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Time to grow again (or loose money)

Posted on 19/8/08 by Felix Geisendörfer

Hey folks,

Update: I have decided to allow myself to write my posts for the weekend the night before and have them auto-published. Otherwise my girlfriend is going to kill me ; ).

life is good. Back in late 2006 I set myself some very challenging goals. Among them were things like wanting to make 2500 EUR / month (at that point I made ~300 EUR), buy myself a fancy laptop and find the girl of my dreams. As I'm writing this in late 2008 I achieved all of the above by far. However, there were also things that I didn't achieve on that list. Among them the habit to pick up regular blogging, gym workouts and establish a substantial amount of passive income. For a while I thought I was close to achieving these goals. I even got up at 5am every day for several weeks and went on an early morning run. However, at some point I got off track : ).

That being said, I've been really frustrated as off late with my lack of personal growth. I've done an okay job at keeping up with most of my duties, moved into my first own place here in Berlin and done some cool things on occasion. But I feel its time to do the move from doing "okay" to exceptional again. And after several unsuccessful attempts at increasing my discipline about it, here is a new one:

Two things I've been really bad about for a while is getting up early and regular blogging. Every day I'm reminded of those failures and its a constant source of distraction in my mind. So instead of empty promises of improvement, I decided to set up punishments and safety guards for all my goals from now on. As far as the two things just mentioned go, here is my offer:

I will pay EUR 50,- every time I fail to do a daily blog post before 9am CET / Germany to the person who first notices for the next 30 days.

So if you notice the lack of a blog post one day, email me at and CC so I can't cheat. Participants need to have a German bank account or PayPal.

I will also keep everybody updated on failures so I get the punishment of loosing my face in public as well. If I get sick that is no excuse. However, since I'll be traveling I'm allowed to publish blog posts in advance up to 3 times as long as I announce why it is impossible to do a post before 9am the following day.

The 30 day trial period is basically so I don't break down and cry somewhere along the way if I notice I run out of material to publish. But I also like the idea of having the option to re-evaluate if I can move on to a more challenging public promise after this one.

Feedback is more than welcome, and wish me luck for tomorrow since I still have a bunch of stuff to do and its getting late here ; ).

-- Felix Geisendörfer aka the_undefined


jQuery Goodness at the Workshop in Raleigh, NC, September 6th - 7th

Posted on 18/8/08 by Tim Koschützki

Hey folks,

our upcoming Workshop in Raleigh, North Carolina (Sep 6th - 7th) just got even better:

Marc Grabanski, developer for the jQuery UI project and active blogger for the jQuery Community will be offering his jQuery knowledge to attendees in the second room. For those who missed the the workshop announcement post:

The main room will be used for talks about how one can rapidly develop applications using CakePHP, whereas in the second room all three speakers that are not presenting at the moment (+ Marc) will do informal talks, individual consulting, show some of their code and help clear up eventual questions.

So if you are still thinking back and forth about whether you should come: seats are filling up quickly and there are only a few left. With the addition of Marc, the workshop will be of even more value for everyone who wants to use CakePHP and jQuery in their web projects. The lead developers of the CakePHP team, the president of the Cake Software Foundation, and "ajax marc" from the jQuery UI Team will teach how to use these awesome tools the right way.

» Signup and grab one of the last seats.

-- Tim Koschuetzki aka DarkAngelBGE

PS: The addition of Marc will NOT change the price of a seat! He's a freebie ; p.


More workers needed in the kitchen

Posted on 18/8/08 by Felix Geisendörfer

Hey folks,

there are new jobs in the world of CakePHP. The CakePHP job board has seen the following additions:

If any of those jobs sound interesting to you, go ahead and apply. If you are looking for skilled bakers yourself, consider posting on the job board. Posting is as cheap as $75 for a 7 day post of which 50% are donated to the Cake Software Foundation.

-- Felix Geisendörfer aka the_undefined


delicious usability

Posted on 11/8/08 by Felix Geisendörfer

Initially I was fairly unhappy with delicious's recent redesign. Why? Because they broke my most common usage case for their service:

I have a safari toolbar bookmark for "my delicious" that I invoke using Option+3. Then I hit Option+f to search my tags for something I want to look up. Once the tag I'm looking for is highlighted I press Option+1 to invoke my follow selected link bookmarklet (you can drag & drop this link into your safari toolbar). So without leaving my keyboard I used to be able to retrieve any information (link) I've archived at some point in time.

When their re-design came out I was incredibly frustrated to find out they broke this workflow by collapsing the list of tags one has per default. Only a couple days later this is fixed. I guess a lot of people had a workflow similar to this and complained. But the lesson we can learn from this is:

It is incredibly important to know how users interact with your application. Unfortunately we usually learn it the hard way ; )

-- Felix Geisendörfer aka the_undefined

PS: My Option+2 bookmarklet is "post to delicious" which I use a ton as well.


Amazon Associates API (data source) for CakePHP

Posted on 31/7/08 by Felix Geisendörfer

Hey folks,

just wanted to let you know about a new addition to the debuggable scraps repository: An API for the Amazon Associates Web Service. Right now it's really just a simple wrapper to allow you to search their catalog since that was all I needed for now. But thanks to the almighty fork button on github you can easily change that ; ).

Using the API is as simple as:

class AmazonController extends AppController{
  var $uses = array();

  function index() {
    // Only needed if no Model has been loaded so far

    $amazon = ConnectionManager::getDataSource('amazon');
    $response = $amazon->find('DVD', array('title' => 'The Devil and Daniel Johnston'));

Documentation and code can be found here: Download the Amazon Associates API for CakePHP.

Hint: If you are looking for DVD covers you'll have to pass 'info' => 'Images' as a second query option.

Alright, hope that's useful to some of you out there : ),

-- Felix Geisendörfer aka the_undefined

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