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Site Performance Optimization: MaxCDN, Nginx, CloudFlare and WordPress Caching

In Application, Fix It, General, How To, HTD Tech Tip, Linux, Open Source by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

My blog has a problem. Or rather it had a problem but I’m making some big improvements to it to make it perform better. For many years, my site has suffered from slow performance. Much of that is my fault though. I tend to overload WordPress with lots of plugins. Plugins are bad, but they are in many ways, quite addictive. There are so many innovative features and functions that you can add to your blog using them that people often suffer from plugin-bloat. And having too many plugins will slow the responsiveness of your site way down. As I …

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How To Automatically Set Up your Mac’s Work Environment Based on WiFi Location Detection – AirPort Location

In Apple, Application, General, Linux, Microsoft, Mobile, Open Source, Review, Software by Michael Sheehan2 Comments

There is a lot of great free software out there that provides tremendous value. Smart programmers always want to showcase their talents and I love the fact that there is a never ending stream of interesting applications coming from the developer community. I won’t even start to mention some of the free Mac apps that I use that help me day to day, there are too many to mention. However, I discovered this great little golden nugget yesterday for those people who have a Mac laptop and who frequently bring it to different locations. These could be students or business …

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Laptop Got Stolen? Send PREY Out to Find It, for Free!

In Apple, Application, Fix It, General, Hardware, How To, HTD Tech Tip, Linux, Microsoft, Open Source, Review, Safety, Security, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

I’m sure that many of you have heard of the Find My iPhone service for MobileMe that helps you locate missing iPhones or iPads. Or the equivalent on Windows Mobile phones called My Phone. And I’m sure you know about LoJack that helps you locate stolen cars. LoJack also offers a service for computers as well, for a price. There are other offerings that help you locate lost or stolen laptops out there too, but most of them are expensive. For me, it’s a bit easier to justify spending a little bit on a service like MobileMe (which does a …

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20+ Ways to Harden and Secure Your WordPress Blog

In Fix It, General, How To, Open Source, Security, Software by Michael Sheehan8 Comments

Recently, some high-profile blogs that are running WordPress have been hacked or hijacked by malicious users (e.g., TechCrunch). The worst thing is having to try to recover from such an event, you not only have to repair your site, but also your reputation. So, spending a little bit of time trying to prevent or at least make it a bit more difficult for a hacker to take over your WordPress blog is time worth investing. I have had my fair share of my blogs (both work and personal) getting attacked (denial of service attack, hidden iFrames in my code, SQL …

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How to Move a WordPress Blog from One Domain/Host to Another

In Fix It, General, Linux, Open Source, Software by Michael Sheehan24 Comments

Over that last couple of days, I have had the “pleasure” of moving a blog from one hosting provider to another (not that difficult of a task) but ALSO changing domains in the process. While I don’t think this post should the definitive set of instructions, it is a combination of information that I read and gathered, in conjunction with my own experience. I actually did this migration a couple of times, not by choice mind you. But the process of doing this multiple times aided me in coming up with the steps that follow. The steps worked for me …

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Review: GUNNAR Optiks – Fine Tuning your Digital Perspective

In Gadgets, General, Hardware, Open Source, Review by Michael Sheehan25 Comments

“Hey Bono” my boss says every time I put on my GUNNAR Optiks SheaDog “computer” glasses. I laugh and then focus down on a variety of tasks at hand, one of them being to really put my GUNNAR’s through some real-world tests. If you haven’t heard about GUNNAR, a 15 person eyewear company based in Southern California, you probably will, either through testimonials from friends or coworkers, reading blog reviews like these or just seeing billboard advertising. I definitely don’t have the “look” that Bono has, but heck, it was worth a shot, right? And my GUNNARS definitely raised my …

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Social Experiment: Twitter Dad Tuesdays #twitdadtues

In Family, General, Open Source, Social Networking, Tweets by Michael Sheehan12 Comments

This morning I had some interesting Twitter conversations with a few Dads who are on Twitter about how frustrated their spouses are with them at times. The conversations and threads were brought on by reading through this interesting article (“Moms Everywhere are Pissed Off“) as well as from my own experiences trying to be a “technologist”, a loving husband and a caring and attentive father, all at the same time. What I found out is that I’m not alone out there. My wife views my technology-addiction as “the other woman” and I frequently find it hard to balance out my …

