Stop targeting devices!

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Responsive Web Design is here to stay, it is now regarded as the way to develop sites and contain the same core content across devices through the same site.

In many cases and I have done this myself, Responsive Web Design has been explained and sold as a set of views one for mobile, one for tablet and one for computer but this is not actually the case and it shouldn’t be explained like this at all as it gives the wrong impression of what the technology does.

This type of web development shouldn’t be to target specific device types or even specific devices i.e. different views for iPad and nexus 7 or mobile and desktop but rather to give accessibility and similar experiences to all resolutions.

The key here is that is requires a change in mentality for the designers and developers as we’re not working to a specific device set or even towards a set view at set resolutions but rather a layout that flows and changes as necessary with graceful degradation when viewed on strange resolutions.

We also need to consider working in pixels has become kinda irrelevant due to high DPI (retina) grade screens where a single pixel is only half or even a quarter of a pixel on standard screens.

Overall designers and developers need to start using terms such as small screen and large screens instead of mobile vs desktop along with considering a small screen physically might be classed as a large screen pixel wise.

How to install iftop on CentOS

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I’m keeping this short and sweet…

iftop isn’t in the CentOS repo by default which is a shame, luckily there is an rpm on repoforge available; just run this little bash command/script to install the correct version depending on arch or display saying it’s unavailable.

if uname -a | grep -q "64"; then rpm -ivh; elif uname -a | grep -q "86"; then rpm -ivh; else echo Not available for your arch.; fi

This should work on Fedora and Red Hat too.


Services being retired…

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As part of the ongoing development of my site and services, there will be some services that will be discontinued within the next few months.


Services Portal

This is really just a very static web page which probably isn’t used, it’s a pain to maintain and really just a waste of disk space. This service will be removed on 6th April 2013. If you use this service then please book mark the pages you require from the services portal.


Filestore turns to Cloud Files

As some users of my filestore system may know, the uploading method isn’t very simple and overall the hosting of files can be much easier on other services, this is why I have overhauled the filestore system.

The current filestore system isn’t going away just yet but will be migrated to a better solution. The new filestore will be more cloud-like with the ability to store calendar and contact information, along with a sync tool for computers (Mac, PC, Android and iOS) and a simple new interface. The same interface will be available for file sharing and a directory list will continue to be available.

This new service will be under the files subdomain and not filestore, this is to help the transition be smooth, I will be contacting the relevant users when this change will come into effect.



The web manager will also go through a change, mainly to give users more control over their services but to also be more mobile compatible. This change won’t effect any files and migration will be made once all the new services are ready to be used. This will however mean that some interfaces will change, so don’t be surprised when everything’s suddenly different; we will leave the old manager available for a short period of time as things transition.



This service is going to be retired in the near future. It shouldn’t be being used and I don’t wish for it to be publicly available anymore. This is really just a courtesy notice in case anyone is using it.



Anybody using the backup system that I provided will be migrated to the private cloud system which will be a similar system to the successor of the filestore (above) but it will be contained on a separate server, require different credentials and also have limited sharing abilities.


Services Already Removed

The (very) old static blog site that was left up for historical reasons has finally been removed; along with a small server list containing servers that are no longer active.


So overall there’s some exciting new changes being made in the near future.

RaspberryPi Raspbian Minimal/Server Install

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I’ve been trying to make a smaller install of the RaspberryPi‘s distro Raspbian for use as a headless server/base as a minimal install. The default image contains a full desktop environment, development tools aimed at general users and firmware for most common WiFi chipsets which are entirely unessesary for a headless server for web and dhcp services.

I’ve decided to document what I did to save me time next time I reimage my Pi.

Re-activate Root

[login as pi]
sudo su
[new root password]

Remove the user Pi

[login as root]
deluser pi
rm -R /home/pi
rm -R /home/Desktop

Update the repo and install screen and dropbear

apt-get update
apt-get -y install screen dropbear
nano /etc/default/dropbear
[change NO_START=1 to NO_START=0]

Remove uneeded packages

apt-get -y purge aspell aspell-en blt cifs-utils cups-bsd cups-client cups-common dbus-x11 dconf-gsettings-backend:armhf dconf-service desktop-base desktop-file-utils dillo ed fbset firmware-atheros firmware-brcm80211 firmware-libertas firmware-ralink firmware-realtek fontconfig fonts-droid fonts-freefont-ttf g++ g++-4.6 galculator gconf-service gconf2 gconf2-common gdb gdbserver gettext-base ghostscript gksu glib-networking:armhf glib-networking-common glib-networking-services gnome-icon-theme gnome-themes-standard gpicview gsettings-desktop-schemas gsfonts gsfonts-x11 gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio:armhf gtk2-engines:armhf gvfs:armhf gvfs-backends gvfs-common gvfs-daemons gvfs-fuse gvfs-libs:armhf hardlink hicolor-icon-theme icelib idle idle-python2.7 idle-python3.2 idle3 ifplugd kmod krb5-locales leafpad lesstif2:armhf lightdm lightdm-gtk-greeter lua5.1 luajit lxappearance lxde lxde-common lxde-core lxde-icon-theme lxinput lxmenu-data lxpanel lxpolkit lxrandr lxsession lxsession-edit lxshortcut lxtask lxterminal man-db manpages manpages-dev menu menu-xdg midori ncdu netcat-openbsd netsurf-common netsurf-gtk obconf omxplayer openbox parted pcmanfm penguinspuzzle pistore pkg-config plymouth policykit-1 poppler-data poppler-utils pulseaudio pulseaudio-esound-compat pulseaudio-module-x11 pulseaudio-utils qdbus raspberrypi-artwork rpcbind rtkit samba-common scratch shared-mime-info smartsim smbclient squeak-plugins-scratch squeak-vm strace sudo tcl8.5 tk8.5 triggerhappy tsconf ttf-dejavu-core ttf-freefont udisks unzip usbmuxd wireless-tools wpagui wpasupplicant x11-common x11-utils x11-xkb-utils xarchiver xfonts-encodings xfonts-utils xinit xpdf xdg-utils xserver-common xserver-xorg xserver-xorg-core xserver-xorg-input-all xserver-xorg-input-evdev xserver-xorg-input-synaptics xserver-xorg-video-fbdev zenity zenity-common
apt-get -y purge libfontconfig1 libqt4-network libqt4-xml libqtcore4 libqtdbus4 ttf-bitstream-vera libwrap0 ncurses-term tcpd openssh-server openssh-blacklist openssh-blacklist-extra openssh-client
apt-get -y autoremove

Refix networking

nano /etc/network/interfaces
[remove all references to wlan0 and add eth0 as an auto up device]

Minimise Logs

nano /etc/logrotate.conf
# Keep 1 week of logs
rotate 1



These are all the edits I’ve made and now my Raspbian images is down from 2GB to 675MB

Original Article Date: 18th Feb 2013
Last Edited: 22nd Feb 2013

CSS that shouldn’t work but does…

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I was messing about today with some CSS and actually wrote a snippet of CSS for the shits and giggles.

It works in Firefox and Chrome browsers but not IE; so I’m presuming it’ll work in all KHTML and Webkit browsers.

head, head title, head script, body script {display:block;}

If you know any reason why this does actually work then mail me explaining so. It shouldn’t work but for some reason it does which is crazy.