Home Page

Site BEST viewed with:
FireFox & JavaScript
Compatible with: IE6+
Further info here.

Warning: you do not have javascript enabled. This WILL cause layout glitches.

Welcome to my domain. This is an open space where I, Jeffrey Riaboy, am keeping a compendium of my projects, thoughts, news, and miscellaneous ideas. I am a self taught programmer/computer nerd that works in C++ by choice, and too many other languages due to the facts of life. I have been programming virtually my whole life and working with computers since before I can remember. They are my passion, hobby, job, first love, and have served me well, though, been a constant pain in the anatomy. I hope you can find something of interest or use here, as that is the reason I spend my time creating and organizing this content. Enjoy. ^_^
The original (well... last) intro page to my website before this became the home. It is a flash portal to my personal sites of the past.
[1999-2001?] My ancient NES emulator made in Visual Basic (which was made to prove the power and flexibility [not speed] of the language). But alas, one of my friends, David Finch beat me to it by optimizing BasicNes [Don Jarrett].
[2002] A chronicle of my experiences and tinkering from early ’02 to early ’04 on an addictive yet horribly crappy MMORPG. Site also has some nice “hacking”/reverse engineering tutorials.
Ragnarok Hacking
I’ve temporarily set this to link to the Projects section of this website until I’m ready to announce the new website this will link to.
Updates Archive
Plex Playlist Importer v1.1 (source). Current updates spanning 2017:
  • Fixed absolute path logic for Linux (partial credit to Matt Spitz)
  • Bypasses UTF8 BOM
  • Program now works off of argument flags.
    • Added parameters: Playlist encoding, override type, force list
    • Created special BulletHelpFormatter class for parameters
  • Playlist names can now conflict with other item/list names in Plex
  • Console column width passthrough in the .sh file
  • Updated READMEs regarding:
    • Unicode compliance
    • The “no such module : FTS4” error
    • Running the script from a computer external to the server running Plex
    • The “The program can’t start because MSVCR100.dll is missing” error
    • All updates
  • Added the ability to compile to a windows executable (via setup.py py2exe)
  • The Playlist Name is now an optional argument which can be entered after the program is ran. This allows directly dragging playlists onto the executable
  • Added shebang to main script
  • M3U files now ignore lines that are empty or have only whitespace
Download Content
Section: Projects > Websites
Section: Misc > Resume
  • Rewrote the background section, which was badly needed.
  • Under Notable Projects, made Intellitix past tense (as of 2012)
  • Added Notable Project C2MTL
  • Removed Obsolete Skills: VBScript
  • Added Skills: AngularJS, Django, jQuery, Amazon Web Services
  • Work Experience/Deltaarc: Specified IT Admin for Linux servers
  • Removed Obsolete Jobs and Skills:
    • Tutor at Open Doors Learning Center [1999-2001]
    • Microsoft Certified Professional [2004]
    • Place in Winston Science Programming Competition [1999, 2000, 2002]
    • Black Belt in Taekwondo [1996]
Download Content
Post Archive
RSS Feed
Windows Driver Service Loader

Following is some C++ source code for a Windows kernel-driver service loader. It could be used to load other service types too by changing the dwServiceType flag on the CreateService call. I threw this together for another project I am currently working on. It is also used in the following post (posting soon).

It works in the following way:
  • It is a command line utility which takes 3 arguments:
    1. The service name. Hereby referred to as SERVICE_NAME
    2. The service display name. Hereby referred to as DISPLAY_NAME
    3. The driver path (to the .sys file). Hereby referred to as DRIVER_PATH
  • This program (most likely) requires administrative access. There are also some caveats regarding driver code signing requirements that are thoroughly explored elsewhere.
  • It first checks to see if a service already exists with the given SERVICE_NAME. If it does:
    1. If the DISPLAY_NAME matches, the service is kept as is.
    2. If the DISPLAY_NAME does not match, the user is prompted on if they want to delete the current service. If they do not, the program exits.
  • If the service needs to be created (it did not already exist or was deleted), it creates the service with the given SERVICE_NAME, DISPLAY_NAME, and DRIVER_PATH. If the service is not created during this run, the DRIVER_PATH is ignored.
    Note: The DRIVER_PATH must be to a direct local file system file. I have found that network links and symbolic links do not work.
  • The service is started up:
    • If it is already running, the user is prompted on if they want to stop the currently running service. If they say no, the program exits.
  • The program then waits for a final user input on if they want to close the service before exiting the program.
  • If there was an error, the program reports the error, otherwise, it reports “Success”.
  • The program pauses at the end until the user presses any key to exit.
  • The program returns 0 on success, and 1 if an error occurred.

