19th June 2015 under Personal

Getting Back on Track

I've always wanted to restart this blog but I also always wanted to do it in style. In that light it is with great joy that I wish to announce that I have sucessfully migrated the blog over from wordpress.com. This blog is currently being hosted on GitHub (because that is what the cool kids are doing now).

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31st May 2012 under PHP

Building a Mini Banking App With The WYF PHP Framework (Part 1)

I'm pretty sure you are wondering what this WYF (pronounced waif) framework is? Well its a little toy I started writing a while ago when I was teaching myself to code in PHP. Don't ask me what the name means because its really not that important for now.

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11th November 2010 under PHP

Generating Even and Odd PostgreSQL Databases for Replication

I was recently faced with a problem of replicating two PostgreSQL databases with bucardo. The replication was to be in a master-master fashion so that the databases could be updated on both ends. Although this task can easily be handled by bucardo it requires that the two different systems generate completely different sets of primary keys. According to the Bucardo website (http://bucardo.org/wiki/Bucardo/Sequences) there are three ways of achieving this difference.

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24th August 2010 under Flex

Getting FLEX-ible with GEdit (Ant Style)

A while ago I had a post on this blog which described a crude way of using Gedit as an editor for Flex code. An interesting comment on this post actually got me thinking in another direction I had previously not thought about ... using a build system. For those of you lost on the whole build system thing, a build system is simply a software which helps you to build source code in an "easier" way. This particular comment actually recommended the use of the ant build system. After a little research and some playing around with Gedit, Ant and Flex I kind of figured out this simple way to build flex projects in Gedit using Ant.

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13th July 2010 under Java

The Magic of Embedded Webservers

Sometimes non web-based applications you build may be installed on servers which are not physically accessible to you. In such cases you might want to rely on configuration files and log files to find out the status of your application. This may be cool in cases where you have very few or simple applications to manage. However, when the complexity rises, log files may no longer be easy to read and you may find yourself asking questions about variables in your own configuration files. Trust me these scenarios can get really frustrating and that is why you might want to consider embedded web servers.

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20th December 2009 under Ideas

Soft Shadows in OpenOffice.org using Gimp

There is no doubt about the fact that soft shadows make any piece of graphics stand out. It adds that extra touch of professionalism to any illustration and it makes the illustrations look and feel just right in any document or presentation (if properly used). I have been using Open Office for a while and after several hours of combing Google just to find a way to create soft shadows in OpenOffice, I only came up with this (http://www.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=64343), which happens to be a page on the OpenOffice.org issue tracker requesting the same feature. This means that it is still a work in progress (and you can vote for it to give it a higher priority). In the mean time, while we wait for the guys at OOo to code this feature for us, we can actually play around with GIMP and open office to produce some rudimentary soft shadows which also look good.

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16th November 2009 under How To do Stuff

A JavaScript MP3 Player Tutorial

Lots of things go on around me yet making the time to write them is quite difficult. Well now I have made it a point to share some knowledge all the time so this time I am going to do a little piece about how an MP3 player can be implemented in JavaScript with the help of Adobe Flash, through ActionScript 3. I noticed this trick was being used on several websites. It took me a while to actually figure out that they were using a flash object to handle the playback of the MP3. I thought it was cool and I am sure there are several people out there who want to implement similar ones of their own. So in this post I am only going to help you build a basic player so that you would at least get the Idea. I believe that with the idea firmly understood, you could extend this to do just about anything you would want it to. This sure promises to be fun.

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28th September 2009 under Ideas

Compiling PortMidi in Windows with Eclipse/MinGW

Why I did this?

Over the past few weeks I have been working on this project which in some ways uses MIDI. I have primarily been working in Linux  but I had plans of porting the finished application to windows. In order to convince myself after a while that my approach would work, I decided to try to compile the unfinished app in Windows.

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5th March 2009 under How To do Stuff

PHP/HTML Forms Made Easy

Introduction

I must admit here that one of the most annoying things for me when I was learning how to develop PHP/HTML applications was designing those HTML forms. Point blank, it sucks! It is very painful validating your data and doing all the other crap that comes along with that HTML chore. Don't tell me about DreamWeaver and all those other WYSIWYG editors, they just don't work for me.To solve my own problems, I decided to build a library to help me on the whole forms thing. This was actually inspired by the concept of the forms api in the Drupal content management system and the code igniter framework. I just didn't use either because I wanted to be able to do something of my own so I could just extend it to do whatever I wanted without going through lenghty documentation. Trust me, the time invested is sometimes worth it. This forms library I am talking about has already been used in a couple of applications already (some by me and others by some very good developer friends of mine). This probably means that it has undergone some amount of testing already. I cannot stick my neck out that it is very secure and I can also not stick my neck out that it is very stable but one thing I can tell you is that it works.

