I was formerly the IT Manager for Jadecliff Ltd, a UK-based wholesaler of Christmas trees with plantations across Europe as well as at home. When I joined their IT systems were outdated or non-existant, but there’s been a steady encroachment since then and one of the first parts was building a modern website to represent the company.
Continue reading “Jadecliff website”
During my tenure at Jadecliff/Marldon Christmas Tree Farm I’ve designed or had a hand in designing numerous products, labels, signs and banners. This post will basically be a photodump with a brief description for each item, so enjoy!
After the madness of Christmas 2014 (trust me, this industry is madness) we settle in to the quiet period… Lots of general concepting and out-of-the-box thinking, and other manager buzzwords. I generally get a bit of free time here to play with some things on my own – usually working on website designs.
One of the projects I toyed with this year was an element for a future design rather than the design its self. I tend to name everything according to some system when I’m sprouting concepts like this, and for this year I settled on moons of Saturn (essential trivia: in the past I’ve used Shakespearean characters and bars in Sydney), so this project is known to me as Mimas.
When I interviewed for my current job I had hacked together a prototype based on a brief sent to me, in the header was a simple snowfall effect, with the snow settling on the bottom of the frame. I decided to revisit that idea, but go upscale, and borrow some code from my work wrapping text in php with imagettftext etc.Continue reading “HTML5 Snowfall Effect (“Mimas”)”
Today’s post covers the website I built for Marldon Christmas Trees, my workplace, for the 2014 festive season. The basic website is built on WordPress, with a slew of custom plugin code to handle two booking forms and a customized letter from Santa designer which we’ve seen before. So, let’s dive in.
Greetings once again, time to talk about something I almost forgot in the whirlwind of life, and it’s a game!
Prior to Jadecliff, I worked at a small marketing company called Stefan and Stephan of whom Jadecliff was a large client. When I started with S&S around April-May 2013 one of my first projects was to play with an idea for a mobile game relating to their nearest retail site, Marldon Christmas Tree Farm.
I wanted to try and make a runner-type game in the tree farm, and over a couple months and iterations I think we came out with something kinda cool – although requiring more work to get to release than we had time to do.
Work was ended on this project in the final days of July, about 2 months of work in total with some other tasks in between.Continue reading ““Where’s Woodchuck?” Game”
Hello everyone, today we’ll take a very quick look at a hardware mod I did a little while back on an old D-Link DIR-615.
This was initially an experiment in building a wireless repeater network to span some more of my workplace, so I wanted to fit large, high gain antennae. The DIR-615 seems an odd choice then, given it has fixed, non-removable antennae and is fairly famous for dodgy wireless performance out-the-box.
But I haven’t lost all my marbles because it also supports DD-WRT, the open source router firmware that gives you a worrying amount of control. Coupled with the fact that I was able to buy two DIR-615‘s for under £10, I think we have a winner!Continue reading “D-Link DIR-615 Modding”
Quick web project today…
My employer in 2013 also ran a scaffolding company, and one of my first tasks was to redesign and implement a new site atop WordPress. Having never used WordPress for anything other than this blog before it was a little daunting, and parts of it are hacked together rather than done properly but it did work.
Above the fold features the nav, a service guarantee, various accreditations and a short slideshow of sample jobs, and from there we break in to three columns to enumerate the types of work the company will undertake.
That’s all folks, thanks for reading.
Long time no blog! I’ve been so busy at work recently I haven’t had any time to work on other stuff.
But today I have a little php nugget I had to put together recently that I think someone will find useful.
In the past I’ve dabbled with generating images dynamically in php – usually basic stuff, website statistics etc. But recently I had to do something a little more advanced in generating preview images of letters that people would be paying for.
This involved placing a large amount of text within a series of template images – including ones with oddly shaped spaces where the text would have to go, which presents the problem of getting it to fit in the gap. I guess you could brute force it – manually position each line – but that’s frankly ludicrous and not future-friendly at all.
So, let’s make a solution.Continue reading “Generating previews with imagettftext”
Long time no blog, so here’s a quick catch up: I got a job at a small start up doing many varied and interesting things. The first project I was given built on my experiences with game development, and somewhat outstandingly I got to start writing a new game in Haxe NME! I can’t go in to details about the title right now, but it’s 99% complete and looking good.
One desired aspect of the game was an online leaderboard of some sort, so we can assign rewards to weekly/monthly winners. I’d never even looked at NMEs web function before, vaguely deciding I’d worry about highscores in Tower Defence “at some point”.
To my relief it’s super simple to use, and with a few php files on a server I’ve got a nice simple highscore system running… Someone’s bound to find this useful since I couldn’t find any complete samples online, so here we go…Continue reading “Online highscore system for Haxe NME”
I bought my Xbox 360 just after Christmas 2006, £300 for the console with two wireless controllers, Project Gotham 3 and the first Gears of War.
Since then it’s been custom painted, it’s red ringed and taken a holiday to Frankfurt where it was repaired over Christmas 2009, lived with me in five different houses, and generally been run in to the ground; but although all the internals were replaced with the RRoD repair in 2009, the hard drive was still the original 20Gb unit it arrived with.
Until the last couple of years this hasn’t been a problem, but now it’s annoying. Halo 4 for example, requires you to install the second disc to the drive before you can play anything – that’s 4Gb gone right there. Throw in a few map packs and a lot of accumulated game saves, and suddenly space is at a premium. Not only that, new hard drives are also at a premium – depending where you look, a new drive at the top end of the available sizes (250/320gb) can be £70!
But of course, you never need to do things the “official” way. Within that drive enclosure is actually a standard 2.5″ SATA drive, and besides a little bit of software tinkering you basically just need to swap it for a larger drive…
In the newer style 360 it’s even easier since the native SATA connections are exposed inside the HDD slot, so you can literally take a 2.5″ drive and (carefully) plug it in to the slot. I knew this was possible having read about it at some point long ago, so “why not”, I thought.Continue reading “Upgrading an Xbox 360 hard drive, the cheapskate way”