Monday, 5 September 2011


Today I was working on my ebay wordpress plugin. I spent quite a while trying to find out why something wasn't working as I thought it should, only to find that it was because a value in the database was different to what I was expecting. I suspect I changed it when testing the admin panel for the plugin.

I also had some trouble with the images not appearing quite how I wanted when using the">jquery carousel plugin and spent quite a bit of time playing with that before I got it how I wanted by editing the plugin js file.

When the carousel aspect of the ebay plugin (which is the only piece I am interested in making sure works properly immediately) seemed to be working okay, I activated the wp-minify plugin. This is meant to concatenate and minify all your js and css files. Unfortunately it didn't work. When I viewed the url of the file, it was all gobbledygook. It seems the problem was probably that wp-minify gzips the data and then it gets gzipped again or something.

Anyway, I couldn't see an option to turn gzip off but had a look at the PHP minify page, which is what wp-minify uses. Wp-minify allows you to specify additional parameters to PHP minify, so I wanted to check whether there was a turn off gzip option. However, I noticed on the PHP minify page it said that it was also used by the W3 Total Cache Wordpress plugin.

So I had a look at that, and the video on there mentioned that you use it with Amazon S3 as a CDN. On the video they said it only cost them about 85¢ a month for the Amazon service. So that got me wondering about it myself. Currently I use HostGator for archiving the full size photos from my photo website. At the moment its about 20GB, but it will probably be 30GB once I move some more photos across from my photo websites hosting account, which is with WebFaction.

AWS charges $0.093 per GB per month for Reduced Redundancy Storage, which 'only' gives 99.99% durability and 99.99% availability. I would guess this is probably at least as good as what HostGator offers. So for 30GB this would work out at $2.79/month.

For HostGator, I'm not exactly sure what I'm paying. It says my billing is tri-annually, and I paid $143.10. So this would work out to $3.975/month. Certainly more expensive than Amazon S3, but this also includes unlimited bandwidth and web hosting (S3 is only suitable for static files as far as I know). Anyway, since I seem to have already paid for 3 years of Hostgator (about 2 years left now), the point is moot really.

In the evening I watched an episode of Boukengers with Belly, then we tested out our latest armature for plasticine models. Unfortunately it didn't work that well as the model still kept bending and falling over.

The main problem is that the thicker wire is too strong to bend and thinner wire is too weak. This armature was made with twisted thinner wire, so next time we'll try twisted wire doubled up and twisted. I think that probably we won't bother with an animation, but armatures still make it easier to get more natural poses for photos.

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