Friday, November 21, 2008


I logged in to one of my gmail accounts yesterday - as a matter of fact it was not even my main email account and I wan't checking email - when I made a pleasant discovery. Gmail now has themes!
The way it happened was actually quite funny asm I already had checked my email earlier, but then he chane had not yet been made. However, I wanted to know which database it was that I made two-hourly backups of. This really is not needed, but can be nice if I want to start using one of the web applications I made. So, I logged in to the gmail account to which all the backups are sent and it looked different...
Also there was this big note on top of the page saying: "We got themes now, goto the themes tab of the settings page and have a look", for convenience it also had a link to that tab.

There are quite a few themes to choose from and ven thogh I do still have to find which one I really like, I really, really like this new feature. So... I did a blog poston it :P

Long time no see

Hi again.
Would anybody care to tell me when I last wrote an article in which I did not say "I have not used this blog too often in the past period, but I plan on doing so in the coming period"? Consider this one of the posts in which I did say it (even though I am not going to write it out again). Man, my whole world has changed since I last posted here, there's most definately enough to tell about.

I was dropping as I was looking for someone to listen to me ranting about the minor change I have made to my very own chat. The chat is still very crappy, but now a log of all that is posted is kept in my database. Nope, for a user there is no change, but this means that in that very one cornercase in which my chat would actually be a good solution to a problem in communications, I can actualy use it without losing the conversation. As of yet, there is no script yet that exports the chat log from the sabase to a text file, but hey, I have got full database access, so for me it does not matter.

Friday, August 1, 2008

A quick mention

Hi all,

I am currently doing all kinds of stuff with my notebook, to get it set up as I want it to be. As always, this brings its own set of adventures, but I'll probably tell you all about it later (when I am finished for instance).
What I do want to touch on, though, is a website I came across, which was just what I was looking for. I am talking about WobZip, at The website will let you upload a compressed file (7z, zip, tar, rar, iso, deb, cab and a bunch more), and will then decompress the file for you, leaving with a screen where you can download the individual files. On top of that (which is why I like the service so much) you can download the complete contents recompressed as a zip file.
So that was just the ting I wanted mention. If you are interested in the adventures I had (and am having) with my notebook, just hang on a little longer and I will start telling about all of it. I guess there are some stories where people will say "that's not possible!", but all of it is - I have actually been able to recover without losing a single file from a position that sounded truly hopeless and many people would have given up on immedietly. The credit goes to my good software, though, not to me.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Some of these days...

You all know them, you all have them: some of these days you just do not get anywhere. You do what you can all day, but you simply do not succeed at ending anywhere but where you started. This morning was taken from such a day.
There was one slight twist to the story, though, me not getting anywhere was a literal thing. I overslept and arrived at work one hour late. They don't make a fuss out of this at all, though they would like to know you are having some problem so they want you to call them. This was not the problem, as did call five times, but the phone was not answered each of those times.
The problem was that the whole system was down and no calling could be done. This was the reason that they were giving a training to everybody, but I had already missed half of it, so there was no point in joining them. This just meant there was nothing for me to do, so I went home again - having spent an hour and twenty minutes taking bus rides and ending up right where I started.

However, I will not let this complete day turn into one of those days - a single morning is more than enough.


I have bought a laptop yesterday. I had received some money for it from my parents, some from both of my grandmothers, and I had some money left to spend from my birthday. Still I had to pay some myself, but in the end I ended up buying a laptop for 600 euros.

