Ignoring Files and Folders with Grunt Contrib Clean

Working with the ever so gifted and talented backend developer Rohit Chopra here at Martindale-Hubbell lately, I find myself pulling together two workflows and trying to make it a symbiotic relationship (if you will). Part of this process requires a bit of trial by fire, which Git is fantastic with as you can easily clean out one’s working directory effectively hitting the reset button on situations.

I am working with Node, mainly for Grunt tasks which I have been finding unbelievably useful, and Bower. When I can get the syntax correct and things click into place, life is good. This particular post is a quick walk through of my morning’s fail and by writing what not to do and what to do I can better articulate the concepts later. Continue reading

Goodbye Google Play All Access, Spotify is here to stay!

A continuation of a previous post on music streaming services, although I have given Google Play All Access enough time to try and compete with Spotify, today sadly I have to say it’s not worth the move.

Don’t get me wrong, Google Play All Access is a great service and sports many great features. It took almost a year for the iOS app to come out, and I sort of was waiting for that to really see if it could replace Spotify. I picked up All Access when it was $7.99, and in an effort to save a whole $24 a year I hoped it would replace Spotify as my main music player. Sadly though the savings never turned me into an avid user.

Spotify just feels better. The overall user experience is more refined, and the user interface is just easier to use. I like supporting the underdog, even though Spotify is big, they are not Google big, and I really appreciate their ideals (so does Metallica for that matter). I use Spotify on my iPhone 5, my iPad 3, and all of my computers. Google All Access was available for all the same platforms. I had a huge library of playlists on Spotify, and I was able to transfer those to Google All Access to see if I could replace Spotify (although it wasn’t easy).

Spotify Premium is still well worth the $9.99 a month. Their selection is top notch, their audio quality is fantastic, and if they can fix a few small bugs with playback on their iPad app it will be close enough to perfect.

When you reach for, and find, a sense of stability that is not based upon someone else standing next to you; now you are ready to finally begin creating the life experience that you have come to live.

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Ink Misty Darkness

Nobody walks into a room looking for a dark switch. One doesn’t expect to flip a switch and put inky misty darkness to cover up the light. One knows that one can resist the light but the source is the light. The same is true for what man wants to call the devil.  He has just pinched himself off from the light and as he stands in the darkness he is certain that he would not have done it to himself. So he assigns a personality to it and gives it a placement somewhere but it is all that in which he is conjuring in order to justify the perspective that he holds.

The devil is a figment of reality. Being disconnected from your source, or god, for long enough that reality starts to show signs is all the ‘devil’ is. Reconnect to ones  spiritual entity and turn on the light. Getting in touch with one’s god, spirit, or source energy releases all resistance and allows the flow of good to come in.

It is as easy to create a castle as a button. It’s just a matter of whether you’re focused on a castle or a button.

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Git Deployment Hooks

Git Deployment Hooks from Frank Stallone on Vimeo.

This is a video walkthrough of how Git hooks can be used to push file changes back to a remote Git server and subsequently move those files to a Staging and Production server.

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On Training People

WordPress Backend and Workflow from Frank Stallone on Vimeo.

There has been some pretty  extensive changes going on in our department lately. We use WordPress Multisite and have published over 4,000 sites for clients. Keeping up to date on plugins or even the WordPress core means hours of testing on another server in order to know things are going to work before they go live. When updating a WordPress core with changes that require two levels of support teams, inside and outside of your company to bring up to speed and make comfortable with changes takes a lot of thinking and I have come to the following conclusions: Continue reading

You don’t have to justify the good that flows to you; it is a given. You are of more value in the joy of your cross-stitching than in the struggle of your ironing.

— Abraham
Excerpted from the workshop in Virginia Beach, VA on Saturday, April 12th, 1997

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Walking to my 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 the other day I noticed my fairly new exhaust system slightly off balance. Upon further inspection it appeared one of the rubber exhaust hangers had given up and split in half. The other was holding strong but one out of two down back there and it was enough for me to decide not to drive the car until I found a replacement. Continue reading

Gratifying Work

Lately I have been sitting down with a lot of product managers and leads from other web related departments. Listening to what they are trying to accomplish and suggesting ways to make it better, add value — or even how it may be annoying for users. Continue reading

Secretly excited over security

“I found the time to setup more security” – said no one ever.

That is until someone decided to really think through the problems behind security and come out with a proper solution that really helped ones daily workflow. Passwords on computers have been hacked, cracked, and brute force attacked for years, and it’s not going to stop anytime soon. On my infinite quest for ever expanding improvement (kaizen) looking for a password solution is not an easy task. Continue reading

Without deviation from the norm progress is not possible.— Frank Zappa

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Internet Explorer 10 and Adobe Flash

Lately there has been a lot of buzz about what Microsoft is doing with Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8. First, from what I am reading, Internet Explorer 10 is going to be exclusive to Windows 8, even if you attempt to download IE10 Preview you are brought to a screen that says,

Internet Explorer 10 Preview

Released May 31st 2012
- installed with Windows 8 Release Preview -

Of course this is not the most user friendly scenario  who really wants to download Windows 8 Release Preview and install an entire OS just to test their websites in IE10. Continue reading

IMDb Watchlist

IMDb is arguably the most useful database on the internet related to the subject. It has been, for many years, a resource I have consistently gone to whenever I got the proverbial,  “You remember that movie, with that guy, and that couch…“. Continue reading

MOG vs. Spotify

Battle of the online streaming music services

I have a confession to make. Pandora has single handed stopped my interest in pirating music many years ago. It was exactly what I needed, an online suggested music streaming service where I can manipulate through adding related artists, and thumbs-up or thumbs-down, what plays on my stations. It is still brilliant! I had started to pay yearly for Pandora One in July of 2009 ($36 a year as of this article’s publish date), before they had commercials, because I am a amateur audiophile and appreciate the better audio quality (192kbps IIRC). Continue reading

Normalize.css > CSS Resets?

CSS Resets, meet Normalize.css

What is a CSS Reset? The purpose of a CSS Reset was to start with a clean slate, or consistent baseline between all browsers when starting a new web development project. The idea can be summed up nicely by Jonathon Snook:

In case you’ve never heard of such a thing, a CSS Reset is designed to set a number of element styles to a specific baseline that creates consistency across various browsers.— Jonathon Snook, No CSS Reset

Continue reading

Thank you WP-Engine & WordCamp Philly!

WordCamp Philly, WP-Engine, and me being pathetic

Don’t worry it’s not WP-Engine, nor WordCamp Philly which I just attended I am saying is pathetic, I am a passionate web designer and I am calling myself pathetic. Building custom web designs for small to medium sized law firms now for four years and it’s been over a year since my domain has had anything significant on it, it’s pathetic. Continue reading