Posts Categorized: Hacks

Goodbye WordPress

I started this blog in September 2011 with this highly controversial post (which has apparently lost all the controversy with the loss of comments but trust me it got pretty wild back then) and have been writing here on and off. Till today, 25th Oct 2016, this blog had been powered by Wordpress, that too pretty well I must day. But starting today this is now a static site comprising only of static HTML, JS and CSS files using Hexo as the backend static site generator. If you have visited the site in the past the first thing you will notice would be the improved speed. Taking away all the runtime code compilations has drastically reduced the load and render time of the site. Honestly, a simple blog/site does not need to be dynamic at all. The primary reason I, like everyone, chose WordPress is the sheer ease of use. Having said that I would like to list down some of the factors that made me decide to make the switch.

  • Speed - Whenever we open a web url the page that is rendered in the end is HTML, CSS and JS only. No matter what the backend technology is or how complicated the logic is the end result would always be HTML only. Wordpress was doing the same but with an added step of running PHP code to determine what HTML has to be rendered. By eliminating this step I am able to save the load time.
  • Safety - If you have used any of the PHP based CMS’s in the past I am sure you are aware of the “Viagra Hacks” that these are prone to. If you are not careful about updating your Wordpress or Joomla installations or do not have a reliable hosting provider you will not ever know when your site will get hacked and search results for your site on google will start showing links to Viagra. Not only is this embarassing at that moment but takes a lot of time to fix. No such problem exists with a static site.
  • Better and easy deployment - This site is currently hosted on AWS S3 which means this site will have 99.99% uptime, and 99.999999999% of durability (yes, 9 nines), I won’t pay anything for hosting if I am doing less than 20k file requests a month, and I won’t have to waste any more time messing with servers.
  • Cost Effective - I no longer have to manage a hosting/server which saves me a monthly fixed cost I had been incurring for a very long time. And S3 os cheap.
  • Less Code - The static site generator tool Hexo is really minimalistic in nature. Any change in the theme layout only requires the knowledge of HTML, CSS and JS which fortunately I know :)
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How Truecaller works on iOS and what sucks about that.

I have always liked the product Truecaller. As someone living in India it is more of a necessity than a utility considering telemarketers will not give a single f* before calling you at any time of the day. What sucks is that Truecaller does not work on iPhones. Primarily because of the closed architecture of the iOS that does not provide hook or access to any app to get access to the dialer. What that means is that Truecaller does not get access to incoming/outgoing calls and can’t perform its most basic function.

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Latest Pet Project : Check DND Status

I love small pet projects. This love drives me to starting a lot of small projects even though i might not complete them. I wish I get more time and am able to finalize a lot of those tiny useful utilities and fun app. I am pretty psyched by the fact that I have been able to finish a pet project after a long time. It was a small project with very little coding involved but it was fun. Hence I bring to you http://checkdndstatus.in

The only reason I decided to write this app is because I had the relevant data readily available. A simple Google search will reveal that there are already a lot of such apps/services available but I really doubt they are being updated regularly (I could be very wrong). I feel most of them are riding the big SEO wave to make money through ads. As for this I may or may not put ads on this service (only if traffic is high and server takes a heavy toll) but one thing is for sure, if I am not able to maintain or update it properly I will take it down. As a policy that we follow at Green Apple Solutions, we never release untested, unapproved or unsupported code. This has worked pretty well for us so far and I personally this this is a great policy. Anyways the service can be found here. In case you have a feedback to share just write to me.

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Hacker News Chrome Extension

I am an ardent fan of the Google Chrome browser and it is one of my “essentials” when working. I have tried a lot of times to write a chrome extension of some sorts but the project always got abandoned in the middle somewhere. This time I came around completing it for a change. It is a very small but a very useful extension. I am an avid follower of Hacker News and one peculiarity that I see in their links is that they open in the same page when clicked. This is kind of irritating for me for I do not like opening HN again in a new tab or going back to read yet another article. This is what my extension changes. On installing the extension updates the Hacker News links in such a way that they open in a new tab when clicked.

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