Blogs

Posted by jcfiala

Here's a useful module that I keep forgetting the name of, so I wanted to note it down: Stage File Proxy. It's not something you use for a live site, it's something you use while developing.

The basic idea is this: you're working on a site that's since gone live, making changes for the client. It's easy enough to get a copy of the database, but the files can be a pain to keep replacing, interlacing test files with live images. Stage File Proxy fixes this by snooping in on imagecache and, when a file is missing, then it grabs it off of the live site, copies it to the local directory, and then you've got the file locally and all your imagecache files get generated for you!

There's a version for six and for seven, and there's no ui for it yet, although there is a patch for it. Then again, once you've got the simple settings done, you don't need to worry about them again!

Posted by jcfiala

Although I don't play them as often as I might, I'm still deeply interested in boardgames. The surprising announcement that Fantasy Flight Games was releasing a new edition of the Netrunner collectable card game as one of their limited card games, where each package of cards has exactly the same contents was just the beginning. They're re-theming the game to their Android world, and titling it as , and dribbled information out to old and new fans of the game slowly in a lead-up to GenCon, where they were astounded to sell out of the game within ten minutes of the exhibitor hall opening. Things got rather heated on the boardgamegeek forums about that situation, but honestly, if you'ld offered me 2:1 odds on betting if Netrunner would sell out a decade after it had originally appeared, I'd have taken the 'no' bet and considered it certain money.

"Get Real" Review

13 Jun 2012
Posted by jcfiala

Get Real by Donald E. Westlake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Posted by jcfiala

Boy, having a kid changes how you do stuff.

Way back a year ago, before I had had to stop freelancing to get insurance, I was a fairly early user of http://www.kickstarter.com/, enjoying searching the site and finding things to put money down on. This was way before the explosion of board game kickstarters, and so when the kickstarter for Rolling Freight showed up I was all in on a copy. For one, my wife runs the train gaming at GenghisCon and is a major train gamer, and I thought she'd probably find having a copy of this useful. For another, I had a lot of disposable income when I was freelancing. I figured it would have been a great Christmas present for Tammy last year, but production of the game dragged on, and amusingly enough I got the package only a few days shy of the first anniversary of when the kickstarter finished.

Posted by jcfiala

The Empress of Mars by Kage Baker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This here is a great book. I'd picked it up on a whim, used, without knowing much about it other than it says it's one of Kage Baker's "The Company" series.

Amusingly, it's not obviously part of that series, and if you're worried about picking this book up and not knowing what's going on, don't worry - there's no obvious metaplot here, and although it's apparently part of the future history of her series, there's no reference to any other part of it.

Posted by jcfiala

It's not easy to go out with a Baby. This is obvious to the parents out there, who are cheerfully laughing at my naiveté - I can only point out to them that they were in my shoes, once.

But it is hard. For one, there's preparation - you've got to pack the baby into the carseat, make sure you've got enough diapers in the bag and bring that along, and probably a blanket or two, this time of year. You then have to wrestle it all into the car, and take off. Upon arriving at any destination you need to unpack the baby, possibly also the stroller, and set off. Going anywhere costs extra energy just getting in and out of the car, and as you're out and about with the baby she gets tired and cranky. You don't really stop anywhere on a whim, you tend to plan everything you do. I'm sure this will ease up as Rose gets older, but it's hard.

Posted by jcfiala

Here's a quick snippet I just found out today: The jquery cookie plugin is presented as part of Drupal 7. This is really cool and useful, but I must note that it's not automatically included on every page load, so you'll want to include it if you want to use it, and as well it doesn't seem to actually be documented anywhere on drupal.org.

Happily, the original documentation for the plugin is at https://github.com/carhartl/jquery-cookie/blob/master/README.rdoc, and is pretty good, although I suggest reading it through at least twice, as at first I missed that you can read, as well as set, cookies with this. Basically the parameters are the cookie name, the cookie value, and then an options object which says the expiration, the path, the domain, and such. Note that the expiration can _either_ be a date, or a number of days.

Hopefully this will help other folks out with using the jquery cookie plugin with Drupal 7.

Posted by jcfiala

John Scalzi is doing a bunch of posts this month about things he's thankful for, and I thought I might follow suit.

I'm thankful for - my family.

Python Notes

25 Sep 2011
Posted by jcfiala

Trying to install py.test in order to get stuff tested in trying to convert Byakhee over to python, and to do that a few links were useful.

1) http://stackoverflow.com/q/4750806/9143 told me the basics for installing pip, which is needed to install py.test.

However, that lead to other problems, because the Windows 7 64 bit doesn't register the program the way that the easy_install installer thinks it should.

2) http://tech.valgog.com/2010/01/after-installing-64-bit-windows-7-at.html contains instructions on getting Python installed properly. All I had to do was to copy the python script into a file (which I named register_python.py) and run it.

Step 2 let me install the easy_install installer from step 1, which let me install pip. And now, that let me install py.test.

Posted by jcfiala

Had a lovely day out today, including some time spent at our friends Mike and Anna's house for some gaming and conversation.

Couldn't stay late, though, as we had a free invite to a 'Just Between Friends' event. I don't remember if I mentioned this before, but it's pretty awesome for a new parent - they're a periodical consignment shop entirely about the new parent. We'd already bought quite a lot of great baby stuff from them, but one of the things they're really wizard with is clothing - outfits for 1-4 dollars apiece blows away the prices in the malls. This time we went through and got:

  1. A new carseat and base for $15. (I was going to get just the base, but those were $20. Go figure!)
  2. A box of about 166 size 1 diapers for $20.
  3. About 15-17 outfits, god knows, really
  4. A changing table pad to put Rose on so she doesn't roll off downstairs, $4
  5. And a little plastic cage to wash baby bottle bits in, for a buck.