08/26/2011

Guerilla Marketing for Walmart

I  was out and about the other day. I happened upon these smiley faces that were hand etched into these yellow stickers on a piece of glass. The glass was part of one of those bus stop benches, and the stickers were intended to be some kind of decoration. However, the evil corporation Walmart came by and defaced the stickers with some kind of subtle ‘mind-game’ guerilla advertising. They will go to any lengths to get into your head.

 Picture Link

05/08/2011

How to keep your host from stealing your domains

I’ve been lucky enough to not get caught by hosting services that try to ‘lock’ your domain names into their system. I’ve read a lot of the horror stories, and was intent on avoiding this problem. It’s been a key question to ask of various providers.

 

It wasn’t until the latest round of url purchasing that I finally gave Godaddy a try. I was really upset that I had to stoop to the level of siding with an elephant killer to protect myself from liabilities. However, it worked.

 

If you purchase domains, ssl certs, or other products under the same catagory through a provider separate from your hosting provider, it will make transfering hosts all the more easy.

 

All that’s required is changing the DNS server to the new host, and BAM: it works!

11/10/2010

12 Ladybugs & 1 Fly

Today When I got home there was a dozen ladybugs, and 1 fly, crawling all over the inside-top of the window. How they all got in is a mystery, and why a fly was accompanying is also an oddity. It probably doesn’t seem that odd, but it reminded me that the unexpected does happen. On a regular basis.

 

I wonder if this means I get a dozen wishes. I also wonder if the fly was like their leader to this perilous location. Did they have dreams? Were they fooled?

10/05/2010

Drush for drupal updates

BEFORE READING THIS MAKE SURE YOU’RE HOSTING PROVIDER GIVES YOU SHELL ACCESS. Otherwise, this is useless information.

I have a bunch of drupal websites that I have to update today. Obviously I’ve been pretty lax on updating their code. It’s a pretty common problem for most drupal developers to fall behind in updating the code, because it’s a really boring task, and the updates come in almost daily. It’s also not an emergency if you leave a site be, and rarely update it. I learned how to do it manually, but it is a pain to download all the updates and manually add them. I wanted a way to do this automatically… then I found this:
http://drupal.org/node/199368

This gave me some hint that there was a solution called drush. A module that is not a module. oooOOOooo… Like a secret spell of sorts that had a mystical command that would do the job auto-magically. A command is more difficult than a button to click, but for the time saved I wouldn’t mind a command. It takes a really long time to do these updates, and it’s a management nightmare for me because I have dozens of websites to maintain.

The drush module page was of very little help, as was the readme.txt file. However, at least I know that it does more than update. The only thing that I could discern was that this wizardry would get me access to a tool that I could type “drush pm-update” and my troubles would be solved.

Then I found this link: http://ignoredbydinosaurs.com/2010/07/installing-drush-media-temple-grid-server. Ah directions are cool!

I knew I could slide over to the Linux box and make this work after pounding my head against the screen for a while. However, I think that putty would work better. Putty is a sweet little tool for accessing ssh back ends in a command line. However, it’s only for windows, and a pretty advanced tool. It’s a little old looking, and doesn’t require an install, but it’s a pretty awesome little tool for those who can use it.

Great guns, I was inside my server using commands like “cd” to navigate around the directories. Awesome! Now I really needed to install this thing on a test site so that I know it works correctly. So I navigated to one of my sandbox websites. One that I keep on the production server just for funny purposes like this… new tools. Note that, every time I have to test a new tool out on a site live, or development server It’s best practices to have the all the code and modules be up to date.

The problem is that I host multiple websites on the server, so some of the instructions in the first link were a bit off for me. Then I found this, and watched it: http://civicactions.com/blog/2009/jun/10/drush_20_released_screencast_1_installing_drush_and_getting_started

For a host that has multiple sites, it gets a little more involved. Installing drush system-wide is a bit more difficult and involves adding a symbolic link that turns it into a command able to analyze any “folder” that may contain a drupal install. Another way of saying this is that – it is installed system-wide. Yet another way of saying this, is that all I have to do is navigate to any drupal install by typing “cd *folder*” and then type the magic command “drush pm-update”. Obviously installing it on the test website was a bit of a bad move.

I couldn’t be more happy. Now all those guys that chide me for using drupal (most of them use wordpress) will have one less complaint. I have a simple way to update all of the websites without going through the long arduous task of downloading and uploading… simply to update.

Next time I have to do a system wide update I’m going to figure out how to get it down to a single command… maybe a bash or something. The ultimate would be figuring out how to get it to run at regular intervals, or alongside cron. Well, I’ve got to think about that for a while… However, I don’t have time for now. It’s good.

Steps:

1. Download drush module
2. READ DOCUMENTATION
2. READ Readme.txt – just read up man!
3. Install drush (system-wide OR single-website)… use you’re ftp client maybe, or whatever tool you normally use to install modules.
4. Download putty.exe
5. Set up a putty profile for logging into your production server
6. use putty to get access to server command line.
7. use command line to update *scary for most*

Projects & Links

Colonize the Moon
About moon/mars/asteroid colonies and space stuff

Computer Dungeon
About
linux/raspberry-pi/bitcoin and computer stuff

VidUploadServer
A video upload server I coded myself