I love the Internet

Localised content on the internet becomes better every day. Be it Apple, Google or any other faceless organisation – all of them seem to think that they know much better which language I should understand based on where my computer connects to the Internet. I wonder why they even bother to let me set a language in my account if it makes no difference anyway.

Here’s a little Gem from PayPal:

PayPal - Simple and very clear...

HTC One or iPhone 5s?

As a proud Apple fanboy, I  keep trying to like the iPhone but somehow my heart always glimpses back at the HTC One. I guess I should hate HTC for releasing such a great phone because in the past my Android experience was always limited to a few weeks and then I was cured. Looking for articles from other users in a similar situations hoping I could find the one article that can cure me of Android and bring me back “home” to the iPhone. An article titled “Switching back to the iPhone 5: Why the HTC One grass wasn’t greener” made me go “BINGO” for a moment. Unfortunately it did not really convince me. The resins in that article for going back to the iPhone were:

  • Couldn’t get phone to work well with car which is important to me, petty, I know
  • I use an Otterbox and it made it near impossible with one hand
  • I find the iPhone Camera to be better quality as I like zooming further than HTC would allow
  • Too much clutter, IE Blink Feed and Gallery
  • I like the way Mac/iPhone/iTunes sync seamlessly
  • Battery was weak compared to what I’m used to in regards to lasting time and charge time

Sorry, but those reasons do not really work for me.

Couldn’t get phone to work well with car which is important to me, petty, I know

I disagree. Personally I find the iPhone apart from being a phone and music source absolutely useless in the car. It starts by giving the phone a home in the car. the HTC One has a car-dock made by HTC which is just brilliant. It uses premium materials, fits the phone perfectly and adds nice features. For example, it switches Bluetooth on when I dock the phone and puts the phone in car mode which makes the most important features easily available through large buttons.  The iPhone stays in the same mode in the car and operating it is not very comfortable. I can usually just do anything on the phone when I am at a traffic light for a while. Not to mention that there is no car-dock from Apple. Just as for Android, there are a few car apps available for the iPhone, but due to the closed platform the iPhone offers, they cannot be customised. I didn’t find any car home app on the App Store that made me happy. Navigation on the iPhone (at least here in Bangkok) is way inferior to the HTC One.  I tried the iOS Maps app which would just get me lost. I also have Sygic for iOS and Android,  but the accuracy on Android is just way better than on iOS. The iPhone often had problems figuring out where I was, especially on roads like Rama IX Road, where we have the express way on a higher level than the normal road. The iPhone frequently things I am on the Expressway when in fact I am not. It also asks me to make turns (right, left, u-turn) when there is nothing but buildings and walls on either side of the road. The HTC One is certainly not the perfect navigation tool for the car either, but it is much more accurate and I trust it more to get me to the right place.

I use an Otterbox and it made it near impossible with one hand

I don’t use an Otterbox, but although it is possible to use the iPhone single-handed, it feels to me like there is in certain angles too much pressure and I risk that the phone just snaps out of my hand.  The larger size of the HTC One makes me either hold the phone different when I use it with one hand or I use it with both hands. Personally that makes me feel more comfortable.

Too much clutter, IE Blink Feed and Gallery

Again, I have to disagree. On the iPhone I have (since the very first version of the iPhone) multiple screens with icons to my Apps. I don’t think there is any way to organize the icons like sorting them etc, all work has to be done manually. It’s easy now to group apps with folders, but still all the work has to be done manually. It was a bit easier in the past to do this with iTunes, but the latest version of iTunes made it less comfortable. Most of the times I don’t bother to go through the individual screens to find my app but use spotlight search instead.

On Android we have basically 2 layers. The home screens (which include Blink Feed on HTC Sense) and the app drawer which is home to all apps. On the home screens we can not only have shortcuts to apps, but also widgets that can provide useful information. The app drawer can be sorted and it is also possible to group apps in folders. In my opinion, it is much easier to keep the HTC One organized.

I like the way Mac/iPhone/iTunes sync seamlessly

This is the only point I could not agree more with. The way all devices work together, syncing, iCloud etc is just perfect and also probably the only reason I always come back to the iPhone for a while.