//Compiler flags
#define WIN32_LEAN_AND_MEAN  //Include minimum amount of windows stuff
#ifndef _UNICODE //Everything in this script is unicode
	#define _UNICODE

#include <windows.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <conio.h>
#include <memory>

//Smart pointers
typedef std::unique_ptr<WCHAR, void(*)(WCHAR*)> SmartWinAlloc;
typedef std::unique_ptr<SC_HANDLE, void(*)(SC_HANDLE*)> SmartCloseService;
void Delete_SmartWinAlloc(WCHAR *p) { if(p) LocalFree(p); }
void Delete_SmartCloseService(SC_HANDLE *h) { if(h && *h) CloseServiceHandle(*h); }

//Function declarations
WCHAR* InitDriver(int argc, WCHAR *argv[]);
WCHAR* FormatError(WCHAR* Format, ...);
SmartWinAlloc GetLastErrorStr();
BOOLEAN AskQuestion(WCHAR* Question); //Returns if user answered yes

int wmain(int argc, WCHAR *argv[])
	//Run the init routine
	WCHAR* Ret=InitDriver(argc, argv);

	//If there is an error, report it, or otherwise, report success
	wprintf(L"%s\n", Ret ? Ret : L"Success");
	wprintf(L"%s\n", L"Press any key to exit");

	//Return if successful
	return (Ret ? 1 : 0);

WCHAR* InitDriver(int argc, WCHAR *argv[])
	//Confirm arguments
		return FormatError(L"%s", L"3 arguments are required: Service Name, Display Name, Driver Path");
	const WCHAR* Param_ServiceName=argv[1];
	const WCHAR* Param_DisplayName=argv[2];
	const WCHAR* Param_DriverPath =argv[3];

	//Open the service manager
	wprintf(L"%s\n", L"Opening the service manager");
	SC_HANDLE HSCManager=OpenSCManager(nullptr, nullptr, SC_MANAGER_CREATE_SERVICE);
		return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Error opening service manager", GetLastErrorStr());
	SmartCloseService FreeHSCManager(&HSCManager, Delete_SmartCloseService);

	//Check if the service already exists
	wprintf(L"%s\n", L"Checking previously existing service state");
	BOOL ServiceExists=false;
		//Get the service name
		const DWORD NameBufferSize=255;
		WCHAR NameBuffer[NameBufferSize];
		WCHAR *NamePointer=NameBuffer;
		DWORD NamePointerSize=NameBufferSize;
		std::unique_ptr<WCHAR> Buf(nullptr); //May be swapped with a real pointer later
		for(INT_PTR i=0;i<2;i++)
			//If we found the service, exit the lookup here
			if(GetServiceDisplayName(HSCManager, Param_ServiceName, NamePointer, &NamePointerSize))

			//If the service does not exist, we can exit the lookup here

			//If error is not insufficient buffer size, return the error
				return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Could not query service information", GetLastErrorStr());

			//If second pass, error out
				return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Could not query service information", L"Second buffer pass failed");

			//Create a buffer of appropriate size (and make sure it will later be released)
			NamePointer=new WCHAR[++NamePointerSize];
			std::unique_ptr<WCHAR> Buf2(NamePointer);

		//If the service already exists, confirm the service name matches, and if not, ask if user wants to delete the current service
			wprintf(L"%s\n", L"The service already exists");
			if(wcsncmp(NamePointer, Param_DisplayName, NamePointerSize+1))
				//If the server names do not match, ask the user what to do
				wprintf(L"%s:\nCurrent: %s\nRequested: %s\n", L"The service names do not match", NamePointer, Param_DisplayName);

