What Do PageRank Numbers Mean?

Every now and then I get caught up in an SEO fever and decide to check my Google Analytics, PageRank, and Alexa stats. One thing I’m always forgetting is what do the PageRank numbers mean. Now, for my own future reference and amusement, I have them right here:

Read on

Coder’s Block

As a programmer, have you ever felt totally burned out? Have you lost the motivation to start new projects, work on existing ones, or are you simply unable to bring yourself to write most code at all even (or maybe I should say especially) when the code in question is simple? You’re either burnt out, have coder’s block or both. If this is you, you’re not alone. There are a few reliable symptoms to diagnose your malady and a number of ways to combat it. As always, there’s more after the jump.

Read on

Sometimes the Best New Feature Is No New Features

My new pet project, MoonWeather for iOS and Android just got an update to version 2.3.1 a while back and it introduced… no new features. It didn’t need any. Sometimes the best new feature is no new features.

Read on

Roll Your Own oAuth if You Dare

It’s common for experienced developers to tell you to never ever roll your own oAuth solution. Hell, you really shouldn’t roll your own anything when it comes to security. After all, oAuth, user authentication, and the like aren’t like coding a blog or something. It requires forethought and lots of planning. There are a lot of holes to slip through. That said, sometimes it’s not practical to integrate an existing solution into your app. Sometimes you need to allow API consumers quickly. Don’t let the cool kids scare you. It’s definitely possible to roll your own, much simpler, version of oAuth like the one I’m working on for Write.app. Follow along and I’ll show you how to build a very simple, straightforward oAuth scheme that requires only two database tables.

Read on

Run a VPS? You Are Being Hacked Right Now

I get selected portions of my server logs emailed to me for certain servers I run. Normally there’s no need to check them real closely. A quick scan usually shows about one hundred or so break-in attempts along with much of the activities I had run on my own the previous day. Today was no different but for some reason I began to think about all of those server break-in attempts. They’re mundane and just par for the course in my eyes but what about all of those server newbies out there (like I once was) who think that their immune to hacking either because they think they’re too small to be discovered/cared about or they’re lulled into believing secure passwords are all one needs. Here’s a quick reality check to remind you how many people are trying to break into your server for one reason or another and what you can do to prevent it.

Read on

SSDs Fail. Hard Drives Fail. Back Up Your Stuff Now.

It’s so strange how we’re bombarded with PSA’s from everyone and their mother about the importance of having backups of your computer’s hard drive or at the very least your most important files yet so many of us fail to listen. Every day I see at least 10 ads for some app or service that promises to back up your system in case of a disaster and every day I ignore them all. Catastrophic computer failures are an inevitability in the same way that repairs or replacements for many of the most critical parts of your car will be neccesary. Still, many of us somehow keep thinking that this is something that happens to someone else. Well, just this week it happened to me. I’m someone else. So here’s my PSA for everyone and my thoughts on third party SSDs for MacBooks.

Read on

All My Menu bar/Finder Icons Have Disappeared. What Gives?

Last week I started up my Mac and all the menu bar icons had disappeared. Well, some of them did at least. Just randomly. So how do you fix it? Pretty easily, actually. Just start your Mac in safe mode and restart. Here’s how to do that:

Read on

The Web Developer’s Guide to Building iOS Apps With Swift

Ever since I bought my first Mac I would always open up Xcode periodically and see if I could figure out how to create a working Mac or iOS app. The Xcode IDE is such a complex piece of software and each time I tried I’d give up after an hour and resign myself to continue to focus on the web as my primary area of expertise. Now all that’s changing and I’m writing a book on iOS development using Swift for developers like me. It’s part of my “Developer’s Guide” series and I’ve already finished the first draft of chapter 1. What’s changed? Why am I doing this now? Do we even need to learn native coding now that Phonegap exists? Absolutely, and now is the perfect time.

Read on

Write.app Hits 4k Users

My pet project is about to pass the 4,000 user mark. It’s taken two years to build any traction but considering the fact that I’m just one guy doing it all solo and the amount of marketing I’ve put into the app this is an impressive number. Now that I’m on the verge of hitting the 4,000 mark I’m beginning to rethink some of the decisions I made early on in Write.app’s development. In particular, I’m kicking myself for not charging sooner because now the app costs more to run than it brings in.

Read on

∞ Brite Is a New Octopress Theme

I just redesigned this site. It was a long time coming. The last design was implemented in early 2012, wasn’t completely finished, and I was never really happy with it anyway. This is the third redesign of the site and just like the last two redesigns I implemented I am open sourcing all the code. This site is generated with Octopress so if you’re a Jekyll/Octopress user head on over to my GitHub page and fork this theme for yourself. You’re free to use it however you’d like – just be sure to remove all the custom navigation.