Accessing Local Resources over the Internet with Packetriot

When I am doing any development, such as for PostRecycler, I do the coding on my laptop running Apache, PHP and MySQL locally via MAMP. This is fine until I need to share work with others which means I have to either upload the work onto a public server or do it via screen sharing. Neither are particularly ideal.

I was vaguely aware of the service ngrok which allows you to expose your local services on the web and then, via Reddit, saw the similar service Packetriot which does a similar thing so I thought I would give … Read the rest

How to store UNICODE in a non-UNICODE database

For a side project I am working on (Glad you asked! PostRecycler which makes the most of your social posts) I needed to all entry of unicode characters for just one field.

This left me in a bit of a quandary as I really didn’t want to have to convert the whole of my database to UTF-8 just so I could have this one column accept unicode characters.

Then I remembered something I had discovered in our companies web app which accepted unicode characters but I knew the database wasn’t unicode enabled. However, I knew that this column was encrypted … Read the rest

Here’s a Question that Pains me… Is Evernote Dying?

It really pains me to say this but I am worried about the longevity of Evernote, a tool that I have been using for many, many years. So long in fact that I now have well over 30,000 notes stored in it.

Evernote co-founder Phil Libin always said that his aim was to create a “100-year startup” meaning that it’s “a company that’s around in 100 years, which means Evernote’s product needs to be durable.” Right now I cannot see them achieving that aim. Of course that aim could have been ditched when Libin left in 2016.

Why have … Read the rest

Custom HTML Widget Changes in WordPress

Last week I was asked by a client if I could help them put the Mailchimp newsletter signup form on their site. They had been trying for a while and they couldn’t get the form to appear at all. “No problem” I said, think that this would be a doddle. A couple of hours later I was pulling my hair out as I tried everything I could to get it to work.

Finally I did the inevitable Google search and discovered the at some point recently the custom HTML widget had been changed and that “some HTML tags like script, … Read the rest

Font Awesome and Glyphicons not Working on iOS Safari

I have been working on a new side project (called WriteTrack since you ask!) which is based on the bootstrap framework and makes use of both Font Awesome and Glyphicons. I had got far enough along the path to want to check out the look on a mobile device which is when I came across the issue that you can see on the left hand side of the header image above. They weren’t rendering as expected at all – the desired look is what you can see on the right hand side of the header image above.

A search of … Read the rest

Now that Microsoft is Shutting Sunrise

I have been a big fan of Sunrise but there was always a danger when it was taken over by Microsoft that they would eventually shut it down and that is now on the cards. I really like the way that Sunrise allows me to see in my calendar information other than my diary entries such as Tripit travel plans and Foursquare checkins and I didn’t want to lose that.

My initial thought was to do something through IFTTT but not all services were covered and I couldn’t get the options I wanted to change the entry colour, for … Read the rest

WordPress, Cloudflare, Caching & Version Numbers

While I love WordPress one thing that really bugs me is its insistence on adding the version number to the end of resources, so you end up with links links this:

The version number is added to enable browser caching of files thereby speeding up page loads. The issue with this is if you make a change to the resource it is difficult to get the changes showing without clearing your cache. Additionally, as I am using CloudFlare this step by WordPress is superfluous.

All is not lost however, you can remove these version number by adding the … Read the rest

Twitter Cards Validation Error

Twitter have had a neat feature for a while now that allows for additional information to be included with a tweet that is then displayed when you expand the tweet. This is how it looks:

And on a mobile client:

To enable these you need to set-up some meta data on your website (there is a good guide here) and then validate this information with Twitter here. When I did so I was greeted by the following message:

ERROR: FetchError:exceeded 4.seconds to Portal.Pink-constructor-safecore while waiting for a response for the request, including retries (if applicable) (Card error)

This … Read the rest

Your Own Link Shortener (Yourls)

I have written about the Yourls system previously that allows you to host your own link shortener. I have been using it for years now and it works incredibly well.

However, when I logged in last week I noticed that it had been flooded with spam entries. I immediately changed my api key and password but neither stopped the entries. I was confused until I read this post on the Yourls blog.

I removed all the sample-*.php.txt pages and all the spam went away so I strongly suggest that you do so too. I ave looked at the latest … Read the rest

What to do in the event of an NTP attack

Earlier this week the server that hosts this blog and other sites that I run became unreachable. I know this because it is being monitored by New Relic and I got notifications emails. I couldn’t access the server either via HTTP or SSH so all I could do was reboot it and hope I could hop on. The issue had the feel of a DoS attack and so once I was back on the server I stopped Apache and inspected the logs. A while later, I restarted the service and all seemed ok.

Then I received this worrisome email from … Read the rest