Website blog postings

Website Postings

Earliest: Latest: December 30, 2018Total: 51

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:

September 11, 2015

Chris' Favorite Gear

Yesterday, I was searching around various technology sites looking for some additional third party information on Apple's new iPhone 6s. I was looking for reviews and technical specs on how the new iPhone 6s is better from the iPhone 5s. One of the sites that I came across was This site has a lot of great technology product reviews.

One of the links that I thought was interesting was Julies Favorite Gear. On this part of the site, the author list all her favorite tech toys. Instantly I thought that it was a pretty cool idea to showcase some things that the author uses on a regular bases.

So, I thought it would be a great idea to implement something similar with my favorite technology gear. So last night, I quickly put together a page of some common tech toys. As usual, I plan adding to the page over the next few days.

Go ahead, check out what are some of my favorite technology gear and see if there's anything that you might want to add to your collection. Visit Chris' Favorite Gear and check it out. Once the site looks very cool, I'll do what Julie did and put a like on the main navigation bar.

If you have any feedback on the page, please be sure to let me know!

July 21, 2015

Bootstrap Framework

According to Google Analytics data, a lot of people are accessing this website via mobile device and tablet. This is a problem since much of the code template was written long before Steve Jobs announced the iPad. It's time for a serious universal change.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be updating the site to use the Bootstrap Framework. This will allow me to learn a modern framework and force me to create more mobile friendly content.

The biggest challenge that I am encountering is how to create a universal menu system that looks good on mobile and desktop. This blog is particularly challenging since I would like to show the different blog categories.

The 1991 Gulf War section is still the most popular part of the site and contains a lot of old code. Getting the site to modern day look and feel is going to take a lot of work. I plan to get that portion of the site updated before August.

If you have any ideas, let me know. Otherwise I'll keep searching online. Maybe someone over at Fiverr can jumpstart me in the right direction, might be worth the investment.

February 9, 2015

Retired Quicktime Movies

This morning I retired the website Quicktime media section which has been available on this site since 2003. This was due to the lack of use and the storage cost of hosting the video clips. When looking at the server logs, I discovered that no one viewed any of the videos in December and January.

Many of the clips that I had encoded are available on YouTube.

October 20, 2014

Sorenson Video

Looks like Apple is no longer supporting Sorenson Video in their Quicktime plugins in Mavericks and Yosemite. I have many quicktime video clips in my online collection and some of them are no longer working. (Basically you only see the status bar and no picture or audio.)

If I open the videos in Quicktime, they get immediately converted to H.264. So it looks like I'll have to update all the videos in my collection to make sure that they are using the latest H.264 standard.

Since I don't get much traffic to the Quicktime Gallery, I'll update the collection when I have some time next weekend. I am sure there is some automation tool to get this done.

I found this note on Apple's website:

In OS X Mavericks, some older media formats listed above, and those that require third-party codec components, are converted to H.264 or Apple ProRes when opened. These older media formats can be played without conversion using QuickTime Player 7.

April 24, 2014

Portal icons

On any given day there are 5 core sites that I frequently visit for business. At any given time, I'll have three different browsers open. I switch between Chrome, Firefox and SeaMonkey.

To make going to my regualar sites super easy, I created a website portal page. On the top of the page are some graphics that have links to the various sites. I configure all my browsers settings so that it always opens to the portal page. Now I don't have to worry about setting up bookmarks, its very easy to add future sites that I may need to use.


PicMonkey is one of the best online photo editing tools. The company was founded in April 2012 by two former Picnik engineers, Brian Terry and Justin Huff. PicMonkey has lots of really cool filters, frames and effects that will make any image stand out.

JIRA is the tracker for teams planning and building successful products. Thousands of teams choose JIRA to capture and organize issues, assign work, and follow team activity. At your desk or on the go with the new mobile interface, JIRA helps your team get the job done.

TestLink is a web-based test management system that facilitates software quality assurance. The platform offers support for test cases, test suites, test plans, test projects and user management, as well as various reports and statistics. This is a perfect solution for companies that can't afford HP Quality Center.

BrowserStack is a powerful platform for testing web sites against the most current and modern browsers. This is a great low cost solution when you need to test websites across multiple browsers and platforms.

Papertrail is a time-saving log tools, flexible system groups, team-wide access, long-term archives, charts and analytics exports, and alert monitoring. Great for when multiple members of an Engineering team needs to access server logs.

Feel free to take any of the above images and use them on your Internet or Intranet sites. If your looking for ideas for additional portal buttons or how to build a personal Intranet site, drop me a note.