The firegrid Blog. Thoughts, humour, ranting and general randomness. Wowzers!


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Website News  (29 Posts)

Wed 7th October 2009

PHP Scripts

Filed under: Website News

It's certainly been a while since I updated my Blog, apologies to any avid readers out there!

Well, some months ago I stumbled across an excellent website called ThemeforestThemeforest is an online marketplace which allows Template Authors and Script Writers to sell their products.  Ever since, I've been busy writing PHP Scripts and adding to my Themeforest portfolio.

I've also added a PHP Scripts section to this site, you can demo the scripts here but if you wish to purchase you must purchase via Themeforest (use the purchase button on each item)

Fri 8th May 2009

Using PHP date in your footer

Filed under: Internet and Technology

If you have your own website then the chances are you have a footer containing a copyright notice and a date.

While this is all fine and dandy in itself, when was the last time you checked the date?  Even if you often update your website it's very often something that gets overlooked.

While this isn't a problem in itself, it does a look a little bad when in the year 2009 your copyright notice is stating 2004 for example.

You could of course put a note in your diary to change the date on your website on the 1st of January every year but having it done automatically is going to be the best option.

So, how do you achieve this?  Simple!  By using PHP.  Simply stick the following code in your PHP enabled page:

<?php echo date('Y'); ?>

This will print out the current year - every year it updates automatically.  Hoorah!

Check out the official PHP Date page at for more information and further usage examples.
Wed 15th April 2009

Audi 0 - BMW 1

Filed under: Random Stuff

An excellent piece of advertising over in LA, pure class, I just had to post it!

Thu 12th March 2009

Live Form Validation

Filed under: Internet and Technology

Apologies if the website I'm now going to mention is well known among you all but I've only today stumbled across it.

I decided today to have a look at live form validation, you know the thing; when signing up on some websites they have a system where every entry you type into an input box gets validated immediately.

I thought that was pretty cool so thought I'd work it out and stick it on my Contact page.  During my Google research, I came across LiveValidation, a small piece of Javascript designed for the very purpose of on-the-fly form validation.


It's extremely easy to use - just include the javascript class somewhere on your page and then add the validation code after each form component.  LiveValidation literally does the rest for you (as long as each input field has an "id" identifier).  After tweaking it to my liking I now have a very nice looking validation component on my own Contact page.

I've you're good with PHP, it's well worth remembering to insert some server-side validation also.  This allows browsers that are not running Javascript to still complete your forms.  This also allows for anyone attempting to bypass the Javascript to still come up against validation.

Now, my Contact form is validated first by the LiveValidation script, then assuming this is all OK the server validates the entires also using PHP, assuming this is OK the message gets delivered.  An additional layer of spam protection plus it looks good too!

If you're interested, head on over to the LiveValidation site to download their Javascript code.
Fri 20th February 2009

Bubblebot Template

Filed under: Website News

'Bubblebot' is my latest Free Template release.

This is a very bright and colourful template designed for use as a personal website.

Head on over to the Templates page for the live demo or to grab the download.
Mon 2nd February 2009

Consulter Template

Filed under: Website News

'Consulter' is my latest Free Template release.

This is a simple template designed primarily for small corporate websites (such as a consulting firm - hence the name ;) ). It uses a very soothing colour scheme which is designed to be easy to view.

Head on over to the Templates page for the live demo or to grab the download.
Mon 2nd February 2009

Template Sponsorship and Donations

Filed under: Website News

Here at firegrid, I offer quite a selection of free templates and have done for some time.

While this will continue to be the case, I've decied to add a "Donate" button to each template so you lovely people can show your appreciation with cold hard cash if you wish to.  If you have found any of the templates useful then I do hope you will donate to help me continue to offer free templates.

Additionally, I am opening up my templates to sponsorship.  This means that in the footer of each template I will add your name/company name and website link.  This link will be visible on the live demos and on the downloaded file.  Template Sponsorship will be available on monthly and annual slots.  Please contact me to discuss further.
Tue 27th January 2009

How much is a Spider actually worth?

Filed under: Humour

Another brilliant email that's been doing the rounds lately.

Tue 27th January 2009

Richard....What is that white stuff?

Filed under: Humour

The below is currently doing the rounds on email, it made me laugh, so I thought I'd post it for all to see ;)

Dear Mr Branson

REF: Mumbai to Heathrow 7th December 2008

I love the Virgin brand, I really do which is why I continue to use it despite a series of unfortunate incidents over the last few years. This latest incident takes the biscuit.

Ironically, by the end of the flight I would have gladly paid over a thousand rupees for a single biscuit following the culinary journey of hell I was subjected to at the hands of your corporation.

Look at this Richard. Just look at it:

I imagine the same questions are racing through your brilliant mind as were racing through mine on that fateful day. What is this? Why have I been given it? What have I done to deserve this? And, which one is the starter, which one is the desert?