Battery was weak compared to what I’m used to in regards to lasting time and charge time

From my experience both devices are getting me through the day ok. I would give the HTC One here a better performance, but then again that would not be fair. Due to the great car-dock the phone always charges while I drive.  The times I used either phone without driving battery life was pretty much the same.

Things not mentioned in the article

It feels like the iPhone is developed for specific markets. Siri is a nice little helper, and although (s)he is kinda useless to operate the phone while driving, it is easy and comfortable to schedule appointments for example. But then I ask Siri for example to find a pizza place close to me. All Siri has to answer is:”Sorry, Michael, I cannot search for places in Thailand” Asking Google Now the same question, I get a list of places around me. Just over the past few months I saw so much improvement in Google services – Google Maps now supports turn-by-turn navigation in Thailand for example – but the iPhone seems to be stuck. And it looks like Apple has no incentive to improve since there are always enough suckers like myself who just need to see the Apple logo magically the ability to make “smart” choice disappears. Even now, writing up this little article, it becomes more and more obvious to me that the HTC One is the superior phone, but the fanboy just tries to ignore the obvious.

In conclusion

I can make my own list of reasons why I use the iPhone, but it is much smaller:

I use the iPhone because Apple has me under their spell. I have the iPhone 5s and the HTC One on my desk, and I know the HTC is the better phone, yet I desperately search for reasons to make the iPhone look like the better contestant.

The questions I have are:

Hoe many people just like me are out there?

How many people actually work up and switched from the iPhone to Android?

The ONE that tempted an Apple Fanboy

Yes, I admit that I am a die-hard Apple Fanboy.  Although I can survive on Linux for a while, if I have to be on Windows for more than 30-45 minutes, I get a rash, after 60 minutes difficulty in breathing and more than 90 minutes could end up in the ER. Ok, that is a little exaggerated. I just love Apple hardware because it looks very nice and Mac OS just feels more intuitive to me.  So my standard equipment was a MacBook Pro (yep, the one with Retina display, wohoo), and iPhone 5 and an iPad mini. But a while ago, someONE came along and led me into temptation. So who is this mysterious One that led me into temptation? The one and only HTC ONE, HTC’s new flagship Android phone. Initially it was meant to be a simple test device, just to see what Android is up to these days, but soon I caught myself playing with the phone more and more often and after a few days it actually replaced my iPhone 5.

So to get it out of the way, let’s start with the things I absolutely dislike. Funny enough, for those things I cannot even blame HTC. They come from Google, or better said Android.

Google Playstore

I had a few Android phones in the past and used my google app account with them. I am also more than positive that I purchased a few items in the Google Play Store. Now things are different. The Playstore is using Google’s “excellent” wallet system as the only way to purchase items. When I hit the checkout, I get a warning that my account is suspended because of suspected fraudulent activity and that I can contact Google if I believe that this is a mistake. Of course I did that, and Google’s response was:

“The wallet account belonge to a Google App domain – please contact the domain administrator to enable the wallet service” – Well, Google, I am the domain admin, I have the wallet service activated, but still you don’t let me use it. Even better, when I click the link to the terms and conditions (to check what rules I may have breached) the same message, that my wallet account has been disabled is displayed. Well done, Google! So what you are doing here is, forcing me to look for cracked versions of software because you don’t give me a legal way to obtain it. I am sure the Android developers out there really appreciate that. Oh and it is also a great incentive for developers here in Thailand to develop Android Apps since we cannot charge anything for them. Google is kind enough to only support a few countries when it comes to charging for apps on the play store.


Everytime I want to watch a clip on YouTube, I get the message “Unsupported Video Format” It took me a while to figure out that it is also related to my Google Apps domain. Since YouTube is officially not supported in Thailand, I cannot add it as a service to my Google App account. It plays YouTube clips perfectly fine when I am not logged in at all with a Google account, but if I use my Google App account, every video becomes an unsupported format. Well, Google, can you explain why  you let me watch the clips when you have no trace of me at all, but if I let you have my email address you won’t let me watch anything?! How can a video format become unsupported when all I did was giving you a way to check what I am watching?

