Batch IP Locator - Official Launch

A week or so ago, I launched the very-beta version of a new app I'm working on. Today is the "official" launch of a greatly-improved product. After a week of poring over code and markup, the back-end has been revamped, UI is more functional (and looks better, too!), and an API has been added (with documentation). Now I just need to add content. Ugh. Not what I want to do after a week of coding. If I can get homework done early I'll shoot for that at the end of this week.

Stop by and visit, and leave me your thoughts (feedback) on what needs improvement:

Batch IP Locator ~ Geocode and map multiple IP Addresses - free!

ps. I made a new twitter account for it, too. lol


Batch IP Locator - Beta!

I've been looking for a service to geocode a list of IP addresses for awhile now, but to no avail. Well, for free anyway.

I just launched my version of a Batch IP Locator this morning, it will locate a list of IP address, returning the country, city and latitude/longitude coordinates. I'm hoping to fill a hole.

Years ago, I ran into "Map Multiple Locations" which opened my eyes to the power of data plotted on a map. As cheesy as it sounds, it was really a defining moment in my life (I am starting grad school on Monday, in Geography, after all). I hope to provide a similar service.

This beta is barebones for now. There is much in store (mapping integration, JSON output for ajax calls, etc), but for now I just have to settle with I've got.


Design inspirations

I've had some positive feedback regarding the redesign (many thanks to my wife who is full of patience and kind words even when she wishes her husband would spend time with her instead of the computer :) so here's my reply.

I don't do designs for hire, yet anyway. haha I'm just starting school again so time is limited, but I think it would be fun to do a little project once in awhile. Let me know what you've got in mind and maybe I can point out possible ways to achieve it.

For those of you thinking about web design but maybe "dragging your feet," here's some inspiration:

  • Best of CSS Design 2008: The websites we use everyday seldom invoke an emotional response deep within out heart. Here are 50 that did for me late last year. Especially true for Viget Inspire (just beautiful!), Carrot Creative (smooth use of jQuery navigation) and Nine Lion Design (dark texture, bold contrast and warm ambiance)
  • Nature Inspired Painted Background: This was the tutorial that got me "painting" again (see my attempt above) and generally interested in art once more, this time in the digital sphere.
  • 17 Techniques for Creating Designs Inspired by Nature: Interestingly enough, I started looking into my designer feeds (I subscribe to 15 rss feeds on design that provide constant inspiration) and found this article, posted one day after my redesign launch, that outlines many of the principles I used this time around. It's a great starting point for someone who's thinking about being interested in learning more about maybe playing around with design :), especially if you're into nature photography.
  • Web Style Guide 3: This book (yes, the entire text of the book in available for free online) is for those who already have design experience, but are looking into web standards and SEO and creating complex corporate websites. It takes a very conservative approach to web design, but is a good anchor and balance when your design needs to meet usability and interaction halfway.

A year ago, my wife started getting into food blogs, and I was blown away at how vastly enormous the food blog network is and how I had never seen a glimpse of it until then. Design blogs are the same - it's a whole new world out there and once you're in, you're in for good. Life just becomes one big design.


xanghe redesign! (yes, again)

It started out as a sketch. I was bored at the fair so I scribbled up a little scene I had in my mind. That night I scanned it and played around with it in Inkscape and then the GIMP. That was last Wednesday. The 6 following days have been pretty much wasted with me in front of the computer, but I have to say, this is my favorite design yet.

Enjoy. I promised my wife I this one would last at least a year.


Still Learning

The jasmine and bougainvillea I bonsai-ed are coming along beautifully. I think I prefer smaller trees. That has nothing to do with this post, though.

I'm still learning from my parents. I saw two characteristics over this past weekend that I guess I've always known, but for some reason hit me with more force this time.

My mom is an optimist. Not the blind kind, but the kind that takes lemons and makes lemonade. The active kind that pursues good out of the "bad." She's facing serious tests right now, mainly dealing with uncertainty and personal challenges, but she doesn't break. She calls them "opportunities" and "the perfect chance to prove what I've been believing."

