Chief Technology Officer & Photographer | Irvine, CA

CodeIgniter & jQuery – A match made in web heaven…

Honestly, a year ago, I wasn’t a fan of either CodeIgniter or jQuery – because I really didn’t look at them deep enough.

CodeIgniter – PHP MVC Framework

My first shot at CodeIgniter was with DateDesigner.com (by persistent recommendation from @strebel).  Wow…once you grab the concept of the MVC framework, CodeIgniter makes your life tremendously easier when throwing together a site.  I literally thumbed through documentation and built DateDesigner.com in 30 days (scratch to launch).  I have learned how to set it up better and have learned a lot after putting together a few more sites with it (Twitrratr.com, FindMyDogADate.com, BajaSurVacationRentals.com), so now when I go back through some of the DateDesigner.com code, I curse myself a little as I refactor.

Have you built any sites with CodeIgniter?  Do you have an cool plug-in’s for CodeIgniter that you can suggest?

jQuery – Javascript Framework

Now – I have sucked at javascript for going on…ummm…ever?  It was actually @chuckreynolds that intro’d me to jQuery, but at the time, I still didn’t get it – because I was just too lazy to take a good look at it.  Well, again, my first shot at jQuery was on a simple interface tweak in DateDesigner.com, but it has spurred off on to nearly every site I work on now (including all of the 944 web sites internal/external).  There are a plethora plug-in’s available for jQuery – I’ve recently worked with jCarousel and a few others.

Do you have any jQuery plug-in recommendations?  Anyone know of any where I could essentially paginate images in 2 columns like a book/magazine w/o using flash?

2010 Lincoln MKZ – Ford Drive – Day 1

Rachel Young at Social Media Group contacted me out of the blue and asked if I would like to drive around a new 2010 Lincoln MKZ for a little while and share my experience with it through blogging/Twitter/Facebook/etc – how could I turn that down, I’m both a HUGE car nerd and a HUGE web nerd (my license plate says so).

Day 1 – Pick up the car

Met the rep at the #tukeedevhouse to pick up the car…fully loaded…in white!  First impression – “its definitely not Grandpa’s Lincoln…”.  Ford has really stepped up the styling on the Lincoln brand with their newest vehicle releases – I’m totally loving the lines of the car!

Get in to the car – and its got Sirius Satellite Radio – that’s a given in most cars today.  I didn’t really have an opportunity to mess with it too much before heading back to work, but the THX sound system & the Sirius satellite radio was crystal clear cruising all the way back to Scottsdale.  Got out of work, and bolted over to the kids school for Dom’s end of the year party – still didn’t have too much time to mess with the gadgets or the car, but I planned on it as soon as the party was over.

Ended up leaving the party and I literally sat in the parking lot of 7 Eleven for 20 minutes or so going through the manual and playing with Microsoft Sync.  I had thought that since it was Microsoft software, it wasn’t going to really support my Blackberry 8900, however, I was wrong!  I paired up my phone within a minute or so and made a call to Lexi (again) to wish her happy birthday – this time, through the phone interface in the car.  Awesome!

My battery was dying on my phone, so I knew I was going to have to head home, plug my phone in to my laptop, and let it take a charge before I could play with it some more, but then that got me thinking.  I figured, ok, there’s got to be more to the Microsoft Sync – it HAS to have a USB port somewhere in the car.  Sitting out front of my parents house (I had to stop by and show them the car – both my parents were jealous), I began looking everywhere, and then I opened up the center console and found the USB port.  I figured there was no way this was going to be as cool as I had imagined…and since I just had 2 strikes against my thoughts about the car and the Sync technology…whooosh…swing and a miss!  My phone started charging, and then I noticed that I had a USB media option – it totally loaded up all the MP3’s I had on my internal SD card and I could access my full library of music.

Streaming MP3’s via USB + charging phone + Bluetooth tech + aggressive styling + smooth ride = BIG GRIN!!!

Later in the evening after stopping by Gangplank to show the boys the car and giving them a ride in it, I discovered how to stream my media from my phone over Bluetooth…holy freakin’ cool!

