Jun 12

Site Updates

Oh goody goody, I’ve updated the website! What changes do we have in store right now?

Well, we are now using NBBC to do parsing of BB code and related stuff. This means that the style of the website has changed slightly, but I find that’s acceptable.

I came across NBBC the other week when I was looking for a BBCode parser. I realized that it was rather dumb of me to write my own parser. While it would be cool, it would take a long time and potentially wouldn’t work so well. So, we took something that was already made and then slammed it into the website. So far, so good though. 🙂

May 20

Comments

Holy moley, that’s a lot of comments!

Unfortunately, they’re all spam. On the bright side, adding comments apparently works!

To prove it to you:

mysql> DELETE FROM comments;
Query OK, 311 rows affected (0.12 sec)

Yeah… we’ll be integrating a CAPTCHA system soon, possibly tomorrow.

On the bright side, this website is actually being utilized! Of course, perhaps that’s not such a great thing… Ah well, what are you going to do?

Apr 05

How to: Survive on $20 a week

Okay, so I haven’t updated this in a while. I’ve also been quite bad about not going over my $20 limit. But for all of you out there who care(about three people I believe), I will post a detailed expense report at some point in the future. Today, I will talk about the basic ideas about how you can survive on $20 a week.

First off, I think in terms of one week at a time. Since I am the only person who eats what I buy, it’s very easy to buy a lot of food to feed myself for a week. For example, one week I got a pound of ground beef, sour cream, cheese, shredded lettuce and taco shells to have a taco-themed week. Those supplies lasted the entire week for me, so that way I didn’t have to go out and buy anything new.

Second, grain products. Now, a co-worker of mine has some research that says that wheat is not particularly good for you – he only eats fruits, vegetables, and meat from cows not treated with some chemical that I don’t know the name of. I can’t vouch for any of this because I haven’t read the research, but unfortunately a diet like this is going to be rather expensive. Grain products are much cheaper, and that is how you can keep costs down. I keep a supply of spaghetti and macaroni and cheese handy. I buy a 12-pack of macaroni and cheese so that I will have enough to keep me for a while. Each box of spaghetti has probably about five meals for me, and at $0.79 a box it’s insanely cheep.

Third, buy in bulk when possible. A 12-pack of macaroni and cheese will last you a significant time if you don’t eat much. I don’t buy many perishable items in bulk, because I would never eat them before they went bad. However, I do buy frozen items in bulk, because they will of course keep a long time.

Fourth, buy canned fruits and vegetables. Again, it’s more expensive to get fresh, but I don’t mind the canned fruits. Personally, I can’t stand canned vegetables(I get frozen ones), but canned pears and pineapples are very cheep.

Fifth, DON’T BUY LUNCH! Bring your own. I like to bring a peanut butter sandwich, a small pack of fruit(individual serving size, I have not been able to find a good container that does not leak. It’s more expensive than buying in a tin can, but it doesn’t leak), and some animal crackers. Total cost of this lunch: probably about $2.00. Total cost of a cheap lunch: $5.00. Total cost of a lunch that you would probably get: $8.00. Let’s do the math here:

$2.00 x 5 days a week = $10
$5.00 x 5 days a week = $25
$8.00 x 5 days a week = $40

Yes, it really is that cheap to bring your lunch. It saves a lot of money.

Mar 06

How to: Survive on $20 a week

Today marks the start of a new series on here, how to survive on $20 a week for food. In this, I am going to attempt to survive solely on $20 a week for food. A few things before we get started though:
[list]
[*]I may go over the spending limit some weeks – this is because I, like everybody else, can be lazy and sometimes you just have to go out because of time or whatever. So, this is more of a general guide – I will try to not go out to eat whenever possible.
[*]Each week, I get $20 more to spend on food. Unused balance from the previous weeks roll over.
[*]The first week, I get $40.
[*]This $20 is solely for food – not for other supplies like soap, rent, etc.
[/list]

Anyway, on to the food!

I went to the store earlier today, and got the following items:
[table]
[tr][th]Item[/th][th]Price[/th][/tr]
[tr][td]Bread(small loaf)[/td][td]$0.59[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Cheddar cheese(16 oz)[/td][td]$3.99[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Mozzarella cheese(16 oz)[/td][td]$3.99[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Butter[/td][td]$2.49[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Milk(1 gal)[/td][td]$1.89[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Peas(40 oz, frozen)[/td][td]$2.29[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Instant mashed potatoes(13.75 oz)[/td][td]$1.69[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Cheddar cheese(16 oz)[/td][td]$3.99[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Chicken nuggets(26.5 oz, frozen)[/td][td]$3.99[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Pears(in individual bowls, 16 total)[/td][td]$6.00[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Peanut butter[/td][td]$1.29[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Apple Juice(64 oz), 2[/td][td]$3.98[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Grapes[/td][td]$2.77[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Animal Crackers(3lb)[/td][td]$4.69[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Pizza dough[/td][td]$2.29[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]<b>Total:</b>[/td][td]$41.94[/td][/tr]
[/table]

Alright, so I went a little over. The good news though is that some of these are one-off purchases that won’t have to be made for a while. For example, the mashed potatoes I expect to last 4-5 months, which given that I’m only back at school for 3 could prove to be somewhat problematic. As well, the pear bowls that I got should last for about three weeks, as should the peas. The grapes I got because I felt like having some grapes. The cheese is for the pizza dough, I am going to make some tonight. I won’t be using up all of the cheese, but I plan to make tacos next week so I can use the cheese for that.

That’s a start. I’ll post more once I eat some more, and we’ll see where we are at!

Jan 29

SHEER BRILLIANCE

So I just watched The Incredibles because, you know, it’s a Pixar movie. And anything that Pixar makes is awesome. I mean, Pixar could make anything great. But anyways, one of the special features is about a deleted scene. What they were originally going to have was a pilot who flew the plane to the island, instead of Mrs. Incredible. The scene was basically the pilot flying, and then being shot down while the Incredibles escaped, and Dash asks “What about the pilot?”

Now, what would be totally awesome, was if this was a cameo for H. M. Murdock.

Yes. Murdock from The A-Team.

The rest of the movie could stay exactly the same, there’d be no need to change it. But at the end, there’d be a brief scene with all of the A-Team around Murdock in a hospital bed. And then Murdock asks: “So what’s the plan, Hannibal?”

Or something like that.

Jan 11

RM5248: Now with comments(really!)

So I’ve finished up the comments feature of the website, and it appears to be working properly. Currently, I have it set to allow guests to comment as well. It seems to be rather good.

On a related note, viewing a post is now in its own separate page, as opposed to a parameter to index.php. I think that it looks a lot better that way.

More features to come soon.

Oh, I almost forgot: This website should be fully XHTML compliant; I have not checked the new pages, but up until this point the entire site is good. Standards checks are a good thing.

Jan 08

RM5248: Now with comments(almost)

I’m currently working on adding the ability to add comments to news posts. The framework is in-place, but I think that I need to re-work some of the website in order to make this more customizable. So, you can’t actually add any comments yet. I’m feeling rather lazy at the moment, and so I don’t feel like finishing it tonight.

So hopefully later this weekend. But because of what I want to do, it will take a little bit. Basically what I want to do is to make it possible to turn comments on and off, as well as have the ability to allow anonymous users to post comments. That’s something that I need to work on to allow maximum control over what is on the site, so that non-computer-savvy people can make a website for themselves and easily update it. This means that it would probably be a good idea to break out the viewing of individual posts into their own page, as right now that is all done thru index.php, and if I wanted to add more settings it would get very large and difficult to maintain. So, if I break it out into different pages I can make it cleaner.

I think that I am also going to look into re-working some of the SQL strings, making more use of PEAR to get values and insert values. Hopefully that will make it fully database-independent.

Dec 27

Christmastime

This past weekend was of course Christmas. I went up to my aunt’s house for the weekend, and I got to see all of my cousins. This stuff is relatively boring, so let’s talk about something else instead.

Where to start? I’ve got a bunch of random stuff, so let’s start out with some code!

For whatever reason, since I’ve started my co-op job again, I’ve been dreaming in code somewhat. I’ll be sleeping, and then out of nowhere a block of code will come out. That’s not particularly accurate, but bear with me! So the other night, I woke up early in the morning and really had to go to the bathroom. Now sometimes after I wake up, I can get a little confused, especially if I was just having a very vivid dream. So anyway, as I’m sitting in bed, halfway between awake and sleep, I was also dreaming a bit about code. So in my dream, because I really had to go to the bathroom, I actually had to really return a float very badly. A float, as in a data type in programming.

….Yeah, I’m not really sure where that came from.

For the holidays, I got a few books off of Amazon, some for myself and some for presents. I got two books for myself; Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex and World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.

Now, the Artemis Fowl series is a series more meant for kids. However, I absolutely love it. I saw the first book in middle school. Some kid who was sitting in front of me on the bleachers was reading it, and had it next to him. I thought it looked interesting, and so I then read it. Turns out, it was really awesome. The Atlantis Complex is now the 7th book in the series, and it’s still rocking hardcore. Probably my favorite part was a pun on Wikipedia-instead of looking stuff up on Wikipedia, the fairies look stuff up on Wicca-pedia(*rimshot*). (Yeah, I like puns). Anyway, the book was quite good. I don’t think it was the best, but perhaps that’s because I read it in the car driving up. I’ll have to read it again sometime.

Now, World War Z is quite an awesome book. I mean, seriously, this rocks. I picked it up because it looked interesting, plus it’s a bestseller anyway. It’s written in the style of a group of interviews from different people in different perspectives, in the style of Studs Terkel. I had to read a bit of Studs Terkel for a class a few years ago, so I really found it quite cool. In fact, the author, Max Brooks, credits Studs with the format of the book. The style of the book actually makes it flow really well. Instead of having a story following a person or a group of people after the zombie apocalypse, the story instead asks people about their experiences during the war. I think that it gives you a much broader view of the war, instead of a “well here’s a group of people and here’s what they did” sort of thing. You also have to figure out what exactly is going on, as the way it is written uses slang that real people would have said, such as “Zack” or “G” for zombie, and the original name of the disease being “African rabies.” I read it all in just about a day, I found it so fascinating. I suppose part of the reason is that because there isn’t a real story to the book, you really can use your imagination more or something. It’s not a blow-by-blow account of the entire war and the events leading up to it. While it was quite fascinating, it was also a little bone-chilling, because it all seemed so real, except for the unkillable zombies of course. Some of the narratives describe how people would flee to Canada so that the zombies would be frozen, but they weren’t prepared for the winter. That just really stuck in my mind as being so plausible. Final rating: 5/5. If you like zombies, you should read this book. Actually, you should just read this book anyway.

My final thought tonight is on fake gift boxes. To that end, I got these Prank Pack Gift Boxes from ThinkGeek. I gave the PetPetter box to my mom. Her reaction was quite awesome; as she opened up the box, she went “but Ethan(our dog) loves to be petted!” with an expression not unlike this smiley: o.O

It was awesome. ^_^

Dec 14

Welcome to RM5248.COM

Why hello there.

As you probably don’t know, I’ve been working on this website for the past few months, looking to teach myself a bit of PHP and MySQL. It is of course, not done, but it’s getting there. 🙂 It’s done to a point at which I feel that I can use it as more or less a blog now, which is what I was intending it for. Actually, I was going to make a site to work with a new game engine to play [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Command_%26_Conquer:_Red_Alert]C&C: Red Alert[/url] on, but then I saw on Planet Command and Conquer that somebody made a new engine(not FreeCNC). So that plan sorta died.

  • This site however, is going to become a [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_content_management_system]CMS[/url] system. However, this is nowhere near what I would like it to be. Things to add:
  • Ability to dynamically change pages. At the moment, really the only page is the ‘about’ page. I’d like to make it so that you can easily add new pages on the fly.
  • Add new links. There’s no way to change this at the moment.
  • Comment on news posts.
  • User administration. You can’t do anything yet.
  • User profiles. This would probably be something that you could turn on and off, as some people might not like this.
  • Searching. Apparently, the InnoDB engine of MySQL doesn’t do searching very well. We need to find a way around that…
  • BB-code tags(i.e. [b] for bold, etc)

Well, that’s about it for now. If you notice something horribly wrong, e-mail the webmaster. That is of course me. So, that’s just webmaster@rm5248.com.

See you later.