Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Getting Java JVM and midp SSH to run on a Motorola Q

I bought a Motorola Q a few days ago with the full intention of using it for emergency SSH access when I'm not in front of a computer. I was a little disappointed to find that getting a terminal app with SSH wasn't as easy as I had expected, but I got it working nonetheless.

If you want something quick for SSH or Telnet, try zaTelnet at the link below. It installed fine on my Q (make sure you download the version for SmartPhone running Windows Mobile 5), though it does seem a bit slow while working. It's freeware, but it's not open source, which makes me a bit wary. However, it does seem to work fairly well:

If you're looking to get a Java VM installed so you can run MidpSSH, it's more involved, but not too bad, and then you have a Java VM for other Midlets.

First, you need the JVM for the SmartPhone, which is still in the "evaluation" stage from IBM Websphere, but it seems pretty stable. You have to sign up for an IBM account (free, just annoying) to get to the download, but this is the link:

after you signup (and wait a few minutes for your account to become active, apparently), follow the steps below:

1. download the executable file listed under "CLDC 1.1/MIDP 2.0 for Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphone Edition/ARM". The filename will begin with ibm-weme-wm50-sp-arm-midp20. Also download install.pdf under the same heading.

2. run the file and complete the install wizard.

3. Once installed, browse to C:\Program Files\IBM\WEME\runtimes\61\wm50-arm-sp-midp20

4. in there you will find a zip file called
(Note: the filename might have a slightly different version number after midp20_, but it's the only zip file in the directory)

5. Extract the zip, then follow the instructions in the install.pdf file and you should be good to go.
(Note: The bin/, lib/, and examples/ directories referred to in the install file are the ones from the extracted .zip file, *not* from the _jvm directory.)

The install.pdf file details how to install their example app, but you can follow the same steps to install midPSSH.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

"mySQL server has gone away" in PHP when using mySQL stored procedures

There seems to be a lot of conflicting information floating around about stored procedures in PHP, and I spent a bit of time myself grappling with a "mysql server has gone away" error when using the CALL statement to run a stored procedure. I think I've managed to get things squared away, both in the code and in my head, as to the caveats of mySQL 5 stored procedures in PHP. Here's the lowdown:

Per mySQL's own documentation for the C API of mysql_next_result:
"each CALL returns a result to indicate the call status, in addition to any results sets that might be returned by statements executed within the procedure."

This means that you should use mysqli_multi_query() when calling your stored procedure.

Additionally, this means that you cannot simply call mysqli_store_result() to store your buffered result in a variable then move on to your next query, which is perfectly reasonable for normal queries. Even for procedures that return a single resultset, you need to make sure you iterate through the "call status" result even though you won't be using it for anything. In fact, this status result seems to be kind of nebulous in that you can't use_result() or store_result() on it (as far as I can tell), but you need to iterate through it (via next_result()) before executing another query.

My problem with the way this all works is that since all of my procedures only returned a single result set, I wanted to be able to access them exactly as I would any other query (including storing the result so I could use it later), without having to manually iterate through this extra status result each time I called a procedure. Below is what I came up with.

Note: I'm using the procedural functions for the mysqli interface because people who are just getting acquainted with mysqli will recognize the syntax more easily, but you should definitely look into the object oriented approach for using mysqli functions.

function &procedure_get_result( $procedure_call ) {

//note: error handling has been removed from this function
//for the sake of the example, but you'll want to check the
//return values of functions like mysqli_connect(), etc...

$result_count = 0;
$result_loop_silence = 0;
$false_ret = false;

$dbh = mysqli_connect("localhost", "my_user", "my_password", "my_dbname");

// if the word CALL was included in the parameter, just strip it out.
// We'll add it later.
if ( substr(strtoupper($procedure_call), 0, 4) == 'CALL' ) {
$procedure_call = substr( $procedure_call, 4 );

$procedure_call = trim($procedure_call);

$query = "CALL {$procedure_call}";

if ( mysqli_multi_query($dbh, $query) ) {

$result = mysqli_store_result($dbh); //this is the result we want!

while ( mysqli_more_results($dbh) ) {

// iterate through the call status result set
if ( $result_count > 0 ) {
// this function only supports a 0th and a 1st result set
// so show a warning if we have more
if ( !$result_loop_silence ) {
trigger_error( 'Too many results returned for ' . __METHOD__ . '. Use multi query.', E_USER_WARNING );
$result_loop_silence = 1;


if ( $status_result = mysqli_use_result($dbh) ) {

// this never seems to get executed with
// CALL that only return one result set plus the
// status resultset, but we'll leave it in




return $result;


return null;

