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 Personal projects

On 01 June 2012, I started to document a list of the personal projects I have worked on over the years, roughly in chronological order.

The list is in NO WAY complete.

URL: http://ff0.eu and https://github.com/kyle0r/ff0-tools-linux
Credits: Kyle Milnes
Time scale: In development since the early 2000's, went GNU in 2012.
Maintenance: Regular
Technology: BASH, AWK, GREP, many, many linux tools
Involvement: Founder

My first GNU project, a collection of useful scripts, libraries, programs, utilities and tools that should run on cygwin and linux/unix like platforms. Please see the README for more details.

CrunchTools.com - Graph MySQL Stats
URL: http://crunchtools.com/software/crunchtools/cacti/graph-mysql-stats/
Credits: Otto Berger, Scott McCarty, Kyle Milnes, dainiookas
Time scale: NA
Maintenance: Ad-hoc
Technology: Cacti, PHP, XML
Involvement: since 2012

Having used the code and graph templates, I was keen to give back to the project.

I researched and documented the projects history, so I could undertstand it better, then went about making a few tweaks.

It was a cool undertaking, learnt A LOT about Cacti and monitoring MySQL internals.

GTAIV - Ultimate Vehicle Pack
URL: http://gta4uvp.gamesave-manager.com/
Credits: ZZCOOL, InsaneMatt, Kyle Milnes
Time scale: NA
Maintenance: NA
Technology: Lots of tools for managing and modifing GTAIV game engine, BASH, AWK
Involvement: since 2012

I initally got involved with the project by providing an addional mirror to host the project, to say thanks for the great work which I'd enjoyed playing with.

After a while of playing with the pack, I was keen to see if I could improve the quality of the project, especially around the compatiblity of the pack, for different versions of GTAIV and on different platforms. I'd encoutnered some issues and I was keen to help other users. I was also keen to see if I could improve some of the vehicle physics (handling).

I learnted a lot of things about GTAIV and its engine and extended my knowledge of file handing and formatting under BASH

Credits: Kyle Milnes, rsync and Cygwin
Time scale: A few weeks
Maintenance: NA
Inception: 2011

I wasn't happy with the available open source data backup solutions, and I really liked Apples Time Machine software, but it wasn't multi-platform.

I did some research and discovered that rsync could be used to perform backups in a near identical way to Time Machine. So I set about writing some scripts that would back up my various laptops and computers to a RAID5 NAS server.
The backup target can be any sshd/rsyncd server with rsync installed.
The backup client needs to run sshd and have rsync installed, this is native on OS X and Linux and easily set up with Cygwin running on windows.
In my set up, the NAS server pulled backups every hour from the back up clients, if they were online. Post backup, the backups for each client would be pruned.

The result, I have Time Machine style backup of our most important data and a classic back up of normal data, for all platforms and machines in our family.

I plan to release this as open source at some stage soon.

The Beauty Business website
URL: http://www.beauty-biz.co.uk
Credits: Kyle Milnes, Eilidh Milnes
Time scale: Expanded and maintained for a few years, until an ongoing litigation issue force the site to close
Maintenance: Ad-hoc
Technology: ASP 3.0, HTML
Inception: 2000

The beauty-biz website project was my first dynamic content undertaking. The sites purpose is to give the beauty salon an online presence and list the products and services.

At the time my skill set was heavily Microsoft platform based and I had been developing and learning with windows 2000 and IIS which natively supports ASP 3.0.

The requirements were:

  • A design to represent the business
  • Content management system
  • User management
  • Control of basic aspects of site layout and presentation

I used an access database for data storage and then wrote the front and back end of the site in ASP 3.0.

At the time UltraDev (early dreamweaver) was used to manage and write the code.

Half-Life Control Unit
URL: http://www.hlcu.com
Credits: Kyle Milnes
Time scale: After the intial site launch, I ran the site daily for 3 months, after which I foled the project in to another similar larger venture
Maintenance: daily, while active
Technology: HTML
Inception: 1999

The HLCU, initially this site started out as a homepage for my modification of the Half-Life engine titled "Very Difference Circumstances" which unfortunately didn't get developed past proof of concept.

As the project got some coverage and people started visiting the site regularly for updates on progress I was hooked on creating content for these visitors and spent countless hours developing the site and its content. Along with developing this content came affiliations and syndications with other Half-Life website's and communities.

Breaking news
The site reached a peek when I was reporting breaking news on what was happening in and around the Half-Life communities direct from the sources, it was a great feeling knowing that other big sites were coming to the HLCU for their latest scoop to publish on their sites.

I was always trying to create and serve unique content and the highlight of this was an interview with Valve software's David Speyrer, a software developer for the entertainment software and technology company.

At the time this was like winning the lottery on a personal achievement level. You can read the interview here. The traffic driven to the site on that week was 10000% more than the norm, this really opened my eyes to the way the web can work.

The project ended on a high, as I moved directly into my next project as a direct consequence of my hard work with this project.