Azure Like It : Getting started with Microsoft Azure Websites

Azure Like It : Getting started with Microsoft Azure Websites

A current pet project runs on IIS, and having found too many restrictions with the IIS instance on my shared hosting accounts I needed to look for alternatives. Digital Ocean and Linode are great reasonably priced VPS services, but Linux only, and this project doesn’t yet warrant the cost of getting a dedicated box somewhere. My familiarity with Amazon Web Services meant that I have quickly been able to setup Amazon Web Services stack utilising Windows Server EC2 instances, Elastic Load Balancing, Auto Scaling, and Cloudfront…. the biggest downside to this approach is the ongoing management and maintenance of the Windows Updates that the VM’s will need, so I’ll probably loop back at some point to try out IIS on AWS Beanstalk. [update: feedback from some friends...

Practical Responsive Images – Crop to point of interest

Practical Responsive Images – Crop to point of interest

Following on from yesterday’s Practical Responsive Images post, the next example use of the < picture > element (and using PicturefIll), is to apply a point-of-interest crop to an image to maintain the desired focus at different breakpoints. Demo : http://responsiveimag.es/picturefill2_cropApples.html In this example, I’m apply different at-request-time crops depending at different min-width’s, with html scaling between those breakpoints. min-width: 850px  :  …?pcrop=700,0,2500,800 min-width: 600px  :  …?pcrop=1300,0,1900,800 smaller than that, use a different, focused image request (full code snippet below) [Update: I've now launched a separate site focused on Practical Responsive Images: http://responsiveimag.es/ ] Initial device testing...

Practical Responsive Images with PictureFill (#1)

Practical Responsive Images with PictureFill (#1)

Thanks to the work of the Responsive Images Community Group and key supporters, the industry is gaining considerable momentum towards implementing the <picture> element and the srcset attribute. Both of these could finally offer a standard solution to the gnarly problem of providing a mature and consistent approach to implementing images effectively, especially within Responsive Websites, and potentially also bringing some Web Performance benefits. Ahead of full take-up, and considering future-legacy-browers, there is an updated version of Scott Jehl’s PictureFill: https://github.com/scottjehl/picturefill. As such, you can seriously considering implementing a better images approach *today*. First steps to try: - grab a copy of picturefill.js - Use the...

Screen Video Capture of non-rooted Android Tablet

Screen Video Capture of non-rooted Android Tablet

My Android Tablet is NOT ROOTED, but I needed to capture some video of the screen footage from my son’s Pocket Minecraft based project. The Google Play store appears to have stacks of apps which will capture video of the screen with one button press, but due to an Android platform restriction, at this time they all require that the device be rooted. I was using a Mac and a non-rooted Nexus7, and here are the steps that worked for me: Grab the the Android SDK: https://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html No need to install, just extract it and open the Terminal to where you placed the contents and: adk > platform-tools (I think Windows user will also need to grab the Google USB Driver: http://developer.android.com/sdk/win-usb.html#download though I have only...

7 Customer Experience Tips : Qubit Bright Sparks talk

7 Customer Experience Tips : Qubit Bright Sparks talk

I’m really looking forward to be talking at Qubit Bright Sparks this coming Tuesday (29th April, at Sketch, London). It’s a fantastic line-up to be a part of, and I’ll be doing a “10 minute power talk” about Customer Experience Tips including some recent learnings from some great eCommerce client projects.  Main topics I’ll be rapidly covering: 1) Multi screen journey and adaptive content 2) Mobile deserves a different experience 3) Category Pages : Combine content and commerce 4) Lister Pages: not just a stepping stone 5) Product Pages: Content is king 6) Inspirational Content : make your videos work harder 7) SEO : leverage image and video verticals   My deck from the talk is now on...

Responsive Images : featured Flow on Gibbon

Responsive Images : featured Flow on Gibbon

I’m really thrilled that my Responsive Images flow is currently being featured on Gibbon.co https://gibbon.co/bseymour/responsive-images With some great progress now being made to the formalisation of the Responsive Images support in modern browsers, I’m pulling together a core of useful web resources around Responsive Images solutions. Gibbon is a really promising new community of people learning from each other by collecting and sharing the knowledge from the web. I really like their ‘playlists for learning...

Over Engineering : 800 years of Operation

Over Engineering : 800 years of Operation

The Hook lighthouse on the south coast of County Wexford, Ireland is the oldest operating lighthouse in the world. There has been a beacon in this location since the 5th century, with the current structure being built in the 12th century, which has now operated continuously for a staggering 800 years. This medieval tower was built by William Marshall, the then Earl of Pembroke, who wanted to establish a port in the town of New Ross (30km up river) and needed to ensure safe passage for ships. Marshall’s background was as a castle builder, and you can see that legacy and skill transference in his approach to creating the lighthouse; The structure stands 4 stories tall, at a height of 35 metres, and for the lower 3 levels the walls are up to 4 metres thick. The...