Christian Heilmann

You are currently browsing the Christian Heilmann blog archives for December, 2006.

Archive for December, 2006

Is anybody familiar with Sake?

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

sake bottle
I won a bottle of Sake at a christmas party raffle. Does anyone know if this is a high quality sake that I should give a party for or something to have with cheap take-away?

All photos of the sake bottle on flickr.

Christmas Shopping the geek way: Blank DVDs

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

I just got some blank DVDs for my brother and I am amazed how much you money you pay in highstreet shops for low quality DVD-Rs.

Here’s some dirty secrets:

  • The brand of the packaging is irrellevant, there are a lot less DVD-R producers out there than brands.
  • There is a stunning web site that explains you all about quality and reliability of DVD-Rs at No more coasters
  • according to this web site – and that has proved right for me in the past (having burnt about 500 DVDs since I got a writer) you need to make sure you know the real brand of the DVD-R which are:

As you normally won’t find a shop or online store that has this information, check out SVP who give this information for each of their DVD offers.

I am not at all affiliated with SVP, but they did save me a lot of money in the past and I don’t think you should pay a lot for consumables.

Automatic merging and versioning of CSS/JS files with PHP

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

Over at Ed Elliot’s the man himself came up with a cool PHP script that allows you to create a single cached include automatically from all the JavaScripts or CSS files you want to include. Check out Automatic merging and versioning of CSS/JS files with PHP.

For those who wonder why the hey you’d want to do this: working on high traffic sites means you learn a lot about how to make pages perform and as Nate Koechley explained at @media 2006 every http request sent from page results in another DNS lookup and generally slows down the perceived loading time of the page. Furthermore, scripts loaded in the head of the document get loaded first and add to the whole page loading time as browsers start rendering after all the dependencies in the head were loaded.

Using Ed’s script actually means you can have the maintenance benefit of different includes without having to worry about the performance problems.

This one day, on twitter…

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006
Craig: I haven’t had a spam comment in about two months. Either my Akismet/BadBehavior combo is working or the spammers have learned to target POPULAR blogs.

5 out of 5 for good humour, Craig Cook

Yes, I also got hooked on twitter which is a system built by the people behind odeo that allows you to send 150 character long messages about what you are up to at this point in time either via a web interface, mobile phone or instant messaging.

Twitter also comes with the option to show your latest updates in a badge on your blog and has an API to play with (which I am going to do very soon). Jeremy Keith, non office meeting dweller that he is already did so and incorporated his twitterings into his stream of information that goes out to the web.

It is funny though how twitter is being abused as a replacement for IM (with a worse interface) or IRC and not as it is intended to be. What amazed me though is how fast you actually accumulate contacts (I don’t like to call people friend immediately) and how many people that are harder to track via normal communication spend a lot of time there. Want proof? Check my twitter page

A bit of an annoyance is that the web, mobile and IM interface gets out of sync from time to time which made me answer some of Veerle’s questions before they showed up.

Have a random weekend

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

During some research for a new product I just got a cool mashup site sent to me by a colleague. Random Day Out allows you to define a starting location and will add random locations around the area that can be visited in a day.

You get a map, photos, directions to and from each location and a weather forecast. The system is a bit rough around the edges now, but there is a lot of potential in this.