PSPad - The Free Text Editor

30th April 2008 - 4 minutes read time

Since starting programming I have used a lot of text editors, some have been good, and some have been very, very bad.

One text editor that stands out is PSPad. It is a free text editor for Windows that has lots of features and is very stable. I have been using this for a while now and have seen very little problems. I say "very little" as I once tried to open a 800 megabyte log file and it fell over, which is understandable.


It has the following features:

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Create A Web Colour Pallette With PHP

29th April 2008 - 3 minutes read time

Use the following bit of code to create a web safe colour table. In order to for the name of each colour to be displayed the background colour array is reversed and used to create the foreground colours. This makes white text appear on black backgrounds and visa-versa, the only problem is that in the middle of the table it will display grey on grey.

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Mask Email With ASCII Character Codes In PHP

28th April 2008 - 3 minutes read time

Hiding your email address in an image is the best way of encrypting your email, but if your server doesn't support the GD2 library, or if you don't want to use it, then you might want to look at a different way of doing this.

The easiest way to encrypt your email address is to turn every character into the ASCII code equivalent and use this to display the text in HTML by putting a &# in front of each character. Here is a function that takes a string and turns it into HTML encoded text.

function maskEmail($email) {
 $hiddenEmail = '';
 $length = strlen($email);    
 for ($i = 0;$i < $length; $i++) {
  $hiddenEmail .= "&#".ord($email[$i]).";";
 return $hiddenEmail;

To use this just feed an email address into it.

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27th April 2008 - 2 minutes read time

Wordpress is a very impressive blogging platform written in PHP and JavaScript. Impressive in terms of features, ease of use and stability. Wordpress comes with two default templates and two examples plugins, but you can very easily create your own templates and plugins with the Wordpress API.

Looking at the code behind Wordpress there are several classes that it uses to accomplish certain things. For example, Wordpress uses the IXR class from Incutio as a XML-RPC server/client. Doing this saves the Wordpress developers from re-writing things that other people have written so that they can concentrate on the important things.

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Turning ASCII Text Into HTML With PHP

25th April 2008 - 3 minutes read time

Providing a text box for users to type information in is very common, but usually people want to include line breaks and links with the text and they expect the site to lay it out just as they had intended it. The following function will turn any ASCII text string into the approximate HTML equivalent.

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Insert Random Data Into Rabid Ratings

24th April 2008 - 4 minutes read time

Rabid Ratings is a neat ratings script written with the Mootools JavaScript framework that makes adding a rating function to any site very easy. The only problem is that when you first install the script it looks like no-one has ever visited your site to leave a rating. To combat this you can create lots of phoney data that makes it look like your site is well visited and interesting. One way to do this is by getting lots of people to vote on every rating on the site. However, a much easier way is to do this with a few handy MySQL commands.

The following query will create a random vote of between 50 and 100 for each rateable value.

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Change MySQL Table Name

23rd April 2008 - 2 minutes read time

To change a table name in MySQL you can use the ALTER TABLE command with the parameter RENAME TO. Here is an example of a query that will rename the table "atable" to "newtable".

ALTER TABLE atable RENAME TO newtable;

You could also use the RENAME TABLE command with the same effect.

RENAME TABLE atable TO newtable;

This is also useful for renaming all of the tables in the database, just separate each table rename command with a comma.

RENAME TABLE atable TO newtable, anothertable TO anothername;

This should enable you to rename all tables in the database, perhaps with a new prefix.

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Preventing Image Bandwidth Theft With .htaccess

21st April 2008 - 4 minutes read time

When people link to your images from their own site they are essentially using your bandwidth to show images on their site, this is also known as hotlinking.

The simplest way of preventing people from doing this is to add a .htaccess file to only allow locally linked images to be served. This checks the domain that is linking to your images by using the referrer and if the domain does not equal you own site then a different image is served, in this case blank.jpg.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(.+\.)?hashbangcode\.com/ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(.+\.)?google\.co\.uk/ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(.+\.)?google\.com/ [NC]
RewriteRule .*\.(jpe?g|gif|bmp|png)$ /images/blank.jpg [L]

You can also prevent hotlinking from high traffic sites like myspace by using the following .htaccess file.