October 2008 Archives

October 1, 2008

Camo.org Redesigned, Multilingual Site Added

CAMO, or Central American Medical Outreach is a project I got involved with because of my good friend Dan Kelly. The site has been live for over a month now.

It uses MTOS 4.1 and has both Spanish and English sites. Both sides have blogs, too. This means that the people in Honduras can blog in Spanish if they chose to, though I see they have not updated it,

This is another site I only did the coding on, Dan Kelly did the design work. The site is a vast improvement over the existing site, and includes a lot of functions not found on the original site, including a donation form so they can accept credit card donations.

Pro Wedding Entertainent Site Redesigned, Photo Gallery Added

Pro Wedding Entertainment recently relaunched with a new design and new photo gallery. One of the few sites we do in good old Dreamweaver, no CMS to speak of. Gallery added is done in Gallery, which is a nice lightweight photo gallery app.

This is the first time I tried out the Spry validation included in Dreamweaver CS3, and it works pretty easily. Makes for a nice looking form.

Haley Wilkins designed the site, I just did the DW templates. Home page took a bit of work because of the image in the footer, other than that, nothing too fancy. Nice simple site, much easier to read than the one it replaced.

Gems on Display Site and Newsletter Redesigned

Gems on Display has been a big project. The site got a major overhaul graphically, and a number of the shopping cart functions were tweaked, changed, or removed for usability. Haley did the design and Dacor, who hosts the site, made all the shopping cart modifications.

That leaves me in the middle of taking the design from Illustrator and making it work in HTML, adding some nice Jquery effects along the way. The new site is really sharp and something I am very proud of.

Even more proud, however, is the new newsletter, which gets sent to quite a few people monthly. For that we are using PHPList on a dedicated server. It handles the task with ease. I am most proud of this because I was able to get the newsletter to look 99% the same in GMail, Yahoo! Mail, MSN Mail, Apple Mail, Outlook, Entourage, and pretty much any other POP/IMAP mail client.

That is no small feat. It takes a very odd assortment of old school HTML tricks (think nested tables and transparent .gif images) and very basic CSS to pull off and work in all the major free webmail and desktop email clients.

Add to that the fact that PHPList automatically sends out text-based versions for those who do not have (or have it turned off) HTML capabilities in their email client, and this is a vast improvement. The design of the new newsletter mirrors that of the new site design.

Mozilla Thunderbird is SLOW

So, I am still using my dinky Dell laptop, still no MacPro. So Thunderbird is the obvious choice for email, unless I go full out and use Outlook - which I do not want to do, this is a temporary thing. Besides, I like Mozilla and Firefox freakin' rocks.

I have tried out Thunderbird before but never used it on a daily basis. Well I can tell you from using it for about a week that it is bloody slow! I upgraded to the latest version. And it still displays, and most annoyingly, deleted emails from the list slower than... paint dries.

I mean click or select emails, hit 'delete' key, wait five to ten seconds, and then finally watch the junk go *poof* from your inbox.

Outlook 2003 on this Dell does not lag like this. So now I deleted Thunderbird entirely from my computer and am now using Outlook until I get my MacPro.

Elgg 1.0 Install Script is Finicky as Hell

EDIT 2: It bleeping works. I honestly do not know how the installer can work at meancode.biz and have access to mod_rewrite and that .htaccess file and not have the correct access/privileges to mod_rewrite and the .htaccess file on spoiledlittlebitch.com. For that, I have no answer. To fix my problem I *DID NOT* do what the Wiki said to do (it says to add

AllowOverride all
to .htaccess which breaks the entire domain giving me a wonderful error 500) but did manually copy the entire htaccess_dist into my .htaccess file. It should be noted that for my first install, I *DID NOT* have to do that.

EDIT: This has been documented. Though I do not understand how this could be an issue with my mod_rewrite, as meancode.biz and spoiledlittlebitch.com are on the same bleeping account.

So I installed Elgg 1.0 the other day as a test. Went by with flying colors. Add the MySQL info, done.

Not so today. Since I am installing it on the same account, just a different domain, I figured I would try and use the same database. I can do this with Movable Type, it is a great feature. Just point a fresh install to an existing (good) database, and you are set.

Continue reading "Elgg 1.0 Install Script is Finicky as Hell" »

Don't Vote

October 3, 2008

Twitter needs categorization in the form of sets

Since a lot of news sites are using Microblogging as another way to get their headlines out, I think Twitter needs to adapt to this change too.

