Setup VPS with Debian, Nginx and Virtualmin

I recently upgraded my VPS to use Nginx and Virtualmin and found it to be a killer setup. Nginx is superfast in a low memory setup and Virtualmin GPL edition is a powerful and free control panel which I have found to be more intuitive than Cpanel. This setup works great with a reasonably priced ($5.95) 512 MB VPS from Burst.net. This guide will walk through what is required to setup a VPS with Debian, Nginx and Virtualmin.

Read More »

Posted in site performance | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

How to style input tag file uploads in Webkit (Chrome, Safari)

If you’ve ever been tasked with creating a consistent user experience across all web browsers you’ve probably had a real challenge styling form input elements. Historically IE has been the most challenging to style but with file input elements webkit is almost impossible to change it from the default “choose file” dialog. Typically the file input is styled by setting it’s opacity to 0 and absolute positing it over an image of a browse button with whatever style is desired. The downside of this is that is requires JavaScript to update a text input element after a file is chosen with the file selection dialog. This technique uses pure CSS to present a consistent interface to all major browsers with a few vendor CSS prefixes.
Read More »

Posted in css3 | 8 Comments

How to get cash for old computers

If you’re like me you probably have a small or not-so-small collection of computer stuff most of which is obsolete, broken or both. Well now it’s possible to clean out your closet and get some cash for it as well. If you help your friends and neighbors get rid of their old computer junk it could become a significant amount of cash thanks to cash for electronic scrap.
Read More »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

Cheap VPS ~ 512mb for $5.36/month

If you need root access but don’t want to any more than a shared hosting account price then check out burst.net. I have found them to be reliable and fast with reasonable support.
UPDATE: Now till end of Augest get %10 off any Linux or Windows VPS  in any location. Use promotion code “summer10″. Check their twitter feed for more promotions. So instead of $5.95/Month you can get a 512MB VPS for $5.36/Month and this rate is not limited to the first 3 months or 6 months it is used as long as you keep the product.
Read More »

Posted in site performance, Web Development | Tagged | Leave a comment

IE9 image load event bug

I just found a problem with IE9 in how it handles the load event for img tags. With IE8 and earlier if I wanted to perform some JS function after an image loaded I could do something like this:
Read More »

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Use webp images with jpeg fallback

Behold the Power of WebP

If the below image has “webp” in the corner your browser can display WebP. If it has “jpeg” it is because your browser cannot show WebP images but the user experience remains the same. webp is a new image format pioneered by Google based on the VP8 video codec to reduce the download size of images on the web. What I am presenting is a way to offer WebP images to browsers that support them while falling back to jpegs so that visitors still have the same user experience.
Read More »

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Install X11 on OS X 10.4 Tiger Without the Install DVD

I’m always surprised how hard it is to install standard open source packages on OS X and X11 is no different. Installing it on 10.4 is virtually impossible without the original installation DVD which I never have handy. I got this from James Martin but thought it needed an extra mirror because it was painfully slow downloading it from there. Here it is for your convenience.
Read More »

Posted in OS X | Leave a comment

Eshop Authorize.net AIM Integration

Eshop is a nice ecommerce plugin for WordPress but it does not support taking credit card information directly on the site but redirects the customer to Authorize.net site or Paypal or some other payment processor. I had a need to accept cards without redirecting the customer to a external site so I wrote a patch for Eshop. Download patch here
Read More »

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Superfast embedded fonts with @font-face

Now that font embedding is supported in all major browsers it has become increasingly common thanks to the bulletproof embedding technique. However embedded fonts can add several milliseconds if not whole seconds and can even block rendering if not done correctly. Here you will find how to mitigate the performance implications if not eliminate them completely.
Read More »

Posted in css3, site performance | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Bulletproof and fast css gradients

I am daring to claim that I have found the best bulletproof way to create css3 background gradients. It is the best because it guarantees that extra http requests are not made unless needed and bulletproof because it works in every browser falling back to a normal background-image based gradient if necessary.

UPDATE: Added new rules for IE10 and Opera 11.10!
Read More »

Posted in css3, site performance | Tagged , , | 3 Comments