My wife is still using her iPhone 5 (funny thing – I am the Apple fanboy, but when it comes to phones, nothing comes between her and her iPhone) and her company is using MS Exchange as the collaboration server. Every time an event invitation arrives, she gets a nice pop-up on the screen. I used to get that with my Google App account, too, but that is not working on Android. To be fair however it needs to be said that it is no longer working on the iPhone for me either since Google discontinued the active sync feature for free accounts. After further tests with other emails, I found out that event invitations never pop up on Android – oh well, would be nice to have but can survive without it. At least I can be a little jealous of my wife and her iPhone when it comes to event invitations.

All in all, Google, I would recommend you support your platform more global (yes, believe it or not, there are countries outside the USA with people who would really love to use all of your services) something, that iOS does pretty well.

Enough bashing Google, let’s also mention something nice that I really like:

On the Mac and on iOS devices we have iTunes Match which allows to stream music via the cloud to (I think) up to 5 devices. Quite a handy feature to save memory on the iOS devices and my MacBook Pro Retina with limited SSD storage. And at only 24.95/year almost a steal.

Now comes Google. If you live in the US (or bing on Google how to find a way into making them believe you are in the US), you can upload 20,000 of your own songs (that’s 19,999 more songs than I have) for free and enjoy them via the web interfae or the Android App. Really a nice feature and free. Sometimes the streaming lags a little, but for that I won’t blame Google as it is most likely a problem with the mobile providers in Thailand. All in all it works very well and even if there are a few bumps on the road – it’s FREE, so no reason to complain.

Oh, before I start with more details about the HTC ONE, there is actually something really terrible about it. Not really the device but the included earbuds. I already had trouble with the Samsung earbuds, they would get into my ears for a while and then just pop out. very annoying. HTC is much worse. These are the first earbuds that fit perfectly into my ear, the sound is absolutely brilliant (at least in my opinion) but…I can’t hear anything at all. I am comletely disconnected from the outside world, often feel like I am under water. Maybe it takes a bit getting used to it – from the sound itself I was pretty amazed.

Finally let’s get to the device itself. As I mentioned earlier, initially I just wanted to play a little around with the device to see what it has to offer. Soon after using it a few times, I found myself picking the device up quite frequently just to hold it, to look at it, to play around with it. A few days later I changed my iPhone Nano sim to a micro sim and that was the day the ONE took over.

The design of the HTC one is simply amazing. I agree with the general opinion of most reviewers that it is most likely the best looking phone on the market today. A slight resemblance with the iPhone 5 is not deniable, but at the same time HTC managed to also give it a unique and individual look and feel. The device is quite a bit larger than the iPhone, but for some reason it feels so much more natural in the hand. I believe it is due to the curved back. When I hold the iPhone 5, even though it is reasonably small, it feels bulky, heavy and unnatural compared to the much larger HTC One. To be fair however I have to admit that I didn’t feel that way about the iPhone before comparing it to the HTC ONE. The materials used for the body of the device feel very nice and all in all it feels very slim and stylish.

The screen, a 4.7 inch full HD screen, is amazing.The colors look brilliant and when the screen is on, the contents look almost like they are printed on the glass.

Shame on HTC that they did not yet provide the latest Android version on the HTC ONE, but the clever developers at xda-develoeprs.com already found a way to give us a preview of what Android 4.2.2 has in stock for us. My favourite custom ROM is InsertCoin, I think it has been on pretty much any Android phone I used so far.
(I started to write this post a while ago – since then JellyBean 4.2.2 has made its way officially to the HTC One via OTA – but I still stay with InsertCoin for the moment)

Some people hate Blinkfeed on Sense 5, but I must say that I like it. It gives me quick updates on the news and even from resources like Facebook and Twitter. The world as we know it would come to an end if there was not a way to get constant updates of all the people who once befriended you and that was the last time you had any contact with them. How could I go through the day without knowing that John Doe form Alaska just took a dump? Thanks to Blinkfeed (and the great update frequency of John Doe in Alaska) I get that info on my phone while he is flushing!!!