				//Make the request
				if(!AskQuestion(L"Would you like to replace the service? (y/n)")) //If user does not wish to replace the service
					return FormatError(L"%s", L"Cannot continue if service names do not match");

				//Delete the service
				wprintf(L"%s\n", L"Deleting the old service");
				SC_HANDLE TheService=OpenService(HSCManager, Param_ServiceName, DELETE);
					return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Could not open the service to delete it", GetLastErrorStr());
				SmartCloseService CloseTheService(&TheService, Delete_SmartCloseService); //Close the service handle
					return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Could not delete the service", GetLastErrorStr());
				wprintf(L"%s\n", L"The service has been deleted");

	//Create the service
	SC_HANDLE TheService;
		//Confirm the driver path exists
		wprintf(L"%s\n", L"Checking the driver file");
		DWORD FileAttrs=GetFileAttributes(Param_DriverPath);
			return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Given path is invalid", GetLastErrorStr());
			return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Given path is invalid", L"Path is a folder");

		//Create the service
		wprintf(L"%s\n", L"Creating the service");
			HSCManager, Param_ServiceName, Param_DisplayName, 
			Param_DriverPath, nullptr, nullptr, nullptr, nullptr, nullptr);
			return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Could not create the service", GetLastErrorStr());

	//Open the service if not creating
	} else {
		TheService=OpenService(HSCManager, Param_ServiceName, SERVICE_START|SERVICE_STOP);
			return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Could not open the service", GetLastErrorStr());
	SmartCloseService CloseTheService(&TheService, Delete_SmartCloseService); //Close the service on exit

	//Start the service
	wprintf(L"%s\n", L"Starting the service");
	for(INT_PTR i=0;i<2;i++)
		if(StartService(TheService, 0, nullptr))

		//If not "service already running" error, or user does not want to stop the current service
		if(i==1 || GetLastError()!=ERROR_SERVICE_ALREADY_RUNNING || !AskQuestion(L"The service is already running. Would you like to stop it? (y/n)"))
			return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Could not start the service", GetLastErrorStr());

		//Stop the service
		wprintf(L"%s\n", L"Stopping the current service");
		if(!ControlService(TheService, SERVICE_CONTROL_STOP, &ss))
			return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Could not stop the current service", GetLastErrorStr());
	wprintf(L"%s\n", L"Started the service");

	//Ask if the user wants to close the service
	if(!AskQuestion(L"Would you like to stop the service before exit? (y/n)"))
		return nullptr;

	//Stop the service
	if(!ControlService(TheService, SERVICE_CONTROL_STOP, &ss))
		return FormatError(L"%s: %s", L"Could not stop the service", GetLastErrorStr());
	if(ss.dwCurrentState!=SERVICE_STOP_PENDING && ss.dwCurrentState!=SERVICE_STOPPED)
		return FormatError(L"%s", L"The service does not appear to be closing");
	wprintf(L"%s\n", L"The service has been stopped");

	//Return success
	return nullptr;

WCHAR* FormatError(WCHAR* Format, ...)
	static WCHAR Err[255];
	va_list VAList;
	va_start(VAList, Format);
	vswprintf(Err, sizeof(Err)/sizeof(Err[0]), Format, VAList);
	return Err;

SmartWinAlloc GetLastErrorStr()
	LPWSTR MessageBuffer=nullptr;
		nullptr, GetLastError(), MAKELANGID(LANG_NEUTRAL, SUBLANG_DEFAULT), (LPWSTR)&MessageBuffer, 0, nullptr);
	return SmartWinAlloc(MessageBuffer, Delete_SmartWinAlloc);

BOOLEAN AskQuestion(WCHAR* Question)
	//Make the request and wait for an input character
		//Ask the question and get the answer
		wprintf(L"%s:", Question);
		char InputChar=_getch();

		//Check for a valid answer
		if(InputChar=='n' || InputChar=='N')
			return FALSE;
		if(InputChar=='y' || InputChar=='Y')
			return TRUE;
Painless migration from PHP MySQL to MySQLi

The PHP MySQL extension is being deprecated in favor of the MySQLi extension in PHP 5.5, and removed as of PHP 7.0. MySQLi was first referenced in PHP v5.0.0 beta 4 on 2004-02-12, with the first stable release in PHP 5.0.0 on 2004-07-13[1]. Before that, the PHP MySQL extension was by far the most popular way of interacting with MySQL on PHP, and still was for a very long time after. This website was opened only 2 years after the first stable release!

