Thursday, May 30, 2013

What happens when Matt Might links to your website

I just crossed the 3,000-page-views-in-a-single-month barrier.

In March, Matt Might linked to my website (thanks Matt!). I was making pretty steady growth in my monthly number of hits on my site, just breaking 1,000 hits a month in February, 2013. Then in the beginning of March, Matt Might linked to my site and this happened:

Yeah, it says "March," but this is really February's stats. Just barely broke 1,000!

Matt Might linked to my site the beginning of March and more than doubled my hit count!

And here are today's stats, a couple months later:

Almost there...

And a few minutes later, over 3,000! (next goal: getting over 9000)

If you're curious, I now get about (on a weekly basis) ~130 visitors from Matt, ~110 visitors from Google (~55 from US and ~55 from non-US, like UK, Korea, Germany, India, Hong Kong, etc.), ~1 from the SFML forums, ~1 from the forums, and every once in a while, 1 from StackOverflow. Crazy! This also means that on average, each visitor visits 2-3 pages. Anyway, back to focusing on posting content this site was actually made for (this site is meant to be a portfolio rather than a blog, so I'll post less silly content now).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

GIF: "gif" vs "jif"

I never realized how many people say "gif" instead of "jif" (go head, click a letter), and while I personally don't care a lot, I have to say something about the argument for "gif."

Most of the arguments I've heard/read in favor of "gif" argue that it's Graphics Interchange Format and not Jraphics Interchange Format. "jif" people might respond that giraffe has a soft G, suggesting that GIF should follow suit. "gif" people might then respond that "giraffe" comes from French, and as such shouldn't be a model for pronouncing GIF.

But let's go back to that first argument of the "gif" people: that the G should be pronounced like it is in graphics (because that's what it stands for, after all). If that is the logic to which you submit, I have compiled a small list of other acronyms for which I hope you also apply the same logic:

  • laser: should be pronounced "la-seer"
  • scuba: should be pronounced "skuh-ba"
  • ASAP: should be pronounced "a-sap"
  • BASIC: should be pronounced "bah-sik"
  • Perl: should be pronounced "peh-rl"
  • SWAT: should be pronounced "swat" (not "swot")
  • FIFO: should be pronounced "fih-foh" (not "fahy-foh")

The list could go on, but hopefully that's enough to at least show that the argument that GIF should be "gif" because the G is for "graphics" is a weak argument at best.

FYI, this little "rant" has less to do with "gif" vs "jif" and more to do with me attempting to humorously (yet validly) pointing out a weak argument/justification.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Test Your YouTube Internet Speed

I'm pretty skeptical about Internet speeds. ISPs usually only guarantee you an "up to" speed, like "up to 50 Mbps." This kind of upper bound/maximum promise is, in my opinion, useless. They could promise you speeds "up to 99999 Mbps" and then only give you 1 Mbps (or less), and technically they have fulfilled their promise of giving you "up to 99999 Mbps" (think about it: the only thing they're promising is that they won't give you more than 99999 Mbps, so as long as they give you less than 99999 Mbps, they're keeping the promise). Comcast wouldn't give me any kind of guaranteed minimum or average speeds when I asked them, so I like to test my speeds occasionally to know what they're really giving me. And for good reason:

Sure, my average might be decent, but it's like a roller coaster with lots of disappointing low speeds. I'd prefer a consistent medium speed than a bipolar roller coaster.

Testing YouTube

I just learned about YouTube's speed testing. When you watch videos signed in to your YouTube/Google account, they keep track of how fast your connection is. So go to this page to test your YouTube speed. Near the bottom of that page, you can watch a test video to test your speed in real time. Play the test video. The instructions to 'look next to "Streaming HTTP"' are misleading, because "Streaming HTTP" appears nowhere on the page. Here's how to do it:

  1. Go to YouTube's speed testing page.
  2. Look at your charts to your hearts content.
  3. Click the "Show Test Video" link to show the test video.
  4. Right click on the video while it's playing and select "Show video info".
  5. Look at the statistics by "TagStreamPlayer, HTTP" to see what your kbps are (1000 kbps = 1 Mbps).
  6. If it says "0 kbps", click on the little cog wheel in the video and change the video quality (to anything). If it's saying 0 kbps but the video is playing, it needs help in refreshing its calculations, and by changing the video quality it refreshes things so that the real kbps should be showing.
  7. Change the video quality to whatever you want; I like to test on the highest quality.

The cool part? If you watch any video, you can right click on the video and "Show video info" to get these stats. You can also right click on a video and select "Take speed test" which will take you to this page.

Why not just a normal speed test?

There are several ways to test your Internet speed, but good speeds on one website don't mean good speeds on another website. Whether this is because of "clogged tubes," throttling, a busy server, slooow pings, or any number of other potential issues, is a mystery (unless you take the time to solve it). But if you want to know your speeds on YouTube... well, you might as well use YouTube itself to test.