Ian Hoar – Passion for Technology – Geeking Out - Technology, Web, Toys, Games, Design, Entertainment, Gadgets, & Geeking Out

Moving your Drupal site and breaking all the links

DrupalThis is a quick tip for anyone moving their Drupal site. I recently moved a development site to a live site and have done this on several occasions only to be left sitting their scratching my head wondering why only the home page of my Drupal site works. Each time after a few minutes it hits me that the .htaccess file is the culprit and that I did not move it. Often if you upload your files via some ftp programs you may not actually be able to see the .htaccess file to upload it. To see it on a Linux/UNIX box type ls -la and it will show up. FileZilla is an open source FTP program that will also do the trick.

So remember after you upload the files to your new server, import your database data and change your database credentials to also bring along your .htaccess file or just grab it from a Drupal package. Hope this saves some of you some head scratching.

Zen Coding – a new way to write HTML lightning fast

Zen BonsaiThe other day I purchased a new editor called Coda. I might review this fantastic little piece of software at a later date, but one of the reasons I purchased it was to use some of the many plugins the community has created for it. One of these plugins has been produced for several editors and could change how you code. It’s called Zen Coding, and it will make you write large chunks of HTML a lighting speeds.

What is Zen Coding?

Zen Coding is hard to explain, but if you have been working with HTML and CSS for awhile now you should be able to pick it up very quickly. It’s easy to learn and best shown by example, so lets start with an example.

Keep Reading 

Outlook 2007 losing font-family declaration

Email clients are one of the pinnacle frustrations for web designers. The limitations are far greater than those of web browsers and you can always count on Microsoft’s Outlook 2007 being at the forefront of compatibility problems and bug issues. If you create emails that have to support Outlook 2007’s wonky Word rendering you may have noticed on occasion that your specified font-family disappears. There’s a few ways to fix this, but some are better than others.

Keep Reading 

How to fix floated images and list overlap

BugThe other day I was looking at my blog and saw that one of the posts had a left floated image followed by a bulleted list. The problem was that the list was not indenting properly the way it did when next to a paragraph without a floated element. After a bit of searching and hair pulling I found a discussion that solved my problem.

Keep Reading 

15 Awesome web design & development sites you should know about

Top SitesThis is a small list of invaluable websites I use to further my knowledge of everything web and to help out with inspiration, tools, resources and tutorials. It’s a list not aimed at any one facet of web design and development, but the many facets and processes that make a website possible.

It is becoming more and more important to at least have a basic understanding of all the information that goes into making a fantastic website. Knowing limitations and pushing those limits makes web design and development fun, interesting, and challenging. If you work in this field you probably already know that web work is all about constantly learning new technologies, tools, tips and tricks.

Keep Reading 

Creating simple pure CSS buttons

Pure CSS buttonsThis week I played around with some pure CSS button techniques. This style of button is clean looking and easy to set up, it even has slightly rounded corners. This is not the sliding doors technique which allows you to have full rounded corners, but it a variation, a little simpler and requires only one image and one div tag in the markup. Check out the working demo and read on.

Keep Reading 

How to clone / duplicate a VirtualBox VM on Mac OS X

VirtualBoxThe sad truth is that it’s becoming more and more important to cross test your markup on multiple browsers including Internet Explorer. Yes I’ve heard the announcement about IE6 being dead, but chances are you probably need multiple browsers, and graceful degradation / progressive enhancement should still be the ultimate goal for any web designer.

VirtualBox to the rescue

VirtualBox is a fantastic virtualization tool for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux and Solaris. I actually like it more than Parallels, and unlike Parallels, it’s free.  Setting up a virtual machine is pretty easy, but it’s a bit time consuming. Once you have a VM set up there doesn’t appear to be any quick way to duplicate the already working image. This tutorial will guide you through the steps needed to duplicate a VirtualBox image on Mac OS X.

Keep Reading 

Redesign of ianhoar.com

Welcome to redesign three of my blogs history, I hope you like it. Everything has been redesigned, styled and coded from the ground up. The reasons for this new layout were to bring the site up to date, make it more user friendly and make it pop a little more. I think I have achieved my goals, although as any designer will tell you, it’s hard not to nitpick your own work to death. There gets a point in the design cycle where you have to start coding otherwise you would end up scraping your new design all together and starting a new one.

Keep Reading 

Anchor links in Gmail and email newsletters

I usually recommend against using anchor links in email newsletters; the reason for this is twofold.

First, when someone is viewing a newsletter their attention span is probably extremely short. They probably want to get onto their next email, but something has triggered their interest in your newsletter. Why waste that interest on jumping them further down the email, this is your chance to grab their attention and hook them into your website. It may be your last chance before they click onto their next email and your website is probably a much richer web experience anyway.

Keep Reading 

Photoshop tip: Duplicating Smart Objects

When you duplicate a smart object the way you would duplicate a regular layer, you are not actually making a unique copy of that smart object. Instead you are making a reference to the original smart object. What this means is that if you change the duplicated smart object, the original will change too. This can throw off a lot of people, and even lead one to keep multiple layers in one smart object and toggle the layers as needed.

There is however a simple solution for this. In the layers pallet right click the smart object and instead of clicking Duplicate Layer, click “New Smart Object via Copy” and voila!

New Smart Object via Copy

My own opinion is that it would have been smarter for Adobe to have a “New smart Object via Reference” and have the “Duplicate Layer” act as a unique layer, but maybe there’s a good reason for it being the way it is.