With the deprecation, problems from some websites I help host have popped up, many of these sites being very, very old. I needed a quick and dirty solution to monkey-patch these websites to use MySQLi without rewriting all their code. The obvious answer is to overwrite the functions with wrappers for MySQLi. The generally known way of doing this is with the Advanced PHP Debugger (APD). However, using this extension has a lot of requirements that are not appropriate for a production web server. Fortunately, another extension I recently learned of offers the renaming functionality; runkit. It was a super simple install for me.

  1. From the command line, run “pecl install runkit”
  2. Add “extension=runkit.so” and “runkit.internal_override=On” to the php.ini

Besides the ability to override these functions with wrappers, I also needed a way to make sure this file was always loaded before all other PHP files. The simple solution for that is adding “auto_prepend_file=/PATH/TO/FILE” to the “.user.ini” in the user’s root web directory.

The code for this script is as follows. It only contains a limited set of the MySQL functions, including some very esoteric ones that the web site used. This is not a foolproof script, but it gets the job done.

//Override the MySQL functions
    'connect', 'error', 'fetch_array', 'fetch_row', 'insert_id', 'num_fields', 'num_rows',
    'query', 'select_db', 'field_len', 'field_name', 'field_type', 'list_dbs', 'list_fields',
    'list_tables', 'tablename'
) as $FuncName)
    runkit_function_redefine("mysql_$FuncName", '',
        'return call_user_func_array("mysql_'.$FuncName.'_OVERRIDE", func_get_args());');

//If a connection is not explicitely passed to a mysql_ function, use the last created connection
global $SQLLink; //The remembered SQL Link
function GetConn($PassedConn)
        return $PassedConn;
    global $SQLLink;
    return $SQLLink;

//Override functions
function mysql_connect_OVERRIDE($Host, $Username, $Password) {
    global $SQLLink;
    return $SQLLink=mysqli_connect($Host, $Username, $Password);
function mysql_error_OVERRIDE($SQLConn=NULL) {
    return mysqli_error(GetConn($SQLConn));
function mysql_fetch_array_OVERRIDE($Result, $ResultType=MYSQL_BOTH) {
    return mysqli_fetch_array($Result, $ResultType);
function mysql_fetch_row_OVERRIDE($Result) {
    return mysqli_fetch_row($Result);
function mysql_insert_id_OVERRIDE($SQLConn=NULL) {
    return mysqli_insert_id(GetConn($SQLConn));
function mysql_num_fields_OVERRIDE($Result) {
    return mysqli_num_fields($Result);
function mysql_num_rows_OVERRIDE($Result) {
    return mysqli_num_rows($Result);
function mysql_query_OVERRIDE($Query, $SQLConn=NULL) {
    return mysqli_query(GetConn($SQLConn), $Query);
function mysql_select_db_OVERRIDE($DBName, $SQLConn=NULL) {
    return mysqli_select_db(GetConn($SQLConn), $DBName);
function mysql_field_len_OVERRIDE($Result, $Offset) {
    return $Fields[$Offset]->length;
function mysql_field_name_OVERRIDE($Result, $Offset) {
    return $Fields[$Offset]->name;
function mysql_field_type_OVERRIDE($Result, $Offset) {
    return $Fields[$Offset]->type;
function mysql_list_dbs_OVERRIDE($SQLConn=NULL) {
    $Result=mysql_query('SHOW DATABASES', GetConn($SQLConn));
    return $Tables;
function mysql_list_fields_OVERRIDE($DBName, $TableName, $SQLConn=NULL) {
    $CurDB=mysql_fetch_array(mysql_query('SELECT Database()', $SQLConn));
    mysql_select_db($DBName, $SQLConn);
    $Result=mysql_query("SHOW COLUMNS FROM $TableName", $SQLConn);
    mysql_select_db($CurDB, $SQLConn);
    if(!$Result) {
        print 'Could not run query: '.mysql_error($SQLConn);
        return Array();
    return $Fields;
function mysql_list_tables_OVERRIDE($DBName, $SQLConn=NULL) {
    $CurDB=mysql_fetch_array(mysql_query('SELECT Database()', $SQLConn));
    mysql_select_db($DBName, $SQLConn);
    $Result=mysql_query("SHOW TABLES", $SQLConn);
    mysql_select_db($CurDB, $SQLConn);
    if(!$Result) {
        print 'Could not run query: '.mysql_error($SQLConn);
        return Array();
    return $Tables;
function mysql_tablename_OVERRIDE($Result) {
    return $Fields[0]->table;

