DeGraeve.com

The Projects of Steven DeGraeve

Work Log

Logoshi - Sketch a Logo

Last year I needed a simple logo for a side project. I looked into hiring a graphic designer, but didn’t have a few thousand bucks to drop on a logo. I tried making my own logo in Photoshop and wasted 2 days before giving up. I discovered a logo contest site where I wasted $295 on a mediocre logo that ultimately went unused. After unsuccessfully searching for a site where I could make a simple modern logo, I built one: Logoshi.com - sketch a logo.
Mar 4 2014

Witty Profiles Gets a Responsive Design

The new year brings a new responsive design for WittyProfiles.com. In 2012, I split Witty Profiles into separate desktop and mobile sites that shared the same base logic. While the new mobile user experience was great, maintaining templates for multiple versions of the site turned out to be more trouble than it was worth. With the explosion of different devices and viewport sizes in the last 12 months, I decided to rewrite the display logic for Witty Profiles using the responsive features of the Bootstrap front-end framework. Users on all devices now have the same feature set at the same time and a UX optimized for their device.
Jan 4 2013

Mobile Site for Witty Profiles

This morning I released a mobile version of Witty Profiles at m.wittyprofiles.com. I initially set out to use Luke Wroblewski’s Mobile First philosophy, but soon realized a mobile interface was going to require separate, mobile-specific templates. I ended up with a single codebase that uses two sets of templates: mobile and desktop. Eventually, I’ll use the new mobile templates as a foundation to create a true Mobile First design.
May 4 2012

New Servers for WittyProfiles.com

It’s the time of year when school gets out in the U.S. and I’ve upgraded the servers for Witty Profiles just in time. According to Google Analytics, last month Witty Profiles attracted more than 700,000 unique visitors who generated over 17 million pageviews.
Jun 8 2011

FreePDFCards.com Supports ISO Latin-1 Character Set

FreePDFCards.com is a very easy way make your own business cards. Until recently, some extended characters were getting lost in one of the conversions when creating the PDF. I recently read about an under-documented feature in the Adobe postscript conversion utility and now FreePDFCards.com can produce business cards for our friends in Europe (and elsewhere) who have accents, tildes, umlauts and other diacritical marks in the ISO Latin-1 character set in their names and contact information. dásamlegt!
Aug 17 2010

Witty Profiles Optimization

Last week I released a complete rewrite of WittyProfiles.com. The goal of the rewrite was to reduce the database load and cache as many queries as possible. After about a week of monitoring, database load is way down and an average of 92% of MySQL queries are in memcached. The best part is that the users are happy with the increased performance. I guess it was worth taking the 6 months to transform 7 years of clunky PHP functions into modern object oriented code.
Apr 30 2010

Giftputer - Find the Perfect Gift

Back in August 2009 I created Giftputer.com. Giftputer uses crowdsourcing to find the perfect gifts given age, sex and personality. This project uses Amazon.com RSS Feeds, the python Universal Feed Parser, PHP and MySQL. Giftputer was designed to be a useful tool during the holiday shopping season and to bring in a few bucks in Amazon referrals.
Dec 4 2009

Geek Chart

A Geek Chart is a web badge that shows where you share stuff online. Each slice of the Geek Chart is a link to your profile on sites like Flickr, Twitter, Youtube and more. What does your Geek Chart look like?

This is a project I did to learn Python, brush up on ActionScript 3, experiment with ATOM and RSS feeds and play with memcached. The user and chart data is stored in MySQL tables. PHP is used for the front end. Surprisingly, there is no JavaScript in this project (yet). The idea was to use as many skills as possible to build something semi-useful that would impress future employers.
Apr 29 2009

Yum Gifts

YumGifts.com is a site that I built while experimenting with the Python Universal Feed Parser and Amazon.com feeds. It displays the top selling gourmet food items. The site updates hourly.
Apr 1 2009

Business Card Robot

Lose your job and need business cards? Let the Business Card Robot make business cards for you.
Feb 1 2009

About

Web apps that solve problems.

Spin-Off Sites

Sometimes my web apps grow up and move into their own URLs.

Interesting Links

Needy robotic toaster sells itself if neglected (Wired UK)
humans will no longer be in control of "things"

How To Import RSS Feeds Into Opera
Google Reader is disappearing on July 1 2013. Opera offers a built in feed reader. Export your feed list from Google Reader and import into Opera now.

Webwandern: Etappen
Go on 10 virtual hikes in the alps.

oscar lhermitte | Urban Stargazing
The Urban Stargazing project focuses on bringing back the stars in the city sky by recreating existing constellations and adding new ones, narrating old and contemporary myths about London. Twelve groups of stars have been installed at different locations in the city, and can only be observed by the naked eye at night time.

The Scale of the Universe Interactive
What does the universe look like on small scales? On large scales?

Starry Night (interactive animation) on Vimeo

Collection: UI Design Patterns
large collection of UI design patterns

Schlep Blindness
"There was a point in 1995 when I was still trying to convince myself I could start a company by just writing code. But I soon learned from experience that schleps are not merely inevitable, but pretty much what business consists of."

Shapecatcher.com: Unicode Character Recognition
This is a tool to help you find Unicode characters. Finding a specific character whose name you don't know is cumbersome. On shapecatcher.com, all you need to know is the shape of the character! Sketch it and find it.

Is a Well-Lived Life Worth Anything? - Umair Haque - Harvard Business Review