Country Selection list with State and Province selections

[UPDATE] Comments are closed on this topic – Should you spot any mistakes or if I have missed a province/state – please email me at michael [at] darwinshome [dot] za [dot] net

Country State XML exampleI have been looking all over the Internet for an AJAX or similar dynamic drop down tool for Country and Province/State selection (You select a country from a drop down list and the country/state drop down selection automatically populates with that countries list of provinces or states)

The good news is I found various versions, from ASP.NET controls, to simple JavaScript files, but the catch was that although I had the tool, the tool, didn’t have all the counties of the world, never mind their respective states or provinces.

So after much trawling, and searching, I have a complete world country list (including Antarctica) with their respective states and I have placed them all together into an XML file for ease of development use:

– [download#4] - [29.3 KB ZIP file]

Please leave a comment should any errors exist in the file, from broken XML, to incorrect spelling, to having a province not listed, I will fix it if it checks out.

Hope it helps.

[EDIT1 11/03/2008] – Removed Yugoslavia. Changed “Macedonia, Former Yugoslav Republic of” to “Macedonia”. Added Serbia and Montenagro, with states. Thank you omBRE for pointing out my error on the NoBox Media blog.

[EDIT2 24/04/2008] – Corrected spelling of Antarctica (Thanks Ryan) and updated the “Regions” in New Zealand (Thanks David for pointing that out over on the NoBox Media blog).

[EDIT2 08/05/2008] – Corrected spelling of Czech Republic, Thanks Tim.

License and Copyright:
The country and province names in the file are public domain.
XML file in its current format is licensed to Michael John Grove under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 South Africa License.


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
 There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

Wordle:  A Return to Love

A Return to Love using Wordle

The small car crash I had

For those of you that either view my Flickr page you would have already seen the state of my poor car. For those of you that haven’t here are the details of the incident (as requested by friends), as well as a link to the images. (Incidentally – the car is now fixed)

Four week-ends past myself and my fiancee were on our way out of the local Shopping Mall – This particular shopping mall only has pay parking available; This incident occurred on a busy Saturday while we were waiting, in my car, in the queue to exit through one of the exit booms.

A blue Opel joins the queue behind me.
A white bakkie (pickup truck for my American friends) – with the shopping malls private security company tags on the side – screeches to a stop behind the blue Opel.
One of the security guards jumps out of the Bakkie and with a rubber mallet starts breaking the rear windows of the Blue Opel – This scares the hell out of most of the shoppers in the area as it appears to be a vehicle hijacking.
The blue Opel – in an attempt to escape the security – pulls forward (towards my rear bumper) I in-turn move forward and to the right to avoid the blue Opel from rear-ending my car.
The Security guard (still on foot) continues to chase the blue Opel.
The Driver of the Blue Opel (in apparent panic) accelerates and impacts my car on the front passenger door.
The blue Opel continues past my car, and escapes the Mall security by ramming the exit boom and an additional security Gate.

Turns out the people in the blue Opel had stolen merchandise from various stores within the mall, and the mall security had been chasing them for 5 minutes within the complex parking lot before the guys finally escaped out the gate – the Metro Police Department apprehended the thieves 10min later down one of the motorways.

The results of the impact to my door are available for view here.

The quest for the perfect….

The not so Google approachI was thinking of making the title of this post “The quest for the perfect burger” just because I know the quest for the perfect burger is easier than the near on impossible quest for the perfect piece of code; but burgers (as tasty as they are) just don’t fit with this post.

In my work, I have recently been shipped into the cold storage unit called the server room – this being the only place where there are NO disturbances from other staff – and from this new cold location I am to develop/change/optimize/fix an existing system for our company.

This isn’t such a bad thing, I can deal with the cold, I like being on my own (sometimes) and the system is workable – so optimizing it is ok. The drawback is that the system is HUGE, and the company also wants new features designed, developed and implemented in this system – and the time frame given to me for this massive 6 to 8 month project – 2 weeks.

So here lies my quest – for that one piece of code that will make my life easier… slowly but surely I will either find it (Google is my friend), or in a “Eureka” type moment realize what it is I actually need.

Excuse me while I stress a little during the interim.

Overzealous checks

I recently downloaded a copy of Microsoft Office 2007 Professional.

During the download, Microsoft emailed the trial licence key to my Hotmail email account.

Microsoft Error

Turns out Microsoft’s Hotmail service does not like its Try Microsoft Office service. (Attachments, pictures, and links in this message have been blocked for your safety: This message may be dangerous)

Really? Maybe Microsoft Licence keys are dangerous.

New home – Work in Progress – Vol 2

I am now officially a painter, plumber, electrician, tiler (or whatever you call the person that installs ceramic tiles) and a cabinet maker.

So far these two weeks I have painted all the walls in my new place, painted the ceiling, re-tiled the shower floor, installed a new kitchen sink and counter top, fixed various plug points and light fittings, installed a new shower door, and moved in most of my boxes.

Now all that is left is to install curtain rails, paint the newly sealed bathroom ceiling, get the new carpets installed and unpack boxes and move furniture out of the corner it’s stacked in.

I will take more pictures tonight, but I have added a couple more on my flickr account.

New home – Work in Progress – Vol 1

Got the keys to my new home on Monday night and went to take a look (first time to view the place for me – I trusted my Fianceés judgement) – And I am very very happy with the place.

With a new coat of paint, general cleaning, new carpets, a couple of new fittings and our personal touch – this new house will feel like it is our new home and I am happy.

Will be taking pictures of the painting and fixing process, and the garden, when I get a chance.

Kitchen - Click to view more
Click on the above image to view more.

