Desktop Wallpaper Image Scraper

nterfacelifpageSome time ago I came across a great desktop background website, InterfaceLift.com. When I first went to it, there weren’t that many images, but the number of background images they have seems to be steadily growing.

I decided it would be nice to get a copy of all the images for myself so I built a little scraper to do the job for me. I wrote it ruby so that I could take advantage of a great ruby gem called Watir. The script works by going through all desktop backgrounds, selecting the largest available and making a nice link in a separate text file. Afterwards a download manager like DownThemAll can be used to download all of them.

At the moment the script works in Windows with Internet Explorer but I am working on making it work with FireFox 3 in Linux. Its wiki page is here.

The Galaxy Game

While at uni and coming to terms with the exciting world of programming I made the galaxy game. Feel free to play it here.

Galaxy Game
Galaxy Game

The rules of the game are rather unique and confusing, but it is somewhat similar to Minesweeper and has an amount of luck involved with it. Late last year I decided (it was suggested to me) to make a solver for this game and  I had a few iterations of working solvers, going from fairly naive to what I felt was pretty good. I have decided to start over again with a nicer version of the game and a boast worthy solver. Stay tuned or watch the wiki page for progress.

Apache Log Notifications in Linux

A NotifyOSD notification of log activity
A NotifyOSD notification of log activity

I have a small personal website, as you can see, that gets the odd visitor now and then. This makes me happy! so I like to know about it. There are plenty of statistic gathering scripts like Google Analytics that generate excellent aggregate data, but for my scale of website I prefer a more fine-grain monitoring. I use BBClone for this and it does an awesome job. Other than wishing it had the option for a SQL back-end, I always thought it would be great to have a real time notification of someone paying a visit.

Thus my java ApacheLogNotifier was born!

Using Java and Ubuntus port of NotifyOSD via the notification demon, I have created a small program to poll the tail of my Apache log and notify me whenever there is interesting activity. At the moment I ignoring localhost and bots, so that I can see if an actual person has just come to visit my website. There is a lot of work and refactoring to be done. My initial prototype is just a rushed couple of hours work (thanks to reusing the tail code from http://www.informit.com/guides/content.aspx?g=java&seqNum=226).

For more information and to get the code look at the wiki page.