Monday, March 26, 2012

I got so frustrated with WordPress that I took the streets of raw PHP/MySQL code to find a solution.

After spending hours finding, installing, implementing, and discarding numerous plugins that I had hoped would fill my need, I went rogue and opened up notepad.

I need a way to password protect a page that viewable only to registered users within a certain role group. Also needed a custom login and registration page. The registration needed to also capture extra fields outside of the standard user fields and register them under a particular role. I tried and tried to find a plugin. I found one plug in to protect a page to only only certain role members to view. I also found a plugin to capture extra user data. I found another plugin to make a custom registration page. But I could not pull it all together.

So after wasting hours of time, I starting writing my own user database, password protecting the page, creating login and registration forms, etc. This also is a time-consuming tasks, but at least I  know it will work and I have 100% control of what the scripts are doing. Editing the PHP code of the plugins was just a mess. It's so hard looking through the plugin code, the WordPress code to find what code and how it needs to be edited.

At this point, I have the database created, the login and registration form created. I have a lot of the functionality there, but there's still a lot of little, but important details to address.

My next step is to create the "reset password" functionality. Right now you can register and login/logout, but there's needs to be a way to reset your password. This requires a function to email the registrant their new password, which would be randomly generated and put into their record. They would also need a way to change their password. I'm thinking these are the last few steps. I have a lot more to do on the site, but at least this challenge is almost done.

I have much more to do. I need to add some Google map API stuff and more registration forms. It's a big project. I'm didn't have a ton of WordPress experience to start out with and now I'm jumping into a pretty advanced site. It's feels good though. I'm streatching my PHP/MySQL skills. It will be good to have this under my belt.

One thing that I had not worked with much was encryption. I needed to encrypt the user's password and then be able to check the entered password at login against the password in the database. That seemed pretty straight forward, but I couldn't get it to work at first. Well, I needed to encrypt the submitted pw to be able to match it to an encrypted pw in the database. It still didn't work. I then realized that the crypt function needed a "salt". Once a put the salt in place it all worked fine. Thanks to this site for learning me on using crypt -

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Yes, Cuban he gets a ton of praise for the 2011 Mavs. And he should get a ton of hell for the 2012 Mavs.

Why, why, why would you break up a championship team only months after they win the damn thing? What are you doing? Are you clearing out players to bring in other players so you can win a title? Well you already had a title-winning team. Just do that again. Leave it alone.

So what would be the worse case scenario? You sign Chandler, Barea, etc. and you have everything in place to win a championship. It's a proven winner.  Two or three years later the team is decimated because you overpaid to keep you team together. Three years from now, Kidd, Terry, and probably Dirk are done anyway. You will be rebuilding anyway. If that salaries push the rebuild back a few years then so what. I'm fine with that. They had their reign at the top. It's all about the rings. Get them while you can. You don't speculate on moves in the future when you have everything in place now. Damn, what more do you want.

I think Cuban also did a huge disservice to Dirk, Kidd, and Terry, because they will not be around when and if there is a new crop of talent in here.

Yes, I'll trade Dwight Howard for Tyson Chandler any day. But even with Howard, there is an "if" involved. With Chandler it's a done deal. It worked.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Old news now, but had a great time at Bryan St. Tavern playing with @The1969s last Sat. Hank Van Hawkins & the Dirty Charmers also killed it. Let's do it again.

Fun time play with the 1969s as well as listening to Saddle Tramp and Hank Van Hawkins and the Dirty Charmers. Both of the other bands were really good and I met a few of the guys from Saddle Tramp and they are some good guys and sounded great.

Hank, Chad, and Jimmy are old and new friends and it's always good to see and hear them. They did their thing and rocked the house. Chad  showed off his tasty chops on his new kit. He was a proud papa.

I was good to see other friends like Robbie Wilson, Trevor and Amy, Mike Hefner, etc.

Can't wait to do it again...

Popeyes has 2 pieces for less than a penny? I'm in. I'll have 100 please.


We pulled a surprise ninja pop-in on Robert Steel, @OutlawSteel, Sat night at Flipnotics in Austin. Andrew Pressman and Raina Rose also performed and killed it.


Lisa and I took a ride down to Austin for the weekend. Lisa had a work thing on Sat and then we just enjoyed the town. Our friend Robert Steel was playing with Andrew Pressman and Raina Rose at Flipnotics and we surprised Rob by showing up. We had a good time and the music was great. I have never met or heard Raina before in person. She was pretty damn awesome. Andrew played bass on Rob and Raina's songs and is great as well. I even got up and played a song, which was fun. Andrew quickly learned my song and added some tasty bass lines.

Rob met us at Home Slice Pizza after the show and we threw down on some kick-ass pizza.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

More love-hate going on with WordPress.

WD TV Live: The coolest thing. I know, it's not as cool as Apple TV. Nothing is as cool as Apple anything


I just picked up one of these bad boys. I am streaming Web content, enjoying my personal media from the computers on my home network, from an attached HD, thumb drive, etc. I also download a remote control Android app, so I control it from my phone.

Video software: So many tools for so many occasions (WinFF, VLC, Freemake, CamStudio, SDcopy, mts_to_xvid, GSpot, etc.)

It's really out of control, but I guess I can't complain. Most of these programs are free.

One problem is that consumer video cameras like to save video in proprietary formats.

I have one Panasonic camera that saves to MOD files. If you just grab those files off of the camera and open them up on your PC, they lose the widescreen flag and they are squished down to 4:3 format instead of 16:9 that they were shot in. I use a program called "SDcopy" to convert the files to MPG and set the widescreen flag.

I have another Panasonic that saved to MTS files. WTF? Again, I use a program to convert them (mts_to_xvid).

I have a FLIP camera that saved to MP4, which is great. No need for conversion...but.. sometimes Sony Vegas won't recognize the video stream in those files. I'm not sure why, but when that happens I have to convert them. Sometimes I am just converting them to MP4 again, but it usually works in Vegas after I do that.

GSpot is a program I use to get video file info. If I want to know the specs, the codec, etc., this program does it. Pretty nifty.

I use CamStudio to do screen caps for tutorials or to capture streaming video on the web.

WinFF seems to be the all-around best converter in general. If I want to compress a file, or convert files that or not the proprietary files I mentioned above.

I also use Firefogg to create files for HTML5 video (WebM or OGG). I tried using "Freemake Video Converter" for this, and it looked like it was the ticket. It even wrote the HTML for me, but... the video files were crap. That program is good for other things, but my one try and using it for WebM and OGG was FAIL. So I didn't give it another try. I do use it for other conversions and it seems to work fine, so it's not worthless.

I use to use another program to convert to 3GP, but my new phone plays everything, so no more crappy small clunky videos.

I also use to have to convert files for my Sansa media player using "Sansa Media Converter", but again, my blows that away. At one point I did hack my Sansa and installed "RockBox" OS on it and that was way better. It played other formats that didn't have to be converted. That was a great upgrade.