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Fun with maps - Day (Night) 1 in Wien

As some of you might already know, I'm currently visiting the city of Vienna, Austria. While I've been there since yesterday, it is the first time I actually have to walk around and try to understand street names.

After a quick walk around the corner (around the ring?), here is a map of where I went:

Basically, I was looking for coffee. I discovered maybe 7 McDonald's, but realized afterwards that these were only signs pointing to 2 or 3 real restaurants. Naturally, every corner you could find a chique coffee shop, but I was missing the caffeine factor of dripped coffee. Plus, the espresso I had last night was exactly tasting like the ones at home. Whether this means I make good espresso or the coffee shop was bad, yours to decide.

After walking a little bit, I found myself in front of the St. Stehpen's Cathedral (Stephansdom). Just on the other side, a huge pedestrian street with a lot of shops (clothing, books, etc). Still, no cheap dripped coffee. After trying for 15 minutes to see where I was on the map (street names are difficult to spot on buildings), I decided to walk on Stephansplatz as it was crossing Kärtner Ring southbound which becomes the street of the hotel eastbound.

Now, don't let me try to pronounce these names, as I would probably insult someone. I'm just trying to find the same sequence of letters on my map. Shame on me, the only thing I can now say is: "Yes", "No" and "Thank you".

Alright, still walking now. While going south, I'm close to Walfischg street. Is seeking now over? Looking at my left, a Starbucks store is there and open. As recommended by Maxim, if you want your caffeine, Starbucks' coffee is the one to choose at 21mg/oz. Good, let's hope they do understand English now.

Just inside, I'm next in line. The women in front of me is struggling to order a cafe latte. Can't understand what they are saying, but it seems this one won't be easy. Taking a deep breath, I'm probably looking terrified. It's my turn now, prepared to play the "point and nod" game with the guy. To my big surprise, I'm greeted with: "Hello, good evening". As it seems, the women in front did struggle, but with her English. Good.. "Grande Coffee" it is.

Time to pay, I see that big credit card machine that accepts the chip thing. Let's try to see if my new card works. Just popping the card on top, Deutsch menus simply change and everything is now in French. Pretty good sign considering the machine knows where I'm from. Typing my PIN, I'm now seeing a "Merci veuillez reprendre votre carte". After 4 weeks of trying to use it at home, I'm finally able to test the chip technology.

Being a happy person with my coffee and credit card tested, it's time to head back to the hotel. There is still a little bit of rain and the humidity makes it feel colder outside. Just have to walk along the park. Couple of minutes later, I'm back in my room, drinking that good (same old) Starbucks, writing this arcticle. Now that the post is over, the cup is also empty. Let's try to see if I can take some night pictures.

GeoIP 1.0.5 released

I just released GeoIP 1.0.5 on PECL. An excerpt from the ChangeLog:

  • Small bug in phpinfo() when printing version number could crash PHP. (in 1.0.4)
  • Fix memleaks, bug #14851
  • Small patch for MacPorts by jhohle
  • Add geoip_time_zone_by_country_and_region() and geoip_region_name_by_code() (thanks to Sid Dunayer)
  • Add continent_code field for City Database, only if using GeoIP lib 1.4.3 or newer

Since most of the features are very dependent on the GeoIP Library version you're using, I do suggest you upgrade the installed library on your system before upgrading the PECL counter-part.

I have also upgraded the PHP documentation, which should appear on the mirrors by next week. I am now working on documenting the added functions, mostly that FIPS 10-4 thing in geoip_region_name_by_code().

One thing to note about this release though is that the time zones returned by geoip_time_zone_by_country_and_region() with library 1.4.5 don't seem to make any sense here. I have opened up a bug report on SourceForge for libgeoip, will see if it gets resolved in the next release.

In the meantime, happy IP Geo Localization with PHP!

All new blog!

Please welcome... wait for it... my new blog! (you need to use Barney Stinson's voice for that phrase)

Ok, so what's the catch? It looks like the other one, what's different? In fact, what changed is the machine behind.

After many problems with ServerPronto, I decived to move everything back in Canada. My new hosting company is now iWeb, right here in Montreal. I wasn't sure at first, since iWeb is a little bit more expensive than others. After trying it, I am more than pleased with the service.

For example, when installing my dedicated server, I wanted to switch my Debian to Gentoo. I knew it was risky, but I needed my server to run Gentoo, mainly for seldom ebuild development. Everything ran smoothly, but I unfortunately made a typo in the network config file. Upon reboot, I couldn't access the machine and was stuck with a bricked server.

With a simple support ticket, I was able to get an IP KVM connected to my server quickly and interacted with it to bring the network back online. It might seem like a trivial event, but I am not sure what would have happened if it was hosted elsewhere. I would have probably ended up paying someone to type the commands on the shell, which is not always an easy task when the other person is more than a thousand kilometers away.

DoubleMetaphone on PECL

It's finally there... after quite some requests by external people, I've created a doublemetaphone module on PECL.

After some house-keeping, version 0.1.2 was born. It is still alpha, although it should not segfault or anything. The only reason going alpha is because I'm not sure the API should stay the same. After some feedbacks, I'll ramp-up beta and GA.

So, after a pecl install doublemetaphone, you can enjoy using the new double_metaphone() function.

If you have any comments, or found bugs, leave a comment here, or on the PECL bug system.

PECL GeoIP on Gentoo

Even if the GeoIP bindings for PHP have been available for more than a year on PECL, I have never took the time to write an ebuild for it on Gentoo.

Until now, I was using the PEAR installer, which is great for installing PECL packages. The only downside is that those packages won't be seen when doing a world upgrade with Gentoo. You then have two choices:

  1. Do an emerge world followed by a pecl upgrade-all
  2. Install PECL packages via Portage

Since I'm lazy, I like the fact to upgrade everything at one place.

The hard part now is to write the ebuild, which is really simple considering the fact that it is a PECL package and that eclass are available.

One thing to another, this ebuild is now part of the testing overlay for Gentoo. If no bugs are found, it should be part of the normal tree shortly.