I'm a father, manager, programmer, scrum master, geek, & movie lover.


I’m Back!

Uncle Charles (u.c.) said: Good to see you got it up. at 2005-08-15 07:22:19

(Richard)[] said: Good to see you back. I enjoy your blog since I think you are a techno fan (I wanted to write “Geek” but I am trying to be nice ;) ) and at the same time you have a real life and grab it by the horns.

PS Check out You see there what they offer but I thought it would be useful since you know people overseas. No, I am not affiliated by them. I discovered them last week by coincidence and it works. I do agree that it almost to good to be true but I called overseas for 30 minutes last weekend so whatever happens I didn’t lose anything. at 2005-08-15 14:14:00

mom said: here i am being a mom, eek………california!!!!!!!!!!too far away, hugs at 2005-08-15 23:38:07

Spookyass Walken


It’s well known that alternating the background colours of alternating table rows increases the legibility of the information therein. Why then, do we not apply the same principle to all text, subtly altering the background of alternating lines in MS Word documents, and the bodies of our websites? This would be costly in printed media, but is free for digital media. Has anyone tried it? I think it would make everything much easier to read, without losing your place at the end/beginning of each line.

What do you think? Also, I’ve been thinking about Comment Spam on blogs lately. I get a fair bit of it on this blog — not on the front page, but on older posts. Probably 3 or 4 a day. How to stop it? A lot of sites are requiring you to read the text in a messy little image and type it into a box. That’s called the “text captcha” method, and I don’t like it very much. Making your users jump through hoops is no good. What I’m thinking of implementing is a blog comment whitelist, whereby people posting with email addresses that are on the whitelist have their comments show up automatically. People posting comments for the first time will have to wait until I approve their comment, at which time their address will automatically be added to the whitelist. Because blogs are usually read by the same group of people on a repeated basis, the administrative overhead should be relatively low. Also, this will completely discourage comment spammers. Another step you could take, in order to make it even easier, is to simply send the COMMENTOR an email that says “Click here to be added to’s Whitelist, and your comment will be approved. As long as you only post to the blog using the email address, you will only have to do this once.” What do you think about that? Last but not least, I jumped on the geek bandwagon and downloaded and installed Mac OSX Tiger on my PC. It’s a leaked copy of the new Mac Operating System that is designed to run on Intel CPUs, diverting from their tradition of running only on PPC (PowerPC) CPUs. Attached to this post you can see a little image showing that Tiger is in fact running on my Athlon x86 CPU :) These new Mac On Intel machines have been dubbed MacIntels, a clever word play on MacIntosh — the original Apple Computer. Caveat Emptor: Though OSX Tiger DOES run on Intel computers now, none of the programs for OSX run. Why? Because they need to be recompiled to run on Intel processors, and software vendors haven’t done that yet. It’s going to be a big uphill battle for all OSX software developers. Yeowch.

Comments from my old blog:

BigDaddy71 said: Slight problem with your whitelist idea…you need to back it up with more than just the e-mail addy because I could pretend to be someone else by using their e-mail address. User accounts may be the way to go.

On my blog, I have NO comments because I don’t see it being worth the trouble implementing workarounds to prevent comment spam. at 2005-08-17 17:21:09

mom said: approving the comments is also very time consuming, and time is something that we need more , not less of, for the good things in life. hugs at 2005-08-18 01:44:36

(andre)[] said: re: comment spam switch to drupal and install the ‘spam’ module. besian filterning of posts learning as it goes. not to mention the spam-bots don’t know how to fill out a drupal comment form properly. at 2005-08-18 08:24:59

derek said: I appreciate that you (Andre) are the Drupal Community Propaganda Specialist (truly, he is!), but this blog has been and always be a “Roll Your Own” affair. Sure, I’ll use libraries built by other people, I’ll be weaving them together. Still, I’ll take a look at Drupal and see how it works. at 2005-08-18 12:32:10


Frustrated that there’s no Safari Javascript Console like the one Firefox has? Guess what! There is one! It’s just not easy to find, or turn on. Here’s how to do it: 1. Type this line into terminal: defaults write IncludeDebugMenu 1 2. Start Safari 3. In your Finder, to into the Applications=>Utilities Folder 4. Drag the one named ‘Console’ to your Launch Bar 5. Click it, and Voila, you have a Javascript Debug Console

We develop primarily for IE6 (ack!) at work, but since I’ve started implementing AJAX stuff they have asked me to make everything compatible with IE6 Windows, Firefox Windows/OSX, and Safari OSX. Fun fun fun! - - - - - -

Ever wanted an EASY way to validate form input?Have it now. Have it easily. Check out The Form Assembly. Their killer “wForms” is an unobtrusive javascript extension that adds commonly needed behaviors to traditional web forms. It is cross-browser compatible, and does not require any knowledge of javascript to be used. - - - - - -

Follow the following link to know more about unobtrusive javascript- - - - - -

Tired of Internet Explorer Puking on CSS?Dean Edwards has created an amazing javascript that you simply include in the head of your page, and it helps IE along whenever it feels a bit geriatric. He’s calling his script “IE7”. IE7 version 0.8 is now available for download. - - - - - -

As I’ve been doing a bunch of AJAX (asynchronous javascript and xml) lately, I have found some great AJAX resources/libraries. Here they are: - Prototype: The premier AJAX library, as used by Rico, RubyOnRails, Scriptaculous, and many more. No documentation, but otherwise very sweet. - A javascript class which extends Prototype, giving you more features. Amazing & easy to use. Slightly more documentation than Prototype. - Rico: Mind-bogglingly awesome javascript library that will change everything you think about javascript. - SAJAX: The simplest PHP/AJAX library I’ve found. It’s what I’m using at work.

