cowboy sysoping

Everyone’s heard of cowboy coding, but cowboy sysoping is way more fun! Server has a failing PSU, indicator leds on both PSUs are dead but server runs, only one way to do this, pull a plug and hope it’s the broken one!




Upside is that the power cycle reset the failure state and now it’s saying that¬†everything’s a-ok!

Editing code in WordPress using a browser

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WordPress comes with a theme and plugin editor screen built in, to many volunteers dismay, both on the forums, on IRC and various other platforms.

The biggest issue with the editor is that it’s right there, the user¬†looks at the Appearance menu item thinking “I want to change my site”, sees a menu item labeled “Editor” and common sense dictates that to edit a site, you go into the editor.

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Epson: A horror story

So I get to do some fun stuff at work at times, one of the most fun projects I’ve been given was creating a cashiers system which had me interfacing with card payment terminals and receipts printers.

We recently got new printers, which is where the nightmare begins. The new ones are Epson, but since Epson has a patent on the POS format (the ‘language’ used ot send commands to them), the previous brand had some minor alterations.
No problem I figured, simple fix, let’s just change things up and be on our merry way, how hard could that be (famous last words, anyone?)!

Everything worked perfectly, I chucked out receipts and everything worked fine! The benefit to this new printer was the inclusion of NV Ram space, this allows you to store images directly to the printer for use later on by just issuing two letters to represent which image you want printed. I loved this idea, as printing images from local storage involves some added overhead and longer print times.

So I happily send a print command …. aaaaaaaaaand nothing. Huh, how odd… let’s try another approach…nope!

So I do the sensible thing, I take to the internet, and a couple hours of troubleshooting later we’ve deducted that a lot of commands that use the same command format are silently failing.
In my mind, this points towards a firmware fault, so I decide to check in with Epson support to confirm it or get some clarification on why my commands are failing silently.

So, you drop by the Epson website, you pick your region and you push on!

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Responsive local media embeds in WordPress

These small code snips are becoming more of a future reference for my self than anything else, but at least I know where to find them!

WordPress handling of local media has gotten very good over the last few versions, but I was irked by the video embed of a local .mp4 file, as it was either too big, or too narrow, and never fit with the responsive design of the site.

Simple fix, I love filters.