I bought a Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pi 2550 (I am too lazy to add a link right now, so google it yourself if you want to know). It has a core 2 duo at 2 times 1,66 GHz, 3 GB RAM, a ATI HD 2400 graphics card and a hard disk capacity of 250 GB. All in all, not too bad for that price. (more details: batterylife of 2.5 hours, weighs 3 kg, built-in 1.3 Megapixel webcam).
What I was aiming for was a laptop that I can use next year as I am starting my study at university, but I would want to be able to run some games on it. That said, gaming is most definately my highest priority.
Still, you can have no computer that has reasonable specs without having tried out Crysis on it (shame I haven't even tried it on this one yet... then again, the only reasonable spec on this computer is the graphics card), so I downloaded the crysis demo today and tried it out. It ran just fine at low settings, at higher settings it became quite jaggy. Still, that's a result I can be quite satisfied with. The thing that grabbed my attention most was the very nice physics engine that is featured in the game (unlike the GTA4 engine it does not focus on things that only bother you and are still not too realistic (falling through the front window of your car), but on things that are cool and that may matter, such as trees that break realistically right at the point you are shooting at - possibly breaking a second, third or even fourth time if you keep shooting in different places). What annoyed me was the touch pad - don't get me wrong, though, I like this one more than most other touch pads I have ever used, it's just that touch pads and gaming don't mix very well. I should buy a mouse sometime, but I was planning to do so anyway.

Anyway, I have a nice notebook computer, and I like it - that's basically all that I am telling.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wanna have some cheap energy?

Hi all (I still wonder if that is many more than half a hand of people :P, but even that is so, it does not matter, actually).

As of this evening I have a job. I know, that is a strange thing to say - but if you keep in mind that I am only nineteen and still being provided money by the state and my parents, I do not necessarily have to just yet. Instead this job is mainly in order to buy some luxury goods such as a new computer screen (I am currently using an ancient fat one, which can't handle over 1024x768 if 75 Hz is a prerequisite (and it is, as I can actually see anything lower flicker)).
Anyway, a few weeks ago I received my vwo diploma (which would translate to something like "preparative scientific education" and opens up the possibility of going to a university) and since I have had very little to do. Or more honestly, I have had very little I had to do - there are stills tons things for me to do, there's no worrying about that. Anyway, I decided I wanted to earn some money for such kinds of things. I do not have to work for a laptop though (unless I want a really expensive one), as I got money for that from my parents. Together with some money from my grandma and some money I got from various persons at my birthday (which was in april) I have a reasonable amount of money to spend.
What I'm gonna do? I am working in an outbound callcenter (where outbound is calling people and inbound is being called) and the first project I am on is concerning an energy company called RWE (German company). My job is to convince people they should buy a three-year contract in which the price for gas and electricity is defined for the three years. It appears an easy project to start off with (and probably is), but that does not make it easy. I'll just see how it goes...

Aw men.. I have so much catching up to do... I have stories to tell about INT01 of my TemplatingEngine, I have something to say something about, I have to do some write up on a game called Cosmos, I guess I'll have to write something about INT02 and I am bound to have missed a dozen other things in that list. Maybe I'll write another post today... who knows.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Will isn't always enough

But this time it is. (I hope...)

Yes, for those who have noticed, I am actually referring to the title of the post two down from here. I saw a trend in my declining posts, and told I would put effort into changing that. It appears I failed, as my posting rate only went down, to hit zero for quite a while.

I'll explain how this all came to be:

I have been very busy with my school exams and the work preceding them.
I have been without internet for a while.
I have moved twice (the period without internet started before the first time, and lasted slightly past the second time).
I have been doing different things in the few weeks I have had since, mostly just forgetting about this little corner of the web.

As of today I am legally using an internet connection again (been using an unprotected wireless network until now) and this time I have the very same message as that other post, I am going to post more.

Anyway, I have some spicy stories to be told (finished very, very first version of templatingSystem and have had a website shut down on the account of spreading a virus amongst many other things) and I do not intend to keep them from you.

/me signs off

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Our Law

What is the top result from google suggest when you type in "Our law"?

That's right, "our lawyer made us change the name of this song so we couldn't get sued lyrics". Please note here that I am assuming you're an avid Fall Out Boy listener. For those who could not even guess such a trivial fact - it's actually the name of a song. The name of a song I was listening, to be precise. I wondered what the exact lyrics were and started typing it in my FireFox Google search bar.
This made me type in more of their songs names. Never did it take more 9 letters for the top suggestion to be the song - save "XO". And yes, I tried all titles in the album I was listening. I must say this is a strange but truly amazing achievement. With their interesting titles and their hard to understand lead singer (who does not need to be understood to be singing good) they have really tickled the average googler.
Just a quick moment of amazement I thought I would share. I would take my time and write some more, but I have an ICT assignment to finish.