Last but not least there is Zoe. Now that is the feature that really won me over. Taking photos with ZOE takes a little longer (3 seconds for each shot) but you get a sweet reward. ZOE takes the photo and a short little video clip. So in the gallery you will find the video clip which plays automatically and makes the gallery listing look alive. Almost like watching Harry Potter’s Newspapers. Certainly not a necessary feature and does not make you snapshots better, but it is really cool and I love it. Gives the phone that little extra that makes it stand out from the crowd.

For the camera itself I cannot complain  Let’s face it, nobody is going to replace professional camera gear with a smartphone and take professional shots that way. And for a camera as a backup – or even simply as a camera to take some cool snapshots – I think any smartphone these days does a good job. I remember my first camera phone – I couldn’t even tell if it was a shot of my face or my armpit. So from those days we have come a long way. Some say the camera on the Galaxy S4 is much better, but I don’t care – Galaxy has no Zoe – and ZOE ROCKS!!! – Period!!

Coming to an end – I just realized that I don’t even know where my iPhone is at the moment. Probably left it at the office, got to check in the morning.

Now I do understand Apple’s strategy to not change anything on the UI because it is something you are familiar with and don’t want to learn every time you update the phone. I just wonder if that is the real reason or if it is more along the line of:”We don’t care about changing anything on the UI or even make amazing changes to the phone itself because we know that you silly suckers buy the phone as soon as we poop it out, so why bother??!!??”

So..when it comes to Computers, I am still an Apple Fanboy and I don’t see anything that could change that anytime soon. On mobile devices however the HTC One is the first phone that really made me switch away from the iPhone and probably keeps me on the Android Platform for a while. Hopefully Google catches up a little more and supports other countries better.

Dear Spammers,

thank you very much for all the attention you have given me in the past few months. It was a very nice feeling that you gave me when I came back after a few months and found your 1548 posts in my comments. It gave me the feeling that my existence in this world and the existence of this very blog did have a sense after all. Luckily I was at a time in my life where i had absolutely nothing to do, so I went through each of those 1548 comments individually and ordered everything you had to offer me. Unfortunately I have now so much Viagra and other similar products in my body, my whole body is stiff. I can’t even sit down anymore, all I can do is stand and wait for it to wear off. So, my dear spamming friends, please have a little mercy on me and give me time to recover before you continue to send me those amazing offers that one just cannot resist.

Thank you very much.

Update InsertCoin custom ROM via SVN on your Mac

If you like to use a custom ROM on your android device, then it can be very time consuming to download the new releases. Gone are the times when you had to download 20-100MB for a new ROM, it can take 1GB (maybe more) now. Especially here in Thailand where the Internet speed is often very unsatisfactory (to put it nicely) it can take hours (days???) to download a new release. Luckily some developers have alternative solutions so make an update much easier. Subversion to the rescue. Personally I much prefer Git for version control (subversion seems so yesterday) but it works and that is all that matters. Unfortunately not everybody is using a Mac, some People use Linux (pretty good, too) some people even use this..what is it called..uhm..door?? Box?? Casket?? No wait, I got it…Windows. I heard they call it Windows because after 4 minutes using it, you want to jump out of one, but that is an entirely different story for another rainy day.

My favourite custom ROM for Android is InsertCoin. Somehow whenever I use an Android device, the developer of InsertCoin already has a version ready for the device I chose. So this time it is for the HTC One. You can find the thread for the ROM on XDA Developers by clicking here. InsertCoin uses subversion for the updates, so you only have to download the whole repository that makes up the ROM once, after that all you need to download are the updates.There are instructions for Windows in the InsertCoin thread on XDA, but no worries, it’s easy to get it working on a Mac…after all, it’s a Mac, right?!

So here we go:


These are just the instructions how to set everything up. I tested it on my device and everything works fine. you do however use these instructions and the provided scripts at your own risk.


