Articles about cool

These are articles relating to things I consider cool.

Christmas Tree

Ever wondered if your Christmas Tree is really any good? Well last weekend I decided to make a website for this purpose. It's just a bit of fun really! You login using your Facebook credentials (using Facebook Connect) and can create Chrismas Tree posts by linking to Flickr or Facebook photo's. You can then vote on your favourite tree's in an "A vs B" type match. If you like the sound of this and fancy something a bit festive, please give it a go and let me know if you have any thoughts! Head over to Rate My Christmas Tree :-)

As part of my RSS reading, Smashing Magazine is rapidly becoming something I look forward to reading. Every month they do a roundup of desktop wallpapers which include a calendar and are, in some way, seasonal. This month is no exception! They have a fantastic selection of christmassy wallpapers for you to chose from and they're all free!

Recently at work we had been having issues with spiking server load. One of the potential suspects was the Apache configuration as it was allowing 256 MaxClients. Combine that with Drupal eating RAM for breakfast (say a minimum of 12Mb per page) and you have a recipe for disaster - too many visitors cause a RAM shortage, lots of swapping and eventually a server meltdown. After speaking the Rackspace Technical Support Team, one of the guys there (Daniel) wrote a VERY useful script for us to run on the server to monitor Apache usage.

MySQL and Drupal

Following on from my Numbering Rows in MySQL article, today I needed to populate the weight column of the term_data table for about a hundred terms so that they incremented in alphabetical order. This was, on the face of it, a very tedious task; click edit, select weight from drop-down, submit, 'goto 1'.

As I said in my Numbering Rows in MySQL article, I don't like tedious - but I do like over-complicated methods which actually make my life more interesting and less tedious... Enter a nifty MySQL script!

Apache Logo

I recently needed to force a PDF to download using Apache. The default behaviour for most browsers is to try to open the PDF inside the browser itself. This is fine for a small PDF or for powerful machines - but a large PDF on even a modest machine can often lock the browser up. This needed fixing!

After 20 minutes of perusing the Apache documents, I happened across the FilesMatch option which takes Regular Expressions. Regular Expressions are cool things which pattern match; you give it a rather complicated (yet logical) pattern and it matches it for you. Initially I used something like this...

Themes 4 Ur Mobile Phone

Are you in need of free Nokia N95 themes? I think I might have found just the site for you. has just released a new section dedicated for Nokia N95 Themes - and they're all FREE!

A while ago I write a blog article about Free Nokia N73 Themes and it has proven very popular. I'm personally thinking about getting an N95 and this is definately going to be the site I use to customise it!

I've only seen Most Haunted a few times on TV and generally thought it was pretty poor. My opinion was based on the grounds that if you place a group of people in a dark and creaky house, tell them there are ghosts, turn the lights out and pay them to scream at a camera then they're bound to... well.. scream at the camera. I'm clearly not the only one who thinks this!

Now this video might not be to everyone's taste - so if you dont like Fart Jokes, it wont be for you!

I recently launched a Drupal Codebase site for a programming community and wanted to have the user profiles to be more than just a "signed up on..." and a Tracker Tab. I wanted them to have structured and customisable blocks, dynamic content, a Peer to Peer Message Board (almost finished)... I can have my dreams cant I?!

I recently wrote a book page on how to programmatically create a view. I wanted to do this as it would allow to me control almost an entire website with multiple content types, terms and users (as well as combinations of the three) along with RSS feeds - all powered by the Views Module + a bolt on module consisting mostly of a menu callback and a function to make and configure a view. This worked pretty well for a first try and principle test!

I then realised - hey, if you can do this with Views - why cant you do it with Panels too? Panels are fantastically useful for structuring multiple blocks, views and nodes onto a page. So I tried… And you can!

Drupal Grep

I recently needed to find out a list of modules which used hook_cron. I have SSH access to my server. Instead of writing a module (or using devel to execute some PHP) which returned the result of module_implements, I turned to grep. Simply cd into your modules folder (can be the Drupal install, but you end up recursing through unlikely folders) and run this:

grep -R "^function.*_cron" *module

After my girlfriend started showing an interest in photography I decided to buy her a new camera as a surprise. I chose the Canon EOS 400D and she has had it for almost 3 weeks now and already she has come up with some STUNNING photo's.

Her first shots with it were wildlife and nature based…

A friend sent me a link to one of those optical illusion thingies. I'm often very sceptical of them however upon inspection, this one seemed different and legitimate. I don't think its fake - but I equally don't understand why its screws with your eye's so much! Here are the instructions from the website…

After looking through the list of mentors for this years Google Summer of Code I noticed that I have been paired up with a fellow Drupal-eer called kkafer for the project we chose to mentor (I'm probably not allowed to publicly say yet, so I wont). Anywho - in a quest to find out a little more about this 'German gentleman' I decided to pop over to his Blog and, while having a little read through, I found that he'd bloged about this YouTube video regarding the difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.

At the first race of the FIA Formula 1 season, David Coulthard seems to have been drinking too much of his sponsor's (Redbull) product. He tried to pull off an absolutely ridiculous move on Alexander Wurz which ended up with him being launched, literally, off the cockpit of Wurz's car!

Pongis Screenshot

I've just released a new game - its a VERY simple adaptation of the classic, pong, but it has a twist in the form of tennis. You must rally the ball back and forth - the ball gaining speed slightly on every return. Players win points (and serve) by knocking the ball past their opponent, either through a cunning move or by making them lose out in a game of reactions.

Checkout the game here - Pongis - Where Pong Meets Tennis

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