Tomorrow I’ll touch more on how the car drives and any more gadgets that I find!

Check out the video that Chuck filmed late last night while I paired up the 8900 again & streamed MP3’s over Bluetooth to the sound system…

2009 MLB.tv – Streaming HD Baseball FTW

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To be perfectly honest, this blog post has been sitting in my drafts section for a few months.  I wanted to start this post about people bitching about the MLB.tv service, but I think I had this little voice in my head that told me to just give it some time, enjoy my already stellar experience, and see where it goes from there.

The journey to MLB.tv started late in the season last year when I wanted to be able to stream the playoff games from whatever office I may of been working out of that day, however, I forgot to read the fine print that stated all live playoff games were blacked out, but an archive copy of the game would be available AFTER the game…meh.  Small fail for me…but that seems to be some what of a daily occurence as I get older. :-)

So fast forward a few months, and I start poking around and seeing if I could find ANYTHING on the internet about MLB.tv offering live games streaming in HD…I couldn’t find anything.  So I went to the social channels, sent out a msg on Twitter, and oddly, my friend Nicole of all people responded to me on Facebook (my Twitter feed goes through to Facebook as well).  She said that she knew all the MLB.tv guys from when she lived in New York for a few years and she immediately got on her IM, asked if they were going to be offering streaming HD content for 2009, and they said yes!

The power of social media is awesome!

So anyway, when it came time to roll out streaming HD over the internet from MLB.tv, I was on it like white on rice with my credit card in hand!  Its roughly $20/month for me to be able to watch ALL of the Red Sox games live in HD…ummm…yeah…IN!

When I signed up, the player was still in “beta” mode with some limited functionality, but it worked well for a beta…not gonna lie.  There were some issues with the “NextDef” java based plug-in initially, for many users, but as far as I can tell, those issues are gone.  The player itself is all Flash based, and has some really cool options.  You can literally use it as a DVR with an unlimited amount of space to store ALL games ALL season long…in HD!  Its like a media mecca for any diehard baseball fan.

We are a few months in to the MLB season now, and I’m still watching my HD stream every chance I can get.  The picture quality isn’t perfect all the time, but this is new technology, and since I’m REALLY in to new tech (oddly I’m writing this blog post on my PC that’s connected to my 46″ Samsung LCD TV), I can pretty much “go with the flow” when it comes to bumps in the road when new technologies roll out.

Kudos to the MLB.tv crew…you guys are doing a great job…love the service…keep pushing forward!  And, if you are a die hard baseball fan, and your team isn’t within your local market, do yourself a favor and get the service already…no…seriously…get it, and if you do get it, and don’t like it, come back and tell me why…maybe we can get some group collaboration together and get some new features packed in for the 2010 season!

Wanna save money on development costs? Stop using Internet Explorer!!!

firefox_and_internet_explorerIt goes without saying really that we are in a recession, and many people and businesses are looking to save some money.  I’ve got a great idea to help out…STOP USING INTERNET EXPLORER!

As a web developer, I have many things that I factor in when developing a new site, or adding on to an existing site, and you know, people could really save some cash if I didn’t have to spend extra time making Internet Explorer play nice like the other browsers do with no “extra” help.

Let’s say that some normal markup would take about 10 hours…well I’ll quote it out as 13+ just because of that extra bit I’m going to have to spend on making Internet Explorer display the same way that the other browsers do just because they conform to standards.

So do yourself a favor…if you want to save some development costs, spread the word, Internet Explorer is the devil as far as XHTML/CSS is concerned – it just HAS to be different and it is costing YOU more money.

I think Microsoft did it that way, because you know you didn’t pay for that Office software you are using…so they are just stickin’ it to ya in another way! hahahaha

Download Firefox or Download Safari – and save your soul!!!

Sweet on Geeks Event @ Changing Hands Book Store – March 14, 2009

So…I kinda volunteered to be auctioned off at a “geeks” event for charity – just got the flyer. LOL

sweetongeeks

The “Sweet on Geeks” charity auction event is happening on March 14th, 2009 at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, AZ at 8pm.  I think I’m gonna take the most in auction dollars…I decided…