Save money AND make your site faster using a CDN

My most popular website, the Fake Name Generator, recently ran into two major problems: It was using too many server resources. It wasn’t as fast as I wanted it. To solve these issues, I turned to SimpleCDN and their awesome “mirror buckets”. Basically you setup a bucket, point it at your base URL (in my case, http://www.fakenamegenerator.com), then update a few links on your...

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Fix capitalized words in a MySQL table

I got a support request today for the Fake Name Generator. A visitor ordered US addresses, and some of the cities came back in all caps and some normal (e.g., FOLSOM and Folsom). After digging into my code, I found that I was checking if a city name was in uppercase, and if so I was forcing it to lowercase then running PHP’s ucwords() on it (so FOLSOM -> folsom -> Folsom). This was...

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Quick and Easy PHP WHOIS Script

I like to be able to type “whois somedomain.com” in my browser and have it bring up the WHOIS information. The site I’ve been using has a captcha (annoying) and has gotten unreliable, so I wrote this quick and easy script to pull the full unformatted WHOIS data for me: <?php $d = isset($_GET['d']) ? $_GET['d'] : ''; ?> <html> <head> <title>WHOIS <?php...

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Lock a Deadbolt without a Key

I found this fun Instructable today that shows you how to lock a deadbolt without having the key. I can think of a few situations where this could come in handy: You are at a friend’s house and they leave you home alone but forget to give you a key (or they give you the wrong one). You can’t leave the house unlocked, so that means you are stuck at home until they get back. You can...

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Jumbo Jenga

Jumbo Jenga

My friend Joey Novak recently posted about making some giant Jenga blocks, so I thought I’d give it a shot, too. First, I needed to know what kind of wood to buy. Jenga blocks are 0.57″ x 1″ x 3″ (height x width x length). The easiest wood to get would be either 2×4 (1.5″ x 3.5″) or 2×3 (1.5″ x 2.5″) studs. So if we upsize the Jenga...

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