Placezombie: The Zombie Image Placeholder Service

Zombie Image Placeholders Are Back

And just in time for Halloween!

I wrote a post about my 10 favorite image placeholder services a while ago. was one of them. Here’s the announcement blog post for

Down in the comments, you’ll see that the owners forgot to renew the domain name, so it obviously stopped working. The source was posted on GitHub, so I immediately forked it and got to work setting up a replacement.

A quick check revealed that was available, so I registered it. Score.

I really didn’t want to host this at DigitalOcean like I typically would, not knowing what to expect for bandwidth usage. Instead, I chose to host it at Heroku, using their free service.

Had a few issues getting it running, but after removing some Ruby stuff and creating the Procfile and package.json files that Heroku requires, I was almost good to go. Only thing holding me back was to replace the port number node.js was using with the port that Heroku uses. Did another git push heroku master, navigated to and there it was!

Here’s a 700×300 zombie below for proof!

That was generated like so:

You can do black and white images, too:

That was generated like so:

So, add some gore to your mock-ups, just make sure your clients aren’t too squeamish.

My 5 year old daughter is obsessed with Zombies and is going to fucking love this. She wants to be a Zombie Elsa (from the movie Frozen) for Halloween. :)


Just A Regular Night with WindStream DSL

I see this a lot

I pay $90 a month for 12Mbps down and 1Mbps up. It’s all I have available. I never get 1Mbps up, at least according to Ping responses take quite a while, no matter the geographical location of the box I’m pinging.

[email protected]:~$ ping
PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=49 time=1791 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=49 time=1941 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=49 time=1523 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=49 time=2028 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=5 ttl=49 time=1831 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=6 ttl=49 time=1846 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=7 ttl=49 time=2147 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=8 ttl=49 time=2228 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=9 ttl=49 time=2299 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=10 ttl=49 time=2350 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=11 ttl=49 time=2252 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=12 ttl=49 time=2373 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=13 ttl=49 time=2247 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=14 ttl=49 time=2116 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=15 ttl=49 time=2069 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=16 ttl=49 time=2248 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=17 ttl=49 time=2162 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=18 ttl=49 time=2204 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=19 ttl=49 time=2148 ms
--- ping statistics ---
21 packets transmitted, 19 received, 9% packet loss, time 20037ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 1523.625/2095.396/2373.288/214.538 ms, pipe 3

Of course, WindStream support folks have me test with, which hangs well below the 1Mbps mark. Until the end of the upload, when it gets faster, and then that’s what’s used as the result.

It’s not this bad all the time, but it’s bad way more often than it should be.

I actually miss Mediacom Cable.

How-To: Install lolcommits On Ubuntu

Lolcat-style photos as you commit

I’ve always had problems installing lolcommits on Xubuntu and other Ubuntu-based Linux distributions.

The installation instructions are very simple. Only requiring you to run two commands, sudo apt-get install mplayer imagemagick libmagickwand-dev and then sudo gem install lolcommits (need sudo for linux). Pretty simple.

The gem install lolcommits command is where things usually go bad for me. I typically see something like this:

To fix this, you need to install a newer ruby-dev package:

You can now try to install the lolcommits gem again. It’ll actually install this time:

A GitHub user documented this solution in issue #54. Another user suggests that the installation guide should be updated to make a note of this, but I haven’t seen it noted anywhere but in issue #54.

It’d sure save me a bit of time if it was noted somewhere, that’s partly why I’m writing this post.

After you’ve got lolocommits installed, see the README on GitHub for usage instructions and examples.

I usually run lolcommits --enable --delay=2 --fork when enabling lolcommits. That will capture a photo in a forked process, after a 2 second delay. I like this method because you’re not left waiting for the photo before being able to type into your terminal again.

Lolcommits is kinda cool, but not really useful in a practical sense. I do use it pretty much everywhere though, and have the default storage location linked to Copy. That way all my images are in the same place, no matter which machine I’m using at home.

If nothing else, it’s something kinda neat to be able to offer to your clients.


I no longer smoke. 😉

Now Hiring: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

While out smoking today, I came across a manhole cover with some stencil street art next to it. Not all that unusual. But the text is what made me laugh. It referenced something that I haven’t come into contact with in a while, other than TMNT figurines that sit at my coworkers desks.

Most of my coworkers are probably within 5-10 years in age from me, so we all grew up with the same shows, movies, and music. TNMT is one of the things I think at least 90% of my coworkers can identify with, which is fucking awesome, and that’s one of the many reason that I love my job.

This was on the North-East corner of Locust St. and E. 2nd Ave. It’s in/near the East Village area in Des Moines. Anyway, the text next to the manhole cover reads as follows:

Now Hiring:

Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles

Apply Inside

I took a few photos with my Nexus 4. They’re in the gallery below. Gotta view this as a single post before you can see the gallery though.

I really wanted to open that manhole cover.
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Toysoft To The Rescue!

Remember the post I made a few days ago about Popularity Dialer? Now, UNEASYsilence has a post about a piece of software for Treos that’s similar to Popularity Dialer. Except this piece of software actually runs ON the Treo itself, so you can access it at any time you wish.

Fake Call is a program that is intended to give Treo 600 owners a way to escape impromptu office meetings and unwanted social interactions using the Treo — by simulating incoming phone calls! With your phone in your pocket, press and hold a hard key or setup an appointment in the Contacts application and voila! A call will materialize from anyone you want, your phone will light up like a Christmas tree, your faovirite ringtone will sound and, when you accept your fake call, an active call screen identical to a real one will display and a voice will be heard on the other end of the line! This program is a true escape from any unwanted situation!

A comapny named Toysoft has created the software, Fakecall. Treo 600 users can get this neat little app for only $6.00. Too bad phone manufacturers don’t implement stuff like this in their phones by default. Cellphones in the U.S. suck ass though, they can barely provide basic voice services.