1 – Install SVN
SVN is part of the XCode command line tools as far as I know or you can follow any of the tutorial online such as this one:

2 – Prepare your project root folder
e.g. mkdir -P ~/Projects/InsertCoin-M7

3 – Initial Checkout – getting your working copy
This will take a while but you only have to do it once. Subsequent calls to subversion will only fetch the updates

  • change into the project root folder if you are not already in that folder (cd ~/Projects/InsertCoin-M7)
  • get the repository (svn checkout https://insertcoin-m7-nightly.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/ ./InsertCoin-svn) This will create the InsertCoin-svn folder which will contain the subversion repository
  • go have a cofee, lunch or dinner, the checkout will take a while as it will download the whole repository (around 1GB). Alternatively you can also use the time it takes to download the rpository to make a list of things you will do in future with the time you save by not having to download a 1GB ROM every time there is an update

4 – creating a flashable ROM
The repository folder contains all the files for the ROM to work, but it also contains a lot of unnecessary data (unnecessary for the ROM, but VERY necessary for the version control system) that we don’t want to flash to the phone. Therefor we crate a copy of the repository that only contains the files the ROM needs to run.

  • change into the project root folder (cd ~/Projects/InsertCoin-M7)
  • svn export InsertCoin-svn InsertCoin-ROM (this command will fail if the folder InsertCoin-ROM already exists, there are 2 options . You can either delete the rom folder first (rm -rf InsertCoin-ROM) or force the export to run (svn export –force InsertCoin-svn InsertCoin-ROM)
  • once the export command finishes, you can change into the ROm folder (cd InsertCoin-ROM) and zip the folder contents (zip -r ../InsertCoin-latest.zip *)
  • Now you can copy the InsertCoin-latest.zip to your SD Card (if you use OTG) or your phone’s internal sd card, reboot into recovery and flash.

Feeling a bit lazy to type/remember all this?
Download this zip file [insertcoinmac-zip.zip] and do the following (I assume you downloaded the file to you ~/Download folder)

  • create a project root folder (mkdir -p ~/Projects/InsertCoin-M7)
  • change into the project root folder (cd ~/Projects/InsertCoin-M7)
  • unzip the file into this folder (unzip ~/Downloads/insertcoinmac-zip.zip)
  • make ure the files can be executed (you will need to enter your Mac’s password for this) (sudo chmod 755 *.sh)
  • run the setup scrito (./setup.sh) to get the initial repository (will take a while to download)
  • have a coffee or lunch/dinner while waiting for the repository to finish downloading
  • run the makeDistribution script (./makeDistribution.sh)
  • copy the file ./InsertCoin-Distribution/InsertCoin-latest.zip to your SD card or phone memory and flash it
  • optional and appreciated:share your experience in the cmment section
  • optional and very much appreciated: make a contribution towards my SSD upgrade (256MB on the MBP Retina are just too small :-D )

Whenever there is an update to the ROM, simply run the makeDistribution.sh script which will first update the repository, then create the flashable ZIP file. Downloading the updates will be very fast since you only need to download the files that have been updated. If you customize the contents in the InsertCoin-ROM folder, you can call the create_zip.sh script to create the zip file.

Keep in mind that any customization you make will be erased once you run the makeDistribution.sh script, so keep your own stuff backed up in a safe place outside the InsertCoin-ROM folder.


Samsung Galaxy S3 vs HTC One X Plus (1)

Recently I replaced my iPhone with a Galaxy S3 and my iPad with a Galaxy Note 10.1. Both devices seem to be great alternatives to their iOS counterpart, so far I neither missed the iPad nor the iPhone. The design of the Galaxy S3 however is far from a “high class” phone you would expect. Another thing that bothers me a lot about the S# is the way Samsung localises some of the applications. For example they have their own version of the App Market ont he S3 (and the Galaxy Note 10.1) which refuses to change language to English. It stays in Thai no matter what I do. I had to insert a foreign sim card to get it into English.

I also got an HTC One X Plus. It’s design was appealing to me from the first moment I saw it, but that was pretty much all I liked about that phone. For some reason however I want to like it so I decided to give it a fair chance. I will use the One X Plus for a week and then the S3 for a week. At the end of each week I will (if laziness does not get the better of me again) write a short review of my experience. I must admit that I am not a power user. I am a developer, use my phone to make a few calls, send a few messages, sometimes browse the web a little. That’s about it. No constant connection to Facebook, Twitter and what not. Yes, some may say:”Giving a smart phone to Michael is like giving a condom to the pope.” (Useless)

Now I can’t speak for the pope, but in my case I can say that – even so I don’t use the device to its full potential – it’s still nice to have it and play around with it from time to time.

