Recent Posts

February 2008

Flashback (pun totally intended)

This was my first flash website, designed back in 2002. My oh my how things have changed. It is strange to reflect on what the common thought of the time was.

Flash gives the user instantaneous feedback…”

Flash will allow users to interact dynamically with a website…”

Flash is going to revolutionize the web…”

What is odd about this, is that you can replace the word “Flash” with “AJAX”. The hype around this asynchronous tool set is enormous and everyone loves a good buzzword. Personally, I have barely started to using “AJAX” but am taking what I learned from my Flash days and applying it to Ajax.

  1. Don’t buy into the hype, investigate.
  2. Invest some time in learning the new stuff, but don’t be such an early adopter that you get burned (HD-DVD for a recent example)
  3. Make sure you look to the future yet still create something that works in the now.
  4. There will always be something around the next corner

I think Flash has it’s place. I think AJAX is in the process of defining it’s place. I think every language and technology has a place. A common geek mind set is to latch on to something, and hate everything else. It is only my opinion, but this mind set will simply lead to self destruction. Nothing good, positive, or productive will come by thinking this way.

“Learn or Die” that is what it is all about.

Green Gear Heads

A while ago I designed some icons for a website. Unfortunately this site never got off the ground so I wanted to showcase my work. The challenge I was presented with was coming up with an icon set for Green Gear Heads. The idea behind this site is that it would be an online community for GearHeads (gearhead: A person who is interested in machines and mechanical objects, i.e. cars, motorcycles, etc.) to post on different types of green powered vehicles. The main premise being that one could document an entire conversion project for different vehicles, such as converting a gas car to electric. Almost like a wikipedia for conversion projects. Anyway, I think the icons turned out really well.

Green Gear Head Icons

And just for fun, I turned them into superheroes… 🙂

Green Gear Head Team

Ubuntu 7.10 + oci8 + PHP5

A while ago I posted on the ubuntu forums a tutorial that I had written. This tutorial covers how to compile oci8 lib with php5 on Ubuntu 7.10. I figured I would post it on the site and get some feed back. For this edition it is assumed that you are issuing these commands from the command line.

Login to a Terminal and issue a sudo -i
# sudo -i

Install Apache2
# apt-get install apache2

Install required PHP5 modules and libraries
# apt-get install php5-common php5 php5-dev libapache2-mod-php5 php5-cli

Install the build-essential and php-pear packages
# apt-get install build-essential php-pear

IMPORTANT! Install libaio1 library. This is what I was having serious issues with originally.
# apt-get install libaio1

Download the new Instantclient and SDK zip files from Oracle.


In my case the files are called and Initially these files will be saved in my home directory under the Documents folder

create a directory to house the zip files once they are uncompressed
# mkdir /opt/oracle

move the .zip files in the “Documents” directory to the /opt/oracle directory
# mv /home/ubuntu/Documents/*.zip /opt/oracle

Change to the /opt/oracle directory
# cd /opt/oracle

Unzip the files
# unzip \*.zip

rename instantclient directory
# mv instantclient_11_1 instantclient

Change directory to instantclient, list the files
# cd instantclient

Create symbolic links
# ln –s
# ln –s

Create a source directory under /opt/oracle . This is where we will house the oci8 libraries.
# mkdir /opt/oracle/src

Change the directory to /opt/oracle/src and download the oci8 tar using pecl
# cd /opt/oracle/src

# pecl download oci8

Untar the oci8 libraries
# tar xvf oci8-1.2.4.tgz

Change to the newly created oci8-1.2.4 directory and issue the following commands
# cd oci8-1.2.4

# phpize

Set the ORACLE_HOME environment variable
# export ORACLE_HOME=/opt/oracle/instantclient


Configure oci8 to install with the necessary parameters
# ./configure --with-oci8=share,instantclient,/opt/oracle/instantclient

run make to compile
# make

install oci8
# make install

insert the into the php.ini and cli.ini files
# echo >> /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini
# echo >> /etc/php5/cli/php.ini

restart apache
# /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

create a phpinfo.php file in /var/www
# vi /var/www/phpinfo.php

Now go to your browser and run the phpinfo file and look for the oci8 module

Download my oratest php template file and configure it with the needed settings.

Test the connection
# php /home/ubuntu/oratest.php
Connection Succesful