Archive for the 'Technology' Category

A WordPress Plugin: Image URL Returner

There are a number of programs you can use to create entries for a WordPress blog. Now that I own an N900 phone, I’d like to use the excellent MaStory client. This works fine, unless you want to upload photos.

When you upload a photo, WordPress automatically make smaller versions of the image (of configurable size). Unfortunately it doesn’t tell the client what the URLs to these resized images are. I’ve created a patch to WordPress that returns the URLs but it has missed the cut off for 3.0 so it’ll be some time before it gets included. In the mean time, I’ve created a tiny plugin that does the same thing.

This plugin is not useful to you at all unless you use a blogging client that makes use of it. The only client I intend to alter is MaStory so I’m imagining this plugin will not be used by a lot of people.

To use the plugin:

  1. Download the plugin (It’s now available from its plugin page on as well)
  2. Upload `ImageURLReturner.php` to the `/wp-content/plugins/` directory
  3. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress
  4. Use a blogging client that makes use of the plugin – this is the hard bit – there is no such client at the moment. I have created a patch for MaStory though.

Update: (Sept 11th 2010) I’ve just uploaded a new version (0.2) that handles images with duplicate names. Thanks to the people who pointed out the bug.

The Alphabet Game

I’ve been working on a little web-app that I call the “Alphabet Game”. It’s a simple little game where you drag letters on to objects that begin with that letter. It’s at a fairly early stage at the moment – it’ll be much more child-friendly when we add some sound with some HTML5 audio tags.

Eventually I’ll use it with my daughter, Katie. At the moment, she’s a bit young for it though we have had fun pointing out the names of the objects she already knows.

Let me know if you have comments or suggestions.

A few years ago, a group of my friends (who went to uni together and now live across the UK) were trying to arrange to meet up one weekend. A whole sequence of e-mails were sent suggesting days but we were struggling to find a day everyone could make. I spent a weekend starting to write a small web application that I thought would help. At the time I didn’t know any PHP so I didn’t quite finish it that week-end (and we ended up arranging to meet without it).

The application languished unloved for a few years, every now and again I’d spend an evening looking at it but all I would achieve each time was to learn my way around the code again.

For a few months now the application has been basic but usable and I’ve now registered a domain for it: You give it a few details about the thing that you’re organising, a little of possible dates and a guest list. It then email each guest a link to a web page where they can say which days they can make. It can make finding a suitable day much easier.

Try it out.

VMWare and SELinux

So is blog is basically dormant but I’ve been struggling with a computer problem and now I have the solution I wanted to document it. I’ve been trying to make VMWare Server 2 work on my Fedora 9 box; I could get to the log in prompt but once I tried to log in, it just said “connecting” until it finally timed out.

It’s taken me ages to find the solution, I’d read that VMWare Server 2 didn’t work well with SELinux but I’d assumed that couldn’t affect me as the boxes I’d tried it on (32 and 64 bit) both had SELinux in permissive mode. It turns out that permissive mode isn’t enough – to make it work you have to disable SELinux entirely.

I don’t understand it – in my limited understanding of SELinux I thought that it wouldn’t block anything in permissive mode but I’ve tried disabling SELinux and it works; so for now that’s what I’m going to do.

Network Effects

It’s been a slightly geeky couple of days. Yesterday I spent a few hours rearranging the network topology around the house. We now have a wireless router allowing easy (DHCP, NATed) access to the internet and separately a little web server (a slug) running on a static IP address ready for a domain (or subdomain) to be directed to it. I’m guessing not many households have two routers and a network switch in their networking set up.

Today I’ve made some updates to the blog – I’ve stopped the Twitter digests (and added a Twitter sidebar to the blog). The digests were inhibiting my Twittering as I didn’t want to create lots of posts with a single tweet in them

Geekery aside it’s been a good couple of days – yesterday Em’s mum came to visit and today we had a walk along the beach at Lepe…..the concept of actual work seems so foreign yet in a short time I’ll be back.