far away from a source of water and air conditioning. Suddenly paying $5 for a phone cord from the hotel didn’t seem like such a bad idea.

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