Ramblings on technology with a dash of social commentary
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  • Developing Websites Using Mac OS X Snow Leopard

    Posted on November 3rd, 2009 phpguru 2 comments

    The latest Mac update, Snow Leopard, comes with pre-bundled with Apache 2.2, and PHP 5.3.

    Here’s what I did to enable it and start making websites.

    1. Turning on Apache
      To do this go to System Preferences -> click the checkbox by Web Sharing
    2. To check your Apache install
      You might like this post about how to create a quick document for testing.
    3. Editing Apache Virtual Hosts
      Paul Kukiel shares how to
    4. Turning on PHP
    5. Loading MySQL
      Before you rebuild MySQL, double check your processor speed. If you upgraded to Snow Leopard from an older install on an older PPC or Intel Mac, be sure to know which processor type you need to build MySQL for. These instructions are for my Generation 5 Macbook Pro, not one of the brand new 64-bit models. Download the installer from MySQL.com. Then follow this post that shows how to build MySQL from source.
    6. Loading phpMyAdmin
    7. Using Terminal

    I found this post useful. Here is another similar post.

  • Apple.com is Great but Lacks Support Features

    Posted on October 31st, 2009 phpguru No comments

    Apple, I love you. Your overpriced computers are so well crafted. I don’t mind (over) paying you guys every few years for a new system. My MacBook Pro serves me well.

    I was just visiting Apple Support to how to upgrade RAM on a MacBook  Pro though and found these features strangely missing.

    1) My Systems
    Let me store my info. I’m running in Bootcamp right now and there is no ‘About This Mac’. Dell.com has a nice Manage my systems admin panel.

    2) Login and Session?
    Why not let me login right on the home page? I have to find a buried link on the support page to reset my Apple ID, get to the forums… put an optional website widget everywhere that tracks my forum posts, alerts me of updates.

    3) Let me edit my iTunes playlist?
    Sure would be nice to be able to add songs I have streaming on a radio station, running in Safari on Bootcamp, or from my iPhone.

    4) Google voice/wave type interface?

  • Need Icons? Pixel Fonts?

    Posted on May 3rd, 2009 phpguru No comments

    pinvoke

    Over 1,800 icons provided free with a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.

    When you visit this site, don’t miss the free fonts link too.

    Copyright © 2009 Yusuke Kamiyamane. All rights reserved.
  • How to setup a WordPress Blog in 3 Easy Steps

    Posted on May 2nd, 2009 phpguru 2 comments

    I thought it would kind of tongue-in-cheek to create my first blog about creating my first blog. Although I’ve been a software developer and system architect for over a decade, I recently changed jobs. I was really excited to land a gig at this amazing SEO company in Arizona, Search Engine Rankings. They do everything you need online, and they have many spices in their secret sauce that other SEO Companies can only dream about.

    Everyone I work with is exceptionally talented. One of the guys in particular is a great designer and a total WordPress junkie. As we were getting to know each other, he showed me a bunch of different WordPress sites that a casual observer would’t know were done with WordPress. Some pretty big companies, including CNN and millions of others, are using it. Thanks for the inspriation, DC.

    Okay, I admit, even though I’ve been programming rich internet applications with PHP and Flash for years, I never actually downloaded and installed WordPress. I’ve studied various blogs. I’ve joined forums and even hosted a few different forums. I like a lot of different email lists. I’ve even programmed my own blogging software from scratch. I’ve checked out Joomla, Drupal, PHPNuke and a dozen other open-source CMS systems out there, but I felt that most of them were either too cumbersome, too restrictive, too ugly out of the box, required too much time to learn, or all of the above.

    Not WordPress. Here I am, just 15 minutes after downloading, and I already have a nice looking site with a bunch of terrific backend functionality. The back end is a snap to use and elegantly designed. Version 2.7 has some rather useful AJAX features as well, making it extremely intuitive, as well as providing “Automatic Draft Saving” as you write. In short, I’m impressed. I guess it goes to show you that you don’t know what you don’t know.  So here’s my recommendation to you, if you’re looking to setup a blog of your own using WordPress in 3 Easy Steps. I know it can be done because I’ve just done it. Here goes:

    Step 1: Stop Procrastinating.

    Nothing will ever harm your ability to create your first WordPress blog more than never getting around to it. In one of the best audio books on CD I’ve ever listened to, the author states that before you can do something, you have to think about it. But before you can think about it, you have to believe. Believe in what you’re doing, belief in yourself, belief that it’s not a waste of time, belief that it’s so easy anybody can do it. The lack of focus on belief is one of the fundamental problems with modern society. In short, if you want to create a WordPress blog, the first step is to believe that now is the time to do it. That belief causes a thought about what you might write if you had easily installed WordPress. That thought causes the action of going to the WordPress.org Website and downloading the latest version, reading some help files and introductions for beginners, etc. For humanity to evolve and save the planet, we have to reverse the current action -> thought -> belief model, and start beliving -> then thinking -> then doing.

    Step 2: Download and Install WordPress. And pick a cool theme while you’re at it.

    For the total beginner, this may seem like a giant leap of faith, and maybe it is, but I’m here to tell you that you can do anything you set your mind to. If you’ve never heard of FTP nor used your website control panel before, this may seem like a daunting, if not, insurmountable task. In a nutshell, all you have to do is download the zip file, extract it somewhere on your computer where you can find it again (try the desktop), and then upload the files to your website using any FTP Program.  There are dozens of pages in the WordPress Installation help that walk you through this. The trickiest part for the beginner by far is creating a database, assigning a user, and editing the config file, but in truth it’s not difficult to figure out at all. Usually, you only need 3 pieces of info: the database name, the username and password. If you don’t know how to find phpMyAdmin within CPanel or Plesk, send an email or create a trouble ticket with your ISP. Also, many ISPs have Fantastico installed for CPanel, which lets you install WordPress with a single click. Ask your ISP. One more tip: Always read the ReadMe file that comes with any download. The ReadMe file that comes with WordPress has a nifty Famous 5 Minute Install right at the top that spells out each step, with links to more detail if you need clarification. If you try on your own to get started with WordPress and run into trouble, you can always contact a WordPress Customization Expert for help.

    Step 3: Login and start blogging.

    Assuming you got this far, you might find it somewhat ironic that the moment you complete step 2, you’ll receive an automagically generated email from yourself telling you what your randomly-generated password is to your own Blog. It may seem scary at first, but by taking this monumental step in your own evolution, in less than 4 steps, you’ve become the system administrator of a database-driven online software application that provides you with real-time worldwide multimedia content publishing capabilities. Think of it like your own channel. Your own network. Being responsible for your actions is one thing — but a whole network!? With the power WordPress gives you to project your thoughts and beliefs out to the world-wide stage — I can see how that may seem like a lot of pressure. It’s no wonder you procrastinated so long.

    But have no fear — the anxiety, stress and worry you feel is just temporary and rapidly subsides. Once you start blogging, editing tags, setting up categories, trying themes, adding plugins and approving comments… you’ll wonder how you ever got along without your very own Blog on the World Wide Web.