That was (semi-)easy: Creating a book index from PDF page proofs

When reading (printed) books, it is so common to every once in a while look something up in the index, I never thought twice how much work actually goes into a good index. Well – now I know! I just put together an index for mine (I’ll post more on that book soon – be […] Read more..

Using robots.txt to your advantage to reduce server load

A little while ago, my hoster ( whom I actually like quite a bit, decided that I was using too much of my fair share of the common server and decided to warn me that I was “abusing” the system. They told me that if I didn’t reduce my server load, I would have to […] Read more..

Project #22 in the Daddy Handbook: A Catapult

Because she saw one at her school’s science fair, last week our youngest daughter asked me to help her build a catapult. Feeling intrigued by the idea of putting together something that shoots something else but not wanting to go overboard (you never know what kids do with these), I came up with this design. As […] Read more..

Placemarks from KML

Creating a KML file from MySQL data with PHP

I recently had a need for a PHP script that queries a MySQL database for location-based point data (a LatLong coordinate and some descriptive information) and then creates a KML-file from that data on the fly. A file like this can then easily be loaded into Google Maps, Google Earth and other geospatial applications. In […] Read more..

My semi-annual computer cleanup (a to-do list for everyone else)

Now that the semester is over and all the grades are in, it is time for me again to clean up my computer before I embark on new projects. It is simply amazing how much that machine get filled with stuff over time. Add to that the fact that my hard disk is always too […] Read more..