How to Connect to Your Vagrant’s MySQL Using Sequel Pro

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This was a lot less straightforward than I expected. So I’m posting the incantations here in hopes it’ll save others some time.

Sequel Pro is a very capable Mac-based, open source, MySQL client. One of these many capabilities is to tunnel via SSH to another server. In this case, we’re going from your host machine (an OSX desktop), to your Vagrant guest machine, to access the MySQL database server there. If you don’t currently have a Vagrant machine on hand, try

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Connecting External Services With Your Local WordPress

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For years I’ve eschewed using services such as HTML validators, because I was developing on my local machine, or even on a Virtual Machine inside my local machine; and external services couldn’t get to my website while it was under development. Worse yet, involving a webhook, a callback from a web based service, to your own website, was a chore because you had to deploy your site to a public-facing server before you could test it.

Until now. (Insert maniacal laugh here.)

I’ve recently started using a clever service called ngrok, which exposes your local development site to the Internet. Even if you’re behind a firewall.

(Quick aside. I believe it’s pronounced “en-grok”, rather than “n. g. rok”. Adherents of AngularJS will have to force themselves to conform.) Continue reading

PhotoQ Be Gone

I was recently contacted by Dave Wilson of Dave had been using the PhotoQ WordPress plugin for his photoblog. It allowed him to schedule the release of posts with a given image. It would additionally extract and display the image’s EXIF data. This was before WordPress could schedule posts on its own, and saved Dave all kinds of time. He could spend a few hours loading up pictures and posts, and he’d be set for a month of daily posts.

But nothing lasts forever, and Dave’s happy setup was disturbed as his host’s PHP engine was upgraded, while PhotoQ, now no longer supported, was not. The front end of the site still worked fine, but the admin side had issues.
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“Blast! I lost my job. Now what?”

My friend Hugh was recently let go from his job supporting IBM Java, WebSphere and DB2 technology. He’s looking at this as an opportunity to reorient his career, and turned to me to help him get familiar with the latest social media trends. It occurred to me that others may be interested in heading in that direction; so here’s what I told him. Continue reading

Updating WordPress Plugins Locally, Without FTP

It’s been the bane of my WordPress life: every time I get a notification of updates available on my local installation (on my MacBook Pro), either for the WordPress core, or one of my installed plugins, I get a request for FTP parameters. This, I’ve learned, is due to WordPress trying to write a small test file to the wp-content directory. When it fails, it reverts to trying to get the files via FTP. But, sadly, I don’t have FTP setup on my local install. Besides, from what I hear, this method seldom works.

Don’t despair, though: there is a solution. And it’s fairly simple. (Don’t be put off if you’re not familiar with the OSX Terminal: it’s not that complicated. Really.) Continue reading

When WordPress Goes Wrong

This past weekend I finally sat down to upgrade my WordPress installation. I was at 2.8.4 and heading for 3.1.2. The automatic upgrader wasn’t working (it would start downloading the zip, and freeze), so I had to upgrade manually. (Using the upgrade instructions here.)

But when the dust settled, my admin dashboard was FUBAR. A number of the blocks on the page weren’t appearing. But the worst of it was that I’d select other pages in the admin and would get a 500 Internal Server Error. Yikes! Interestingly, though, the main site was working just fine.
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