Category Archives: Web

Fixed: phpMyAdmin is throwing a #2002 cannot log in to the mysql server phpmyadmin

This one had me going round the houses a bit until I the wrong permissions confirmed something to me.
Firstly the /etc/phpmyadmin/ file is crud. For some reason this file doesn’t resemble the actual config file that you should use.
The file /usr/share/phpmyadmin/ is the format that you need for a correct phpMyAdmin configuration, so copy it to /etc/phpmyadmin/

Next you need to edit this config file. This isn’t the hardest of the things in the world to do if you just want the basics. You just need to edit the value for $cfg['Servers'][$i]['host']

Once you’ve done that you can then login to phpMyAdmin using your mySQL credentials and get started.
It will bitch about not having the advanced features enabled. To do this follow the blog post I did at INSTALLING PHPMYADMIN ADVANCED FEATURES ON UBUNTU

Make sure you log out and back in to pick up the changes.


Windows 8 Browsers in Modern UI aka Metro Mode

browser iconsSince getting my Nexus 10 I used my laptop less and less. It largely comes out for research activities which involve a lot of switching between apps or browser windows or typing heavy activities where a keyboard is preferable to a touch screen, and I don’t lose half the screen to the keyboard.

Metro, sorry, Modern UI

I upgraded my laptop to Windows 8 not long before getting my Nexus 10. I’ve got used to most things with the Modern UI and some apps being Desktop apps, however after change Google Chrome to launch in Metro/Modern UI mode I noticed that Internet Explorer was then opening on the desktop instead of in the Modern UI. I changed this back, but then Chrome opened in Desktop mode.
Seemingly the browser that is the default browser and opens http(s) links is the one that opens in the Modern UI.

Just One Browser?

I’m very surprised by Microsoft to be so small minded to think that users will only use one browser and so will be happy with just one opening in Modern UI. As someone who does some web design and troubleshooting of html and css I regularly use the main four browsers. I seems my choice to have all with the same experience is to set all to open in the desktop mode. Surely that’s not what Microsoft wants.

Windows 8 Metro UI Pushable Button in CSS

I recently had a request to make a big green button, I decided to steer clear of skeuomorphism and to go with a flat clear design. As such I thought I’d ape the design of the Metro UI used on Windows Phones.

Here’s a link to the code I pulled together from various bits of the interweb.

macdonalds chips

MacDonald’s Nutritional Information in a Spreadsheet

macdonalds chips

I always like reading the stats on the back of the place mat in MacDonald’s and I’m always amazed at how many calories there are in each and fat and so on. But I wanted to be able to sort these statistics as I liked to be able to compare and, hopefully, make better choices when I did wander into the fast food establishment.

So I’ve begun work on a spreadsheet. I figured I’d make it a globally editable Google Doc, so that I could enter the stats and let the world at large keep the document up to date too.
So here’s my spreadsheet, literally a work in progress as I’m adding rows now.
MacDonald’s UK Nutritional Information Spreadsheet

Please feel free to add data to the spreadsheet and update it accordingly. Note that these stats are for the UK portions of MacDonald’s.


What makes for a great blog post?

I’ve been watching the stats lately on my blog. Always happy to see visitors, and hopeful that what I write is useful to people.

I got to thinking and a few google searches later leave me thinking that it’s nothing I didn’t know already.

1. Make text scannable

Not just to search engines, but most importantly the human eye. I always think newspapers are a great example of this. Headlines grab your attention and dangle their bait in front of you luring you into read the story.

Using paragraphs and white space to break up the text well is another good tip, and another one well employed by newspapers.

2. Say something interesting

This is so obvious it’s obscene. If you’re not saying anything anyone wants to hear then why would anyone listen?

3. Speak to your audience

This bit is maybe the hardest. Whilst I know who is most likely to read this at the moment, whilst it’s in it’s infancy, I hope to speak to a wider community.
I don’t really want to prescribe that but I guess I have to in a way so I’m speaking to you in the right way.

4. Use Lists

Who doesn’t love a list? High Fidelity’s Top 5 lists running throughout the film, the charts, your todo list. You might hate all the todos but having them in a list is your way to tame the those beasts.

5. Use Pictures

Pictures scan well, grab attention quickly and add some eye candy that text just can’t cut. Often a photo can sum up a story quicker and give the reader more than you can say in a 1000 words.

6. Keep it short

Short and concise.