Over the past several months I have been working on a project called Flavordex, which I released Friday. Flavordex is an Android app for beer (and soon wine, whiskey, coffee, tea, and more) tasting. Its most significant feature is the radar chart for visualizing the elements of a product’s flavors. Since this is my first attempt at mobile app development, I want to share the story behind it.
It all started back in September ’11 when I received an electronic letter from Dirty ‘Space Jang’ Dan a.k.a. Robert Watters with some crazy idea about an app. Apparently people taste things and some of them like to take notes, so there should be an app for that. It sounded like a good excuse to get into mobile app development.
The first thing I did was to buy a good book on Java programming, since that’s what Android apps are written in, and quickly learned the language. As soon as I had a pretty good understanding, I downloaded the Android SDK and started learning the framework. Then I spent the last several months writing and rewriting the app with space input from RobDan.
So that’s the story behind Flavordex. If you are interested in beer tasting or know someone who is, check it out at flavordex.com. I’m also working on one for wine, whiskey, and coffee, with more after that…
I got this spam email today and I just had to share…
MetalPromExport is one of the largest leading companies in the Shipbuilding Industry. Through constant attention to innovation and investment in its facilities it aims to increase productivity and quality in line with customer’s requirements. During of latest years the company has enlarged its business both in domestic and international arenas with turn-key business solutions. MetalPromExport builds a wide range of vessels including, naval vessels, tailor-made oil/chemical/stainless steel tankers, container vessels, tug boats, arctic & pelagic trawlers and research vessels, offshore vessels and private luxury motor boats. MetalPromExport aim is to play a major role in the development of the domestic and international arenas of Shipbuilding Industry.
Total Area: 95.243m²
Covered area: 30.746m²
Annual Steel Processing Capacity: 20.000 tons / year
Commercial vessel building up to 200 m and 50.000 DWT
Two slipways with 150m, 100m length for new building facilities
Closed production halls and painting hall with collapsible roofs for transferring of blocks: 5500m²
2 lifting capacities gantry cranes: 300 ton and 200 ton
With a strong corporate background and specialist personnel MetalPromExport offers the following services:
Refit & Repair after sales service
At this moment our shipyard has Oil/Chemical Tankers from 3.000 DWT till 12.000 DWT with different level of readiness which can be floated within the few months.
We are looking forward to your response to our E-mail in order to take up the matter further. All our contact details are signed herewith & please do not hesitate to contact us for any further clarifications in the matter. If you ready to discuss our further cooperation that please connect with our representative Mr. Evgeny which will arrive in India from 21th till 27th of January 2012.
I’ve been inundated with requests to explain what “Noty” means. Well, I have finally been authorized to release the following information, which will hopefully satisfy the public by explaining who or what is Noty.
Noty is the culmination of decades of scientific research and billions of dollars in funding. The greatest minds in the world have been working in secret since 1973 to come up with the breakthrough technologies behind the Noty device.
Noty stands for Notation Orifice Transitional Yacht. However, despite common misconception, Noty is not actually a boat. While it is incapable if floatation on water, it does have the ability to store information much like a sheet of paper which can be placed on a boat, hence the “yacht” in the name.
Noty takes advantage of the patented process of “making notes.” Many of the details of this process are highly classified, but the process involves quoting parts of text and/or supplementing text with original commentary relating to said text. The Noty device can facilitate this and more.
You can get your own piece of this space-age technology or see a live demo of it in action. That site says it costs $6 or something like that, but I have lots of functional prototypes I’ll give away. Just ask…
Disclaimer: The above statements are not guaranteed to be factual in nature.
The latest update to Team Fortress 2 added Replays. This allows you to save a recording, much like a SourceTV demo, of your current life on servers that have the feature enabled. What separates this from SourceTV demos, however, is that replays are automatically delivered to the client over HTTP.
Once you save a replay, you can view and edit scenes using the built-in editor. The editor is very simple and easy to use, and allows you to capture the action from any angle and save different takes of the same replay. Once you have a take, you can save it as a video or image sequence with several options for quality. This really simplifies the process for making simple TF2 videos without external programs.
The server-side implementation of replays is very unstable currently, with blocking and crashes, but hopefully that gets fixed soon. Setup requires a web server, which can be local or accessible via FTP, and there are example configs provided that make setup very easy.
Below is my incredible entry to the Saxxy Awards. Obviously there is not a chance this will not win…
The following chronology of events is brought to you with limited commercial interruption by Death Bat 4, in theaters some time in the late 70’s.
It all started Sunday when Dog noticed the Left4DoD server hosted on my server was lagging horribly. I checked the graphs on server stats and saw nothing unusual. There were no increases in load or network usage anywhere. Very curious…
I noticed the same game server lagging horribly again. Curiously, no other services were affected, including other game servers. It’s also doubtful the Left4DoD plugin is to blame since other servers with the same plugin were fine.
The entire server locked up for about an hour. All processes were being blocked. The graphs showed a huge spike in load, memory, processes, and everything else immediately before the freeze. It kind of looked like a DoS attack. I put in a ticket with the datacenter asking them to investigate, but they didn’t find anything.
While poking around the server, I realized it was running Fedora 11, which is very old. So I decided it was time to upgrade to Fedora 15! The process of remotely upgrading Fedora remotely via yum is messy to say the least. So after hours of updating, resolving dependencies, and removing old junk the upgrade was complete!
Later that night, Dog and I noticed the Left4DoD server lagging again. Restarting and disabling the plugin had no effect, so we started suspecting a DoS attack. After changing the port, the lag immediately stopped. That all but confirmed our suspicion and we went to work hardening the server against the various DoS vulnerabilities in srcds. Dog technologied an anti-DoS plugin and I scienced together some iptables rules, and the problem hasn’t occurred since.
I noticed no emails were getting through the server since the upgrade to Fedora 15. The email services were all managed by ISPConfig, so I thought I’d update that. Well that didn’t go well and I’ve been dissatisfied with it before, so I decided to replace it with Webmin. Installing it was easy.
I set up my main websites and copied the files to the new directories. Most systems were fully operational. However, the email situation was only made worse by these changes.
I spent most of the day fixing the email situation. Everything relating to emails seemed to be failing. First I fixed postfix somehow (I forget; something about the hostname) to allow the server to send and receive mail. Meanwhile, I got the rest of the website stuff set up again.
The next step was to get Dovecot working again so I can get my mail out of the server. It was not accepting my credentials. After figuring out how to fix the logging, I was able to see that Dovecot couldn’t find where the mail is kept. A small change in the configuration solved that and everything was happy again in email land.
However, there seemed to be some DNS issues. I think everything is right in that area after lots of BIND tweaking, but I’m not sure. To be continued…
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