Sunday, September 26, 2010


Yesterday one of my side projects went live: .

Last December Anthony approached me about doing the site and I agreed to work on it in my free time. It took a while, but this included finding a designer ( d2tstudio ), going through the process of finding a feature set for the launch and the programming. And all of this while I started my new proper job at Softonic, which means I didn't really have as much time to invest in it as I would have liked.

The site is a pretty standard e-commerce / classified ad site tailored to bicycles. But as with every project there are some special requests which makes it interesting to work on, like the payment and billing system.

For me it was especially nice to do all the programming from beginning to end on my own and being able to choose the technologies I like to work with. Anthony pretty much lets me decide all the technical bits.

The site is build completely on open source technologies and I might be able to give something back in the future too.
  • CentOS for the server OS 
  • Fedora on the development machine
  • PHP as the language 
  • MySQL database
  • memcached
  • symfony 1.4 as the web framework, with some plugins
    • sfImageTransformPlugin and sfImageTransformExtraPlugin for image transformations 
    • swCombinePlugin for JavaScript and CSS optimization
    • ioMenuPlugin for the menus
    • ... 
  •  jQuery JavaScript framework 
    • colorbox plugin for overlays
    • dataTables for Ajax tables
    • jcarousel for slideshows
  • git as source control
  • Eclipse IDE
  • bugzilla a bug tracker
The current version is just the first milestone and there is still a lot of work to do. But first I am looking forward to see if there is any interest in a site like this and what the users want from it in the future.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Can Kenji

Today I tried a restaurant which has been on my list for a while. Firstly because it is just one block away from my flat and second because it seems to be one of the few authentic Japanese restaurants in Barcelona.

Can Kenji is located in an ugly tower block near Passeig de Sant Joan in the Eixample district. If you don't know it is there it will be difficult to find. The restaurant itself is pretty small with just a handful of tables and a bar at the tiny kitchen.

I took a seat at the bar with good view on the magic happening in the kitchen. I choose the medium tasting menu, which consisted of: a vegetable salad with soy sauce and razor clams, stir fried noodles with clams and mussels, a seared beef fillet, a selection of sushi and finally a ball of sesame ice cream. All together with a water for €17.40.

This was the best lunch menu I had in my time in Barcelona. Every dish was fresh and I was able to watch while it was prepared. The sushi was the best bit, finally a nigiri with rice which didn't taste three days old and fish which melts in your mouth. The stir fired noodles were also amazing.
If I had to nitpick I would say the beef was a bit stringy and the ice too frozen, but I would take it again any time.

You find the restaurant at C/Rossello 325, 08025 Barcelona and on-line at: .

Saturday, September 04, 2010


Checked out another Asian restaurant this Friday.

The menu contains a selection of Korean, Thai and Malaysian dishes.

I went for the lunch menu again, which was a Laksa Lemak soup as starter and a merluza with sweet sauce. The soup was nice, the merluza rather bland. The deserts were the usual yoghurt/flan/cake selection, so I went for a coffee.

Because they are one of my favourite dishes I also ordered Thai spring rolls. These are served cold and show their ingredients through their translucent rice skin. Very nice and I will be back to see if the other a la carte dishes are as good.

All together ~ 12 Euro for the lunch menu and 6 Euro for the rolls.

You can find it at C/Valencia 454 or on-line:

Thai Rolls