work

An italic pipe

Take a very good look at following 2 characters:  / (*1) and /. If you are familiar with a keyboard and a bit of html, you'll find out soon that the first is a pipe ( | ) between <em> tags, which is used on the web to display things in italic. The second is just a plain simple forward slash. Where am I going you think ? Well, I heard a story today from a colleague who once got a question from a friend asking how he could make the pipe sign on his keyboard italic so he could finally enter a website in the address bar of his browser. After all those stressing hours today and yesterday, this was the icebreaker for me and other people at work. We have a blackboard on our wall where we simply added this: http:<em>||</em> People who don't understand it, don't worry. Those who do: it was so funny this afternoon when we heard about this, I guess it's probably stupid when you're reading it. Nevertheless, I think this would suit in the 'horrible questions for a helpdesk' sphere. Oh yeah, and we also launched Expo 58 today. *1 If you are reading this on oerwoud, this doesn't have the effect I'm aiming at, you should look at the original post

Topics 

humor, work

The init hook enigma, part 2

I struggled a few days with some functionality on the new CarChannel site where visitors are offered a splash page the first time they visit the site. I needed to built in some exceptions, like the special msn page, the xml calls and the game pages. Testing when you are logged in always worked, but when browsing anonymous and with normal caching on, things went wrong, especially with url aliases. Reading source code and documentation - or now when you are reading this article - can save your life, so when you have an init hook and you need the know the 'q' variable, add

drupal_bootstrap(DRUPAL_BOOTSTRAP_PATH);

at the top of your hook before doing anything else. This will save you many sleepless hours and frustrating tests!

Being the only *nix sysadmin (or at least, the only guy at work who knows a little more then just opening an ssh-session) also made me very stressed out the last couple of weeks because services suddenly died without leaving any information in logs. I spent the whole afternoon yesterday setting up extra monitoring services on 2 higly imported webservers which check apache, mysql, ssh and load average every five minutes and , if needed, takes the appropriate action (restart, renice etc). It was the first night in a week I finally slept the whole night through, so fingers crossed!

Topics 

drupal, work, linux, hooks

Drag and drop

To all my mac-colleagues at work: I can finally stop bugging you over msn asking me to put your drag-and-dropped attachments in your e-mail into my transit. Since I switched from evolution to thunderbird, I can actually see, read and save them ... a life-saver for everybody! With this said, back to coding - which is the only thing I seem todo nowadays.

Topics 

work, email

Saint

Our wii has arrived at work, time to update my bowling skills! I was suprised how even the slightest movement resulted in a very realistic gameplay, hell, even the curves of my bowling ball were perfect. It's also an ideal gift to get very social during noon with the rest of the colleagues, although we'll keep bashing from time to time at Quake of course! And my admirer at work also had a nice surprise on my desk on that magical day of december the 6th.

Topics 

toys, work

CarChannel

From a far away place I can announce my colleagues at One Agency succesfully launched a new Drupal-powered site, called CarChannel. Although my father is an auto mechanician, I've never been very interested in what's really going on inside a car and I don't really prefer one model. The fact that the CarChannel site has everything to do with cars didn't change that fact, I was mostly interested making sure I got a topspeed site with Drupal with cool features which also looked nice. It's built on 5.3 and for the first time I'm running it on a lighttpd server *with* clean URLS enabled without any problems, even the imagecache module behaves like it should! But anyways, all you people interested in the latest news on cars with lot's of pictures and cool video's, do check out the site. You can even create your own video channel but only with external video content in fase 1. In fase 2 (I guess somewhere in december) you'll be able to add your home made video's of your tuned car!

Topics 

drupal, work, cars

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