Overcome jetlag with these 9 tips

I hate jetlag. Three of my last long trips involved travelling time in excess of 30 hours (one was close to 50) and as a result, I have experienced some pretty bad jetlag.

Secrets From The Yumiverse offers 9 tips to help you overcome the pain in the ass that is jet lag. Most of this is common sense and things I do anyway, but it’s nice to see it all laid out in one place. Even if it repeatedly says ‘no alcohol.’ So I guess I’ll only mostly follow the advice :)

tips to overcome jetlag

How to Sign PDF Files with a Digital Signature in Preview (Mac OSX)

Over the past few weeks I’ve been doing lots of virtual paper work, banks, contracts work, etc. Most of this, however, was done virtually via PDF. One of the problems I constantly faced was having to sign documents. It’s a problem for me because I don’t have a printer or a scanner, which meant out of the way trips to little copy shops.

Now though, I have a found a solution that lets me use my Mac’s camera and Preview’s Annotate feature to digitally sign documents.

Creating a signature in Preview

  • Open Preview and select “Preferences”
  • Click on “Signatures” and then “Create Signature”
  • Sign on a white piece of paper and hold it up to the camera. You’ll see a preview of your John Hancock on the screen, so keep going until you’re happy.
  • Click on “Accept” to capture the digital signature

Now you can access and stamp your signature onto any PDF files opened within Preview.

Signing a Document in Preview

Now that you have your signature on file, you can use it to sign a pdf document that you open with Preview

  • Open the PDF file you want to sign
  • Click on the Annotations button (pencil icon) followed by the Signatures button
  • Next, select the area in the document where you need to sign and drag out the size of the signature.

Sign A PDF document with Mac preview

That’s all there is to it, once you have signed the document, you can save it and it’s ready to be used.

8 Commandments For File Naming

These are some easy to follow file name best practices. Following some sort of structure makes my filing system infinitely more intuitive to use.

  1. Use No spaces in file names
  2. Use underscores or hyphens for adding spaces between words. When you choose a method, be consistent
  3. Use short file names that have meaning – file1.htm won’t help you when you edit in 6 months, but gallery.htm will
  4. Always use lowercase, but camelCase is also acceptable – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CamelCase
  5. All file names must end in dot three letter extension – .jpg, .text (except .js, .html and other exceptions)
  6. Alphanumeric characters only
  7. No f#$%ing special characters. If you need to use % – write it out – percent
  8. Only use one file naming convention within a single site – use .htm or .html, not both

Make it simple, make it consistent, make it meaningful

Web Design naming convention

How To Calibrate Your Macbook Battery In 4 Steps

The term calibrate is a just a fancy way of saying that you should reset your battery’s memory. This will show you how to calibrate the battery on your Apple Laptop in 4 simple steps.

Why Calibrate Your Macbook Battery

Your battery is actually pretty smart. It has an internal microprocessor built in that  controls the time remaining box you see in your toolbar and also manages the battery’s energy efficiency. Recalibrating your battery makes sure that this little computer’s numbers stay on track and you get better battery life from your Macbook.

How To Calibrate and Apple Macbook Battery
 

How To Calibrate Your Macbook Battery

  1. Charge Fully
  2. Run It Down All The Way (You can use it while you do this)
  3. Let is sit for 5 hours (while the battery is flat)
  4. Charge it Fully again – You’ll know it’s full when the charger light turns from amber to green

That’s it, you’re done.

Apple recommends that you do a calibration once per month to get the best possible battery life from your Macbook. I have an alarm set on mine that reminds me once a month.

Happy tapping





Lolcat Battery Level 0%

Download Grooveshark Desktop Player

Aaaah Grooveshark… how you make me love you and hate you.

After switching to a new computer, I needed to install the Grooveshark desktop player once more.  So, off I went to the Grooveshark website looking for the download link, and… nada.

No link on the site, and nothing in my account either. It’s almost like they don’t want me to install their client. Or they’re hell bent on making it as hard as possible.

