Sep 172013
Linux Mint Logo

Linux Mint is absolutely beautiful. Lately, I have been using it for a development environment using Eclipse, Mercurial and PHP. While the road has been slightly wobbly, the whole idea has come together rather neatly by now. It’s actually quite easy to do so, if you keep some hurdles in mind. Some of these are my own mistakes, typos and being-too-damn-stubborn-to-read-popups and some are someone else’s fault. Honestly!

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Jun 222013

So recently I have been hearing things about a new update for Terraria, the 1.2 version. Apparently, after abandoning the game entirely, the developer finally developed a sense of guilt and came back to develop the updates he promised before. Later, the new update has been confirmed officially and while no release date was given (“when it’s done”) it still looks really promising. For more information, which I’m too lazy to steal, take a look at the right Terraria wiki.

Feb 092013

Search Engine Optimization is interesting. For China Link World, I have been busy with some basic SEO to make sure that Aixia’s site ends up as high as possible in Google. For now, the focus will remain on Google, even though our target audience comes from China and is more likely to use Baidu. Sad thing is, being unable to read Chinese, I can’t really dive into SEO for Baidu. But that’s something we will just have to live with for now.

Google search result for "Chinese Au Pair"

Google search result for “Chinese Au Pair”

But for anyone wanted to have a good start at Google SEO, please take a look at Google’s own starter guide for SEO. It has helped me immensely and thanks to this guide we are now at the third place in the Dutch Google ranking for Chines au pair. Yay!

The hard part is, however, dealing with a multilingual site. Our site is active in three different languages; Chinese, English and Dutch. For a proper user experience, handling the language definition in a cookie is usually the most elegant solution. However, this makes the non-default languages harder to find using Google because the GoogleBot doesn’t seem to give a care about cookies. A more SEO-friendly solution would be to include the language definition in the URI, but then we need to make some changes so the user experience remains consistent and we don’t end up with broken links somewhere. Like I said; interesting.

Jun 052012
Fluttershy is best pony!

Fluttershy is best pony!

Here is a neat little trick one can use to scale images in CSS to ratio. The trick works with the max-width and max-height CSS attributes.

Take the image to the right of here, with the dimensions 288 × 338. It has conveniently been thumbnailed by WordPress, but you can see that the thumbnail does not show the full picture. The thumbnail itself is set to 150 × 150 and to preserve any quirkiness with ratios, WordPress does not use scaling. Instead, WordPress generates a hard thumbnail of 150 × 150 which clips a part of the picture. With some proper CSS it is possible however, to use proper scaling. The advantage of this, is that the scaling can be generic and thus you can put any picture you want in it. It also requires no hard thumbnails to be made, so you dont have to worry about image editing, polluting your hosting space with thumbnails and managing said thumbnails. The disadvantage is, however, that the scaling uses the full image in all it’s bandwidth-absorbing glory. It also become messy when trying to fit images that are taken with a different orientation. (vertical versus horizontal) Continue reading »

Mar 262012
Arduino Serial Stream Communcation Project

Well, today I managed to get things going with my Arduino. As a modern-era software developer my usual modus operandi involves object in one form or another. It can be quite graceful (C++) to extravagant (C# and Java) to harsh (Python) and even downright perverse (PHP5). Still, it’s a nice and clean way to work when it’s not implemented as an afterthought. (That means you, PHP5) Thankfully, the Arduino integrated language has some proper OO in it and today I decided to take it for a spin. Behold!

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Mar 192012

A few days ago I finished Mass Effect 3. It was lauded as one of the more epic RPGs of all time; it’s predecessors setting a trend for a classy yet harsh science-fiction story. Over the course of the past two games, one had the ability to import their Space Jesus (aka, Commander Sheppard) from game to game to game. In the end, I started Mass Effect three with a quirky default character called John Sheppard who had a history of being snarky yet saintly. So far, so good; the idea worked just fine in Mass Effect 2; your choices in the first game had significant repercussions in the second game. So, with hope for another glorious installment of storytelling and gaming, I began my game of Mass Effect 3… Continue reading »

Mar 182012
When in doubt, post boobies!

Quite a few things have happened in the past few months, though I have put down most of it on my other site. And sadly, for anything besides that, not much really interesting has happened. Then again, a certain level of interesting-ness is not really a criteria for in- or exclusion on this site. Suffice to say, Mass Effect 3 was disappointing, jMeter is a horrible atrocity and anyone involved in making that abomination should be banned from ever using a computer, Western Digital earned some sleazy brownie points for making a sleek streaming HD content player, I have become a brony, HTC sucks at the bluetooth and it’s easier to find a proper enclosure for a borderline polar bear with a minigun than for an Arduino..

Okay, maybe I should update more often. I will consider it a sort of backlog for me to catch up on!