Using Gmail “Details” link to discover older IP addresses

A project that I’m working on has a strict firewall setup which restricts SSH access to only internal machines and those temporary machines outside the network that need access ( like if you’re working from home ). So as my IP address changes at home, I need to notify the service that my IP address has changed from A to B. The service prefers if I can give them both the old address and the new address because they’ll take out the old address from the firewall rules and add access for the new IP address. I was keeping this list on a pad by my desk but today I found myself downstairs, away from that pad, so I couldn’t find my previous IP address, just the new one.

Fearing that I would have to walk ALL THE WAY upstairs to get that pad, I thought for a few seconds and remembered the “Details” link in the footer of my gmail page. Clicking “Details” in the footer of gmail will show you the last 10 instances of logins/refreshes to your gmail page. Sure enough, I was able to find the number 7 entry was from last night and showed my previous IP address. I copied it into my firewall request and got back to my work.

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MySql tip for displaying query results vertically

I have a need at the day job to view mysql records via the mysql command line client. Some of the tables I’m looking at have 100 to 200 columns so it’s pretty annoying to view this data horizontally across the screen. If you end your queries in the mysql command line client with \G instead of a semicolon, then it will display the results vertically down the page. Try it out!

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How to drop multiple tables in mysql at once

There are a couple of different ways to remove multiple tables from MySQL at one time. Almost all of the ways of dropping many mysql tables at once are dangerous and that’s probably why the MySQL developers have overlooked this “feature.” You run the risk of dropping tables outside of the ones you meant to drop.

But if you’re dead set on this, here’s a stored procedure for dropping multiple MySQL tables at one time that does the job quick and easy.

First you have to add the procedure to the schema. You can technically add this to any schema that you have access to. The way I use it is from a “global” schema that needs to make changes to other schemas that all have similar names. The MySQL user calling the procedure needs to be able to perform the DROP as well as READ the information schema tables. Don’t mess with your permissions unless you have to however.

Calling the procedure can be done with:

So in this case, I’m dropping all the tables that start with “jjj” in the “test” schema. The “pattern” parameter can be any valid MySQL “LIKE” parameter. In a MySQL client, it looks like this:

Now, obviously, if you put in a pattern that returns no resulting table names, then you’ll get an error. But fixing that error is left to the reader as an exercise ( do feel free to contribute that back to me!)

Any questions or comments? Do you have a better way to do this?

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Explode a string with no delimiter in PHP

I needed a way to split a string by the character and put the results in an array. Sounds like the perfect job for the explode function right? Well, according to the manual:

If delimiter is an empty string (“”), explode() will return FALSE

That’s a bummer.

I also tried str_split(‘whatever’) but that has some problems with foreign strings. But we can do something like this:

Enjoy! Let me know what other ways you can come up with to do something similar.

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SQLSTATE[HY000]: General error: could not call class constructor

SQLSTATE[HY000]: General error: could not call class constructor

This rather vague error message has been popping up in some of my integration tests lately. It’s a PHP error in PDO querying MySQL that happens when you’re using the setFetchMode method of the PDOStatement. If you use the fetchMode of “FETCH_CLASS” you can get this error in one of three ways:

  • The class you specified has not been included/required so when PDO gets results, it cannot create an object of the class you specified since it doesn’t have that class definition.
  • Properties on the class you specified have been marked as protected or private and there aren’t any setters for them so PDO can’t set the properties on the new object.
  • You used the optional third argument “ctorargs” to give constructor arguments on your new object however your arguments are incorrect and don’t match those on the class.

Hope this helps other poor souls out there trying to figure this error out.

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“show tables not like” in mysql

I was looking for the tables in my database not starting with “p_”. MySQL doesn’t let you execute this command:

Which is odd considering it will allow “like” here:

Instead, you have to use the information schema like this:

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Eclipse update conflict “Do you want to overwrite the changes made on the file system”

Earlier today I kept running into a problem using Eclipse (really Zend Studio built on Eclipse) with a project running on the network that I accessed via a mapped drive on my Linux machine. The problem occurred during file saving and looked like this:

Eclipse update conflict “do you want to overwrite the changes made on the file system?”

The only way I was really able to fix this problem was to make sure that both my machine and the networked machine in question had the same exact time. So I busted out ntpdate and made sure both machines were updating their time at least once a day using a command something like this:

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Export from WordPress blog and Import to Blogger

This script exports your posts and categories from your locally hosted WordPress blog and imports them into a new Blogger blog online. The script is based on the Blogger examples for working with PHP and blog data.

Code to export from hosted WordPress blog and import to Blogger at github

You need to have the Zend Framework up and running on your system as it contains all the GData libraries for working with Google data in PHP. This script doesn’t use any of the MVC, so you just need to have the files somewhere that you can require them.

You need to edit line 8 to point to the path of your Zend Framework. You also need to update the database connection variables right below that to match your wordpress blog.

Some caveats:

  • Blogger can only import 50 blog posts per day before tripping some anti-spam protection. So the SQL “limit” clause around line 322 will need to be adjusted. It is set to get the first 50 posts and publish them.
  • WordPress “categories” become Blogger “labels”
  • Blogger forces any imported comments to the blog posts to originate from you, the author, of the blog. So I have omitted these from my script, figuring it would look crazy to be talking to myself. You could hack this script to add those back in.

What’s great about Blogger is that you can create a new test blog and run this script, which allows you to select which Blogger blog you wish to update and go from there.

The usage is:

php xfer_to_blogger.php – –pass=password

The email and password here are the ones you used in setting up your Blogger account. Let me know how you make out and if you have any suggestions for the code.

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Hiring PHP5 Programmers

My company has placed an ad looking for more PHP5 programmers to work mostly in the social networking area. We have a coding test that we give to everyone whose resume passes muster. It’s a basic test, includes some CRUD database functions as well as creating a basic Facebook app. We specify PHP5 all over the place.

But no one who takes the test ever uses any of PHP5’s attributes. Not one test app has come back using classes of any kind other then the Facebook reference.

Am I being too hard on people for this? Maybe we need to specify that creating classes is recommended if not mandatory? I don’t know what the answer is, but I know that upon receiving several recent test apps in “PHP5” that have include files that contain only functions, I’m a little depressed. And yes, I used the quotes around php5 on purpose.

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