I think it would be very beneficial to the overall design if you could create "sets" of people you follow. This is similar in design to how Facebook and now MySpace has introduced sets of users.

This would allow a Twitter user create a set of news sources, a set of close friends, a set of co-workers, etc. and be able to switch between them.

This would be mondo excellent for people who follow hundreds if not thousands of other twitter users.

October 5, 2008

Mac Pro has been ordered

As of October 2 my newest Mac has been ordered, a Mac Pro. This will be my first Intel-based Mac. Considering how fast our office Intel iMac is, I can't wait. I should have it before Friday. Here are the full specs.

Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon (8-core)
2GB (2 x 1GB)
500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB (Two dual-link DVI)
Two 16x SuperDrives
AirPort Extreme card (Wi-Fi)
Apple Mighty Mouse
Apple Keyboard (English) + User's Guide
Accessory kit
AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac Pro

I don't like the mighty mouse at all, but at least it has two buttons. I hate the touch sensitive "buttons" though, and I am not sure if I will use the new keyboard either. We have the new style keyboard on the office iMac and it is too low profile for my tastes.

October 6, 2008

Time Warner Cable, not very proactive

So my cable modem has been working like crap lately. Have had to reset it once a day, sometimes more, because I could not get on the Internet.

I finally called them and find out that my modem is in "very bad health" and that the green/yellow/red indicator light for the health of my modem is in the red zone. Really nice of them to tell me.

I could have someone come out or I could just take it down to the TWC store and swap it out. I chose to go down to the store, as I don't want to wait four days for the appointment and have to be home "between 9 and 5" for the guy to show up at 4:58 PM.

While swapping out and getting a new cable modem the lady at the desk tells me that my account has "old codes" on it and that she is updating my billing, and it will save me $5 a month. I was "grandfathered in" and was under a plan they no longer use. Really, I wonder how long I could have been saving $5 a month. Scratch that, I do not want to know.

So not only does TWC not tell you when they know well and good when THEIR cable modem is failing on you, but I would not have gotten $5 off a month had I not made the trip the TWC store. So, why the hell couldn't the CSR I talked to on the phone have caught the fact that I was not on the correct monthly plan? Gee, I wonder.

Really wonderful ISP, that.

Always tastes better when it's free

As I walk into McDonalds today I see J.D. Pooley taking photos of the new McCafe setup (think Starbucks inside McDonalds, which is very odd since the new store layout seems very Starbucks-y) and J.D. says "hey you gotta try one of these."

I ended up getting a free mocha for free out of it. Right place, right time. Of course it helps knowing the photogs at the local paper, too.

The bestest FedEx delivery person EVAR!

This is a pretty good story. FedEx tried to deliver a package to my office this morning (my Mac Pro) at 8:45 AM. No one was there, the intern doesn't get there until 9, and I am sure haley got there at a similar time.

But since the FedEx delivery lady knows me (I get a lot of games delivered via FedEx) she drove over to my apartment and knocked on my door.

Shocked, stunned, I said yes please leave them here! I sign for them, and I have my Mac Pro today instead of having to wait until tomorrow. I just wish I knew her name. Because she is the best FedEx delivery person ever! Major kudos for getting my computer to me this morning.

New Mac Pro, missing backed up files

Got my Mac Pro this morning. That is like opening your gifts at Christmas of course. Plug in my external firewire drive that I had The Answer Factory copied from my semi-FUBAR drives, and there is nothing in my Home directory, save for the Desktop folder. Well, I need that, but Documents and Library are a bit more important.

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October 7, 2008

"That One," McCain Calls Obama In Debate (VIDEO)

From The Huffington Post:

Very, very dehumanizing. I mean forget race even.

October 8, 2008

Adobe CS3, Office, Spam Sieve Setup

Yesterday saw some real work done. I got Adobe CS3 installed (just in time for CS4 to come out!) and Office 2008 installed. That was a nightmare. Take a look at this MacFixIt article to see my pain.

Spam Sieve is going to take a bit of re-training. It is a little to aggressive right now, but that is not really a bad thing. Going through an inbox of 17 days of email (both legit and some spam that was not caught) is going to take forever. I started by weeding out the false-positives and classifying them as good mail. Always get a lot of false-positives at the very beginning.

