LAMP Stack for Humans – now available on Amazon

Lampstack-SoftcoverMy book LAMP Stack for Humans is now available on Amazon, as Paperback and for Kindle Devices!

In this 284 page guide I’ll walk you through the process of turning an old laptop into an always-on server. You can use it to run web applications in the comfort of your own home or office – no “cloud” required.

Together we will configure the entire server: you will learn how to install CentOS, Apache, PHP and MySQL (or MariaDB) and WordPress. I will show you how you can reach your server from other computers on the network and how to create regular backups.

Perfect for the Linux newbie and those who want to get started with web applications without spending money “in the cloud” (in my opinion THE WORST expression for describing remote computers).

If you’re an avid reader of this site and have always wished that some instructions would be presented in a more cohesive form rather than in snippets, then LAMP Stack for Humans is perfect for you.

Grab your free sample today, or read the entire book for free via Kindle Unlimited!

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Beauty meets Endurance: Ruipu Q80 Power Bank Review

Ruipu have released a new 24,000mAh Power Bank. Being extremely satisfied with their other Solar Power Banks, I though I’d give this one a spin. It has some interesting features that I though were worth exploring.

First of all, the Ruipu Q80 is a thing of beauty: it’s made of white plastic with a faux leather pattern ingrained. It even has “stitches” embossed on the sides, as if it’s made of white leather. It’s not though – it’s standard plastic, but it just looks gorgeous.

Features

The Q80 has FOUR USB outputs, and all of them can be used at the same time. That’s right!  You can charge up four devices at once. Even better, ALL ports support fast charging, delivering up to 2.1A if a capable device can handle this much power. The iPhone 6 and above for example and several other gadgets all support fast charging.

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Western Digital My Passport Ultra Review

After several months of use, here’s what I found out about the WD MyPassport Ultra external USB 3 hard drive. Mine is the White/Gold edition with a whopping 4TB of storage.

In the box was a matching white USB 3 to SATA cable, a leaflet with extremely small writing on it, and the drive itself contained some software to do backups and encryption – all of which is available from the Western Digital website.

I bought this drive in May 2018 from Amazon to exchange large amounts of data between my Mac and my Windows system. Therefore, I chose to format the drive in exFAT so that both operating systems can read and write to it without issues, and to accommodate long video files in excess of 2GB.

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How to download older versions of macOS after Mojave was released

My good old MacBook Pro from 2011 can only supports macOS up until 10.13 High Sierra. It’s been purring along nicely with macOS 10.12 Sierra for the last couple of years, and I didn’t see the need to upgrade just yet. Why risk breaking things that are working, right?

A couple of weeks ago, macOS 10.14 Mojave was released, with which my MacBook is sadly no longer compatible (not officially at least). So when I searched for “High Sierra” on the Mac App store, I was surprised to learn that it didn’t come up. It appears that only the very latest macOS release is available to download from the Mac App Store.

So now the $100k question is: How can I get an official copy of macOS High Sierra, now that Mojave is out? I’ve never downloaded it before, therefore it doesn’t show up in my “previous purchases” tab either. Have I missed my 12 month window to download the last operating system that’s compatible with my hardware?

Lucky for us, Apple have made some contingencies. I did some research and found several older Mac operating system for ya’ll’s enjoyment. Might come in handy 😉

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Blue Yeti vs ZAFFIRO – Microphone Comparison ASIN B07BVRQD8G

I was looking for another desktop USB microphone for my second desk. Currently I’m using a wonderful Blue Yeti with my Mac on my main desk (or Studio A as we like to call it), and every time I do a screencast or podcast on my Windows workstation (or Studio B as we’d like to call it), I have to bring over the Blue Yeti.

So I discovered the ZAFFIRO Desktop USB Mic, for over $100 less. I thought I’d give it a spin – and I really like it. Here’s what I found after a couple of weeks of working with it.

Continue reading Blue Yeti vs ZAFFIRO – Microphone Comparison ASIN B07BVRQD8G

Catch this episode on my WP Guru Podcast:

Ruipu Power Bank Review: 24000 mA⋅h with Solar Panels (and how to use it)

Last year, in September 2017, I ordered a RUIPU 24,000 mAh Solar Power Bank in preparation for Hurricane Irma here in Florida. I’ve had a whole year’s worth of experience with this gadget and decided to buy another one.

This thing rocks! Let me tell you all about it, and how to use it in this review.

Continue reading Ruipu Power Bank Review: 24000 mA⋅h with Solar Panels (and how to use it)

Catch this episode on my WP Guru Podcast:

How to transfer files from your GoPro to your computer via WiFi

There is an iOS and Android App available to transfer files directly from a GoPro camera to a mobile device. Those apps transcode files and compress them for easier viewing, and to save storage space.

While that approach gets footage onto my iPhone, I still need to transfer the files to my Mac for editing. Plus, there’s an additional compression step involved which can’t be good for picture quality. Besides, it takes forever to do its job.

A much more useful approach would be to hook directly into the GoPro and transfer files that way. This leaves the SD card place and doesn’t disturb the (sometimes hard to reach or difficult to recreate) position of the camera.

Here’s how to do it.

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How to centre an element in CSS

In the olden days of HTML development, in the late 90ies, we only had inline styles. Centring an element was done using the <center> property. That approach isn’t very elegant anymore in modern CSS 🙂

Today we can use something like this:

It’s slightly more complicated than a single tag, but also opens up more options to tweak top and bottom margins at the same time.

How to add something to the_content in WordPress using PHP

Sometimes we need to add additional text or elements to the_content in WordPress. This can include links, icons, shout outs, author biographies, and so forth. I wanted to add an Apple Podcasts badge underneath each post in my podcast categories, adding a link to the badge, depending on the category. I’ll elaborate how I did this in a later post.

Right now, let’s have a look at how we can add elements to the content retrieved from WordPress. This should work independently of your theme, and no theme-file-hacking is necessary to accomplish this.

All we need to do is intercept the_content as it is requested, append our elements and return an amended version of the_content. Let’s see how this works.

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How to find your Public Profile on Amazon

As much as I like Amazon, UI design isn’t their strong point. They have so many links to so many things hiding in their interface that it’s difficult to find what you’re looking for at times. Your Public Profile is one of those hidden gems.

It’s a collection of all your community activity you’ve engaged in on Amazon, such as post reviews or videos, your wish lists, Spark posts, Reviewer Ranking and so forth. Here’s a screenshot of what mine currently looks like:

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