Download the Grooveshark Desktop Player here:

http://preview.grooveshark.com/desktop/install.air

UPDATE

Thanks to Katy’s comment below, I found it :)

I realize perhaps it’s not in the most intuitive place, but if you click on your Account dropdown on the top right and chose Extras, then Desktop, there is an AIR installer badge that will install Adobe AIR/Grooveshark Desktop for you.

Download Grooveshark Desktop Player from Account

Video Thumbnails Plugin

I often write blog posts that only have a little bit of text and a cool video that I’ve found somewhere online. This is all good and well, except for the fact that my blog theme automatically generates a thumbnail (for the featured image) using the first pic I have in the post. In the past, if I didn’t have an image in the post, I wouldn’t have a featured image, or I would need to go and manually find one to display on the home page. Like so:

lesterhein.com

 

Enter the Video Thumnails Plugin. It does pretty much what it says on the box, creates thumbnails using the videos in your blog posts. And it works like a charm :) I’ve tested it with YouTube and Vimeo and it’s worked without a hitch using both of these services.

You can find it here

http://sutherlandboswell.com/2010/11/wordpress-video-thumbnails/

How to fix your blog when the WordPress auto update fails

Using Multi sites in WordPress 3

I like to keep my the plugins and wordpress versions up to date on the various blogs I manage. Sometimes though, the update process doesn’t go quite so smoothly, especially when updating the WordPress core.

If an update fails, you’ll be presented with a maintenance screen and no way of accessing your site and will only see the maintenance screen.

The solution? Well it’s pretty easy actually.

1. Log in to your site’s FTP connection
2. Delete the “Upgrades” directory (/wp-content/upgrades/)

That’s it :)

source

How to convert a UIF file to ISO on Mac

Uif2iso4mac

I found an old uif file from my old Windows machine that I needed to use on my Mac. After a bit of sniffing about, I found this nifty program that does it very easily – http://vafer.org/projects/uif2iso4mac/

To use the prog, simply install as you normally would, fire up uif2iso and then select File->Open. The GUI is pretty sparse, so you won’t see anything open on the screen when you fire up the app, which is a little confusing at first.

Apparently the program is cool with converting files up to 2GB. My file was not that big, so I can’t say. What I can say is that it worked just fine and I was able to mount my new ISO and access the files I needed without any problems.

Schweet :)

How to enable multi sites using sub directories in WordPress 3

Using Multi sites in WordPress 3One of the coolest features of WordPress 3.x is the ability to add multiple sites to any domain. This means that you can control multiple sites on your domain all from one place – very cool. I spent a lot of time banging my head against the keyboard trying to get this to work, so discovering multi sites was a real blessing.

Recently I needed to add a blog section to http://stereotyperecords.co.za so that individual users could update and post their thoughts in addition to the content that appears on the main site. One of the challenges is that the new sites need to use sub-directories and not sub-domains, which is what WordPress forces it to do at first.

Here’s how it goes down.

First, backups. Make copies of your wp-config.php file as well as your .htaccess file. You’ll need FTP access to get to your .htaccess file.

Next, you’ll need to disable all of your active plugins in order to complete the installation. Not all plugins are multi-site compatible, so take care here. From what  I can see Google XML site maps and Flickr Photo Albums are not compatible, so if you rely heavily on these – think about it…

Now add the following line to your wp-config.php file:

define('WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true);

Once you’ve added this line, in your WordPress dashboard you have to visit Tools -> Network and set up the network. (source)

Follow the instructions provided and you’ll be on your way to getting multi sites enabled.

During the activation of Multi Site a few lines of code need to be added to wp-confg.php. One of those lines states:

define( 'SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', true );

That line tells WordPress to use subdomain addon sites.

Change it to

define( 'SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', false );

and you will now be able to create subdirectory sites.

