css :: simple hbox

A hbox is a horizontal box. That means a box where all sub-elements display horizontally across the page, and never wrap.

If you can disregard IE6 (and perhaps IE7… at least IETester doesn’t like it), then a hbox can be as simple as:

  .hbox {
  .hbox > * { display:table-cell; }

Then the markup:

  <div class="hbox">

Adding some debugging markup to show what’s going on:

  .hbox { border:3px solid green; border-spacing:3px; }
  .hbox > div { border:1px solid blue; padding:5px; }

and you get:

hbox example output

You can use other table-css on the .hbox selector as well, e.g. border-collapse.

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new photo frame: pdf to jpg conversion

I got a new digital photo frame for xmas, and it is big enough that I wanted to use it to display the score sheets while I play the piano.  Only problem:  music scores frequently come as pdf files, and the frame only handles simple image files…

ImageMagick to the rescue!

I was doing this on windows, so I first had to download Ghostscript (http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/doc/GPL/gpl900.htm).  For some reason I already had ImageMagick installed…. (hmm).

Then the magic incantation:

convert -density 200x200 minuet-g.pdf minuet-g.jpg

ImageMagick automatically splits the pdf into individually numbered .jpg files. The -density argument was necessary to get all the lines to show up.

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Welcome to bluehost

I got tired of dealing with GoDaddy after they continued to stone-wall me on the speed issue.  Earlier today I was seeing load times in excess of 40 seconds!

Everything is now switched over to bluehost.com, and hopefully things will converge on normality.  It took a little less than 20 minutes of downtime to do the entire switch, and it could probably have gone even faster if I knew what I was doing.  Big thanks to bluehost for their excellent documentation and for answering their phone almost immediately (no more “your expected wait time is 11 minutes”…!).  Big thanks also to the WordPress team for making it so easy to transfer an entire blog!

Load times are now in a sane range from 328 ms to 1830 ms (the larger numbers are all from Europe).

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GoDaddy upgraded me to appalling response times…

I seem to be having just piles of problems with my GoDaddy hosting lately.  I’ve been a customer since 2006, but suddenly this June (2010) the database holding my blog went *poof*.

Having spent a lot of time on archive.org and in the google cache, I managed to salvage some of the old posts, but it was a tedious manual process.  To speed up some of the mundane work, I wanted to turn on ssh access.  Should have been an easy option to enable from the settings menu in hosting manager, however, it told me my account had to be transferred to “newer” servers.  To do that I had to delete my blog (after exporting it) calling support, having them put in a service order, and waiting several days.

At my day job, I use www.pingdom.com to monitor the uptime on our servers, and naturally I’ve added this blog to the list.  Not long after the upgrade to the ssh-enabled account, I started getting text-messages saying the blog was down.  Turns out it mostly wasn’t down, it just had response times of over 30 seconds(!)

Below is the pretty graph from pingdom.com, with average response times per day, for the last month for access to the http://blog.tkbe.org page:

monthly access times

The only advice from GoDaddy support… turn off all the WordPress plugins (which I’ve done without seeing any improvement whatsoever).

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