Thursday, October 12, 2006

mySQL natural number ordering

Had a situation today where I needed to order a list that looked like "DISTRICT 1, DISTRICT 2...DISTRICT 10, DISTRICT 11". Ordering this field with a simple ORDER BY groupField ASC puts "DISTRICT 10" and "DISTRICT 11" before "DISTRICT 2", which is not what I wanted. Also, the field wasn't always going to be setup as single string, a space, and a number, so I couldn't just SUBSTRING out the trailing number. Found the solution in the mySQL forums:

ORDER BY LENGTH(groupField) ASC, groupField ASC

now the ordering is as you'd expect from a user standpoint.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

IE doesn't show option text when dynamically creating an optgroup

I dealt with a bit of a headache tonight trying to figure out why Internet Explorer 6 wouldn't display any option text if I created an option within an optgroup dynamically (using Javascript). It turns out that you have to set the innerText property of the option before appending it to the optgroup. Just setting the label or text properties of the option is not enough, you need to set innerText, like so:

select_obj = document.getElementById('my_select_box_id');
optgroup_obj = document.createElement('optgroup');
option_obj = document.createElement('option');

option_obj.label = 'option label';
option_obj.value = 'option value';

if ( typeof(option_obj.innerText) != 'undefined' ) {
option_obj.innerText = 'option label';
else {
option_obj.text = 'option label';

select_obj.appendChild( optgroup_obj );

Sunday, July 16, 2006

IMP Error connecting to IMAP server. 22 : Invalid argument.

IMP was giving me this error today when trying to login. Turns out that since I had the IMAP server set to use SSL (the default), PHP needs openSSL *compiled statically*, not just the openSSL extension. To fix this in FreeBSD using ports, I just did:

cd /usr/ports/lang/php4
make config
-> check the "Build OpenSSL statically" option
make clean
make deinstall
make reinstall

horde sidebar menu hangs on login after turba configuration

I was installing horde today on a new server, and noticed that after doing all of my configs, the sidebar would hang pretty much indefinitely when trying to login. I poked around for a bit and eventually found that turba was the issue. A little googling and a mailing list post led me to the information that the problem is the LDAP source in the turba/config/sources.php file. I don't use LDAP, so I commented out the LDAP source by changing:

if ( Util::extensionExists('ldap')) {


if ( false && Util::extensionExists('ldap')) {

in config/turba/sources.php and it now works perfectly.

Friday, April 07, 2006

InnoDB table creation fails after an improperly dropped table

I was playing around with InnoDB on my development server, somehow screwed things up pretty bad, and had to delete some .frm files from the db directory manually. However, I found that even though some of my tables didn't exist in show tables, I couldn't recreate them. the mySQL client was spitting out fairly ambiguous InnoDB errors (can't rename table, etc), and it was confusing me quite a bit. I even found that I could create the tables as myISAM, but once I tried to change engine to InnoDB, it wouldn't let me. I even tried dropping the entire database and recreating it, but the InnoDB data dictionary still had information about those tables in that database! I found some more insight by using the mySQL command "show engine innoDB status;", which told me the last foreign key errors. Turns out the foreign key constraints were still applied to my table even though the table didn't actually exist. I tried dropping the keys by name, but that didn't work. It didn't issue any errors, but it also didn't do anything. Ultimately I had to recreate all the keys as they had originally appeared (matching the name and type exactly), then drop the table properly.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Windows Explorer freezes when video files are in the folder you're viewing

I recently started having a problem where any time there was an avi file in the folder I was viewing, explorer would freeze up and have to be shutdown from task manager. Over at, I found a handy fix that took care of the problem right away. Here it is:

NOTE: before doing this, you should make a backup of your registry by going to start->run, typing regedt32 , then going to File > Export and saving the registry file somewhere safe.

1. Click Start
2. Click Run
3. Type: regedt32
4. Browse to the registry key (the things that look like folders on the left side of the screen) HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\.avi\shellex\PropertyHandler.
5. Delete the Key on the right hand side called "default" by right-clicking and hitting "Delete".

That should be it. If that doesn't work, the following command might help, but it will disable all AVI thumbnail preview capability:

go to Start > Run, type: REGSVR32 /U SHMEDIA.DLL and press OK. To undo this change, simply go to Start > Run, type: REGSVR32 SHMEDIA.DLL and press OK.