Friday, August 22, 2008

CSS - good practices and optimisations

Smashing Magazine (always great info on CSS), has the following articles

Also, Antonio Lupetti has put together some great info on how to organise CSS, here and here.

There is also this older article that has good info/advice on a wide range of CSS-related matters.

If you have any info on any of the above, please enter it in this entry's comments

ps: Comments and/or links to this article are most welcome! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bare metal provisioning

LinMin allows you to do Bare Metal Provisioning of Linux and Windows servers.
It allows unattended installation of OS and apps, as well as plain vanilla disk imaging.

"Bare Metal" provisioning refers to the process of installing an operating system (and often applications, data, configurations, scripts) onto a system that doesn't have an operating system installed on its hard disk.
and it can also provision VMs, as well as physical servers.

ps: Comments and/or links to this article are most welcome! 

nice new dev snippets site

The guys at devsnippets have put together a great Online Code Snippet Gallery!

It looks quite neat!
It is always good to see new, useful sites.

ps: Comments and/or links to this article are most welcome!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

DSLR review reference site

The guys at DSLR Map: a DSLR Review Guide have a well-organised list of reviews for a number of DSLRs.

For every camera, they have some general info, as well as a table of all reviews. This gives you a chance to get more than one review and make up your own mind on the good/bad points of each camera.

Of course, there is always dpreview, dcresource and Steve's Digicams but the above site provides links to other review sites as well.

Head over and have a look.

Friday, August 15, 2008


If you need to create PDF files from PHP, head over to FPDF and look at their library.
It is free and works well.
Here is a quick suck-n-see example:

require_once('fpdf.php'); $testPDF =new FPDF(); $testPDF->AddPage('P'); // add a Portrait page $testPDF->SetFont('Courier', 'BUI', 24); // set Courrier, bold + italic + underline, 24points $testPDF->Cell(50, 5, 'Yiassou Nafti!'); $testPDF->Output(); ?>
Easy! I've also found a related tool, FPDI, which is described as
FPDI is a collection of PHP classes facilitating developers to read pages from existing PDF documents and use them as templates in FPDF, which was developed by Olivier Plathey
If you do end up using any of the above, let the authors know; they'd appreciate acknowledgement.


ps: Comments and/or links to this article are most welcome! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

SQL Server Profiler tool

I've just come across a great article on how to use the SQL Server Profiler.
If you use SQLServer and need to find more info on what goes on, this article is for you.

ps: Comments and/or links to this article are most welcome! 

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

open source software I use, part 1

- Of all the open source software (OSS) I use, Firefox is at the top of the list.
It is more than just a browser; have a look in one of my earlier posts for a list of all the FF add-ins I use. Simply fantastic!

- Another OSS I use is Subversion.
No more SourceShaft, oops, SourceSafe for me.
SVN is a great tool and it has taken over from CVS, which is just a little too old nowadays.

In CVS's defence, it has been a great tool that helped a large number of developers manage their source code.
Since it too was OSS, it was available to anyone who wanted to manage his source, so I tip my hat to it!
Anyway, SVN it is for me now.

- If you are using SVN, you also need a GUI and what better than TortoiseSVN

- For telnet'ing, I use PuTTY.
It is simple, it works, it is OSS.

- For FTP server and client, I use FileZilla

- PHP/Smarty/XDebug/EclipsePDT/LAMPP
For web app development, the above acronyms say it all. I am leaving this here as a reminder. I will be writing more about them in a later post.

- Rockbox. Alternative firmware for a large nunber of MP3 players, including most iPods! Very configurable, very neat! I have been using it for over 2 years or so and have enjoyed every minute of it!

- If you carry a notebook with confidential data or want to safeguard data on your computer, TrueCrypt is a must-have!
It allows you to create an encrypted volume, which when mounted, appears as a norma hard disk. Everything you write in it is encrypted. In order to mount it (and thus be able to read/write from it) you need to supply a passphrase (i.e. something lengthy, not just a few characters).
What this means is that if your computer is stolen or lost, whoever gets it will not be able to get access to your critical data.

In addition to the encrypted volumes described above, it also supports encrypting entire disk-partitions!
Just get it and you will never have to worry about the bad guys getting your bank PIN numbers etc.
[Update 2016]. Alas, TrueCrypt is no more. 
Veracrypt has taken its place and, not only does it do all Truecrypt ever did (it is based on the same source) but it also has a partition resizer, as well as greatly enhanced security.

You can find more info on TrueCrypt alternatives here.

- Abiword for reading/writing Word documents
It is a great app and there is a portable version of it too! Copy it into a USB stick and, presto, a wordprocessor at your fingertips, anytime, anywhere!

Have a play with the above and let me know what you think of it.

Here is part 2

ps: Comments and/or links to this article are most welcome!

open source goldmine

If you are interested in seeing a large (very large!) number of open source projects, all under one roof, visit and look under the Projects menu.

Just about every OS project you can think of is listed there.

Kudos to the Ohloh guys!

In my next post(s), I will be listing a number of the OSS I use.

ps: Comments and/or links to this article are most welcome!