May 27, 2007

a new bike

I got a bike! Bright, attractive, manoeuvrable orange-black Gary Fisher SF Advance 21.5".

Sinse I got WOW-addicted and quit I found at last a real incarnation of my virtual horse.

Do you ever have sleepless nights in summer, when it's hot and stuffy, hard thoughts and expectation of a hard day that will follow? Get on a bike and ride away from the city to the lake before the sinrise. You will start enjoying the insomnia :) Proven today.
Oh my poor haunches ...

May 23, 2007

open source esoteric

In early days of open source many people treated the idea sceptically. The reasons look obvious: firstly - who will do the serious work for free, secondly - who will do the serious business on the solutions with no-warranties or reliablility?
Now we know that open source software for web often has higher quality code, is more reliable, flexible and faster then the commercial alternatives. But why?

I don't know for sure, but I will make one strange assumption based on my own experience.
When I prepare and publish (say, give away for free) some interesting solution, I always get back more. I get emotions, feedbacks, attention, recognition.
It feels like the world gives me back what I need - or maybe I become ready and open to get it?
And I always get new interesting projects. And always want to do and publish more!

I don't know why, or how, but world does not obey the laws of the capitalism. As a professional economist (bank officer in the past), I disagree with many laws of the classical Smith's economics.
The world lives on it's own, and if you ever try to publish some good open source code - you'll never regret and only think of how to publish more.

May 21, 2007

Easy professional emails

I had a task to send some emails from the site scripts in the HTML format, while other emails should be kept in the plain text.
A big deal - what's difficult in sending emails? Nothing, actually.

I had a class in PHP that used Smarty template to fetch letter body with subject and send it either as HTML or in plain text using the 3rd party PHP library.
I rewrote the wrapper and made it usable for all kinds of tasks I have in my web practice.
This are the registration-confirmation-congradulations, invitations, monthly newsletters and notifications.

Technically, it requires sending a relatively small amount of letters from a PHP script with the content created from a template. The template has to be editable by the non-programmers
(to let a customer do it himself).
The goal of rewriting the script is to forget the endless options I had to code for sending emails. Just make it simple and do the work, but if anything beyond is required - the full power of both packages is available.

Yesterday I wrote samples of usage for my script, compiled it in a working package and published it on

References to the packeges used.
One is the "MIME E-mail message" library by Manuel Lemos. It allows sending emails from a PHP script with attachments, in plain text, HTML-formatted, with images, with non-latin characters, bulk-sending, etc ... I just can't think out what it does not allow about sending emails.
Another is the Smarty template engine I use in all sites I do. It is convenient to prepare the email body and subject with the same template engine as used for generating pages output.

May 14, 2007

Hotmail "Not found"

I think everyone who cares about IT saw an announcement about "Microsoft launching new Windows Live™ Hotmail ®"

But if you go directly to (without www.) you may see "The page cannot be found" in the background behind the login window. And this lasts for weeks now.

Note - some people see the pages correctly, it's not clear why others don't.

May 10, 2007

US hunt down E-gold

E-Gold Indicted for Money Laundering

Pity, it was a convenient and fast way to get money.
Yes, it was a favorite payment system for fraudsters, casinos, and others. But it was a good way for hundreds of thousands of programmers in Europe and Asia to get payments from the western customers.
Will there be less fraud when e-gold get closed? I am sure it will not.
But US government decided to kill rats by burning the house.
Now we (web developers) got one more problem in our lifes.

May 8, 2007

Sea, sun, wine and girls

I had a vacation - 3 days by the sea!
With 2 friends I went to the south for 700 km (435 miles) by a car.
That was sun, fun, and cool.
Other day it was cool literally - rain and clouds could be depressive. Fortunately friends were alongside :).

So here are some pictures!

P.S. For those who wrote me that "girls topic undisclosed", specially adding a picture of a young accountant from the beach: