Friday, February 02, 2007

The Groundhogs Say...


W00t! Neither Windy City Woody nor Punxsutawney Phil saw their shadows today, meaning that we're in for an early spring! Folklore goes that if the groundhog comes out of hibernation and sees its shadow, it will run scared back into its home to hibernate for 6 more weeks (meaning, 6 more weeks of ugly winter). Not so today! These two woodchucks are in good company, as a couple other famous 'chucks are saying "Early Spring!" as well, including Staten Island Chuck in New York, who has an 84% accuracy rate over the past 25 years, and Wiarton Willie - the famous groundhog up near Toronto, Canada (eh?)

Punxsutawney Phil is the US national groundhog who makes his home out in Pennsylvania. Since 1886, he's only predicted 15 early springs by not seeing his shadow. (He saw his shadow 96 times, and there are 9 years that remain undocumented). You go, Phil!

These cute little groundhogs have made my day!

Windows Media Player in Firefox on Vista

One annoying thing about Vista has been that whenever I visit a web page that wants to display a movie via Windows Media Player, I get an error message in Mozilla Firefox stating that the proper plugin is not installed. Clicking the link to install the plugin brings me to an XP plugin page (which is not compatible with Vista), but nowhere on Microsoft's web site could I find web browser plugins for Vista's version of WMP.

Not anymore.

The solution involves copying a few dll files into both your Windows Media Player and Mozilla Firefox program files directories.

1. Download the files npwmsdrm.dll, npdrmv2.dll and npdsplay.dll. (Links here are to - they had the proper versions of the files to adhere to yet another Microsoft security bug. Make sure your npdsplay.dll is version

2. Copy those 3 files to two places:
  • The Media Player directory, usually C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player
  • The Firefox plugins directory, usually C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugins
3. Restart Firefox and see if it's working. (Here's a page with a video: Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb).

Full details can be found over at MozillaZine.

Now I can go watch that video of the groundhog not seeing his shadow. Woohoo! Bring on spring!