Archive for August, 2005



Posted in General at 2:02 am by jw

Onfolio is another cute utility program I’ve found useful enough to go out and buy.  It’s a great tool for searching the web and keeping information that you know you’re going to use later – especially those annoying sites that tend to come and go seemingly without rhyme or reason.

My favorite uses for this tool so far have been:

  • Storing web info – whether it be an EQ2 walkthrough, a nice article on a political action I find curious or someone else’s posting on a message board I may want to keep for incriminating evidence later, the web capture utility does a great job of managing full pages for later offline viewing.
  • One of the best RSS readers around.  This tool will aggregate a bunch of different RSS feeds into a newspaper format for quick browsing.  You can even flag stuff you want to read later and it dumps it into a special folder for you to pick through when you have time.


I’ve used a few different offline web storage engines before and none have had the polish and ease of use that Onfolio has given.  No – I’m not being paid to say this.  I just like to give props to a good product when I see it.


1 TB exceeded

Posted in General at 10:55 pm by jw

Blew past 1TB of storage with another 300G drive turning up today.  Amazing how that stuff fills up.

Creating dynamic sigs for phpbb

Posted in General at 1:52 pm by jw

Creating dynamic sigs for phpbb is rather difficult, mainly due to the fun “security” features in phpbb.  First of all, for obvious reasons, it doesn’t let you include server side scripting within your sig text.  That rules out most efforts to create dynamic text, which leaves you with the use of a dynami image.  The problem with that is that phpbb is all nazi when parsing [img] tags and prevents you from using anything for an image other than something ending in .gif, .jpg or .png.  Well, there’s an easy solution – create a directory on your web server called “sig.png” and mess with the index.php file for that directory.  Phpbb (how do you capitalize that at the start of a sentence?) accepts it because it thinks it is looking at an image (the URL ends in .png) but in reality it’s hitting the index.php script for the directory.  Fun times!

In my case, for a first pass I just wanted the latest blog title to show up in the image I created, so the script ended up looking like this:


// Spit out headers
header(“Content-type: image/png”);
header(“Expires: “.gmdate(“D, d M Y H:i:s”, (time()+900)) . ” GMT”);

// Config Files
include (“../blog/wp-config.php”);

// Blog entry
$posts_list = wp_get_recent_posts(1);
foreach ($posts_list as $entry) {
 $choice = $entry[‘post_title’];

$choice = “Latest blog post: ” . $choice;

// Load a random quote
$font_name = “arial.ttf”;
$font_size = 9;

// Image Settings
$x_size = 400;
$y_size = 18;

// Calculate starting point of text (horizontal)
$line_width = imagettfbbox($font_size, 0, $font_name, $choice);
$x_start = 5;
$y_start = 13;
$max_width = $line_width[2];

// Create the image resource & assign colours.
$im = imagecreatetruecolor($x_size, $y_size);
$back = imagecolorallocate($im, 220, 220, 255);
imagefilledrectangle($im, 0, 0, $x_size-1, $y_size-1, $back);
$border = imagecolorallocate($im, 128, 128, 128);
imagerectangle($im, 0, 0, $x_size-1, $y_size-1, $border);

// Write the text on to the image.
$textcolor = imagecolorallocate($im, 0, 0, 0);
imagettftext($im, $font_size, 0, $x_start, $y_start, $textcolor, $font_name, $choice);

// Create and then destroy the image
@ImagePNG($im,$cache_filename) ;


Will, it works.  I guess I’ll be putting some more stuff in there sometime in the future, but without the ability to create image maps, it’s probably going to be rather entertaining getting anything too useful in the script.  I guess my next avenue for playing is to see what web browsers do when the Content-Type header doesn’t match the apparent file extension.

I love Google Cache!

Posted in General at 11:06 am by jw

I was browsing the compiled logs on this site and noticed some hits from google to articles that were written way back in January, before winwebhosting screwed everything up and I changed providers to solidhost.  Investigating a little further, I noticed all my old articles were still in Google’s cache!  Well, 10 short minutes later, they’re all back on the site again.

More UPS

Posted in General at 12:50 am by jw

I’m getting boring talking about this all the time, but the power line seems to have settled.  Must have been something weird yesterday, or just the UPS having startup jitters.  Now that I’m back to using apcupsd on the Linux box, things have started looking up and with some help from the TrinityOS project and some rapid learning of how gnuplot works, I now have a pretty graph that updates itself every 10 minutes!  Today’s sample below:



You can see the 75W jump I was talking about when playing games.  What was particularly interesting was the fact I started with a non-3d game at about 8pm and then moved to a 3d game at 9pm – you can notice the extra power used by the vid card on the 2nd game.

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