Check out this cool Liquid Lens that will allow glass-lens quality optical zooming WITHOUT needing to extend or retract anything mechanically! It works like the human eye, or a glass of water that happens to magnify the newspaper sitting beneath it. Coming soon to cameraphones near you! - - - - - -

How many times have you needed a good, modifiable, easy-to-implement wysiwyg textarea editor? If you’re anything like me, the answer is many, and the number of times you’ve found one is zero, especially if your emphasis was ease of modifiability. Hunt no more, there’s now an open-source FREE alternative named TinyMCE and it looks pretty great… and FREE! - - - - - -

Are you a php developer? Do you want to be up-to-date on all the cool stuff going on in the php world? Do you want to get Zend Certified? If so, and if you have a lot of extra money laying around, you probably want to check out php|works. It’s a php conference happening in Toronto in mid-September. Registrants can write the Zend PHP Certification exam for free ($200 value), which is probably why it costs nearly $800 to register. Many of the bigger names in PHP will be there, including: Rasmus Lerdorf (the creator of php) George Schlossnagle (guru - creator of APD/PDO/Serendipity) Chris Shiflett (php security guru) John Coggeshall (guru & Zend Technologies employee/consultant) Wez Furlong (guru - prolific PEAR/PECL contributor & creator of PDO) Too bad Harry Fuecks isn’t on the list. Oh well. Can’t win’em all. I’m excited about going!!! What should I wear??? - - - - - -

Last, but certainly not least, a friend of mine recently built a really cool job search engine and named it What it does it aggregate listings from Workopolis,, and HotJobs, and give you search results from all 3 on a single easy to use page. You should try it :)

Comments from my old blog:

mom said: It doesn’t matter what its about, i love hearing about what you are interested in! I think Harry Fueks was on tv a few weeks ago, but have to be honest I wasn’t paying much attention. I think if you get a few hours you could design a very cool shirt. White dress, elegant, then add whatever php jargon you wish in a type design that looks like a tuxedo front. Well perhaps i am a bit odd, it was just a thought, I am so glad to hear that you are liking what you are doing at work, that is , to coin a phrase ” sweet ” hugs at 2005-08-19 04:15:21

U.C. said: Voodoo ether:well send your blog into space so E.T. can read your posts,check out at 2005-08-20 17:41:24

Vlad said: good idea with the

a much better one is at at 2005-08-21 23:51:49

James Trott (UK) said: Is job blender open source? i’d like to do something like that in the UK.

tania said: “I’m excited about going!!! What should I wear???”

uh… who are you and what have you done to derek? :) at 2005-08-23 01:55:29

(JB)[] said: coming soon at 2005-08-23 04:25:23

James Trott (UK) said: So JB, are you actually going to write that? or are you just foolin, if so, then i could really use it right now for all the irish job sites (Job as im currently looking for a job in ireland. Well, you seem so keen to blend jobs, i dont wanna steal your thunder :) at 2005-08-23 09:37:29

Vlad said: Derek is still Derek.. he needs us to help him choose between his Spiderman and Darth Vader costumes :) at 2005-08-23 15:30:16


All the best to you both. :) at 2005-08-27 22:02:14

dad said: Yep Derek…I was giddy the other day too,but alas,i forgot to stop at two drinks,lol. at 2005-08-28 14:06:41

dad said: p.s.hmmmmm…i seem to remember some sparks flying about 35 years ago and that person does not have a dirty mind,lol.Pragmatism is all too real!!! at 2005-08-28 23:07:31

BigDaddy said: Morning cuddles?!?!? Okay, I can overlook that. Considering that I work with you and know who the girl is that you are referring too…it’s a job well done. at 2005-08-29 20:09:04

soskalina said: :! at 2005-08-31 20:17:18

James Trott (UK) said: Fantastic news derek, im really pleased for you, she sounds like a really great girl, any chance of a picture? i’ve FINALLY got one of my fiancee to send out, she should be emailing me it tonight (we went to see marilyn manson and iron maiden) at 2005-09-02 11:19:32

BigDaddy71 said: I’m reminded of green eggs and ham… at 2005-09-02 19:11:43

ChinaMan said: I am so proud of you dude! Keep it up! Men like you doesn’t exist now these days, she is so lucky to have you! :) at 2005-09-02 21:37:27

u.c. said: Those LIP BALM shares rose 900% so m and I are off on our hols to Budapest.Look forward to reading the next thrilling installment in a couple of weeks. at 2005-09-03 08:02:12