Setting up a machine from scratch takes a lot of time. Next up I need to get FileMaker Advanced setup and updated, as well as smaller apps like Transmit, Toast, Suitcase, etc.

October 9, 2008

From Now On, It's Amazon Reviews Only

Why would you go anywhere else other than Amazon for your review needs? I mean, look at this epic review for the 360 version of Fracture:

i got game soon and i dont like well. Guys shot dont fall down and grond moves around an stuff. i dont rent i buy an i no happy. it ok if u not smart or kid but i adult an i return. Ok good but no ok good just ok good. Get.

That's awesome, but so is this equally amazing response from a reader:

you're reviews suck; not little suck; big suck; you go back to cave and try to make fire. no push green button on x-box. no go to gamestore and buy game. just make fire and think about where next meal will come from. maybe da dumpster?


October 16, 2008

Special Comment to McCain: Get Control of your Campaign

I have a lot of respect for Keith Olbermann, he is a solid broadcaster. Today my dad sent me this story from the Canton Rep: Stark matters: Hate-inciting tactics no laughing matter.

Now for the Keith Olbermann clip:

October 21, 2008

Understanding Real America in Wasilla

October 23, 2008

LittleBigPlanet Patch NOT out in North America Yet (But Europe has it)

You know, sometimes the likes of Joystiq and Kotaku really irritate me. They copy each others posts and don't try and do a bit of research.

LittleBigPlanet has been patched, in EUROPE. I don't know how many days, I don't know how many times, I don't even know all the features that were added (or or specific songs were altered).

I have heard from others that 1.02 is out and that takes the song out, but I cannot verify that.

What I can verify is that the patch is not out in North America. Not last night when Kotaku reported it, not today when Joysti reported it.

Can we all try and be clear in our headlines and posts, and state that the patch is out now in EUROPE?


October 26, 2008

LittleBigPlanet 1.02 Patch hits North America

Hey look Europe, we can has patches too! Yes, we finally get the LittleBigPlanet 1.02 patch as of this AM, early AM. This must mean the servers for the game are up? I hope so. Once this 57 MB is done downloading and installing I will find out. Bye Bye "offensive" music and hello instrumental track!

... and servers are not up yet. Close though. Do not get an error 402 any more. And now when I try and go to the InfoMoon it tells me I must agree to the EULA, but cannot connect to the EULA, and then gives me another generic "a problem occured when attempting to connect..."

*big sigh*

October 27, 2008


Sony sure is doing a good job! They must have learned so much from the beta. Stuff about user demand, provisioning of servers, stuff like that. Well that all went to shit today as I cannot do anything online in LittleBigPlanet.

I cannot publish a level. When tried Quick Play I stared at a white screen for a while before it loaded a level - with no one in it but me. Playing that level was very, very laggy. And please let me remind you that I was the only one in it.

Many people cannot connect at all. It took me about 10 tries. Let me put this better into perspective for you. I logged into Movable Type, created a new entry, and have typed all this since I tried to play a community level. Just now it has told me it failed to load the level. Play Online is the default, it seems I can play it alone, but that is not the point. Scratch that. I just tried another community level multiple times and it failed to load too.

Trying to publish my level again gives me the same error again. Please try again later I am told. Now I am trying to play a main story level online. So far it has loaded and the only way I can describe it as a slide show. A high-def slide show, but a slide show.

The Game leader has left. You are now the Game leader. Well that is great but it does not let me hit the OK button to dismiss the message. The Game leader has left. What? It just told me I was the game reader. Now I think I am in the level by myself.

The windmills here in Skate o Victory are not moving as fast as they usually do. So not only do we have severe frame drops, we have slowdown even when one SackPerson is on the screen.

I can't even seem to navigate around the in-game News without things locking up on me for a little bit.

Fine. Screw this. LittleBigWasteOfTime.

October 30, 2008

The CyberDuckie Song by Ann and Ken

I am a huge fan of Transmit. I love it, well worth the money spent years ago. But on our Intern's iMac, we have Cyberduck. It is free and it is good for being free.

In the office the other day we started singing the rubber duckie song (no I do not know why). So I chimed in "CyberDuckie, you're the one, You make FTP-ing lots of fun"

Ann finished off the song. She must have been bored out of her mind. Find it after the jump.

Continue reading "The CyberDuckie Song by Ann and Ken" »

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