The search for encrypted Evernote alternatives continues

After not being thrilled with the results of one of my recent posts about finding an Evernote alternative, i’m now focusing on finding encrypted note-taking apps. Particularly encrypted Evernote alternatives. All the criteria from the previous post is the same, but being sure no third party employees of a company can read my notes is paramount. I have documented the apps i’ve researched below. TL;DR: Joplin is THE Evernote alternative for end-to-end encryption, .exex importing, […]

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I found an Evernote alternative — i think.

Evernote was starting to grind my gears when it came to its handling of code snippets, lack of keyboard shortcuts for many things i used often, and finally hitting me how expensive it was, amongst other “little” things that have changed over the years within the app.

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Grayed out Apple ID when updating App Store applications

Updating an app installed on a Mac by an account you don’t have the password for, here’s how to bypass the grayed out Apple ID prompt: Go to the /Applications folder: Finder –> Applications Right-click the app that needs updating — in my case, XCode Click Show Package Contents Go into the Contents folder Now go into into the _MASReceipt folder. Delete/Move to Trash the receipt file (you may be prompted for a local administrator […]

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How to download Google Fonts to use in Photoshop or on your own web server

If you want to use a particular Google Font in a graphic, maybe a video overlay, or you want to self-host fonts on your own server to speed up your website, you’ll need a way to download the font and convert it to a web font. It can be a time-consuming endeavor. But it doesn’t have to be. A simple way to speed up the process is by using the web app Google Webfonts Helper […]

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WordPress WP-CLI PHP Notice: Undefined index: HTTP_HOST

I manage a ton of websites. Some servers house several separate installations, which makes it cumbersome to have to login through the web to manage each site. (No multi-site setups.) I decided last weekend after attending my third WordCamp ATL (#WCATL), i’d start to actually utilize wp-cli on a daily basis now that it’s matured and powerful. Heck, i even thought about writing an ebook on using wp-cli. Stay tuned. Anyway, to the issue at […]

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Add Let’s Encrypt SSL with manual TXT verification for GoDaddy DNS

I wanted to add SSL to a website i quickly spun up on a Lightsail instance. It was running on a subdomain. I ran into a hiccup with getting the domain verified via TXT entries in DNS when using Let’s Encrypt to setup SSL on a subdomain via GoDaddy DNS. In case you’re interested, here are the commands i used to manually add SSL with Let’s Encrypt with domain verification and prompts. Via CLI: mycli:~$ […]

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Compressing/Minifying MailChimp’s mc-validate.js

MailChimp has been far from cooperative with helping developers speed up website loading by simply minifying their mc-validate.js file. There’s a growing thread on Twitter started over two — yes, 2! — years ago!

Here’s what i did to stop receiving terrible grades on GT Metrix and Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

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Gzip compression – How to turn it on

Continuing with providing tips for website performance results — or just making sure we’re no longer getting a failing grade via performance reports from GTMetrix, Google’s PageSpeed Insights, or web.dev — here’s how to enable gzip compression on your Apache server. First, check if mod_deflate is installed and enabled. It should be installed and enabled since mod_deflate is a default module enabled out the box for Apache. Run apachectl -t -D DUMP_MODULES | grep deflate […]

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Leverage Browser Caching – How to turn it on

So! If you’re a web developer like me, you unfortunately have to bow before performance reports from GTMetrix, Google’s PageSpeed Insights, and still-in-beta web.dev. Don’t get me wrong, the stuff they find are mostly good things, like making your site more accessible and noticeably speedier. But sometimes it can feel like you’re just running in circles to appease these almighty tests. Anyway, one if the issues that popped up on site after site over the […]

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Apache + LetsEncrypt file ‘/etc/letsencrypt/live/…/fullchain.pem’ does not exist or is empty. Action ‘configtest’ failed.

I had setup a new Apache server and needed an SSL certificate so i went with the tried and true, quick and easy LetsEncrypt/certbot route. While testing if gzip was installed, i received errors running apachectl configtest. First time receiving this error. It seemed to be caused by the LetsEncrypt install. I probably wouldn’t have noticed it for quite some time since the https:// version of the site i just put up on the new […]

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WordPress + ACF + Instagram Feed without API

With the the privacy climate these days — see Facebook’s woes with Cambridge Analytica — Instagram has finally enforced the API changes and limits they announced in January. After riding dirty with the feeds for the past few months (despite the summertime deadline), two sites’ feeds stopped working last week. Crap. I needed a quick fix; something easy to implement, and preferably without having to use the API. Signing up again or changing keys, client IDs, client […]

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I quickly deleted 16,000+ Tweets using Cardigan

Ideally i was looking for a free and easy way to delete most if not all of my Tweets for one of my old accounts. Scouring the web i found many articles on how to mass delete my Tweets, but they all referenced the same two or so services. All of which seemed shady, but i gave a shot since reputable sites like Forbes and LifeHacker had recommended them. The one service that was able […]

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WordPress Developers: to use functions.php or a functionality plugin?

