Everything is Gray

A place to put stuff.

NextGEN: Cool WordPress plugin

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After about a month of searching for a WordPress image gallery plugin that is both powerful and easy to use, I came across NextGEN Gallery. This plugin is extremely easy to implement, and once activated is easy to maintain/update. I like the fact that you can create multiple galleries and group them together in albums, too. It’s also a breeze to update a gallery or album once it’s been posted. I’m currently using this plugin for my portfolio, (which should include more than a few images soon), and overall I’m very pleased.

FlintCast is now available on iTunes

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The folks at iTunes recently accepted my new podcast, which is called FlintCast. It is hosted by myself and Vanna Ward.

FlintCast aims to cover fun and interesting events happening in Flint, MI. The podcast is currently audio only but we’ll be including video in the feed in the near future. If you’d like to download individual episodes or subscribe you can do so now on iTunes.

FlintCast Episode 1 now available

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Today I released the first episode of FlintCast, a podcast that covers events happening in Flint, MI. I am co-hosting this podcast with Vanna Ward. I apologize for how rough the first episode is, just keep in mind that the entire podcast was created in less than one week, (from conception to execution). You can check it out here.

P.S. We’ll have the feed up on iTunes soon, (it’s already been submitted).

Version 0.5 of Simplixity is now live

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Today I submitted an update to my WordPress theme Simplixity, which improves how images are handled in posts and fixes an issue that existed while no widgets were activated in the admin panel. You can view and download it here.

I’ve already begun working on the next update, which should include an easily customizable client.css file, for making quick changes to the theme.

Do hosted solutions threaten WordPress and other blogging platforms?

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With completely hosted solutions like Squarespace becoming more and more popular everyday, should content creators using WordPress and similar platforms be concerned? What about the designers and developers that create plugins and themes for these systems?

In order for blogging/content management systems like WordPress to survive, there needs to be a thriving community of developers and users alike. There’s certainly no shortage of either in the WordPress community, so I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon. Truthfully, I find that there is a place for both a DIY solution like WordPress and an entirely hosted solution like Squarespace. I personally prefer having to dig deep into the CSS, XHTML, and PHP to truly customize a WordPress blog/site, though.

I understand that with Squarespace more advanced users have the ability to make these changes if they choose, but for me, the do it yourself aspect of WordPress is what makes it so fun.

I shed a tear for Quicksilver today

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Today I uninstalled Quicksilver, in favor of using the LaunchBar 5 beta. It was late 2007 when developer Nicholas Jitkoff released the source to Google Code, and I’ve been hanging on tightly ever since. I understand that the project will continue to be updated, but I’ve come to my wits end, and am done struggling with the application for now. We’ll see how long this lasts…

Is the browser the new WYSIWYG?

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I’ve been thinking a lot about this concept lately. Have we come to a point where the Dreamweaver style IDE, (integrated development environment), has become a thing of the past? Ninety percent of my formal training has been heavily dependent on this model, yet I can’t see any forward thinking web designer/developer continuing to rely on it. In many ways, the browser has become my WYSIWYG of choice. You can quickly see the effects of changes made to style sheets and you’re not confined to any one proprietary system.

How to: installing FreeBSD as a guest OS in Parallels 4

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I’m by no means a UNIX expert, but I’ve managed to get the latest stable version of FreeBSD, (7.1), up and running as a guest OS using Parallels Desktop 4. In this tutorial, I will explain exactly what was done to achieve this.

First, you must download the latest stable version of FreeBSD, (at the time this article was written it’s 7.1). Once the download is completed, launch Parallels and chose the ISO image as the source.

Next, you’ll have to tell Parallels how many CPU’s and the amount of RAM you would like to allocate for the virtual machine. I chose 1 CPU and 512 MB of RAM.

After deciding how much RAM and the number of CPU’s you will allocate, you’ll have to configure your hard disk options. First, tell Parallels that you’d like to create a new image file. The next screen will ask you to determine whether or not you’d like to create a plain disk or an expanding one, (i.e. sparse image). Choose a plain disk and specify the amount of space you’d like it to utilize, (5GB should be plenty for a standard install).

The next step you’ll have to take is to determine what type of networking you’d like the virtual machine to utilize. I chose bridged networking, because I’d like the FreeBSD install to appear as a separate machine on my network.

That should be it for configuring Parallels, now it’s time to boot FreeBSD.

The first thing you’ll need to do once FreeBSD has booted is choose the type of install you’d like to set up. I chose a standard install, (remember, I’m no expert).

Now you’ll need to partition your disk, (the virtual one, of course), for use with FreeBSD. Hit the ‘A’ key on your keyboard to use the entire disk. This will utilize the entire amount you specified when configuring Parallels.

Once you’ve configured your partition/s, you’ll need to specify whether or not you’d like to use the FreeBSD boot manager or not. Because we are working in a virtual machine, you’ll want to use the FreeBSD boot selector. Don’t worry, it won’t affect your Mac’s built in boot manager.

Now that that’s finished, you’ll want to tell FreeBSD how much space you would like to use for your file system and how much for your swap partition. I chose to use 4 GB for my file system and 1 GB for my swap partition. You’ll also have to specify the mount point for the partition, (I simply chose “/”).

Next you’ll be asked to choose your distribution set. I chose to install all system sources, binaries, and the windowing system. This all fits nicely into the 5GB image we just created.

The last step is to choose your installation media. Notice that there is no image file option, so you’ll have to tell it that you’re installing from CD/DVD media.

That’s it. You should be up and running with FreeBSD as a guest OS.