Well, that’s all for the moment. If all goes as planned, next week my review of the HTC One X Plus will be here.

Coda 2 connecting with SFTP, FINALLY!!!

After endless tries and almost giving up, I finally managed to get Coda 2 connecting to my web server vis SFTP with public key authentification.

I tried everything from copying the public key and giving it different names, to even creating a file combining the private and public key (desperate fool :-) )but all Coda had to tell me was “username or password not accepted by the server. I even went so far to yell at the computer:”WHY does yoru stupid terminal tab connect to the server but SFTP does not?!” – Just as expected, I did not get an answer.

Today I finally came across this thread on the Coda Google Group (https://groups.google.com/group/coda-users/browse_thread/thread/385f6874ea3afd38?pli=1)

So all I had to do was adding my private key to the OS X keychain by running

ssh-add -K .ssh/id_whatever_your_private_key_is
and Coda finally connected.

Cherokee on Mac OS X Lion with MariaDB, PHP5.3 using Homebrew

Finally I got me favourite web server running on Mac OS X.
It was the only reason why I still missed Linux when developing PHP applications.
Cherokee is a light, fast web server with a nice graphical admin interface. Until now I had no luck running it on OS X, but when I discovered the excelent Homebrew project all that changed. There is a formula in Homebrew to install cherokee, but without modification that formula failed for me as it was trying to use the default webroot that Apache uses on OSX and without admin rights we don’t have access to that folder. Luckily that is easily changed.
So let’s get started. You need to have the latest version of Homebrew installed. Instructions for this are here: http://mxcl.github.com/homebrew/. Initially I tried to use the standalone GCC package without XCode, but the PHP build failed when it tried to install PEAR. After installing XCode and the XCode command line tools, all worked fine.

First we install a database. I decided to use MariaDB, but MySQL works just as fine. So open a Terminal and enter

brew install mariadb

Once it is installed, follow the instructions on screen to finalize the installation:

– Setting up the database:

unset TMPDIR

Creating the startup item:

cp /usr/local/Cellar/mariadb/5.3.5/homebrew.mxcl.mariadb.plist ~/Library/LaunchAgents/
launchctl load -w ~/Library/LaunchAgents/homebrew.mxcl.mariadb.plist

And finally starting the server

mysql.server start

Next we install PHP with fcgi support. There is a great PHP repository for Homebrew, so we will use it.

Tap into the repository with the following command:

brew tap josegonzalez/homebrew-php

Then install PHP with the following command:

brew install -dv php --enable-phar --with-mariadb --with-cgi --enable-fcgi --with-suhosin

or alternatively for MySQL:

brew install -dv php --enable-phar --with-mysql --with-cgi --enable-fcgi --with-suhosin

(update):PHP is now available in 2 versions, 5.3 and 5.4, so the installaiton command has to reflect the version. For PHP 5.3 the command is now:

brew install -dv php53 --enable-phar --with-mariadb --with-cgi --enable-fcgi --with-suhosin

Additionally we need to create a symbolic link in the etc folder:

cd /usr/local/etc
ln -s ./php/5.3/php.ini ./

Now comes the tricky part – Cherokee itself. With your favourite text editor, edit the cherokee formula located at


and modify the install function so that it looks like this (the hilighted lines are the added lines)

def install
system "./configure", "--disable-dependency-tracking",
system "make install"

prefix.install "org.cherokee.webserver.plist"
(prefix+'org.cherokee.webserver.plist').chmod 0644
(share+'cherokee/admin/server.py').chmod 0755

(update):The formular for cherokee has been updated and now sets the webroot to a folder we can write to, so this modification is no longer necessary.

save your modifications and then install cherokee:

brew install cherokee

After a while all should be ready to run, now it’s time to configure PHP in Cherokee. Cherokee comes with a nice wrapper function to start the admin interface. in your terminal window enter


and press Enter. A dialog pops up asking for your user password – enter it and press Enter. A moment later your default web browser opens and displays the admin interface. Initially I had Safari as my default browser, but that was a little pain in the behind because Safari thought the adin interface is a phishing site. After I made Firefox the default browser all was fine again.
On the main screen you see an overview of your Cherokee server. From here you can also stat and stop the server.

