31 Free Stock Photo Sites for Your Web Projects

Adding photos to your web page can be a great way to connect with visitors who are more visual and to make your website generally more appealing. Here is a list of websites where you can find free stock photos for use on your web projects, in your e-learning courses, blog and social media posts and other types of publications including print. The old adage “you get what you pay for” applies here. You will often find the best of what a photographer has to offer, the photos that have been touched up to perfection on commercial stock photo sites like … Continue reading

Shopping for the best laptop for web developement

As a developer with a diverse background in IT and web development, I prefer to purchase a solid laptop that will serve me for 5-7 years rather than replace it every 1-2 years. This is because it takes me over a week to install and configure all the software, tweaking the registry and getting things working just the way I need it. It’s been getting better since I discovered Ninite and Chocolatey but I still prefer not to do it any more than I have to. Another advantage is that, by the time I am through with a laptop and ready to replace … Continue reading

Integrating PuTTY and KiTTY into WinSCP

Whether you are doing web development or just need to manage a Linux server, PuTTY and its enhanced fork KiTTY are both great tools to use when you need to connect to a Linux shell command line. While PuTTY is the original and updated more often, KiTTY isn’t that far behind, offering several useful enhancements to make your work day a little easier. The following instructions assume you already have WinSCP installed and configured to connect to your Linux server using SFTP over SSH. Here is how you can integrate one of these two into WinSCP: In Windows, download PuTTY or KiTTY — main … Continue reading

Making Print Screen Screenshots in Windows

You can capture a screenshot of almost anything that appears on your computer by using any of the following methods in Windows: There is a great free tool called Greenshot that works with the Print Screen button. It allows you to capture any part of the screen you want. Greenshot includes extra features like: Sending your screenshot to the clipboard, a printer, your email application, Powerpoint, Word, Excel and upload directly to Confluence or Dropbox. Opening the image in the Greenshot image editor where you can annotate the image with arrows, shapes, lines and text as well as apply any of several special effects. Includes many advanced … Continue reading

Tips for Customizing the Layout of NetBeans for Productive Debugging in PHP

Here are a few productivity tips to make editing and debugging PHP code easier in NetBeans by just modifying the editor’s layout. Display the NetBeans Debugging Window Click Window > Debugging and select the desired debugging tabs. In NetBeans 8.0, your options will include: Variables Watches Call Stack Breakpoint Session Threads Sources Debugging Display a list of your PHP functions in NetBeans In NetBeans, the function list is called Navigator. To display a list of the PHP functions in the currently opened file, simply toggle the navigator by pressing Ctrl+7. Add a Debug File Icon to the NetBeans Toolbar To … Continue reading

Debugging in JavaScript

One of the most popular ways of debugging in JavaScript when you are just getting started is to use the JavaScript alert() and input() functions. However there are times when clicking OK repeatedly can become tedious not to mention time consuming. Here are a few additional advanced JavaScript debugging techniques you can use to help increase your productivity. JavaScript Console API Functions Unlike the alert(), this the console API functions just displays a message in the debugger console and continue execution. For example: console.log(“Total is now: ” + t); There are other useful console API functions for debugging: console.group() console.info() console.log() … Continue reading

Making XDEBUG work with NetBeans on Windows

After spending way more time that I should like to admit trying to get XDEBUG to work with Notepad++ using the DBGp plugin in anything but the simplest of projects, I decided to look for an alternative. I compared features of 9 different IDE’s for PHP development and reading tons of reviews. There are many great IDE’s out there and everyone will have their favourite. My short list ended up including: Eclipse (PDT) 3.5 — Didn’t bother trying it. While I’m sure it’s a fine product, the website is ancient and not user friendly. Way too much work to try and … Continue reading

How to upgrade MySQL to MariaDB in XAMPP in 5 minutes on Windows

Here are the steps I used to to upgrad MySQL to MariaDB in XAMPP on Windows in about 5 minutes. After completing this process, MariaDB will look and work just like MySQL. You may even notice a performance increase in your website. No need to panic fellow developer, increased performance is perfectly normal and just one of the great benefits of MariaDB over MySQL. IMPORTANT: Before you begin, always be sure to make a good backup. Do not do move instead of copy files in the instructions below as the original files may be required in order to back out and … Continue reading

New “Text Document” context menu missing after associating Notepad++ with .txt files

Shortly after associating Notepad++ with .txt files, I noticed that the Text Document option had disappeared from the Windows Explorer menu. Using regedit, I took a look in the Windows registry: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.txt The first thing I noticed was that the registry key was actually .TXT instead of .txt. Not only that, but the contents of the registry were not at all what they were supposed to be: Default was set to Notepad++_file Notepad++_backup was set to textfile ShellNew was set to Nullfile This key obviously belongs to Notepad++ or one of it’s plugins. However it is completely unnecessary to associate Notepad++ … Continue reading

Upgrading Moodle packages for Windows (XAMPP Control Panel, PHP, phpMyAdmin, Apache, MySQL)

Moodle 2.3 to 2.6.1+ for Windows comes with pieces of XAMPP 1.7.4. Although it works well, the version of PHP that comes included with it is buggy, lacks some key features for development such as a modern control panel and phpMyAdmin. Here is how you can fix some of the problem and upgrade your environment. Upgrading PHP What prompted me to look into this was that Apache was constantly crashing and the following message appeared my Apache error log: [notice] Parent: child process exited with status 3221225477 — Restarting. Here is how to upgrade PHP: Download PHP 5.3.29 — be … Continue reading