Archive for November, 2008

Lesson Learned: What Hard Drive NOT to Buy

Monday, November 24th, 2008

It looked awesome, it was fast as heck (two hard drives in a RAID + FireWire 800) and it was endorsed by Apple. While it was technically a RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks), the redundant part was misleading. It was a RAID 0 meaning:

…distributes data across several disks in a way that gives improved speed and full capacity, but all data on all disks will be lost if any one disk fails.

Not “save your ass” style RAID 1:

…using two (possibly more) disks that each store the same data so that data is not lost as long as one disk survives. Total capacity of the array is just the capacity of a single disk. The failure of one drive, in the event of a hardware or software malfunction, does not increase the chance of a failure nor decrease the reliability of the remaining drives…

In other words:


Plugins Problem in Firefox…. again.

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

I had this exact same problem with WordPress admin panels and Google Reader before. Turned out it was Google Gears sort of borked/half-installed. Well it’s back, only this time it’s GMail.

Any bright folks out there know how to fix this one? It’s awful annoying.

Some Quick Lessons I Learned While Moving Servers

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

The Grid Service (gs) at Media Temple is pretty badass. Yeah, it’s had a rough few weeks with some outages, but overall it’s about as solid as any other host. For $20 a month, I’m not sure it can be beat. CSS-Tricks was sitting on it since it’s very launch, and it’s now serving over half a million pages a month and there are probably 30 other sites on the same account.

But alas, I was starting to exceed the (gs) capabilities. I was accruing larger and larger overage charges each month. Besides, a few slowness complaints were starting to trickle in so I figured it was time to go for some bigger hardware. I decided to stick with Media Temple and go with the Dedicated Virtual (dv) service. Still a decent price for what you get, if you ask me. What sucks though, is that this is a manual move, nothing automated whatsoever. You also lose the awesome (gs) admin area and have to use Plesk instead. I’m not a huge fan of Plesk.

Here is some stuff I learned.

Individual Rounded Corners for Mozilla and WebKit

Monday, November 17th, 2008

I use vendor-specific CSS extensions for all my rounded corners these days. Doesn’t require extra markup or javascript so it’s as lightweight as any other CSS attribute. Doesn’t work in IE but it degrades to square corners, big deal.

.box {
  -webkit-border-radius: 10px;
  -moz-border-radius: 10px;

What always confuses me though, is how to round individual corners. The syntax for WebKit and Mozilla are slightly different. I always find myself doing Google searches trying to figure out the exact syntax, so I’m writing this here mostly for my own self reference.

.box {
  -moz-border-radius-topleft: 8px; 
  -moz-border-radius-topright: 8px;
  -moz-border-radius-bottomleft: 8px;
  -moz-border-radius-bottomright: 8px;
  -webkit-border-top-right-radius: 8px; 
  -webkit-border-top-left-radius: 8px;
  -webkit-border-bottom-left-radius: 8px;
  -webkit-border-bottom-right-radius: 8px;

Get Real Lat/Long Coordinates from Google Maps

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Step 1: Navigate to the place on Google Maps you want coordinates for and get that exact point in the middle of the map.

Step 2: Paste this into the address bar in your browser


Thanks to Alan Masic for sending me this tip a while back, very useful when you are needin’ some coordinates.

Uhm, No.

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Random email from dude, paraphrased:

Hey I like one of the sites in your portfolio. I work on a website for a (debateably) charitable organization. Could you please zip up all the files for that and send it to me?


It’s funny you mention that, we have had other interest in the site to and plan to package that up and sell it very inexpensively soon. I’ll let you know when that is ready.


Why would you charge me?! The work is already done! If it’s not free then I don’t want it.


I like that shirt you are wearing, can you please take it off and give it to me for free?


OK, I didn’t say that, I just deleted the email. But seriously… design is a skilled trade that we pour our hearts into like any other job. And you know what? Offering high quality design work for discount prices IS charitable.

Real Bread

Thursday, November 6th, 2008