And here is some test code to confirm functionality:
global $MyConn, $TEST_Table;
function GetResult() {
    global $MyConn, $TEST_Table;
    return mysql_query('SELECT * FROM '.$TEST_Table.' LIMIT 1', $MyConn);
var_dump($MyConn=mysql_connect($TEST_Server, $TEST_UserName, $TEST_Password));
//Set $MyConn to NULL here if you want to test global $SQLLink functionality
var_dump(mysql_select_db($TEST_DB, $MyConn));
var_dump(mysql_query('SELECT * FROM INVALIDTABLE LIMIT 1', $MyConn));
$Result=GetResult(); var_dump(mysql_fetch_row($Result));
$Result=GetResult(); var_dump(mysql_num_fields($Result));
var_dump(mysql_field_len($Result, 0));
var_dump(mysql_field_name($Result, 0));
var_dump(mysql_field_type($Result, 0));
var_dump(mysql_list_fields($TEST_DB, $TEST_Table, $MyConn));
var_dump(mysql_list_tables($TEST_DB, $MyConn));
mysql_query('CREATE TEMPORARY TABLE mysqltest (i int auto_increment, primary key (i))', $MyConn);
mysql_query('INSERT INTO mysqltest VALUES ()', $MyConn);
mysql_query('INSERT INTO mysqltest VALUES ()', $MyConn);
mysql_query('DROP TEMPORARY TABLE mysqltest', $MyConn);
Bullet Help Formatter for Python’s argparse
This is a HelpFormatter for Python’s argparse class which:
  • Takes raw input and wraps long lines to indent against the current line start.
  • When an indented/list line is encountered, which starts with spaces followed by a star "*", wrapped line’s indents will start 2 spaces after the star.
  • Lines attempt to split at words of 10 characters or less (see .MinCharsInSplitWord).
  • If a line needs to split along a word longer than this, a hyphen is inserted at the end of the line.

import argparse
import re
class BulletHelpFormatter(argparse.HelpFormatter):
    def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
        super(BulletHelpFormatter, self).__init__(*args, **kwargs)

    def _split_lines(self, text, width):
        #Split lines around line breaks and then modify each line
        for Line in text.splitlines():
            #Get the number of spaces to put at subsequent lines
            #0 if not a list item, oherwise, 2+list item start
            ListEl=re.match(r'^ *\*', Line)
            NumBeginningSpace=(0 if ListEl==None else ListEl.end()+1)

            #Add extra spaces at the beginning of each line to match the start of the current line, and go to a maxium of $width
                #Get the word break points before and after where the line would end
                MaxLineLen=max(min(width-NumSpacesToAdd, len(Line)), 1)
                for WordBreak in re.finditer(r'(?<=\W).|\W|$', Line):
                    if CurWordBreak>=MaxLineLen:
                        if CurWordBreak==MaxLineLen:

                #If previous wordbreak is more than MinCharsInSplitWord away from MaxLineLen, then split at the end of the line
                IsSplit=(PrevWordBreak<1 or CurWordBreak-PrevWordBreak>self.MinCharsInSplitWord)
                SplitPos=(MaxLineLen if IsSplit else PrevWordBreak)

                #Append the new line to the list of lines
                Lines.append(SpacesToAdd+Line[0:SplitPos]+('-' if IsSplit else ''))

                #If this is the end, nothing left to do
                if len(Line)==0:

                #If this is the first pass, update line creation variables
                if IsFirstPass:
                    SpacesToAdd=(' ' * NumSpacesToAdd)

        return Lines