SCI Blog

Second Chance at First Impressions: moving a site to Umbraco 4.5.2

Sun, 01/02/2011 - 20:00 -- Kyle Skrinak
The cliché is that you only get a single chance at first impressions. In this case, we've got an exception. I'm talking about the CMS framework Umbraco. First, a little history. In 2007 we identified the need to move a customer's 1200-page, includes-based site, into a CMS. The site was growing from one language to seven. We wanted an MS-friendly CMS, (the client is MS-centeric in its IT) but we wanted an open-source licensed framework, as I've grown to appreciate the support and community that an open-source projects offer. After performing extensive research, we settled on Umbraco.

Note to Self: git on Windows

Wed, 12/29/2010 - 20:23 -- Kyle Skrinak
Two simple notes about running git (specifically msysgit) on Windows that tripped me up: at first:
  • git config core.autocrlf false will prevent the conversion to unix-style line endings
  • To exclude all directories but a few, do the following: /* /dirname*
In the above, the first rule excludes all directories, but the second line includes the directory "dirname" and all that begin with such a path. It's not clear to me why that works, but it's working for now.

Snapping in a new blog theme

Tue, 12/28/2010 - 05:19 -- Kyle Skrinak
Inspired by the rantings over at The Dev Show, I've done a re-theming of this blog. While not as visually stunning as what Elena can add to it, it's good enough for blogging purposes. I'm using the Constructor WordPress theme. It's donation-ware but so far I like it, and will be contributing to the project. There will be a SCI site overhauling, coming soon, but aren't all overhauls like that?

The gift of a jailbroken 2G iPhone

Mon, 12/27/2010 - 12:45 -- Kyle Skrinak
I have a hand-me-down 2G iPhone. I'm frugal, nearly to a fault, and don't want to part with exorbitant amounts of cash to enable this device as an iPhone, which means, yes, converting it to a Touch-like device. WiFi connectivity is "good enough" for 98% of my daily needs. I'm left with twitching when the dreaded 2% hits, but that's for another post.

Note to self: enable parsing of php on an apache server

Mon, 12/27/2010 - 10:17 -- Kyle Skrinak
There are many variables about this, but in one specific instance I have an apache server that allows a directory's .htaccess file to override the base .htaccess configuration. A symptom of this is when your browser downloads (or asks if it may download) the current page. In that case, for a Drupal web site, (or any php application) adding the following:
AddType application/x-httpd-php .html .php .htm
AddHandler application/x-httpd-php .html .php .htm

Note to self: ffmpeg command to encode a video

Thu, 12/16/2010 - 09:16 -- Kyle Skrinak
ffmpeg -i inputfile.m4v -ac 1 -qscale 5 -r 15 -s 480x270 -ar 22050 outputfile.flv
  • -ac 1 : make stereo audio into mono. This might be problematic for exaggerated stereo mixes, though I've never encountered such a probelm. Surely your vigorous QA will catch these problems.
  • -qscale : rocks the house. Though dated, this link shines a bright light on qscale.

Lingon, launchd, and updating my macports installation

Thu, 08/12/2010 - 11:33 -- Kyle Skrinak
Here's the rub: the CLI application for updating MacPorts, "port" likes to have a home environment variable populated. Apparently this happens when executing port from a CLI. When running from launchd, however, $HOME is empty and thus the script dies. The fix is trivial. You need to add the following to your user daemon (it needs to run as root, so user daemon it is):
    <key>EnvironmentVariables</key>
        <dict>
              <key>HOME</key>
       <string>/var/root</string>
       </dict>

Chroma Key to the rescue

Sun, 08/01/2010 - 07:11 -- Kyle Skrinak
Ingredients:
  • Animated sequence with a statically uniform background
  • Final Cut Express
  • QuickTime 7 Pro
  • Adobe Media Encoder
  • Adobe Flash
For a recently closed project, my customer asked; "Kyle, can you silhouette an animation of a growing tree against a branded gradient." I give the classic consultant answer; "Of course!" I wasn't clear on the details, but, as I discovered, it's relatively trivial with the right tools.

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