Take care!

Friday, March 21, 2008

I'm seeing a trend - but I am willing to break it

Just go and have a look at when I posted my last few posts, you'll probably get to see the same trend as I am seeing. I am willing to change the trend, but I am not 100% sure that will mean I will. We'll just see and will try to improve upon my posting, making it either irregular again (not ever longer between two posts, but truly irregular again) or by making it truly regular again (not declining, but stable).
So, now, onto everything I have to tell... please bear in mind that it is a total random grab bag with all kinds of completely unrelated matters.

First off the bat I will continue on the issue I started about last post. My nose has had a successful cut-and-paste operation. I had very little pain, in the hospital they even let me skip some of the pain killers - if ain't broken, don't fix it, but not being able to do much at all was a pain all by itself. In the three days I was in the hospital and the week after that in which I was at my parents' I did not a single book from the big pile I had assembled - I just didn't feel like reading too much. I did play through a large part of my brother's Pokemon Crystal (what a brilliance had pokemon as a game - sad it had to become such a merchandise centered brand at the hands of nintendo).
When I got back home my room was still the same mess it had been when I had left it. I decided I wouldn't put my computer (I had taken it with me to my parents) on my desk till I had cleaned up my desk, but as you might be able to guess, I can't do without my computer, so I had to set it up again anyway... on the ground.

Next thing up was me working on my computer's setup. I want to reinstall everything, after having had all hard-disks empty and having reorganized my partitions. In order to do all of this, I wanted to make both my hard-disks bootable, so I wouldn't have to worry about being able to boot into old OSes after installing something aggressive as windows XP (finally no more x64 :D). This led to my system being unbootable for quite some time. However I had/knew (getting my hands on a newer version of the Paragon Bootdisk did go a long way - the cd is one of the best I have) led to me being able to solve everything again, eventually giving me what I wanted, a system that was completely bootable from both disks. I guess I became an authority on the windows bootloader (ntldr, and boot.ini) purely by experimenting - that's what you can do when your other hard disk can always serve as a "backup booter" for your system. I installed windows xp on, but that is not the OS I am typing this from (nor is it linux or any other altertive) - I am still working from (a copy of) my old windows install, because of my following point...

I dropped most of my other activities, because of the insane amount of work I had to do for school. I had missed a couple of lessons, but most of the work did not stem from that. The problem was that the year is drawing near its end, the exams are coming in sight, and all subjects want to focus on the exams / the last test period before that and thus everything that still had to be done, had to be finished by that week (or a bit later), including a number of things of which you ought to spread the work of over the year. There is still a large number of things I need to finish, but luckily I currently have a long weekend (friday till monday) and I have enough time to do all I should do, relax some and clean up the mess in my room (that only increased during the period I had time for nothing but my school work). At least, I hope I can get all of it done.

My next comment is about the comment I made in my last post. It is by no means final yet - but I do have a new name for the tyemplating system - and it's so obvious... lookingGood will now be called goodLooking instead. With the good in front you have a lot more options for the other word, which is what my aim was.

I think I do have some other stories for you, but I don't feel like typing more here right noe, so they will be for another day.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Cut and paste

It's been ages since I last posted anything (a month, really). So, anybody is reading this, you'd better get used to my irregular posting or stop reading here.

Monday I'll be cut up in pieces and the pieces will be put together again. By a qualified person, mind you.
Seriously, my nose is going to be set straight so I can get more air. And no more post-nasal drip. I'll not explain that last term, in order to prevent any potential readers, if you wanna know what it means, google it.

So, that's basically all I want to say - no wait, there's another thing. It's about lookingGood, the templating system I am building. I am not satisfied with it's name. I like the looking part, but I want a second part which I really put different verbs in front of, thus creating names for my other web products, ultimately leading to the the "Good suite" (if I would decide to stick with good anyway), I just think Good is to restrictive. So... I am thinking about a new name.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Giving it a name

I was doing some work on my Templating Engine again, and I wanted a name for a variable that nobody else would ever use. What's the usual way to do that? Right, include the name of your application. Easy enough, right?