Twitter VS Jaiku

Jaiku LogoWhen people talk about the number of fans Leo Laporte of TWiT has you don’t really comprehend the numbers until he posts something like this and the majority of his ‘TWiT Army’ decideds to follow suit.

twitter logo Late last night I watched this effect first hand as people read Leo’s post and created Jaiku accounts, I watched as the Jaiku developers scrambled for their notebooks to make changes to cater for this mass mobilisation to their network. Jaiku wasn’t ready for this, but they managed, and they still seem to be going fine.

Now for the comparisson.

Twitter is fast, and allows for multiple notification options (IM, web and Mobile), currently Jaiku only offers email notifications, but seems just as fast.
– A debatable difference, but I prefer the look of Jaiku, twitter has always seemed half done to me.
– Comments are definitely done better in Jaiku, although just as confusing as twitter when reading the public timeline / post list.
– I currently prefer the twitter badges for my blog, people are able to view more than just one of my posts from twitter. Jaiku allows only one.
– Jaiku offers icons to go along with your posts; this is a neat little feature to add some emphasis to some of my posts.
– Currently there are more desktop utilities for twitter.
– There is no way to view how many followers I have in Jaiku, yes this prevents follower envy (something that has formed in twitter) but having this feature for private viewing only may be a good idea for the Jaiku developers to add.
– The feeds feature in Jaiku is great, I can even add twitter feeds, so if I want to carry on viewing what my non-moving friends are doing on twitter, I add the feed and viola – I get the tweets.

I believe that twitter has a large enough fan base to maintain afloat, this wont kill it (yet?), and those movers that are sceptical of Jaiku because of missing feature will have their doubts quelled when Jaiku releases similar tools. I think this move by Leo fans has been huge for any site to take, (losing or gaining) and the next couple of weeks will see if there is a clear winner, or a begrudging tie.

“Hey you! Stop that!”

Would this work here, in a busy SA street?

The UK is adding loud speakers to its public camera system to allow the watching controllers to tell people to stop misbehaving. I think the first few times would scare the person into stopping, but what if they don’t understand English? Or what if the person breaking the law ignores it, send out the flying squad?

This 500 000 UK pound project will see many more cameras with speaker attachments in the UK, lets hope it’s money well spent.

EMI Removes DRM

If this story had been released yesterday I would have thought it was an April Fools joke.

Today, Apple and EMI announced higher quality, DRM FREE music available for download from iTunes. (DRM music will still be available from EMI, but only in lower quality formats)

This has got to be the biggest step towards a better managed digital music era than any other to date, I can picture Tom, Molly and Veronica jumping for joy, mores the pity South Africa still can’t use the iTunes store.

Weddings (No Fool)

A year of weddings it seems…

So far my life has had very few weddings, I have attended my parents church wedding (they were married by court originally), an uncles and a best friends. So for those of you counting I have attended 3 in my 26 years on this earth.

Now within 30 days I will be attending three more. Last night was the first, a good friend and co-workers. (all the best Briggsie 🙂 ) The next will be one of my fianceés extended family, and then in two weeks time will be another good friends big day. When it rains, it pours.

And to think it’s less than 5 months until my very own wedding.

Paperless office? Not with Gmail.

Goggle Mail has released Gmail paper, a button on your emails that you to request a paper copy of the document from Goggle. Google prints the document (with adverts printed on the back of the paper to accommodate costs) and posts the documents to you.

So all those people that miss paper in today’s modern e-mail driven paperless office can get a whole pile of paper documents to file – or to crumple up and throw in the bin.
Interesting concept and they say it’s safe for the environment.

More details on Google’s new system here

Of course this is most problably an April fools joke, but I like the idea 🙂

First YouTube Awards – Results

YouTube have announced the winners of the first YouTube awards yesterday.

Ask a Ninja Video

Not surprisingly, Ask a Ninja came out tops in the Best Series category. Two other YouTube videos that I remember as being very good, but forgot about during voting time was Here it Goes Again in the most creative category, and Kiwi! in the most adorable category (I still feel for the sweet thing)

Now all we are waiting for is the first pictures of the awards themselves.

360 gets beefed up

What was just a rumor yesterday has been confirmed, Microsoft will be releasing the XBOX 360 Elite version (but only in limited stock format ~100 000 units).

So what makes the 360 Elite so special from its premium partner; well the 120 gigabyte hard drive (as opposed to the normal 20 gig), and the HDMI enabled output and connectivity, and the cherry on the top: the 360 Elite is Black!

Early guestimates are indicating that this will upset some of the early adopters of the current 360 models, but with only limited numbers, I foresee great difficulty for most people to get one even if they can afford the $479 price tag.

[Originally spotted at Engadget]

Google gives Backgrounds

For all the users using the personalized Google homepage, they now have the option to customize the background with a theme. It seems Google finally realized that people like to make things there own, even though the plain white background has been fine for most users for almost a decade now.

My personal favorite out of the currently six available themes : Sweet Dreams

[Google Blog entry]


Not a day after I listen to a TWiT podcast almost entirely about Twitter, and about 20 minutes after I read an article about the huge uptake of Twitter, does Tom, one of my close friends, invite me to it.

I feel a bit like a sheep. With a MySpace account (Which I never use), a LiveJournal account (which I should update more often), a Blog, a Virb Account, a Flickr account, a YouTube account and a Digg account…

Ok, I’m not part of every single Web 2.0 social network available and I AM part of the web 2.0 generation, so it is sort of a given that I belong to a few of these sites; I mean, feeling a little like a sheep following the flock didn’t stop me from joining the club. Maybe I should start my own social network, maybe my idea will take off and make money for me too.

Thanks to Leo for warning me about the mobile phone bill… before I activated the feature in Twitter.