Archive for 2011

FirefallPro: getting the social all over you

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

If you need more FirefallPro in your life (you know you do) you can now follow us on twitter and like us on Facebook. In the spirit of Facebook deals (whatever that is) if you check in at our office you get a free shot of one of our top shelf liqueurs. Actually, we just like excuses to do shots at the office so we will offer the shot even if you want to avoid the social.

Paying Us Just Got Easier

Monday, May 9th, 2011

We understand that sending checks via mail is annoying and retro but not yet retro enough to be cool in an ironic way. Well, this can plague you no more, thanks to a new feature in Quickbooks, we can now accept online payments. Invoices sent from us will all have this option from now on. Hopefully this will make it easier for everyone and avoid that dreased phrase “the check is in the mail”

WordPress Auto-Update Fails via FTP

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

WordPress auto update has never worked properly for us and we’ve been forced to do them manually. After doing a bunch of manual updates to 3.1, I noticed 3.1.1 was available. I was not ready to manually update them all again and went in search of a fix.

Most forums contained awful solutions, like setting permissions to “777”, or increasing the max execution time, all things you’re not supposed to do. Some blog posts offered more reasonable solutions, like removing the “/wp-content/”upgrade folder. I finally stumbled across one that mentioned WordPress not working properly with Pure-FTPd, but their solution was to switch the FTP server to ProFTPd. They hinted that WordPress is trying to access incorrect paths via FTP, which was confirmed by looking at the FTP log.

I hoped that changing the FTP_BASE would fix the problem, but that didn’t help. Nor did clearing the upgrade folder, or the ill-advised increasing max_execution and memory_limit. Unwilling to switch the FTP server, I searched a little longer and finally found a real solution in the form of a plugin, FTP Upgrade Fix. Supposedly this fix will be included in WordPress 3.2, but why it hasn’t already is maddening.

Since installing the FTP Upgrade FIx plugin we’ve been able to update at least 6 blogs without any problem.

Opulence: FirefallPro has it!

Friday, April 1st, 2011

We are so excited to be among the first to receive our very own petite lap giraffe! Here I am with the newest addition to the office, Valentina, isn’t she great? We beat the thousands of people on the waiting list and got her from Sokoblovsky Farms. See, now that we turned to Russian outsourcing we have the means to indulge in fancy pets, ahh child labor never felt so good.

Anyway time to go back to our usual tasks of development and swimming around in our pool of gold coins like Scrooge McDuck.

Full Window Flash With Minimum Dimensions – Updated

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Several years ago we came up with a solution for “full window” Flash that maintains a minimum width and height, without requiring JavaScript in modern browsers. Thanks to the feedback of several users we restored Chrome compatibility. At the same time we simplified the CSS, created a landing page, hosted example, downloadable package, and re-certified it in all major browsers, even IE 5.

In our testing we also came across swffit and SWFForceSize. Both of these JavaScript only solutions can be replaced by ours in most cases with better compatibility and less fragility. Our solution primarily relies on CSS, and only uses JavaScript in IE 6 or less.

The original article “Full Window Flash (With Minimum Dimensions), Done Right” is now it’s own page. The original article is still useful for a procedural explanation on how we came up with the solution and what each part of it does. The inline examples have not been updated to reflect the new code, instead refer to the standalone page.

Please post any comments, suggestions or problems here.

Game Development and Firefall Pro

Monday, March 7th, 2011

On top of a passion for web development here at Firefall we also have a bit of a passion for gaming ( We even recently setup a Minecraft server for the office ). Prior to my work here I used to do game development on my free time and ran a small studio to help teach others the process of making a basic game from the ground up. One of the annual rituals I have settled into is participating  in the Global Game Jam. The GGJ is a global event held over the last weekend of January that involves many locations from around the world. Newcomers and veterans alike come together and make a game from the ground up in 48 hours. Some people take it easy and get good sleep in between working during the day or you can power through the event without almost ever sleeping if you want ( and some do!.. like myself ). The short explanation of it is that everyone assembles in their meeting location for wherever they live ( NYU was NYC’s location ) , gets a theme to create a game around, make their own group/team and get to work. At the end of the 48 hours everyone presents their game and teams get to vote on which they thought was the best in one of several categories.

This event takes a lot of blood sweat and tears to get done and a lot of really cool stuff , and sometimes really BAD stuff  can come out of it. This year was the third year running of the event and I have been to every one of them so far. This year’s theme was “extinction” and the idea I brainstormed out with the help of others I worked with was going an obvious route but making it hilarious. In the case of our game that would be a T-rex piloting a meteor smashing planets. Humor was a big important factor of our game as the idea was ludicrous and we used Flixel, a game engine written in AS3, to make it. Before I get to linking you the game keep in mind everything that you see/hear/play was done in the period of 48 hours. So without further ado, HERE is the game!

02-11 Bacon Day

Friday, February 11th, 2011

From here on, 02-11 shall be Bacon Day in memory of our sweet Pig.

Whether you liked cats or not, it was impossible not to be touched by something that was more human and endearing then most people you’d meet. He existed as living metaphor for the good life we wished upon ourselves. He held a special place in our hearts and will never be forgotten.

In Loving Memory

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Today is a day that will forever be known as the day the beloved Lord of Bacon died. The Pig aka Jumba aka Mayo has passed away. We know that he is in a better place where he can enjoy bbq and beefalo in endless quantities. The Pig may be gone but he will never be forgotten. So today in honor of him, please raise a glass and a bacon sandwich to his memory.

Pig, you will be forever in our hearts.

Recombining files with their “._*” AppleDouble counterpart

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Just incase you ever need to rejoin a “._*AppleDouble resource fork file back with its data fork use FixupResourceForks to create a normally forked AppleSingle file. This can happen when you move files from a volume that does not support resource forks, which is just about anything that isn’t HFS+, back to a supported volume. FixupResourceForks is installed along with the Xcode Tools, but informal testing shows the binary will work without the tools installed.

Finding the Location and Version of WordPress Installs

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

We provide hosting for clients and friends, along with management of a few servers. Even though we don’t control what people install, we try to make sure that everyone remembers to keep software installations up-to-date. This is especially important for WordPress. Its not that WordPress is insecure, its wildly popular, and thats what makes it a prime target for exploitation.

To aid in this cause I use a non-intrusive method of locating the WordPress version file and extracting the version number from it so clients can be notified if they are running an out-of-date installation of WordPress. This is done by using the find command and searching for “version.php” within the path of “wp-includes” and then running grep to search for “$wp_version =“. The complete command looks like this:

find / -name 'version.php' -path '*wp-includes/*' -print -exec grep '$wp_version =' {} \; -exec echo '' \;

It’s best to narrow down where to search if possible, instead of starting at root (e.g. /). In the case of cPanel, user directories are usually stored in “/home". Running the command will output something like this:

/home/user/public_html/wp-includes/version.php
$wp_version = '3.0.1';

Now if I could just come up with a quick way to automate nagging them to update.