Philip Hutchison

LearnSWFObject.com domain being retired

It’s hard to believe that I have run learnswfobject.com for nearly ten years. It’s easy to overlook now, but back when Flash was booming, before iOS and Android changed everything, SWFObject was a very important piece of web technology. According to BuiltWith.com, SWFObject’s usage peaked at about 3.5 million sites in late 2013. As of Dec 2018, there are still over 1.1 million sites using SWFObject. That’s a lot of sites. Accordingly, there were also a lot of web developers trying to learn how to use SWFObject. I didn’t create SWFObject — it was Geoff Stearns‘ brainchild — but I …

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Eight Years of Running a Mac Mini Server

In late 2009 I migrated all of my websites to my personal Mac Mini server, which is hosted in MacMiniColo’s data center (now part of MacStadium). You can read about my reasons for moving from hosted services to my own server here. I’ve never looked back, and have mostly enjoyed having my own server because of the freedom it gives me to experiment and customize my environment. Mostly. When I first got the server, I was new to Linux and was really happy Apple provided Server.app, which is a GUI for the standard fare of services, including Apache, mail, FTP, …

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Using Scraper on RetroPie

RetroPie is a fun little arcade system that runs on Raspberry Pi. It includes Emulation Station, which allows the user to select games using a USB game pad or joystick instead of a keyboard. One of Emulation Station’s features is a scraper, which analyzes your library of game ROMs and tries to download the appropriate artwork and game metadata from online databases. If successful, when you browse your library you will be presented with nice art and game descriptions. I was excited to try the scraper, but ultimately found Emulation Station’s scraper to be very hit-or-miss. Dozens of online forums …

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PDFObject 2.0 released

After almost eight years in the making (and nearly 7 years of procrastinating), PDFObject 2.0 has arrived. PDFObject is an open-source standards-friendly JavaScript utility for embedding PDF files into HTML documents. It’s like SWFObject, but for PDFs. Version 1.0 was released in 2008 and has enjoyed modest success. Based on stats from PDFObject.com (including devious hot-linkers) and integration with 3rd-party products, I’m guesstimating it has been used on well over a million web pages. (If I had a nickel for every time it was used…) I updated it a few times over the years, but generally only if someone reported a compatibility issue. Like an …

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SCORM on Google Trends

Interesting stats from Google: SCORM is clearly on the decline, as is AICC, but both still much stronger than xAPI (aka Tin Can), which is barely registering.

Convert “localhost” to your Mac’s current IP address

When developing web pages, I use my Mac’s built-in Apache or MAMP.app. Viewing the page means using an address such as http://localhost/mypage.html. I decided to make my life a little easier by writing an AppleScript that looks at the open tabs in Chrome and Safari then replaces “localhost” (or custom domain) with my current IP address. Saving this as a service enables me to go to Chrome > Services to run the script.

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