You don’t get to a position like yours Richard with anything less than a generous sprinkling of observational power so I KNOW you will have spotted the tomato next to the two yellow shafts of sponge on the left. Yes, it’s next to the sponge shaft without the green paste. That’s got to be the clue hasn’t it. No sane person would serve a desert with a tomato would they. Well answer me this Richard, what sort of animal would serve a desert with peas in:

I know it looks like a baaji but it’s in custard Richard, custard. It must be the pudding. Well you’ll be fascinated to hear that it wasn't custard. It was a sour gel with a clear oil on top. It’s only redeeming feature was that it managed to be so alien to my palette that it took away the taste of the curry emanating from our miscellaneous central cuboid of beige matter. Perhaps the meal on the left might be the desert after all.

Anyway, this is all irrelevant at the moment. I was raised strictly but neatly by my parents and if they knew I had started desert before the main course, a sponge shaft would be the least of my worries. So lets peel back the tin-foil on the main dish and see what’s on offer.

I’ll try and explain how this felt. Imagine being a twelve year old boy Richard. Now imagine it’s Christmas morning and you’re sat their with your final present to open. It’s a big one, and you know what it is. It’s that Goodmans stereo you picked out the catalogue and wrote to Santa about.

Only you open the present and it’s not in there. It’s your hamster Richard. It’s your hamster in the box and it’s not breathing. That’s how I felt when I peeled back the foil and saw this:

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking it’s more of that Baaji custard. I admit I thought the same too, but no. It’s mustard Richard. MUSTARD. More mustard than any man could consume in a month. On the left we have a piece of broccoli and some peppers in a brown glue-like oil and on the right the chef had prepared some mashed potato. The potato masher had obviously broken and so it was decided the next best thing would be to pass the potatoes through the digestive tract of a bird.

Once it was regurgitated it was clearly then blended and mixed with a bit of mustard. Everybody likes a bit of mustard Richard.

By now I was actually starting to feel a little hypoglycaemic. I needed a sugar hit. Luckily there was a small cookie provided. It had caught my eye earlier due to it’s baffling presentation:

It appears to be in an evidence bag from the scene of a crime. A CRIME AGAINST BLOODY COOKING. Either that or some sort of back-street underground cookie, purchased off a gun-toting maniac high on his own supply of yeast. You certainly wouldn’t want to be caught carrying one of these through customs. Imagine biting into a piece of brass Richard. That would be softer on the teeth than the specimen above.

I was exhausted. All I wanted to do was relax but obviously I had to sit with that mess in front of me for half an hour. I swear the sponge shafts moved at one point.

Once cleared, I decided to relax with a bit of your world-famous onboard entertainment. I switched it on:

I apologise for the quality of the photo, it’s just it was incredibly hard to capture Boris Johnson’s face through the flickering white lines running up and down the screen. Perhaps it would be better on another channel:

Is that Ray Liotta? A question I found myself asking over and over again throughout the gruelling half-hour I attempted to watch the film like this. After that I switched off. I’d had enough. I was the hungriest I’d been in my adult life and I had a splitting headache from squinting at a crackling screen.
My only option was to simply stare at the seat in front and wait for either food, or sleep. Neither came for an incredibly long time. But when it did it surpassed my wildest expectations:

Yes! It’s another crime-scene cookie. Only this time you dunk it in the white stuff.

Richard…. What is that white stuff? It looked like it was going to be yoghurt. It finally dawned on me what it was after staring at it. It was a mixture between the Baaji custard and the Mustard sauce. It reminded me of my first week at university. I had overheard that you could make a drink by mixing vodka and refreshers. I lied to my new friends and told them I’d done it loads of times. When I attempted to make the drink in a big bowl it formed a cheese Richard, a cheese. That cheese looked a lot like your baaji-mustard.

So that was that Richard. I didn’t eat a bloody thing. My only question is: How can you live like this? I can’t imagine what dinner round your house is like, it must be like something out of a nature documentary.

As I said at the start I love your brand, I really do. It’s just a shame such a simple thing could bring it crashing to it’s knees and begging for sustenance.

Yours Sincererly


Sat 10th January 2009

Bic-based hilarity

Filed under: Humour

The humble Bic pen, such an icon in our modern world but never has so much been said of the Bic as here, on the Amazon review page.  If you're feeling a bit down and need a lift, or have five minutes spare and fancy a laugh I would recommend clicking that link.

Here's a few of the brilliant reviews left so far:

Left handers beware...
Worked fine with my right hand, but when I came to use my left hand my writing came out looking like the work of a complete imbecile. I can only assume Bic have created a right-handed only pen, and would caution left-handers to "try before you buy".

DRM free
Note: Amazon are one of the few stockists of these pens in the UK to ship pens that come with the original 1.0 Bic firmware. If you do buy one, be sure not to download the latest edition from the Bic website. Doing so will enable the pens controversial DRM functions. Dont make the same mistake I did. I have been unable to write any sentence that has previously appeared in literature, song lyrics, even the titles of movies.
At these prices I can't afford a new pen, so I'm living in hope that news of the underground Russian hacking scene will soon release open firmware allowing the ball to be unjammed when jotting down protected content.

Red model
I bought the red model of this product and found that it blends in well with blood when you have been attacked by a zombie.

Quite a nice chew
I've found I can chew this pen for at least two working days, rarely do I end up with a mouthful of ink. A+++ highly tasty. It seems you can also write with it too.