jColourStrip: A jQuery Gradient Colour Bar

Here’s a fun little plugin I wrote. I wanted some really neat syntax to display little coloured bars that go from 0% to 100% width and as they grow they change colour from say red to green.

It’s very tiny, and easy to use.

* [Demo](http://mikemurko.com/demos/jColourStrip/demo.html)
* [Download .js](http://mikemurko.com/demos/jColourStrip/jColourStrip.js)
* [Download .zip](http://mikemurko.com/demos/jColourStrip/jColourStrip.zip)

Here’s all the syntax you need on your page to make it work (Note **0.2** is the percentage of the bar that is complete):

<div class="default" title="0.2"></div>

Site updates!

I've done a fair bit of changes here at mikemurko.com.

  • Visual refresh: Darker theme fits more with the winter I think.
  • New comment engine: powered by Disqus. Should allow easier commenting and make the comments more portable to other platforms
  • More focused on coding/server stuff namely: codeigniter, jquery, classic ASP, ubuntu server maintenance, and windows server as well

Hope you like it!

Of tablets, e-readers, and shady nomenclature

The market for tablets, e-readers, and mobile devices is booming and the lines separating once discrete devices is becoming blurry. When there's any explosion of technological devices there is always a struggle to find appropriate names for the devices that will inform customers what they are purchasing, and ensure their product "fits in" with other devices in the market.

The latest release of the Kobo Vox here in Canada is hailed as a "colour e-reader" and that's what got me off my ass to write this article. The Vox is not an e-reader. Under my nomenclature it is a Android-based tablet device with a (power hungry) LCD screen and custom applications to talk to an Indigo online store. I guess that's a mouthful … but it most definitely is not an "e-reader"!

Let me try and clear some air and hopefully someone at one of these companies will take heed and call their devices what they actually are and stop confusing customers!

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Make the new Gmail look more compact

I was instantly frustrated by the amount of padding on the new Gmail look (released to me on Nov 2nd, 2011). Turns out it's quite easy to fix. Just click the "Gear" button (the lower one, not the top right corner). And choose from the fuzzily named Comfortable, Cozy, or Compact. Personally I prefer Cozy or Compact, but Comfortable is probably only suited if you either have a 40 inch monitor or are legally blind.

Remember to check out my post about cool shortcuts in Gmail and Google!


Android Disable Ads Hack

Tired of ads? After a little experimenting I found I could easily disable ads in all games that I downloaded. This isn’t as useful in actual apps that need the internet to function, but works perfectly well for things like Angry Birds, Moonchaser, Yooninja, and more. Obviously you won’t be able to upload scores and such using Feint, but you’ll be happy and ad-free!

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Keurig Reusable K-Cup

I generally see K-cups as the anti-earth with their devilishly tempting ease-of-use and really wasteful and non-degradeable plastic packaging, all for just a single cup of coffee. I do however really enjoy the concept of a single cup coffee maker, so imagine my caffeinated joy when I saw the “My K-Cup Reusable Coffee Filter“! Read more after the break!

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Blowing smoke up someone’s ass

Five tobacco companies in America are suing the FDA over a new law that forces them to slap graphic warnings on their cigarette packages. The companies state this law is in direct contraction of their first amendment right to free speech because, “they can’t require a cigarette pack to serve as a mini-billboard for the government’s anti-smoking campaign” [Floyd Abrams, lawyer]. The opposing side states that “the new labels could deter young people from starting to smoke and give adult smokers a new incentive to quit.” [Kathleen Sebelius, Health Secretary]. The question I had was: do these labels have proven, scientific efficacy in stopping smoking or detering it? I set to find just what the link is between pictures of gnarly medical abominations and people not sucking on a stick all day.

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Installing JIRA on Ubuntu

Just walking through some of the steps as the JIRA documentation is a little too skimpy in parts for my liking. First … go get the Linux version of JIRA. IMPORTANT: Make sure you click “Show All” and download the 32-bit version if you’re unsure. I tried this whole nonsense with the 64-bit version and got a mind-boggling error (Syntax error: “(” unexpectedMore here. I’d say this whole process can be done in 15-20 minutes including all the Googlin’ and head scratching.

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CakePHP 2.0 Plugin Webroot URL Rewrite on IIS 7

After trying my hand at CakePHP and falling in techno-geek love with it, I ran into a problem with how CakePHP 2.0 Beta runs it’s plugins’ webroot content. Just so we’re on the same page, the 2.0 documentation hasn’t been updated as of writing (Aug 14, 2011) to include any changes to how plugin’s webroot work … so I’m assuming it’s pretty much the same as 1.3. The docs for 1.3 state:

The urls to plugin assets remains the same. In the past you used /debug_kit/js/my_file.js to link toapp/plugins/debug_kit/vendors/js/my_file.js. It now links to app/plugins/debug_kit/webroot/js/my_file.js

Perhaps this works in Apache, but I’m running IIS7 and it does not work for me. In my layout (or view, whichever) I tried inserting the following code:


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