Christian Heilmann

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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Easy flickr integration article on 24ways and webkrauts

Sunday, December 3rd, 2006

Both 24 ways and the German Webkrauts Advent Calendar released my submissions for this year tonight.

So, if you ever wanted to know a quick and esy way to integrate flickr photos in your site without a server side component go and have a read.

Musings about San Francisco and my trip there

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

I arrived back in London yesterday morning and spent the day sorting presents and unpacking. After 35 hours without sleep I fell into bed with the assumption that I could get back into the London rhythm right away. I was wrong, insofar I am tired now at 7pm and I am thoroughly annoyed with public transport in this oh so cheap capital after a single day.

Do you hear me London Underground? I am not getting the feeling that I get enough service for my £85 a month, but instead that you want people to sweat, feel uncomfortable and possibly become victims of pickpockets. This is also why you announce every three seconds that people should look after their belongings. Just like the met police who proved amazingly effective in not giving a sh*t about my stolen laptop you could end these announcements with “because you don’t have a choice and we don’t really want to offer any help”.

Anyways, San Francisco was a blast and I was very sad to leave after only five days as I was lucky enough to bump into some very helpful people who showed me where the good stuff happens. The great weather and the fact that people buy you drinks if you have an even remotely English sounding accent and the good food also played a part.

I flew with Virgin Atlantic, and there is simply no better airline to take to the US. Granted, I was booked on premium economy, but even in normal economy the entertainment system allows you to choose and start and stop your movies! I didn’t get any sleep, as the service was too good (“another sandwich, or drink?”).

On my first day back from the office I met Michael McElligott who dragged me to see a comedy show at Cobb’s by a troupe called Kasper Hauser who staged a mock stakeholder meeting of their Sky Maul company (a parody of the SkyMail catalogues). It was very entertaining and at times ad-hoc. I was a bit unlucky as I forgot my passport and got a stamp stating that I am under 21, which meant no drinks for me or anyone giving me a drink being expelled from the venue. Sadly enough this also didn’t make me forbidden fruit for the rich ladies in there, which would have been my backup plan. All in all it was a good show though, but as the following interview could have been longer or more engaging I only give it 4 out of 5.

I then attended the Accessibility Dinner and talked shop there with the likes of John Foliot, colleagues from Yahoo and some people from the Mozilla foundation, Google, Adobe and others. Quite a nice dinner and we had a good yarn about accessibility as a whole.

The next days were a bit slower, as I had work to do (after all this is what I was sent over for there). I just spent some time using the free wireless in Border’s on Union Square and drinking a few pints at the Union Square Sports bar after rummaging through a lot of DVDs and CDs at Rasputin Records.

Saturday Night, before I left I got invited to the Laughing Squid 11 party. Not knowing anything about it I didn’t know what to expect and was totally blown away by it. It is a mixture of gigs, kinky cabaret and geek meeting with activity booths outside where you were able to paint with fire, put legos on a car, drive a steam powered car, a Segway or bollock around in a photobooth. The people present that I knew already before I got there were Ben Metcalfe, Tantek and Jeffrey Veen. The people I got to know are too many to mention as Tantek dragged me around after he saw the T-Shirt I was wearing.
I only got to see the performances by freakotronic which was a very bizarre disco/electro mix with lots of gogo-dancing and the burlesque Twilight Vixen Review with Anita Cocktail as the singer. The twilight vixens were gorgeous and Anita very outspoken with quite a good voice. Catch them when you can!

It was a total blast, I loved every minute of the party and got dropped off at the hotel by the lovely Virginia Wang. I’ll try to come to SF soon again to meet all the people I didn’t mention here but pestered on friendster and flickr.

Thanks to everyone who made me so welcome and content with life :-)

Are you as good as Dean, Stuart, Jeremy or better than Dan and Peter-Paul?

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

One thing I keep getting asked ever since I published my JavaScript book is to compare the book, my scripts or even myself to other publications and people. This is not only people asking me whether it is worthwhile to buy the book or if they are the right audience for it, it happens in all kind of situations. Here is why I consider this a waste of your and my time. (more…)

Back in California

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

I am back in the U.S. for a week staying in San Francisco and working in Santa Clara. So much more warmer here than London. I’ll be at the Accessibility Dinner on Thursday and generally trying to get to know as many people as possible while I am here.

So if there is a bit of slack in posting here, sorry about that.

Moved to media temple

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

After almost four years my free hosting service finally didn’t work out any longer and I was annoyed about the outages and the other clients on the shared box annoyed about the traffic I caused.

So I bit the bullet and got myself a new server for all my sites. I looked around a bit, dropped some mails on thelist and with other bloggers and I decided to go for the grid server offer of media temple in the USA.

I dreaded the move, as over the years I have acccumulated a lot of data connected to 6 different domains. All the more I was very much surprised to see that I was able to get and connect a new domain, shift my data over and reconnect my old domains ( is still on the old server) to the gridserver within less than two hours!

The admin interface of the grid server allows you to define which domains to use, set up the mail servers and webmail interfaces and lets you define whether to use PHP4 or 5 on a per-domain basis.

You can add extra PHP components by altering an add-on to the php.ini and you have MySQLAdmin by default. Urchin is also included, but I haven’t set that up yet, and you have preconfigured WordPress, ZenCart and Drupal in case you want it. I tweaked this WordPress too much to go all fresh and new, but maybe I will at a later stage.

I now also have a proper spam filter and can play with Ruby, which is pre-installed, too. All in all, I am very happy so far and the price of $20 per month seems not to be too high for what your are getting.