Monthly Archives: June 2007

Poor Man’s Margaritas

Odwalla Summertime Lime JuiceTonight we enjoyed a few “Poor Man’s Margaritas”, a recipe I picked up from my buddies Chris and Ron a couple years ago at the Gnomedex conference.

The recipe is quite simple:

  • Good tequila (tonight I had Cazadores)
  • Odwalla’s Summertime Lime Juice

Use whatever ratio you’re comfortable with. Voila, instant margarita.

It’s not really “poor” in the sense that it’s cheap, but you can make them anywhere. This juice from Odwalla is only made in the summer, so hurry out and try some!

Nascar at Infineon

Nascar’s big show is making its annual trip to Northern California at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. Infineon is a great track that really aggravates some of the drivers, while giving “road course experts” a chance to show their stuff. Jamie McMurry took the pole today with Robby Gordon (below) second.

Robby Gordon during his qualifying lap at Infineon Raceway, June 22, 2007

Movable Type and WordPress on XAMPP

Both Movable Type and WordPress are powerful, flexible blogging engines. Both are available in downloadable, install-it-yourself versions that can be uploaded to typical web hosting accounts that support Apache, MySQL, PHP and Perl. But, if you want to play with these tools locally, there’s a great package call XAMPP – “…an easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl.”

Once XAMPP is installed, your test bed is ready for applications like WordPress and Movable Type. Since it’s on your own Windows box, you can play around with configuration, templates, styles, and so on. I’m using it on Windows XP and used the instructions that follow to set everything up.

Installing XAMPP

The XAMPP packages are pretty big (about 100MB for the combination I chose), but downloading is the slowest part. After that, they’ll be up and running in a few minutes with these steps:

  1. Start at the XAMPP for Windows project page and download XAMPP for Windows (basic package) and the Perl add-on
  2. Install XAMPP, choosing default options and location c:\xampp
  3. Install Perl add-on, choosing default options
  4. Run the XAMPP Control Panel and start both Apache and MySQL
  5. Read the XAMPP instructions for changing the MySQL root password

At this point you should have a working installation of Apache with MySQL, PHP, and Perl. You can choose to run Apache and MySQL as Windows services, but I prefer to start and stop them through the XAMPP control panel. I’m only using this for testing, so I don’t need them to be running full time.

Installing WordPress

Now that we have our base system, getting WordPress running locally is pretty straightforward. I used these steps to install WP 2.2.1:

  1. Visit the WordPress download page and download WP in Zip format
  2. Extract the files to c:\xampp\htdocs, making sure to use the folder names inside the Zip file (if done correctly, you should have a file `c:\xampp\htdocs\wordpress\index.php`)
  3. Open the local phpMyAdmin page and login using updated root password you set earlier
  4. Select Databases and create a database named `wordpress` with encoding `utf8_unicode_ci`
  5. Select Privileges tab and create a user `wordpress` and password of your choice, allowing all privileges for the `wordpress` database
  6. With a text editor, open file `c:\xampp\htdocs\wordpress\wp-config-sample.php`; edit the file to set DB_NAME to `wordpress`, DB_USER to `wordpress`, and DB_PASSWORD you chose above; save the file in the same location but named `wp-config.php`
  7. Finally, open the local WordPress install page and follow the steps to complete the setup

(Credit to Tamba 2 for the WordPress steps.)

Installing Movable Type

Now we’ll install Movable Type and see how it compares to WP. I used these steps to install the new MT 4 Beta 3:

  1. Visit the Movable Type 4 page and download the latest beta in Zip format
  2. Extract the files to `c:\xampp\cgi-bin`, making sure to use the folder names inside the zip; then, rename the default folder (like “MT-4.0-beta…”) to just “mt4” (if done correctly, you should have a file `c:\xampp\cgi-bin\mt4\mt.cgi`)
  3. From the location `c:\xampp\cgi-bin\mt4`, move the entire `mt-static` folder to `c:\xampp\htdocs`
  4. Open the local phpMyAdmin page and login using updated root password you set earlier
  5. Select Databases and create a database named `movabletype` with encoding `utf8_unicode_ci`
  6. Select Privileges tab and create a user `movabletype` and password of your choice, allowing all privileges for the `movabletype` database
  7. In the folder `c:\xampp\cgi-bin\mt4`, edit all the *.cgi files and change the first line to: `#!c:\xampp\perl\bin\perl.exe`
  8. Finally, open up the local Movable Type install page and follow the steps to complete the setup

(Credit to the etc. blog for the .cgi file editing tip)

Conclusion

Not including download time, setting everything up should take about an hour. Then, you’ll have your own test bed for trying out both blogging tools, experimenting with styles, and trying out new releases.

Apple Loses Developer Link

Today I was checking out Apple’s website to see if they had any info about the upcoming iPhone and its browser. Apparently they are releasing documentation when the phone itself launches, so my search was a bust.

Perhaps more interestingly, I noticed that the home page no longer links to the Apple Developer site at all. In previous designs, the developer site has had a decent spot in the top navigation, but no longer. The home page doesn’t have the word “developer” on it anywhere, so you need to visit the Mac product page or the Site Map to find the developer link.

In the image below (click for a larger version), you can see a previous design from last year aligned with a screenshot from today:

If you look at the site map, you can kind of see what they’re doing. “Development” as a topic is basically a sub-chapter of the whole Mac product line and doesn’t have anything to do with iPod/iTunes, or iPhone. I just hope it doesn’t mean Apple is giving up on developers!

(Image from Internet Archive Wayback Machine, 2006-08-21)

Sunnyvale’s Version of the Big Dig



Mall Teardown 12

Originally uploaded by brianc.


It might be smaller than the original Big Dig in Boston, but the Sunnyvale Town Center renovation is finally making progress again. The old mall is nearly gone now and the site is being cleared at a rapid pace.

The San Jose Mercury News has the scoop on the recent developments:

Plans to redevelop the Sunnyvale Town Center moved forward Friday with city officials announcing the sale of the site to a new developer and approving a demolition permit to tear down the aging mall. The transfer marks the end of Fourth Quarter’s role as the site’s developer of what city officials hope will be a traditional-style downtown. Following numerous unexplained construction delays, the Sunnyvale City Council’s redevelopment agency fired the Georgia-based developer last year. Fourth Quarter had been hired to turn the 36-acre shopping mall into a downtown.