The only problem I came across was the fact that I had no real name for the engine. So that's why I had to think of one. I came up with... LookingGood. It may or may not be the final name, it may or may not mean that I use similar names for my similar scripts (though I must say you can do a lot of things with the Good postfix).
Just thought I would drop that by - as I really want to be posting more I can just keep you informed (not caring whether you are interested or not :P) about such things. So, LookingGood is what I am working on right now. And maybe, just maybe all of you will be using LookingGood some day. (Probably not, though - this is just my project for my work, which others may use, but are not advised to.)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Reinventing The Wheel? (To Run Myself Over)

I have been working on a templating system for quite some time now. It's one of the reasons I have not been posting. Shame on me for that, by the way. Anyway, there are probably people who are reading this and now wonder what a templating system is. Well, it's definition can differ slightly, but in this case it's a system that separates the layout from the programming logic completely.

Take for example the syntax of my templating system... anything normally typed is html and is not touched by the engine at all (okey, it's touched, but left in tact completely). Anything between <: :="" and=""> is handled by the templating system, however. Any value between the two script-delimiters (that's what they are called) will be printed to the output. So if the programming logic of a page gives the page access to a 'username' I can write "Hello <:username:>" to have it say hello Jasper to me and fill it with another name.
Besides printing values the scripts can be used to call functions, I planned two functions so far, include("page.html") and nameForCounter(varName), which can execute certain tasks. Include will insert a certain file in that location, and nameForCounter will assign a variable name to the counter of the topmost for or foreach loop (which I will explain more on later), giving you a handle to refer to it in the rest of your template.
The third thing a script can do is define a control structure. Planned of these are if, else, (possibly elseif as well), for, foreach and end ... . These work on script and plain text alike, if (statement) only considers the following content if statement is true, otherwise it will simply ignore it. An if anything that occurs before the next end if or else. Likewise else only considers the content if the last if evaluated to false - and it also ends at end if. for (value1 ++>/--> value2) will repeat the content enclosed by it and end for - starting at value1, increasing (++>) or decreasing (-->) it until value2 is reached. foreach (variableName in array). Array should be one of these variables supplied by the programming logic, but it has to be an array (surprise, surprise) then we will repeat the content (ended by end foreach, you guessed it) for each element the array has, the element always being accessible through variableName.
Multiple actions can be done in one script, in such a case they must be seperated by semicolons (;).
There is another kind of delimiter the engine recognises, <:- -:="" and="">. Anything between those two is regarded as a comment and will be removed from the document. Comments can be inside and outside script tags.

So that's what my engine is supposed to do - what does it have to do with reinventing the wheel?
(warning: technical terms - unexplained - ahead)

Now, while my syntax is different, there are other templating systems around already. None of them what I wanted though, simply take your template at real time and turn it in the website you want the users to see. I discovered this is for a reason, when making my own system. Because this costs way too much time and thus is very processor intensive. So what's the alternative? I looked into the source of the most notable templating engines, Smarty (it's open source as well, really). It simply compiles the userfriendly template to a (normally) unseen php script, which runs a lot faster, the first time a page is requested since it has been modified. I decided I would have to use a similar system to come closest to my wishes. Also I learned the trick of looking at the last time modified attribute of a file to see if it needs to be recompiled. However, when looking through Smarty's source code, it made me wonder what this new choices leave as reasons to actually make my own templating system.

It took me a while to figure out if I wanted to continue development of my engine, but I decided I would. Firstly, this script is mine, so other people may use it, but I can tweak it to my needs and make it the way I want to behave. Secondly, the syntax of my system is "better" (read as: I like it more). Thirdly, I will provide some functionality that Smarty does not provide. For now, this functionality would be: reading templates from a database and writing compiled files to a database. So yes, I will make my own system, and yes I have my reasons for it. Just drop me a line if you would be interested in using my system as well.

Now, for anyone wondering about the title, try googling that phrase. Say you would not find anything (which I cannot believe, but anyway) try finding the unrelated label for this post and look in that area.