This picture was taken 30 mins after getting out of the car, arriving home from a 3-day camping trip in the Uintahs. We had driven ("He" had driven, rather) for 4 hours to get home and everyone was very tired. It was 90ish degrees outside. I sat inside the air-conditioned house drinking water and eating cookies, thinking how it was so nice to be able to rest, when I looked out the window to see dad watering the garden (this is after he put away all the camping gear). Then I remembered that before our camping trip, he had been camping with the scouts for the week before that, and he had been the hiking advisor so did a total of 50+ miles hiking with little boys over the course of 4 days. Then I remembered that before that he went with a friend to climb Lone Peak - backpack in 7 miles, then climb the 700-foot vertical face of the peak. I recalled him saying that over the past 10 day period he had showered twice, even after all that physical exertion. He wasn't resting in his room or showering under cool water or even eating cookies before dinner... he was outside watering the garden, and teaching me something about priorities and work ethic.

Needless to say, my parents raised me well and are still teaching me by example the things that I should do. I guess no matter how old I am, I will always keep learning if I but keep my eyes open.

travel log
  • 02.13.08 - to the temple with Luan and his mom, good to be back
  • 02.14.08 - Mẫu's alive! and staying for the weekend
  • 02.15.08 - floor hockey and Thái food makes for some strange dreams
  • 02.17.08 - frisbee and swamp monster at the park: fun but I'm pooped!
  • 02.19.08 - just read Triết's response to my last post - game on!
  • 02.20.08 - raining and expected to continue through Sunday - thank goodness!
  • 02.21.08 - 3-hour nap is a bad idea right before bed
  • 02.23.08 - to the beach to watch kites, a baptism @ 5pm, and homemade bulgogi - what a day!
  • 02.25.08 - just gave myself a haircut - woo, cold head!
  • 02.26.08 - 75° and spring cleaning - couldn't feel better
  • 02.27.08 - fed the elders bún đậu tonight - think it's their first time
  • 03.01.08 - working on new background...
  • 03.02.08 - finalized javascript to change background without muffing up my other scripts
  • 03.03.08 - fhe: "In his strength I can do all things" (Alma 26:12)
  • 03.07.08 - some decisions are harder than others, but some are downright excruciating
  • 03.08.08 - there is life after work... i almost forgot
  • 03.11.08 - the distance between good and bad is much shorter than between better and best
  • 03.12.08 - conversion is sometimes a gradual process, so much so that we don't even notice
  • 03.14.08 - for some reason everything was a little harder today, looking forward for bed!
  • 03.15.08 - last night after blog reading, I missed OnlyBlue, today I find she's back
  • 03.16.08 - best day of my life!
  • 03.19.08 - "Pray for the answer that they've been looking for"
release notes v1.0 - FINALLY DONE!
  • 12.07 - first thought of starting a new blog
  • 01.08 - busy with election stuff but blog design still on back burner
  • 01.13.08 - first idea to imitate jk rowling with the "desk" theme
  • 01.28.08 - start sketching current design, breaking down development into phases
  • 02.02.08 - election only days away but still drafting final plans
  • 02.04.08 - v0.6 LAUNCH
    • main components (blog body, sidebar, header, etc) designed and implemented
    • styling for font, links, drop caps, etc. finished
  • 02.07.08 - v0.8 LAUNCH
    • image style to imitate polariod
    • moveability - post-it notes and static clings can be repositioned by drag and drop
    • release notes styled and written
  • 02.16.08 - travel log (beta) added in hopes of catching the mundane
  • 02.22.08 - lightbox 2.03 reinstalled and working fine (hopefully - let me know otherwise)
  • 02.26.08 - v0.9 LAUNCH
    • travel log seems to be working, so I'll keep it
    • lightbox also seems to have passed the test, so it's a keeper
    • some credits/info added to bottom (will expand)
    • keeping old Viet terms in archive for future viewing
  • 03.18.08 - v1.0 LAUNCH
    • installation and testing of time-sensitive background completed (for now)