Monitor Your Own Uptime

If you manage websites you know how bad it feels to have someone tell you a site is not only down but it’s been that way for 2 hours … or days. There are solutions out there to monitor your sites uptime but many of them charge and are at best clunky. I’m going to share with you a simple php script I wrote to monitor the sites I maintain for my work and my personal sites.

I’ll assume you can use PHP already in this, if you can’t start here. First you want an array of the sites Continue reading

Another Touch Screen Phone

The HTC Rhyme just came out for Verizon. It seems to be a good phone and HTC is a good company but honestly who cares?

It’s another Android phone with a big hi res touch screen and cameras and an LED light and a cool interface. It has all the features of an iPhone which has all the features of a Droid which has all the features of an Evo. Nothing matters anymore. Continue reading

Programming Languages for the Internet

These aren’t all programming languages and this list doesn’t have every web programming language possible on it but this is generally (in no particular order) what you will encounter in the world of web design, development, programming, or whatever else you want to call making things online. This list is more like what you’d see in a job description or on a resume as opposed to purely being a list of programming languages. So here are the languages we will cover:


HTML
http://www.w3.org/wiki/HTML
Type: A markup language, not a programming language.
HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is what websites are made of. When you view the source of a webpage you are seeing html. It is structured as an Continue reading

Google Silently Launches Chromebooks

The google laptop has come to retail. There was a stir a few months ago when google gave a select few chrome OS laptops out to testers. Today I went to read an article on The Register and saw an ad to buy one. It took me to this amazon page.

Apparently they are available from several common laptop makers and all feature the signature chrome keyboard where caps lock is replaced with a search button. Most use a small solid state drive and are netbook sized. Not much of a value compared to their competition but it’s way cheaper than a macbook air (and a lot less powerful). Do you think this line has any hope?

Analysing Euclideons Graphics Engine

Note: This is an article on 3d graphics technology. I will try to keep it as approachable as possible but it’s not the easiest material in the world.

There’s a new graphics company that wants to change the video game industry. Euclideon is an Australian company working on a point cloud based approach to 3d graphics as opposed to the long standing polygon based approach. They are not the first people to make or even implement this approach as this somewhat angry blog post points out but they seem to have the most efficient and nicest looking implementation to date.

Their video explains the concept of what they are doing very well and throws out lots and lots of really huge numbers. I find their efforts promising but they have many hurdles to get over first. Continue reading

How Much Website do I Need?

The first question is do you need a website? If not do you just want a website? Either way how much can you afford, and how much can your customers actually handle? Finally you need to think about things that aren’t a website at all but they are part of your web presence.

If you are a business you should have something online. That doesn’t actually have to mean a full on website but Continue reading

What’s an app?

The word has become ubiquitous. The iPhone has apps, Android devices have apps, the Chrome browser has apps and now Mac OS has apps too. So what are they? How can they be the same things in all these places? What if you want one of your own?

I’ll start by lifting a convenient definition from Wikipedia like all good web authors these days

“…a lightweight application, tailored to a device’s form factor and input-output interfaces (key pad, touch pad, remote control, display, etc)”

Not bad but we need more specifics. App is short for application which is a term that’s been used in computing since the invention of programmable computers. Sometimes called application software it pretty much means a computer program used by a person to do a thing (as opposed to programs that talk to each other, park a car, or ID faces without a person running it). Continue reading