Alex Poole

Pragmatic PHP, MySQL, Marketing & Technology

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Rgraph now under MIT Licence

December 19th, 2013 by alex

My mate Richard has finally been persuaded to release his awesome JS chart library RGraph under the MIT licence. About time too.

Now I have to persuade him to stick it on GitHub. One thing at a time :)


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FuelUX Datagrid Demo

December 19th, 2013 by alex

Been using FuelUX a lot recently for a new project, It’s like Bootstrap on crack (in a good way!)

I had a bit of fun and games wiring up the datagrid to a MySQL DB and I wrote a demo for my mate Mark. I’ve put that demo up here along with a zip download of the source. Hope its useful to someone.

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PNGs have wrong colour in MSIE?

February 22nd, 2013 by alex

Just been building a site with some PNG furniture images which looked wrong in IE. The PNGs were rendering in a subtly different colour to the CSS backgrounds they were meant to match.


Turns out the fix was to remove the gAMA information using something called TweakPNG.

More info here: MSIE PNG Colour Fix

Surprised there’s not more on the web about this, I guess most people using JPGs but there you go. TweakPNG even has a GUI :)

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Hacking the Wunderslider NGG Plugin

December 4th, 2012 by alex

Well this morning was an unexpected pleasure. I recommend that if you find hacking minified .js files pleasurable, you listen to some nice Tchaikovsky or something. But anyway - we needed to show descriptions when the images changed, so I needed to find the previous and next functions to hook into.

I couldn’t find an unminified version of Wunderslider.js anywhere so I just hacked the lump in the end.

My code looks like this: Your mileage may vary!

(click to view full size)

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Google strips majority of search keywords

September 6th, 2012 by alex


<rant class=”vitriolic”>

A while back Google said they were stripping search queries from referer data to protect their user’s anonymity when they’re logged in. Unless you happened to be using Adwords, in which case it was more important you should have access to that data, somehow.

They also said that this would affect a “minority” of queries.

I thought I’d just call this what it is. Bullshit.

Google sends this blog just under 3000 visitors a month. And the majority of them, I don’t have a clue what they typed or what they found.

So if you can’t find you want, sorry, but I don’t have a bloody clue what it is any more, thanks to “do no evil” Google. What a load of absolute bollocks.




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Cubecart hack: display total price for product options

September 6th, 2012 by alex

Spent a few hours hacking CubeCart this morning, which was fun. Or at least more fun than removing your eyeballs with a rusty spoon. Just.

This is a hack to add option value to item price before sending option value to the template, thus displaying full price in option dropdown, rather than the additional price for that option.

So, by way of example, if your product was priced at £10 and it came in an XXL option  for an additional £5, the price displayed next to the XXL option would be £15, not +£5

You’ll need to take the plus sign out of the Smarty template too.

Here it is in a text file: cubecart-hack

Works with sale switched on, but not thoroughly road-tested. Obviously it’ll break when you update CC etc, so use at your own risk, no warranty implied, unlikely to be fit for purpose etc. You get the idea.

Hope its useful to some ppls :)

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Our Wedding Band for Cambridge

May 22nd, 2012 by alex

I’ve never really written about music stuff here before, but I do have a lot of fun playing keyboards in a few different bands.

I used to play in a Blues / Funk band years ago (before I could drive, which allowed me to entirely avoid sobriety when gigging for very many years.)

Nowadays I’m the band bus driver more often than not, and life is far more sensible, as is the band..

Groovetube is a Cambridge wedding band that does a goodly number of functions every year around Cambridgeshire, as well as a few pub gigs (never a big earner with a 7 piece band, but always a fun night.)

Its always a pleasure to play with great musicians, and whilst all the Groovetubers are great, Groovetube’s drummer is a legend (I won’t embarrass him here by putting his name in case he does a Google vanity search!)

Here’s our soundcheck from the other night, doing a bit of Cee Lo:

Try that with a sequencer..

So, yea, if you need a function band in Cambridge, please check out Groovetube!

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Multiple tabs on startup in Chrome

April 17th, 2012 by alex

This saves a few moments every time you fire up a browser.

..but I’m not sure if it’ll get annoying yet..

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Simon Wilcox - Trumpet

December 14th, 2011 by alex

This is a personal message to Simon Wilcox, who plays the trumpet. I have no way I know of contacting you any other way Simon, so I figure sooner or later you’ll either Google yourself, or someone else will Google you and pass this message on.

In 1991 / 1992 I rented a room in your house. During that time I treated you absolutely atrociously. With others in the house I bullied you mentally, damaged your personal property and showed a breathtaking lack of respect, kindness and compassion. I was an absolute c**t to you.

I only wanted to say that, when I look back on that time, I’m appalled by how I acted; deeply ashamed of my behaviour. Simon, I’m very very sorry. I can’t imagine quite how I’d make up for it, or that you even give a monkey’s now, 20 years down the line, but if I can ever go some way towards showing you how sorry I am and making good, you can contact me through this site. Anyway, I wish you all the very best.

Just for the sake of this post doing its search engine thing, I’ll reiterate that was a message for a gentleman by the name of Simon Wilcox, a trumpet player. And if you’re not Simon but you know him, please pass on the message.

Thanks. Alex.

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Ely Dog Walking

October 31st, 2011 by alex

If you’re looking for someone to walk your dog(s) in or around Ely, click on over to Ely Dog Walking. Karen has started to offer this service, and knowing what a fuss she makes of Cocoa, your dog will be in excellent hands.


We looked long and hard for someone to walk Cocoa on the days we were both working and couldn’t find anyone suitable - most dog walkers are already very busy - so we found a friend to help out and Karen decided to start offering a dog walking service herself. If you prefer, she’ll pop round your house and just make a big fuss of your dog when you’re out. Most people, I’m guessing, would prefer a good walk then a 10 minute fuss at the end. Anyway there you have it -> Dog walking in Ely.

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