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How to Manage Multiple Web Projects With Subdomains

Most web projects are initially done locally. When doing multiple web projects on the local computer (the ‘nstation’) you run in to the problem of managing them. This is because only one web server can run at a time on the standard web port. Well… you can run multiple instances of the same web server on different ports. But that’s not the way forward if you are serious about testing, etc. An alternative is to make directories and use folder names as part of the URL. This however results ugly URL names like nstation/project_name and framework-based projects render issues on production environments. More »

Teddy Bear Piracy

A man goes to a store, sees something nice (say, a teddy bear), checks whether it is available elsewhere for a better price and eventually buy it for the lowest price available. A man sees a computer game, checks its price, if the price isn’t lower than a few bucks, pirate it over his internet connection or borrow a copy from a friend. That’s the background of most modern software pirating stories. The teddy bear analogy is used here for the sake of simplicity and proof of concept whist regardless of the commodity we may use in comparison, software pirating is happening at an unbelievable rate. More »

SEO With Delorie

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is very important to a web master. SEO is the governing factor for a web site to appear on all major search engines’ first page. Top search engine spiders index web pages based on the way they ‘see’ them. If your site is not getting listed for the right query string combination then it is a hint that search engines do not interpret your web site’s content properly. The easiest way to interpret a web page like a search engine spider is to use a text-only web browser such as lynx. But if you are a windows box guy, then this means unfamiliarity in large part. More »

The Reward of Syndication

One of the interesting RSS feeds I subscribe is Giveaway of the Day. February 24th Giveaway of the Day is Typing Assistance; a software tool that gives word suggestions as you type leaving no misspelled or mistyped words. The irony here is that a comment made on the Typing Assistance’s page led me to a similar open source software called AllChars. AllChars seems to be a mature enough candidate that does a very nice job for heavy-duty users of the keyboard. Funny, how a commercial source directs me to a non-commercial open destination. Indeed another good example of the open and connected nature of the Internet.

Understanding Blog Usability

I’m somewhat new to blogging. When I decided to change my static site to a dynamic site I ended up using WordPress as the engine. The designer in me however didn’t allow me to use someone else’s theme but to make one on my own. The current theme1 you are seeing on this site is the fifth iteration of the effort.

When I started designing this theme, I didn’t have any expertise on WordPress. The principles of blogging were completely new to me. I looked into many other blogs to figure out the essentials of theming. Ironically most themes were structurally the same except they looked different in presentation. But is this commonly accepted structure really usable? This is what I discovered. More »

Syndicate Your Gmail Inbox

Gmail LogoLast week Engadget, TechCrunch and many other tech sites reported Gmail going IMAP. That’s a big deal for anyone who prefers to have control over their email messages. But for a long time the Gmail inbox was available as an RSS feed. Several people blogged about this feature on their sites soon after discovering it. But now you don’t have to follow the old School method of manifesting credentials on the RSS URI anymore. It’s as easy as subscribing to any other RSS feed out there. All you need in an RSS aware web browser and an email client. Here’s how to do it. More »

Not ‘On Intelligence’

On Intelligence Book Cover ModI listen to Leo Laporte on several of his Netcasts (a.k.a. Podcasts). He recommends audiobooks from Audible on most of his shows. That’s how I ended up listening to NEXT by Michael Crichton, The Chopin Manuscript, etc. Listening to audiobooks is the best habit I have developed after a long time. It is the best way to utilize your commuting time otherwise wasted for no particular important thing.

On many occasions I heard Loe recommending the book On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins and Sandra Blakeslee. I never got the chance to add it to my library for some reason. So I thought of adding it to my collection today. Guess what, according to Audible, my geographic location prevents me from listening to this great book (see screenshot). My question is, if I can buy and listen to other audiobooks from Audible, why not this? I find the notice ‘We are not authorized to sell this title to your geographic location’ somewhat a feeble excuse. More »

Department of Meteorology, Sri Lanka

Raininghttp://www.meteo.slt.lk is the Department of Meteorology website. Although the website is poorly (or perhaps badly) designed, it has all the weather related information on Sri Lanka. Detailed information on Sri Lanka weather, forecasts, statistical information and warnings are available freely. To my knowledge recent forecasts from the department has been somewhat accurate compared to those days where the common understanding was “if the forecast say it’d rain, one may leave the umbrella home”.
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How to save a photo from Flickr

Flickr SampleFlickr is my favorite photo sharing service. I always start from Flickr search whenever I want an insight to a real-world scenario. The irony is that sometimes the most interesting photos seem to have missing the All Sizes button. As a result the photo cannot be downloaded even if it’s declared public. Flickr hides the source URL of the image by using a decoy ‘space ball’! This post explains how you can overcome this issue with a simple trick. More »

Behind The Code 404

Blue Chick 404Anyone using the Internet must have at least hit on this page once. It’s the most famous HTTP response status code of all time: 404 file not found. Modern web browsers don’t show all HTTP response codes for obvious reasons, although there is one for every HTTP request. More »