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22nd December 2008 under How To do Stuff

Getting FLEX-ible With GEdit

For a long time I had always wanted to develop for the flash platform but the huge cost of the authouring suite always put me off. I tried a couple of open source ways to develop for the platform but none of them really worked well for me. Earlier this year during a random escapade on the Internet I came accross Flex.

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6th November 2008 under What I think

Is there really an easy way?

I must say that its been quite a while since I expressed myself on this blog. I know this sounds like the regular cliche excuse but I have been busy. I have also been very broke. Sometimes it feels like I am living the broke but almost rich lifestyle. So now that I am done with the excuses I would like to continue with my post. In the past month, I have been working on this crack down of a project with some software development company. Through this project I have had the opportunity to meet a few of the developpers who actually turn the IT wheels here in Ghana (although there are technically three people working on my project and the other two are not related to this articvle). I am trying hard to learn a lot about this "IT business" as it is called in Ghana but my first lessons have not been pleasant ones.

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29th June 2008 under What I think

When PHP goes BOM! on Internet Explorer

I was recently working on a web content management system with a friend and we made a very surprising discovery. We were actually using PHP to include content from another page on our local server unto the page that was curently being viewed. This thing worked perfectly when I was using the Eclipse editor but when I moved to my friends office and we started using Expression studio (which obviously doesn't seem to support PHP), the include statement started introducing unwanted characters. Although most of the browsers on which this was tested (Opera, Safari and FireFox) skipped these characters, IE of all browsers displayed them and messed up our template. Well we started to panic because we didn't know what we had done wrong and IE is one browser you don't want to mess with because everybody uses it.

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23rd June 2008 under Ideas

Automating TV Broadcasting - "SQLite saves the day!"

To graduate in my school one has to work on a graduation project. For my project I decided to build a TV broadcast automation system. What exactly was this system supposed to do? Well, the whole idea was to build some sort of media player which played video's as it has been scheduled to. It was also supposed to keep a log of the media files played. The system I came up with was quite interesting. It did all that was required of it and even more. It had the ability to place logos on the screen, scroll text along the bottom of the screen and also automatically give information about the currently playing media file such as flashing a tag saying "Now Playing" as the video is playing. Cool eh!

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10th June 2008 under What I think

Ghanaians and the 5 pesewa logic

Almost a year ago a new set of bank notes and coins were released by the government to replace the old bulky and cumbersome notes. I mean who wanted to carry a bank note worth 20,000 cedis which is equivalent to just 2 dollars. This move was embraced by everybody and I think one year down the line we are all still getting used to it. At least my parents cannot laugh at me that our generation didn't spend pesewas. For me when these new notes and coins were released I was happy because we were now going to be able to pay arbitrarily any price for anything. It was the end of the era where everything was increased by 500 cedis when the prices of fuel shot up.

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4th June 2008 under How To do Stuff

LFS - My Linux Last Stop

Four years ago, when I first entered the university, I really wanted to learn a lot before I was taught so I decided to try the new craze everybody was talking about... LINUX. It sounded very cool to tell someone that you have Linux on your computer (and trust me it still does). There was however a problem getting started with Linux. I didn't have the bandwidth to download any of the major distributions and I even didn't know anyone who could physically give me a copy, so I decided to try some minimalistic Linux distributions. The first one I laid my hands on was muLinux.

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30th May 2008 under What I think

Microsoft Windows and the Refreshing Misconception!

I have a friend who is stuck on to Microsoft Windows. He is always blowing the windows horn and he would readily stand up to defend MS-windows in any situation.This friend always tries to show off cool things that MS-Windows can do that Linux can't. We always argue about the power of windows and linux. Just last week I paid a visit to this friend and he was teaching his girlfriend how to use the computer (he was actually teaching her how to use microsoft windows). He was explaining the options in the pop-up menu that appears when you right-click on the desktop. When he got to the refresh option he said:

This option allows you to refresh the computers CPU and memory so that when any program is frozen it can be refreshed.

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28th May 2008 under Ideas

QuickBasic to RapidQ to FreeBASIC? ... or what?

After several years of teaching myself to program computers using Microsoft QuickBASIC, I got to a point somewhere in 2002 when I realized that the MS-DOS era was over. I needed an alternative. All roads were leading to VisualBASIC but a poor guy like me couldn't just afford it. So I searched for a free alternative to VB. Mind you around this time the hype of .NET and Mono were not that in rage so we had to make do with what we had.

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5th March 2008 under How To do Stuff

Lets get started!

I have always wanted to write a blog but the problem I had was I really didn't know what to write about. I felt writing a blog about your personal life was sick and anything I thought of already seemed to be out there. I was however struck by this idea a few minutes ago and I decided to try it out.

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