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Social Messaging Communicators: Ping.fm versus HelloTxt.com

In Gadgets, General, iPhone, Open Source, Review, Software by Michael Sheehan10 Comments

While Twitter seems to be ruling the airwaves of Social Messaging Platforms, there are plenty of other services that do just as well (or better) at keeping in touch with or sending messages and status updates to your friends, colleagues and family. These services can be broken out into different segments: services that just provide status updates and ones that are considered micro-blogging. There are nuances and slight distinctions between the two but it seems like they have been blending more and more. For example, on Facebook, Plaxo, MySpace, you can post a status update and also post other messages …

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I wish a WordPress Developer would make the following plugin

In General, Open Source, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

I’m not a developer, more of a tinkerer, looking at people’s code and tweaking things. Never had an hour of coding schooling in my life but I can step through some stuff and get the jist of it and even mod it to my own liking (fixed a few WP theme issues and plugins). There are a couple of plugins that I liked but wished I could create a hybrid of them. I love the WP Automatic Update, but unfortunately, I have issues when activating my plugins (as of WP 2.5). I just installed Plugin Central for bulk updates of …

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Transition from DD-WRT to Tomato on Linksys Router

In Family, Gadgets, General, Hardware, iPhone, Microsoft, Open Source, Security, Software by Michael Sheehan35 Comments

I decided I was tired of waiting around for the next version of DD-WRT to come out (v24) which, as of this writing, was at RC7, I believe. I twittered today that I was tired of waiting and got a tweet back saying that I should check out Tomato and that people were saying some good things about it. I quickly Googled “DD-WRT vs. Tomato” and found this post which pretty much convinced me I should do it. I also watched a few of the videos on the Tomato site. It looks pretty nice. My only issue was that I …

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DD-WRT + OpenVPN + LaCie Ethernet Disk Mini Home Edition = Listen to my Home Music at Work!

In Apple, Family, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Linux, Open Source, Software by Michael Sheehan15 Comments

To write this all up would probably take way too much time. But for a while I have been trying to find the ultimate solution for listening to my iTunes library where ever I am. There are obviously other combinations of this that would work, but this is the latest iteration that I have come up with that I’m happy with. The Goal: Be able to stream my iTunes library based at home from where ever I am (e.g., at work). DD-WRT + OpenVPN + LaCie Ethernet Disk Mini Home Edition = Listen to my Home Music at Work! was …

Fix It: HemingwayEX without UltimateTagWarrior in WordPress 2.3

In General, Open Source, Software by Michael Sheehan1 Comment

As mentioned in my previous post, in order to speed things up on my blog, I have removed the UTW (UltimateTagWarrior) plugins. Unfortunately, the theme that I use (and subsequently modified) relies on UTW for a lot of things. One of these was causing issues for users coming from a Google search related to Tags. For example, if you Google “techdadblog tag Apple“, my theme was returning the following error on this URL: Fatal error: Call to undefined function utw_showcurrenttagset() in /home/path.to.your.blog/wp-content/themes/hemingwayEx/tag.php on line 16 So, within that file (tag.php), the line in error is (line 16): Fix It: HemingwayEX …

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Blog Optimization…it’s WAY too SLOW!

In General, Open Source, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

I use a couple of 3rd party monitoring sites including site24x7.com and mon.itor.us to check to ensure my blog is up and running. Over the past few days, I have only had a 94% uptime on my blog (according to site24x7.com) and this concerns me. I had personally experienced issues (e.g., not being able to connect to the mySQL db, other connection errors and incredibly long load times). So, I opened a ticket with Dreamhost and they analyzed my site. Their conclusion? Too many plug-ins… Blog Optimization…it’s WAY too SLOW! was last modified: December 27th, 2007 by Michael Sheehan

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iPhone: AppTapp Installer 3.0b3 released

In Apple, Cellular, Gadgets, Hardware, iPhone, Open Source, Software by Michael Sheehan93 Comments

The NullRiver folks have released a new version of AppTapp Installer for the iPhone. I have just installed version 3.0b3 and I must say that it was a needed upgrade. The number of apps have grown so much that there was the definite need to reorganize how they were structured. So without further ado, here are the new/change features (with screenshots). Note: This update is NOT to be confused with the installer.app that is used to Jailbreak your 1.0.0, 1.0.1 and 1.0.2 iPhones. This is the application that resides on your iPhone that lets you install applications you download over …