News, Technology

While we enjoy a great many things down here in the Virgin Islands, one of the things we do lack of is some of the common conveniences that many take for granted back on the mainland. One of those wonderful things was the introduction of Netflix streaming capabilities.

Having the ability to stream television shows and movies from Netflix is incredibly handy. Many of us pay for the DVD and/or Blu-Ray service already since it’s sort of a necessity considering our spotty coverage of movies that come out in the theater (another minor inconvenience). Those of us living in the Virgin Islands with a Netflix account were, understandably, a bit annoyed when we received and email back in November of 2010 about a rate increase. The reason?

Why the changes? Our selection of TV episodes and movies available to stream has grown dramatically, and as a result most members want us to deliver unlimited TV episodes and movies two ways: streaming instantly over the internet plus DVDs by mail. The price increase will allow us to continue to offer the popular plan choice of unlimited TV episodes and movies streaming instantly along with unlimited DVDs. The new plan, which does not include DVDs, is a great option for the increasing number of members who only want to watch instantly. The $7.99 a month price reflects no DVD shipping costs on this plan. – (source)

Netflix thought the streaming service was quite the bees knees, as well; to the tune of an additional $1.00 per month. They began offering a streaming only service so that should equal things out, right? Those of us who did not have streaming service noticed the distinct lack of a “disc only service.”

You can imagine, then, the delight when an email arrived in many of our inboxes towards the end of the day on the 30th of June:

Could it be true? Could Netflix really be offering streaming to the Virgin Islands now? A quick hop over to netflix.com and a small Silverlight install later proved that, indeed, Netflix was now streaming their content to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Let’s just hope what little bandwidth we have on this island, doesn’t get sucked dry because of it.

Life, Programming, This Turbulent World

Well, it was time for a change. This blog has transitioned to it’s new permanent location here at Random Drake. There are events in our lives which cannot be foretold and thus, we move on and on in an effort to keep up with the inevitable force that drives us known as: change.

Moving the blog, setting up the new design and going through old content, allowed me to realize that it had been an entire year since I had the opportunity to publish something. I was saddened to know that a blog, I worked so hard to get up and going, was not getting the attention it deserved. Life is unfolding faster and faster in front of me and so I felt it necessary to bring this back to life. I enjoy the writings and pleasure that I received in sharing programming, news and events with the rest of the world. That being the case: you can expect a revival of content and stories from this particular blogger. I have personalized the blog in an effort to make it a part of my life and who I am instead of simply a place where I posted things occasionally.

My personal and professional lives have had a great deal of happenings in the last year. Moving to another part of the world has introduced me to a new job where I toil along an immense project that keeps me constantly busy. The database seems to practically be busting at the seams, compared to other projects, as it grows near 400GB in size. The project rewards me by allowing me to write some good PHP and increase my SQL skills tremendously.

The ongoing side project, that has been in development for a few years, has seen a revival since receiving a makeover. Surpassing half a million hits in a month was a pretty neat thing to see and allowed me to know it was something that should become more of a priority. Continuing to gain popularity, the site has a few more big steps going for it before my trip to California where I hope to start spreading the good word about it.

Continuing to work on getting this blog more accessible, interesting and connected is something I have a goal for. Hopefully I will be able to find some additional WordPress plugins to aid me in the task.

We shall see what happens as time goes on.

Programming

If you’ve ever explored sorting tables, you might’ve come across a nice little library called sorttable. It’s functional, lightweight, and easy to add to just about any table.

If you’ve got a table with alternating colors for the rows, this little library will mess that up for you. From the looks of the results in the bug tracker, it appears that creating a remedy to this issue is a high priority, but can be difficult depending on how the background was applied. Well, if you’ve used proper CSS, then hopefully you’re using class names to apply your alternating background colors. If that’s the case, an easy fix is to add a couple of additional lines of code to the original source.

Look for this section:

tb = this.sorttable_tbody;
for (var j=0; j<row_array.length; j++) {

This is where we’re going through our loop of sorted elements and putting them on the table. Here’s our chance to apply alternating class names so we can keep our table rows looking nice. Just add the following in the for loop:

if (j % 2 == 0) {
   row_array[j][1].className = 'class_with_bg';
} else {
   row_array[j][1].className = 'class_with_other_bg';
}

…and voila!

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