Click the VServers icon.
The page that opens displays the settings for the default server:

Click on “Rule Management” in the “Behavior” Tab

Click the + symbol to add a new behavior. A popup window opens with all available options:

Click on “Languages” then on “PHP” and finally on “Add” to add PHP:

Click “Create” to setup PHP:

Click “Save” to save the settings. If Cherokee is already running, you will see a dialog asking you to restart the server, Chose “Graceful Restart” in that case.

That’s all, you now have a web development environment with Cherokee, PHP 5.3 and MariaDB.
To start Cherokee, either use the start/stop button on the “Home” screen of the admin interface, or enter “sudo cherokee” in a terminal window.


Joe says:

Hi Michael,

Excellent recipe, this allowed me to mirror an exact setup of our production environment on my MacBook!

A small hint: adapt the brew command if you use php fpm instead of the standard CGI module as follows:

brew install -dv php53 –enable-phar –with-mariadb –enable-fcgi –with-suhosin –with-fpm


Twitter Bootstrap – Custom Height Navigation Bar

A few days ago I came across Twitter Bootstrap, something I would call a CSS/JavaScript Template that helps in the development of nice looking pages. If you are – like me – a design retard, then Twitter Bootstrap is definitely a good addition to the toolbox. It provides intuitive class names for the CSS, has nice default values that are pleasent on the eye, and it is from Twitter, yes, the same people that brought you this little app which can get very annoying if you have a lot of fans/followers. Luckily I only have 2 Followers, so my Twitter life is still very peaceful.

On their website they even have a little web interface to build your own custom style, so I thought that is just perfect for a lazy dude like myself. Continue reading Twitter Bootstrap – Custom Height Navigation Bar

Review: Horst – Manage your virtual hosts on your Mac with ease

My almost endless search for the perfect development environment on the Mac seems to have come to an end, but more about that in the next post.
An important part however in the (almost) perfect setup however is the nifty little application called Horst(url).

It took me a moment to understand the limitations of the free version. At first I thought I can only have 2 hosts enabled at a time, but far off.
Horst allows you to create sets of hosts. For example, you can setup a set called “Work” that contains all the hostnames you work on at the office, and maybe another set “Home” that contains all the hostnames for your private projects, you can even create more than 2 sets, however in the free version only 2 sets can be active at a time. The paid version is only €5 and although I don’t really need it, I am seriously considering to buy it just to support the developer, as this is really so convenient and the first free/affordable solution that actually works for me out of the box. (Apart from a “dumb user” mistake, but I guess I can only blame myself for that.)

To install Horst, simply download it from the website, unpack the archive and drag the Horst application into your application folder.
Start it, by double clicking on the application icon and enter your admin password if you get asked for it. Horst modifies the /etc/host file (it does not delete anything you have already in there, just adds/modifies its own entries) so it requires administrator permissions.

When Horst opens for the first time, it looks pretty empty:

Click on the [+] in the lower left corner to create your first set of hosts:

You can double click on the text “New Set” to rename it, then start entering your hosts in the right part of the window in the format IP HOSTNAME

Once you’re happy with your setup, press [Command]+S to save, then drag the little slider next to your set name from “OFF” to “ON”

That’s it! Your hosts are now active:

I admit, the screenshot of the terminal is not necessary, but i was desperately looking for an opportunity to show off the cute header of my terminal window.

Of course you can simply open a terminal window and enter sudo mate /etc/hosts (if you have Textmate) or sudo pico /etc/hosts and enter those entries manually, but for lazy people like me, Horst just adds a lot of convenience. Plus – it makes it a lot easier to manage the entries as you can enable and disable sets of hosts simply by switching the set to ON or OFF.

If you enjoy the app as much as I do, then please support the developer and buy the full version. I just found €5 that I was still carrying in my wallet from my last trip to Germany (and I kept it there for a coffee next time I go back) and I think I will use them to buy Horst. :-)