I first learned of the functionality plugin vs functions.php way of thinking either from a StackOverflow comment while searching for some elusive WP answer or via Dave Clements’s posts: Create Functions Plugin and Putting Things Where They Belong. Not sure it matters, but i like to attribute inspiration. Anywhoo… The more i’ve tackled WordPress projects, especially while working in-parallel on a few projects or back-to-back with little time to rest, i’ve come to look for more efficient […]

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FinTech Apps to stay financially literate and healthy

This year i’ve worked diligently to get my personal finances in order. From February 2018 to November 2018, i increased my (TransUnion) FICO score by 73 points! To help get a (daily) handle on things, these are the apps i use/check regularly — sometimes several times a day. They are in no particular order. A few of the app links are my personal referral links, by the way. Some offer cool perks for both me […]

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Switching from Sublime Text to Visual Studio Code

Like many, if not most, web developers, my IDE of choice for the last half decade has been Sublime Text. Prior to ST, i was using TextWrangler and Notepad++; before that, it was NoteTab Light and code-only mode of Dreamweaver (shudders). Still odd that i switched to a quasi open source code editor created by Microsoft, of all companies. They’ve made great strides in the last half decade — an almost about face — figuring […]

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Fonts blocked by CORS policy on localhost: How to fix that

I’m using MAMP Pro and have a separate Host setup for each of my website projects. This let’s me navigate to local.mydomain.com instead of localhost:8888/mywebsitedirectory. You can easily setup local.mydomain.com to be a.b.c if you wanted; this is my convention for projects. Helps me separate local dev with production and sandbox/staging sites. Since i decided to serve fonts locally as web fonts instead of grabbing them from Google or TypeKit or wherever, i noticed this while looking […]

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BackWPup WordPress plugin – Error when running email backup job

Looking for an easy WordPress backup solution, i decided to give several plugins a try. One of them was BackWPup. While testing it out, i ran into an issue trying to send backups via email. It was due to the DMARC policy on my domain. Below is an email i received (in Spam) when attempting to do the email backup option. Quick trick to circumvent this issue is to set the “From” address in the […]

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Bitwarden: Password Manager

Bitwarden provided instructions to import from LastPass. I suggest you read through the full guide and follow the screenshots before starting the import. It took about three minutes to get my 3,700 passwords imported into Bitwarden.

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Delete Icon? icon\r files on your Mac

For the longest time these Icon? (or Icon\r) files kept popping up on my Mac without any rhyme or reason. I would manually delete them. Eventually i got fed up again when several popped up in my main Music folder and all its sub-directories. I googled a Terminal (bash) command to find and delete files based on name. So, here is the command i settled on for my needs. Be sure to change the directory […]

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Machform PHP mail / sendmail issues on Apache and nginx

So, i decided to give Machform a spin on a project i was working on. Figured it would be quick and easy to get up and running. It was — locally — but when deploying to my sandbox/staging server, i ran into issues with sending notification emails. It was maddening. Spent a couple of days getting everything working as needed and on the same page for all three differing environments. The first problem occurred when […]

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Choosing a VPN service and browser for desktop and Android/iOS

You may have heard the term “VPN” (Virtual Private Network) thrown around and how you should use it if you’re connecting to a strange WiFi network or you’re conducting sensitive work at the job. The simple answer for what it is and why you should use a VPN is its a private, encrypted, dedicated connection for your internet activity. Read my article on how end-to-end encryption works so you understand why that’s important. VPNs have other […]

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WordPress Custom Shortcode Not Displaying or Breaks Page

So, i’m working locally on this site, tweaking my Wikipedia User Contributions Display plugin, and i noticed that some tweaks i pushed live are actually working fine, but locally they’re not (kinda backwards, i know). Heck, anything after the plugin shortcode doesn’t display–it actually breaks the site (footer scripts and other code fails to run). I google for some fix but nothing concrete. I spot something about PHP maybe being the culprit, but no one […]

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How to fix a MacBook Pro keyboard and trackpad

Update: On November 2, 2018, using the DIY method, i successfully repaired the broken hardware of my MacBook Pro for $23.98 + tax. Drastic difference from the $400-500 estimate if i allowed the Mac Store folks to do it. At the end of this post i have appended what i did to fix the keyboard after i had exhausted the steps originally outlined in this post. Cheers. After returning from this past weekend’s WordCamp ATL […]

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JSON-LD missing ‘}’ – Google Structured Data Testing Tool

So, you’re implementing structured data on your site, particularly using JSON-LD (the latest Google recommendation regarding structured data), but when testing the file or the code used via the Structured Data Testing Tool, you receive an error–particularly this: JSON-LD Missing ‘}’ or object member name. Fortunately, it has a pesky but quick fix. All you have to do is look for the superfluous trailing comma(s) throughout your code. For instance, in the image below, you’ll […]

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Removing article:tag from Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin

Scroll down for the code since i’m a little long-winded on this post. Ye’ve been warned. Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin is awesome at getting you quickly setup with adding Twitter Cards and Facebook OpenGraph data to your website. But over the latest iterations it’s either added superfluous meta data or removed the options to toggle what is or isn’t shown (version 7.1 is a big culprit of it, which is currently running on this site, […]