The problem now is that WordPress will force an addition to your slug in the form of siteurl/blog/newsite

To get around this, you need to remove the /blog/ with a slight change to the .htaccess rules you added earlier. Replace the code WordPress give you:

# BEGIN WordPress
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index.php$ - [L]

# uploaded files
RewriteRule ^files/(.+) wp-includes/ms-files.php?file=$1 [L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f [OR]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
RewriteRule ^ - [L]
RewriteRule . index.php [L]

# END WordPress

With this code:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index.php$ - [L]

# uploaded files
RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?files/(.+)  wp-includes/ms-files.php?file=$2 [L]

# add a trailing slash to /wp-admin
RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?wp-admin$ $1wp-admin/ [R=301,L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f [OR]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
RewriteRule ^ - [L]
RewriteRule  ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(wp-(content|admin|includes).*) $2 [L]
RewriteRule  ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(.*.php)$ $2 [L]
RewriteRule . index.php [L]

(source)

You will now be able to create multi sites without the /blog/ inserted into your slug.

If you nee some more visual assistance, check out this video tutorial on how to implement WordPress multi sites:

How to create a free Grooveshark player in just one step

Following on from my previous post on how to create a free Grooveshark desktop player in two steps (and save yourself $3) using Mozilla Prism, this is how you can do it in just one step using Chrome.

Open up grooveshark.com in Chrome. Now click Tools>> Create Application Shortcuts

Create a free Grooveshark player in one step with Google Chrome

Now all you need to do is choose what you want – I selected a desktop shortcut. And that’s it.

Grooveshark desktop player

Thanks to Jordan Duncan for dropping this useful tip in the comments section.

How To Use WordPress Shortcodes Anywhere In Your Theme

I was editing the StereoType Records website and wanted to call a WordPress shortcode for a plugin from directly in the theme  – useful if you want to add things in places they weren’t to go, like a Flickr Gallery in a pop up or a music player in your header. Whatever you need to call from a shortcode, it’s really easy to accomplish with just one line of code:

echo do_shortcode('[myshortcode]');

(source: http://wpengineer.com/2051/use-wordpress-shortcodes-outside-the-editor/

Now you can pop your favourite shortcodes anywhere you like. I used it to call the Flickr Gallery shortcode on a custom page template here:

http://stereotyperecords.co.za/gallery/

How to display code in your WordPress blog posts like Smashing Magazine

I encountered this problem while doing a post on how to add a Facebook like button to your WordPress blog. Everytime I entered code into a blog post, WP would strip it out and there would be nothing to see in the post. Since the whole post was about a couple of lines of code, this was clearly not a good thing…

I was trying to get the cool code wrappers that Smashing Magazine uses, and I finally found a plugin that allows to me to do just that. The plugin is called Google Syntax Highlighter For WordPress and you can find it here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-syntax-highlighter/

Once you install the plugin, all you need to do is preface the code you want to display in your post with a pre tag and define the correct class. You can see all the different class aliases for different languages here: http://code.google.com/p/syntaxhighlighter/wiki/Usage

The end result looks something like this:

How To Add A Like Button to your wordpress blog

(view this post)

6 Cool Ways To Use DropBox

 

Ways to Use Dropbox

DropBox is a way to sync, store, and share your files online. It also has one of my favourite features – it’s free. You can get 2GB of free online storage when you sign up. (or.2.25gb if you get DropBox here) and the DropBox desktop application makes sure that whatever you put in your DropBox folder on your computer gets sent to your online folder and vice versa.

I use DropBox in a couple of different ways, so I figured I’d share some of the ways to use Dropbox to get the most from your cloud storage.

Also, DropBox gives you extra space if you refer friends, so I’m hoping that at least one or two of you will click this link to get DropBox and score me some extra space (pretty please). If you sign up with my referral link, we BOTH get extra space. It’s a win win situation.

 

1. Create a todo list or idea pad that follows you around

I have random ideas all the time, or a note that I need to remember later. But I hate having loads of files in different places that I need to remember. Creating a text document in my DropBox means I can open it up, type whatever I need to and then close it. When I get home, I can check the file and see what I scribbled.

DropBox is like it’s hot

2.Have the same wallpaper on different computers

This is a small one, but still kinda cool. All you need to do is save your wallpaper in your DropBox folder and set that as your wallpaper. I named the file wallpaper.jpg, so next time I update the file, all my machines automatically have the same desktop.

DropBox is like it’s hot

3. Use it as your music folder

Whenever I buy new music, I’m anxious to hear it. Sometimes I’ll buy an album in the morning and can’t wait for the download to finish. So, all I do is save the album to my DropBox and by the time I get to the office, I can listen to my new music.

DropBox is like it’s hot

4. Share photos with friends and family

Recently my mom installed DropBox, which makes it really easy for me to send pictures to her. Email is cool, but that means searching for the pics and having to be online in order to see them. And no, we’re not Facebook friends.

Update: Dropbox now offers photo galleries for Android users, so you can group your photos together and share a link to the album. This feature is still in Beta, but I think that as soon as it comes to full production I’ll be ditching my Flickr Pro account in favour of DroBox photo albums.

DropBox is like it’s hot

5. Store software settings and backups

I’ve been through the agony of losing data due to hard drive crashes or some other computer problem, and it sucks. Now I use DropBox to keep backups of some of my software settings. I have my Bento databases  my LastPassword backups and my Traktor settings all saved to  my Dropbox, which means that when my machines once again meets a fiery death,  I still have my stuff and don’t need to spend hours re-configuring things the way I like.

Use DropBox to store backups

I’ve also started using Dropbox to save my Android Phone backups. I store my latest Titanium backups as well as my most recent nandroid backup in m Dropbox folder.

DropBox is like it’s hot

6. Use it as a free network drive for your team

At StereoType Records, we need to share lots of files – demos we like, draft versions of songs or track separates for remixes.

DropBox is perfect for us – I can upload a track and let the rest of the team know that there’s a new file waiting for them, right on their desktop.

DropBox is like it’s hot

UPDATE:

7.Trigger Torrent Downloads by email

I’ve now started using Dropbox with IFTTT in order to remotely launch a torrent download on my home computer. This means that if I find a cool torrent while I’m out and about, I can email it myself and some magic will happen to start the torrent download in my home office.

Read the full post here

Sharing Mac internet connection with phone via Airport

This has been driving me nuts for the past two nights now…

Sharing your mac's internet connection with a Symbain smartphone

I have a wired ethernet connection on my Macbook. I also have a Symbian S60 smart phone running the Nimbuzz application. So I figured that instead of being tied to the Mac, I could walk around the house and still use IM on Nimbuzz by sharing the internet connection on my Mac.

The first time I did it, all went well – easy connection to the new access point. The next two nights – nada. Connection not available. The problem is that I got lazy – I removed the password from the network I had created on my Mac, since I would be the only one using it. It turns out that Airport will not allow a non-apple device to share internet without a password. As soon as I re-enterted te password on the network, the connection worked just fine.

What a waste of two hours.

Create a free desktop Groove Shark player in 2 steps (and save $3)

Update – If you’re using Chrome, there’s an even easier way to create a free Grooveshark player in one step

How to create a free Groove Shark desktop player in  2 easy steps

Groove Shark is a free streaming audio service that allows you to play music in a browser window. The company also offers a paid VIP service that offers an Adobe Air desktop application so that you can play music outside of your browser. Follow the steps below to save yourself $3 a month (especially useful considering how temperamental Groove Shark can be)

Here’s how to build your own Groove Shark desktop player in just a few minutes with Mozilla Prism.

1. Download & install Mozilla Prism from Mozilla Labs

http://prism.mozillalabs.com/

Prism is an application that lets you split web applications out of your browser and run them directly on your desktop

2. Set your URL

Set http://listen.grooveshark.com/ as the URL you would like to use for your new desktop application.

Groove Shark and Mozilla Prism

That’s it – you now have a free desktop Groove Shark player :)

Groove Shark desktop player

Optional

  • I have set my Groove shark application to display in my Quicklaunch menu for easy access.

Change your Groove Shark icon