Website blog postings

Website Postings

Earliest: Latest: December 25, 2016Total: 46

December 25, 2016

January 2017 Blog Schedule

Merry Christmas 2016!

There will be a slight change up to the Blogging schedule in January. Here?s my proposed January 2017 line up:

MondayDisneyTips and tricks about various rides and attractions around Walt Disney World
TuesdayGoogle Chrome TipsSome practical tips and tricks with the Chrome browser.
WednesdayAffinity TemplatesCreative design ideas for Affinity Designer or Affinity Photo.
ThursdayBostonBoston is a historical city, learn some background information on unique sites to visit.
FridayMacintoshVarious tips and tricks that I have learned about using the Macintosh. Every once in a while I'll profile some productive software or hardware that is very cool.
SaturdayGluten FreePersonal experiences of eating gluten free with a 5-year-old in New England.
SundayAnything GoesOpen topic! I usually find something interesting to post which, I believe, my audience would enjoy.

Framingham on Hiatus

I have decided to retire the Framingham content for a bit as I would like to do some additional research before posting any content. I would expect that regular Framingham posting to resume sometime in February.

April 12, 2016

100th Day of Blogging

Today marks the 100th day of Blogging in 2016!

It's hard to believe with a very busy schedule that I have, that I still found time to blog everyday. Which, lof course, leads to this quote:

Blogging Now2
"Someone Busier Than You, Is Blogging Right Now"

The fun continues! There's still lots of cool things to talk about. The Disney section is generating lots of traffic and lots of readers are learning about Boston.

Hope you are enjoying the new upcoming content.

April 9, 2016

Homepage - 18 years later!

On April 9, 1998, I purchase this domain: I would have never guessed that I would still own the domain name 18 years later.

At lot has changed on the internet during that time. When I started, sites like AltaVista and Excite were the most popular search engines. Nobody did any search optimization to get on the front page.

A special thanks to Hurricane Electric, my exclusive hosting provider during the past 18 years. They have done a great job making sure the site has always was accessible. I don't think they are accepting any new hosting accounts, but I certainly do recommend them.

Looking Ahead

This year has been a busy blogging year, I am approaching 100 days of non-stop blogging. I have noticed a slight pickup in Traffic during this time too.

I was going to go all fancy and look for some cool birthday widgets from fiverr or creatativemarket, but I have been really busy focusing on content during the A-Z blogging challenge.

Remembering the Past

Here are a couple of screen shots of what the homepage looked like back in 1997 and 2013, I'll look for more screen shots and share them when I find them.

Website 1996a
This is what the site looked like in 1996.

cryan 2000
The is the homepage back in 2013.

March 26, 2016

Getting Ready for the A-Z Challenge

The A-Z Blogging Challenge is just about to begin. If your not aware of the challenge, here's the scoop: Can you post every day except Sundays during April? And to up the bar, can you blog thematically from A to Z?


A-Z Content Challenge Topic

Last Wednesday was the "Name the Theme" day. It was an opportunity to publicly announce the blog theme during the challenged. I missed the deadline, so here's my theme for April 2016:

There is no theme change.

Yes, the current daily blogging content will still go on. I'll continue to blog about the different topics each day but the twist will be that the daily blog content will be around the letter of the day. It's a bit of an extra challenge on my part to come up with something creative.

Now with Comments!

Part of the requirements of the A-Z Challenge is to have comments enable on participating blogs. Late last week, I finally implement the comment functionality to my blogs. I am officially in compliance with the A-Z challenge rules!

New Audio Clip

For those that don't care about the challenge, here's today's added value:

Here is another sound bite from my audio collection. This weekends audio clip is part of John Edwards speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston:

March 12, 2016

SoundCloud Audio

Audio Tapes Collection

Over the next few weeks I plan on adding some audio to this blog. I think this will be a cool feature to add because I have a fairly large audio collection.

For many years, when I wanted to add streaming audio I would add it to my Real Audio page using Real Audio format by RealNetworks. The Real Audio format has seemed to die, so I decided to seek an alternative solution. Looks like SoundCloud is the best choice for hosting audio files.

The problem that I found with SoundCloud is understanding their subscription plan. What exact do you get for the Free plan? Is the Pro plan worth it?

Turns out that SoundCloud measures storage by time. Whereas other cloud services, like Dropbox, measures usage by disk space size. A measurement that most people might be familiar with.

So in the free plan, called "Partner", you are allowed to add up to 3 hours of audio files. This is the total amount that your allowed to have. So once you reach that limit you can't upload any more audio. You would need to remove audio files to make room for new audio files. This isn't a total amount to upload per day, it's the total time amount that you're allowed to upload.

Not enough time? You can double the upload time to 6 hours with the Pro Plan and get some extensive stats information for $7 a month. If you're really big into audio you can go unlimited with the 'Pro Unlimited' plan for only $15 a month. Honestly, if you're doing a lot of podcasting, your best bet would be the 'Pro Unlimited' plan.

As of now, I'll be sticking with the Partner plan, I don't plan on uploading more than a couple of hours of audio.

Steve Jobs - Challenging Times

This is an audio clip of Steve Jobs at MacWorld, 2003 or 2002, talking about the challenging times that is facing the computer industry. This is a poor quality audio as I was recording on my computer from a live stream. The picture of Steve Jobs with the audio clip is from my collection, I took it at the Palo Alto Apple store grand opening.

