Sangat Pedas

Implementing Solr4 in WordPress - No Plugin

December 2, 2012 by Remco | 1 Comment

I’m currently working on a WordPress based travel site….


I left some space here where the experts can chuckle, LOL, ROFL and whatever else they think is appropriate. To those cynics I say good luck with you’re home made platform. WordPress is so much more than a blog platform, it’s the perfect framework for almost every project. It’s known for it’s near perfect and solid database design, it’s equipped with a great admin interface, offers great caching plugins and many more. I at first thought I had to migrate to another platform but along the way I found out that at least for me the possibilities are unlimited. And scalability? Well, read this post and make up your mind again. Continue Reading →

Filter Access To Tomcat based on IP behind Proxy Server

November 28, 2012 by Remco | 0 comments

Another day lost on something that seemed so simple to implement. After having installed Tomcat 7 and Solr 4 I wanted to limit access to the interface based on IP. This was actually the reason I chose Tomcat over Jetty because with Jetty there’s no straight forward dummy proof way to do this. Don’t let the firewall image fool you, this is just an IP filter and can be circumvented by means of IP spoofing. However for me it’s enough for now, once it goes in production all access will be blocked completely.

Somehow most documentation of platforms like Tomcat are clear if you get the whole picture but if you’re a first-timer it’s a pain in the ass because of the lack of simple/working examples. S what seemed straightforward cost me another 6 hours and by posting I hope to spare you the time.

So my website is hosted with Webfaction, a great hosting company but due to the fact that it’s still shared hosting it comes with some challenges.

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How-to install Solr 4.0 with Tomcat 7 on Webfaction [Tutorial]

November 27, 2012 by Remco | 6 Comments

For one of my startups-still-in-stealth-mode I’m working on a professional and scalable solution for search suggestions. Considering the current low number of daily visits I first thought I could easily get away with one of the many tutorials on search suggestions with mysql. However, the complexity would force me to use JOINS in combination with UNION JOINS which will result in the end in a crappy performance. Also, I shoot for the stars so anything I build needs to be super scalable.

So I chose for a setup with a text-based search engine. Now these days there are many text-based search engines out there but since I have some experience with Lucene based Solr and since Solr is just a bit more suited for dummies I chose Solr. Another popular alternative is Elastic Search but I seriously doubt that my website or yours would come to a point where you can’t do it with Solr. The Lucene engined is suitable for and extreme high number of concurrent requests, is super stable and serves many high-traffic websites out there.

So, this will be the first time I actually install Solr on a Webfaction server and for the view out there struggling with the same I share the complete process step-by-step.

In order for Solr to run it needs a Servlet container like Tomcat and Jetty. Solr actually comes with Jetty build in but for several reasons (security, doing-difficult-just-for-the-heck-of-it and others) I’ve decided to go with Tomcat 7.

OMG, this was a total nightmare and cost me >2 days to get it done so kudo’s and other forms of appreciation are very welcome!

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How-to install Tomcat 7 on Webfaction [Tutorial]

November 25, 2012 by Remco | 2 Comments

Since a few months I’m completely independent again, which at some times feels a bit scary but most of the time it just gives a great feeling of freedom. So now it’s time to use that freedom and do one of the things I always wanted to do more: sharing. So here’s the first of a long line of sharing how I run my new startups and also sharing the technical aspects.

So today I started on a project to implement search suggestions, which considering the current number of visitors I could easily and much more quickly do with MySQL but I choose for scalability. This means I want a lean and mean foundation and I chose the text-based search engine Solr. Because hosting is done by Webfaction and the posts on how to get this done are quite outdated I thought it would be nice to share the process so here we go.

In order for Solr to run it needs a servlet container such as Tomcat, Jetty, or Resin, I chose Tomcat because it was most referred to while doing my research. I know, hardly an intelligent way of choosing but I really don’t care since Solr should work fine on it and that’s the sole purpose. So here’s part one on installing Solr on Webfaction, which is installing Tomcat on Webfaction.
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5 Less Obvious Must Have WordPress Plugins (2012)

June 5, 2012 by Remco | 0 comments

So, everyone by now knows the major must-have plugins for WordPress like W3 Total Cache and YARPP, but there are some less spectacular simple plugins out there that are a must for your blog. So here’s one for the sake of SEO and reputation of this blog, a semi-intelligent post about the not so obvious but still must have WordPress plugins. Most of them are just as simple as useful and don’t strain the performance of your blog.

All plugins are running on this WordPress MU site version 3.2.2 and are doing what they promise but obviously no guarantees from this side, try at your own risk.
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Android Device Emulator: Testing Your (Mobile) Site On Any Android Device

September 10, 2011 by Remco | 2 Comments

Android has become a serious candidate for dominance in the world-wide booming mobile Internet market. So any web developer that takes his/hers job serious should develop their (mobile) site taking into account mobile users and devices. Because there’s already a staggering amount of Android devices and software versions it’s impossible to buy all Android devices. Luckily Google comes to the rescue with an Android Device Emulator which is part of the Android SDK. With this emulator you will be able to test your site on literally ANY Android device imaginable, including non-existing.  For Sangat Pedas a nice occasion to put both the Android Device Emulator and this site to the test.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1: Rooting, Performance and Over-clocking

August 21, 2011 by Remco | 3 Comments

Rooting and over-clocking Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1Since my work is more and more taking place outside the office and in my car I’ve decided it was time to purchase my long desired Samsung Galaxy Tab. I’ve written sarcastic posts about the Galaxy Tab P1000 but that was obviously just envy. And I don’t know if it’s because of its price or Samsung’s subliminal marketing or the great slogans (it does many things?? what the hell does that mean?) but in the end I picked the Galaxy tab 10.1 over the iPad2. Definitely also because it supports flash though not natively and the design and interface have become more similar to the iPad especially with the TouchWiz UX.

This won’t be a review like you can find on 18.300.000 other sites but more a post about the things I noticed, solved and tested with a focus on rooting and over-clocking the device.

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Canon Powershot SX230 HS Review For Dummies

June 5, 2011 by Remco | 5 Comments

The Canon Powershot SX230 HS (High Sensitivity) is Canon’s top notch camera  for the “point and shoot” market. Of course the web is full of reviews of the Canon Powershot SX230 HS but most are rather lengthy and geeky so time for a review for dummies by a dummy.

Lately I’ve been thinking about what to do with my life and my conclusion was I should spend less money on gadgets and much more on travel. I’ve been living in Indonesia for 2,5 years now and haven’t seen nearly as much as I intended so travel more makes sense. But wait, if I’m gonna travel more I need to upgrade my photo and video equipment, you know, so I can blog about it and show to my daughter. Yahoooooo!!! Maybe paradoxal but I’ve found rock solid reason to buy a new gadget.

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Super Small & Cheap PC For Just $25

May 8, 2011 by Remco | 0 comments

Game developer David Braben proves that not all great inventions come from giants like Intel and AMD. David has created a super small computer the size of a USB stick running Ubuntu for only $25.

The thing I like the most is that the driver behind this project is Raspberry Pi Foundation, a charity organization that wants to distribute the ultra-low-cost computer, for use in teaching computer programming to children. Of course this computer will offer many applications in both the developed and the developing world.

I just love the fact that this creation will contribute to the PC no longer being an asset for just people with money and will open up the digital world for underprivileged, poor kids. Of course the PC still needs a keyboard, mouse and monitor which still makes it expensive but at least it’s a great step in the right direction.

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