Witty and insightful observations on the world? Sorry to disappoint, this is a techie blog purely for self reference - published online in the hope it will help others!

Getting back into shape

So after almost 3 years of parenthood and slowly getting more and more unfit and sluggish I decided last February to get myself back in the gym and get fit again. It was a pretty slow process, started off in the pool for a few months, then into the gym. Now feeling great, fitter than I've ever been I'd say (even when I was very fit at the end of my twenties). The office I'm in is pretty focussed on health and fitness, we eat healthily during the day, no snacks and no sugar. Given what we do (and what the e-commerce sites are based on) we take supplements of various sorts. I take test boosters, mixing it up between TestoFuel ... Read more

Thanks to Peter Walker

What a gentleman. First time anyone has ever bought me a beer (or anything for that matter!) for a blog post that I've written. So props to Peter Walker from Gogeye Design in Epping for buying me a beer for some tips on Isotope Filters. And wouldn't you know it, he even went for the more expensive Heineken at the Swan rather than a Baltika at Leeds Train Station. What a star! Here's to you Peter. He's a freelancer multimedia designer and developer, find out more about him here -> Web Design Epping. It's inspired me to start blogging again, so I'd better think of something good to get back into the swing. Read more

Igniyte, Guide to Personal Online Reputation

This is a post penned by my good friend Simon Wadsworth at igniyte.com - he's the man to talk to about any online reputation management issues you might be faced with either as an individual or a corporate body. His contact details are at the bottom; ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Defamatory or negative comments online content can cause distress, reputation issues and loss of business for some people. Negative content online causes pressure not only directly to individuals, but to their friends, family and colleagues. The majority of our customers are high profile individuals and companies (from small start-up businesses to huge global corporations). Igniyte receives a high number of enquiries from individuals who need help with specific issues they have been facing ... Read more

Enable SOAP on Media Temple DV Managed

Media Temple's knowledgebase has a good article on how to enable SOAP on a DV Managed server; https://kb.mediatemple.net/questions/1947/Configure+PHP+with+SOAP#dv_managed However, when you get to the section that says NOTE: If you receive an error similar to the following, you will need to install libxml2: You might also encounter the following error (as I did); no acceptable C compiler found in $PATH The answer to this is lies in the comments section of this Stackoverflow answer. Basically you need to install a precomiled version of gcc, so if you are using a Fedora based OS like me that would be; I then got the libxml2 issue, solved as pe the Media Temple docs with; yum ... Read more

Magento URL Rewrites – custom url redirect for CMS page

OK, so why this post? Well there just wasn't very much (or indeed anything at all) on this in Google when I looked. There is loads on how to use Magento's built in url rewrite system from teh backend. And there's loads on Stackoverflow and Alan Storm's blog on how to create a custom controller to over ride the PageController and IndexController. Nothing on how to just create a custom redirect for a cms page though. I needed to do this because I am doing a project with Peter Warren at Synoptive (Magento product configurators) on a Magento multistore. It is for United Carports (custom built carports), I've made ... Read more

Enabling and using ImageMagick in PHP on Plesk 11

I am currently building a configurator in Magento - it's a native configurator using Magento's custom options on a simple product coupled with some javascript which I've coded up on separate custom product/view-custom.phtml and product/view/media-custom.phtml templates (applied to a specific product using this technique -> http://prattski.com/2010/11/04/magento-use-different-template-files-for-specific-products/). The concept is simple enough but I have had to create a script to generate all the images. I've used PEAR Math Combinatorics to handle all the images configurations but that involved enabling ImageMagick on the server. What a struggle that's been. Honestly, I couldn't be a server admin, desperate stuff. Anyway..... Maybe this might help some other poor unfortunate like myself a few frustrating hours. Read more

Setting up WordPress Subdomain Multisite in Hetzner Plesk 11

For anybody using a Hetzner VPS running Plesk 11 who needs to install Wordpress Multisite in wildcard subdomain mode - this post is for you :) (and indeed me, when I come to do it again and can't remember how I got it working in the first instance). There is quite a well written and extensive post in the Codex about getting the wordpress multisite setup; http://codex.wordpress.org/Configuring_Wildcard_Subdomains_for_multi_site_under_Plesk_Control_Panel First of all you need your DNS setup on the main domain being used for the install. I'll be honest here, I've never quite got my head around the Hetzner robot and it's relationship with the DNS records set in Plesk so I tend to go for a belt and braces approach to things and ... Read more

New Site Launched

No blog can be without the obligatory 'New Site launched' post. Maybe I should do as many clients do - I'll delete all the other posts in this blog and just have this one, advertising the new blog. Leave it there for two years on it's ownsome talking about all the upcoming news and activity which never happened. Incidentally - if you are a client with an empty, tumbleweed strewn blog, and if you can't find the time to write and optimise your posts...stop being mean and hire a copy writer to do it for you. It might cost you less than you think and you'll have properly written material, which has been carefully thought out and properly optimised. ... Read more

@font-face on Android

First there was the smiley face hack, then came Mo' Bulletproof. The latest incarnation of 'How to get @font-face declarations working across all browsers' doesn't have a cool moniker as far as I'm aware, but here's some gen on how to go about it. First of all, this one will work fine - but not on Android devices; @font-face { font-family: 'Din'; src: url('../fonts/din_eng_webfont.eot'); src: url('../fonts/din_eng_webfont.eot?#iefix') format('embedded-opentype'), url('../fonts/din_eng_webfont.woff') format('woff'), url('../fonts/din_eng_webfont.ttf') format('truetype'), url('../fonts/din_eng_webfont.svg#Din') format('svg'); font-weight: normal; ... Read more

Custom Facebook Feed based on Graph API

First of all, this is a copy of my Stackoverflow answer here; I really dislike Facebook. They constantly change the way things are done and make it difficult for developers to work out what the changes are and what the new methods should be. Designers don't really appreciate this, they just stick in custom facebook feeds on their scamps, the clients love them and then we have to work out how to do it! It used to be easy to access an RSS feed from a public Facebook page. In truth it still is, the reason it can be hard for some is that all the blog posts and resources are out of date on it ('how ... Read more