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WordPress activity log plugin: Stream

Some backstory: i’ve been developing several WordPress projects back-to-back or in parallel in the last few months, and once they’re ready to transfer from local dev environment to staging server, the content provided to me from clients or coworkers usually becomes stale, needing to be updated with increased frequency or in sporadic bulk edits, which would keep my local database annoyingly out of sync with the staging database. It was a clusterfuck — for lack […]

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Firebase custom domain verification with Namecheap DNS

So i received a message that i still needed to verify my domain ownership — odd, because two weeks prior i thought i had covered my Firebase custom domain verification. I double-checked i followed the Google instructions verbatim, going so far as deleting and re-entering the records, yet after a few hours, still no luck. Enter doing the tried-and-true thing of Googling, but really hitting up good ol’ StackOverflow. It was suggested and deemed true […]

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WordPress FTP Error when upgrading WordPress core or plugin

You go to update a plugin or the latest security patch for WordPress, but when you click update you’re prompted for FTP credentials. It can be frustrating and annoying, but it has (typically) a simple fix. This WordPress FTP error is frustration at its peak. You’ll need access to your wp-config.php file and ssh access to your server.  Two steps: Apache server — via terminal/command line run sudo chown -Rf www-data:www-data /var/www/html (or could just be /var/www; […]

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We are closer and closer to Star Trek and The Jetsons

All things are moving faster towards a Star Trek and The Jetsons-esque reality: Google’s new Pixel Buds (wireless!) allow real-time language translation in your EAR; Amazon’s Echo and Google’s newly announced Home (and Home Mini) are full-house voice listening/activation devices to do ish throughout your abode. What’s awesome, amazing — and frickin’ freaky! — about these devices are their multiple device packages, which allow messages to be passed room-to-room between devices. Always listening, always aware. […]

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brew update – Error: /usr/local must be writable!

So, you wanted to update homebrew with the command brew update but received a similar error below: Error: /usr/local must be writable! Simple fix is to run sudo chown -R $(whoami) /usr/local Your problem should now be fixed. If not, you might have ran into this issue that i’ve come across, too: Error: update-report should not be called directly! I fixed this by running both these commands brew upgrade then brew update Ta da! No […]

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WordPress: You Changed the Site Address URL and now Blog Posts are Blank!

So you installed WordPress in a sub-directory because you want your URL to still be simple, such as installed here www.mydomain.com/wordpress-installed-here/ yet visitors will see www.mydomain.com when navigating your site, but after doing so your blog posts and pages show up as a white blank page. Not good. Luckily, there’s a simple fix! Just update your .htaccess file in the main directory of where your site is located. I’ve put example code for the .htaccess […]

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Flickity JavaScript carousel plugin

I was in desperate need for a functioning yet robust, and most importantly, quick-to-install-and-deploy carousel/slider for a large project i was working on for my job. Perusing my job’s rival-of-sorts website, i dove into their code and learned they used Flickity, which i instantly fell in love with after reading its documentation and API. Several ways to install and to call the carousel. With its built-in options and reliance on CSS, it was easy peasy to […]

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How Do Open Source Communities Govern Themselves?

Are you interested in governance in general as well as specifically to the Open Source world/community? Check out this read, How Do Open Source Communities Govern Themselves, the second part in a series about governance. It’s written by Randy Fay. This is the start of my Someone Else’s Good Read series of posts. I would like to share interesting ish around the world, but with a quick tidbit or opinion of my own, or really just an […]

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MySQL Server Not Starting on MAMP for Mac

So if you’re like me, you do a lot of WordPress development locally and experience annoying issues. I use MAMP, personally, as do many others. One of these common headaches is the MySQL server not starting on MAMP for Mac; inexplicably stopping and whatever you try, it won’t start again. Here’s a fix that has worked all the time for me: Quit MAMP. In the Finder (or Terminal) go to Applications/MAMP/db/mysql56/ and delete the last log […]

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How End-to-End Encryption Works

All right. Here’s a simple explanation of how end-to-end encryption works. Recently there’s been a healthy amount of chatter in the news regarding WhatsApp, and i’ve noticed more and more of my contacts using (installing at least) Signal on their phones. This will give you an idea essentially of how our text message convos go when unencrypted and encrypted, and you’ll, hopefully, come away with why it’s important. I’ll probably do a more extensive write-up later […]

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WordPress unknown character set utf8mb4 error

How to fix this “WordPress database error: [Unknown character set: ‘utf8mb4’] ~” error. Simply change “utf8mb4” to “utf8” in the Database Charset setting in your wp-config.php file. Voila. Update (2018.02.01): Do NOT follow any of that above. You’re going to want to keep the ‘utf8mb4’ under Database Charset in your wp-config.php file, but you’ll need to upgrade your WordPress database. You can do so by navigating here YOUR_WP_INSTALL_FOLDER/wp-admin/includes/upgrade.php. For reasons why, read this from WordPress […]

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