March 5, 2016

Fortune Cookie

Over the years I have collected fortune cookies slips with the intent to display a random fortune on the website. When the site was redesigned I removed that feature and stopped entering data into my fortune cookie database. The feature was removed from the homepage because it didn't really add any value.

I was doing some desk cleaning this morning and I found a whole bunch of fortune cookies slips. I decided that it was time to add them to the online database, and throw away the slips. After adding about 50 of them, I decided to create a landing page for the fortune cookie collection. You can find the 305 fortune cookie collection at

While inserting the fortune cookies, I actually came across a duplicate fortune:

Double Fortune

I don't know if that a good sign or a bad sign. Certainly a good lesson to learn for any small business.

I also encounter the following Fortune Cookie saying that got cut off:

Habits Fortune Cookie
"If you develop the habits of success, you will make success a..."

I wasn't able to find the full saying anyplace online. I am guessing, based on my Fortunism experience, it would go: "If you develop the habits of success, you will make success a habits."

February 27, 2016

Badge Generator

A painting might be worth thousands of words, but a browser screen shot may not show critical information that would help people understand the screenshot better.

When I encounter a bug, I'll usually take a screenshot and attach it to a Jira ticket. In the past, I would get asked to provide browser and environment information. A while ago I decided to make things easier for everyone and add more information to the screen shot.

Browser Badges

I came up with six badge-type images to use as an overlay on any screenshot. This will help to engineer with some additional information that may help them understand the issue. I am sharing these so other QA engineering teams can make use of them.

The browser badges are like flags that you put on the top of the screen shot. All the transparent image size is 150x150 pixels, a perfect size for most screenshots.

Here's an example situation:

Firefox Site Demo

I apply the badges using Pixelmator or AutoDesk Graphic. For me it's very easy to do and very routine.

Visit the QA page to grab the images that you want. Better yet - bookmark the page so that you'll always have the latest version of the images.

February 21, 2016

Bootstrap Jumbotron Image Size

If you're looking for the ideal image dimension to use for Bootstraps Jumbotron, then this blog post is for you!

The best dimension to use is 1600 x 800. (or simple an image that has a 2:1 image ratio)

Theres all sorts of free images to use for the Jumbotron background, simply Google free Jumbotron background for a selection.

Ill contribute to the Internet experience and throw in three free Jumbotron images using the 1600X800 format. Feel free to use these in any design that you wish! These all will look fine if you are using the following CSS style in the latest Bootstrap API:

.jumbotron {
    margin-bottom: 0px;
    background-image: url(/images/background/xxx.jpg);
    background-size: cover;
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    color: white;
    text-shadow: black 0.3em 0.3em 0.3em;
Boston Back Bay
Boston Back Bay

Florida Pool

Haunted Mansion

Art of Annimation

February 20, 2016

Website Update

The blog has been very active in 2016, we are now approaching 90 days of non-stop blogging. With the exception of a couple of day around the New Years, a new blog post has appeared here everyday since November 9th, 2015.

We are not stopping! There's lots of content yet to be posted.

Blog Content Changes

To offer more diversify content, there are going to be some changes to the blogging schedule. Starting March 9th, we will change the Wednesday blogging to Productivity and then starting March 18th, the iPhone 6s Plus will be changed to a yet to be determined topic. (I am thinking about various content topics such as Disney World, Internet History and Business) You will occasionally see iPhone 6s Plus and TextExpander post, just not part of the regular weekly content update.

The change is needed since there's a lot of other content worth sharing. Besides, how many TextExpander tips can one think of every week - oh, by the way, I have 4,492 Snippets in my library.

Here is a recap of the spring Blogging line-up:

Blog Schedule

A to Z Blog Challenge

A to Z Challenge

This week I signed up for the A to Z blog challenge for the month of April. This means that blog content posted in April will have to be based on a letter of the Alphabet. So April 1st post will have to do with the letter 'A' and so forth.

During this challenge, I will keep the content schedule and just base the topic around the letter of the day.

There are about 600 other bloggers that also signed up for this challenge. It's going to be fun to see what creative content that people come up with.

Save the Date!


April 9th will mark the 18th year that I owned! I am planning some cool stuff on that day. Since it will be in middle of the A to Z challenge, the topic of the post will have to be around the letter 'H.' The topic will probably be centered around 'Homepage.'

If you're not a frequent visitor, be sure to stop by on April 9th to see the 18th-anniversary celebration!

November 21, 2015

Gingerbread House Team Project

In 2005, while I was at a customer site doing some software integration, I observed employees doing a seasonal team building exercise - the Gingerbread Team Project.

The goal of the project is to see who could come up with most creative Gingerbread House with a given set of materials.


I thought the whole process was pretty cool. I took some notes on what I was observed, in case other companies wanted to do it. For many years, I had the notes on this website but it never generated any traffic so I took it off the server. I decided to bring it back for this Christmas season. Maybe this blog post will help generate some awareness.

I didn't take any cool pictures of the winning Gingerbread house because I was there strictly on business. The computers that I was assigned to do the software install just happen to be in the same room as the activity. Besides they were paying me to do the software install and not to record the team building exercise.

Hope this helps someone looking for a creative team building exercise: