02 Oct 2018

Drawing using Adobe Draw on iPad Pro with Apple Pencil.


01 Oct 2018

Will do some quick drawings for Inktober 2018, which is a loose movement that asks for 31 ink drawings during the 31 days of the month of October. They are flexible between digital and actual ink (actual ink was the original goal though). They give a word to be used as a 'prompt' for each day. This one is "Poisonous". I used Procreate on an iPad Pro with the Apple pencil.


05 Jun 2018

Github has worked great for me over the past many years, and I've been a paying customer for about 8 years. That's not likely to change but I took the recent acquisition by Microsoft as a prompt to explore other options as I saw many comments praising gitlab, and specifically their continuous integration options.

I found that really interesting as I had found the plugin restrictions in Github very limiting - I want to be able to run preprocesses on my files so I don't have to type or copy and paste so much.

This post explores how I migrated one of my sites there.

Outline of the process

  1. Import old project (PRs, issues etc)
  2. Create a .gitlab-ci.yml file (build pipeline) and build
  3. Check that page is live under domain
  4. Add a custom domain and SSL support using Let's Encrypt (certbot)
  5. ...

Optionally: run your own runner to do the build (future post).


28 May 2018

If you have a MacBook or similar the easiest backup solution is Time Machine and having a small server that is always ready to backup is my recommended option, as using an external disk depends on you remembering to plug it in.

The best option was the AirPort Time Capsule but Apple discontinued it last month. Nowadays there are quite a few networked hard drives that advertise support for Time Machine but if you have a Raspberry Pi or a computer that is mostly on all the time you can just build your own. Plus, you get to launch other things on that server, including other systems for non-time machine compatible devices.

In this post I'll just talk about how to setup a Time Machine server using a docker container.


27 May 2018

I have now a couple of sites using jekyll, one is this one and another one is this little news site that simply posts links to happy dog news. So far I've always created new posts using a small shell script or simply copying the previous entry and changing date/title.

Since that is a bit annoying, I decided to try using a plugin in Sublime Text, and this article explores how to do just that (spoiler: it's all python).


31 Jan 2016

It seems that the impossible is happening and free SSL certificates are becoming commonplace. About time! If you've hosted sites before you will know how expensive an SSL certificate is, particularly for small sites like this one where there is no revenue.

Thankfully some big companies have joined in an initiative called Let's Encrypt, which does just that: provide you with a free, automatically generated security certificate that is acccepted by all major browsers.


31 Aug 2014

I'm making a little game using Unity, a very simple word game that hopefully I'll soon publish for Android, iPhone and iPad.

Here's the thing, I'm not that good a designer but I don't have enough going on to justify hiring a proper one. Good news is, if you're in a similar situation there's hope for you.


05 Aug 2012

Well, well, well... I finally used the multilanguage support I added long ago. In essence it detects the language you are using and displays images or text based on that. Today I translated the latest Paul the innovator comic to test this feature.

The trick is doing this all in one site without changing URLs so that the facebooks and googles of the world can see just one site. Hope it didn't break anything, let me know if it did.

Bueno, bueno, bueno... Por fin he empezado a usar el soporte multilenguage que añadí al sitio hace un tiempo. Básicamente detecta el lenguage que utilizas y cambio el texto y las imágenes. Hoy he traducido el último Paul the innovator para probarlo (por cierto, no tengo pensado traducir el título del cómic, creo que queda más cool en inglés, pero se aceptan quejas).

La gracia es hacerlo todo de manera que feisbuk, google y compañía vean sólo una página para no tener que liarla demasiado. Espero no haber roto nada, si no, decidmelo.

Comic: Paul the innovator 38


24 Jun 2012

A short post for the benefit of those struggling with this as I was: the little parser that Facebook uses when you share a link is insane, don't trust it.

That parser is what creates thumbnails for links shared in Facebook. It reads the contents of a page and allows you to choose an image. The problem is that more often than not, it can't find the images. It's got a lot of limitations: image size, image position in the document and it also has a tendency to just randomly stop working.

It's particularly bad when you start adding images as CSS backgrounds since those are completely ignored, even if you have fallbacks for crawlers like google etc. So today I once again found myself with this problem, Facebook refusing to use my images anymore. So any link to a comic would not show the actual thumbnail of the comic, which I find extremely annoying.

That meant I finally needed to cave in and use their extensions: I created a thumbnail for each post and added a few tags at the top of the page so that Facebook can find the right image.

To fix it, Create a thumbnail for your images and add the following to your HTML document (head section):

<meta property="og:image" content="http://address.of/your.image_thumb.png">
<meta property="og:title" content="Optional text">

That's it. Want to check if it works? Use the Facebook URL debug page. It will tell you whether the tags were interpreted or not.

Note: for creating a thumbnail you can use Imagemagick, for instance using "convert -crop 300x300+0+0 image.png image_thumb.png".


17 Jun 2012

Some changes to the site: links to the archives (yes up there near that little monkey) and horrid Facebook and Twitter Like buttons. Upgraded the comment system and now every post shows as '0 comments' even if there are comments, but too tired to worry about that now... Fixed now.

But the most interesting bit is that I added hi-res comics in the Paul series and the header logos. This means that if you have a retina display (iPad or iPhone 4), you will see much crisper and detailed comics. All of that thanks to me using Inkscape from the start, which uses vector graphics.

Being a bit geeky as I am I created a small script to do this for all comics at once, using Inkscape and Gimp. If you are interested the code is in this github gist.

So you are asking, what's the difference, well here's an example. I captured screenshots before and after enabling this, on an iPhone 4. The pixelation that the iPhone had done on the first one is obvious.

So what's next... well I have a huge pending thing in the form of translation. To Spanish, mostly. I've promised to translate these comics a few times, and have some actually translated already so I guess at some point I'll have to put them online. Another biggie is making the website react to the device you are using, so to make it easier to navigate from a mobile.

Oh, and you know, maybe write some comics :).

Yes, I could do that.

Final note: I discovered there's a limitation in the actual size an image can have on an iPad's browser. That doesn't bode well for the super long images I used in LIFE/interior. For the time being I sliced the large pages into smaller ones but haven't yet added hi-res versions as they are still too big. More info in the official documentation, found here.