Getting Introduced to Laravel

laravel-logoA great framework I have been recently moving into has proven a great resource. If you aren’t familiar with Laravel I highly recommend it.

It focuses on developers instead of the usual CMS system which is business oriented. I have been programming in PHP for over 15 years now and sometimes you get so stuck in your ways you stop learning new systems. I don’t know if any other programmers have ran into this, but it was definitely one of my sticking points.

The web development sphere moves very quickly and by far I am always impressed at finding a newer and better way of doing something. I started out using things like PHP-Nuke, and then Joomla and even wordpress. All great systems in their own right, but they focus on plug and play modules that if you ever want to go outside of that scope it becomes a nightmare; At least to me I guess.

Laravel seems to cater only to developers rather then the novice that just wants to make a website and not customize anything. Not that this is a bad thing, but I find lots of my clients always wanting to tweak things, or even the time it takes to learn a new system is daunting when people just want to do their job and move on with their lives. Designing custom systems with a Laravel backend so far has proven very fast. I was able to produce several very high quality, clean, and secure websites in just a month or 3 depending on complexity. Often times you can even reuse parts of that code base which makes clients happy and me. I have code that is tested by multiple sites and I can tweak it myself. The packages that are included are all managed with Composer and GitHub so it makes it very easy to create your own, share, or even contact another developer and get some help with their creation.

It is a cool eco-system to jump into and I’d love to hear of others experience with Laravel. You can learn more by reading the documentation – http://laravel.com/docs/5.1 or even watching some of the videos on YouTube.

Something funny & something useful

I was working on something and I noticed something really funny in the Qt documentation.  Have a look….   qscrollarea-onescrollbaror go to http://doc.qt.io/qt-5/qscrollarea.html  If this isn’t prime material for a programmers meme I don’t know what is.  I have no idea why they inserted this picture as the example other then to have a good time with the material they decided/or had to write.  Very funny either way.  Thanks for the unexpected laugh Qt document writers.  I was reading the documentation because I needed to create my own version of a photo editing area.  I even posted an adapted example on stackoverflow here : http://stackoverflow.com/a/28147336/1325621

If it is not completely obvious this little snippet helps you align your QImage inside a widget.

This isn’t the final version, but it definitely gives some one a good starting point.  If anyone is interested in an updated version with more features let me know.

Why I stopped using apple products

I was at one point a person that liked something and would go all in.   I am the type of person that really likes to try everything and make the best use of products and services to make my life more enjoyable.  I liked a lot of things about Apple products.  For example in comparison to a Windows based desktop I can easily install applications using homebrew, or mac ports.  Most unix style Linux applications would work pretty easily.  Everything seemed very polished and stable for the most part for what I do on a daily basis.  It wasn’t until I had an update that suddenly my dream of working on my Macbook Air and using Apple TV with an iPhone started to give me a bad experience.

It seems the extensive integration of products only goes so far.  For example most people with apple TV, MBA(mac), and iPhone will quickly discover is they aren’t integrated very well at least if you are watching/listening to podcasts.  This for me is a major issue as I like to watch podcasts quite often as opposed to regular television.  I asked for help from the community, but got none.  You can see that here.  

This wasn’t a total drag for me as all these systems were newer and maybe I would be getting some updates that would help these issues.  I would just do some air streaming until then so my podcasts would stay synced.

The issue that really made my head spin that I wanted to share should probably be prefaced with some additional information in case you weren’t aware.  I am a programmer by trade and at the time I was working on a web project using LAMP related technologies. like PHP, JS, HTML, and the like.  Any way, I have a lot of programs that aren’t App store “Approved”.  I had to go into my MBA and tell OSX I wanted it to allow me to install software that isn’t “Approved” which is ok what ever.  It wasn’t until this horrible update came and completely removed all of my non-“Approved” applications.

At that point I couldn’t use it any more.  I had literally tons of intricate settings that make it a real hassle to setup your dev environment.  Now I know a few people are going to say backup off site, or cloud storage, but honestly I don’t want to have to spend any time worrying about those things especially on a work machine.  I want to come into the office, work, and go home.  As most people I don’t get paid to goof around with my system.  I get paid for results.  I’ve heard some people having this issue and others tell me I am crazy, but it happened to me and after that my love for everything Apple quickly vanished.

I’ve used various flavors of Linux like Ubuntu, Fedora, and Arch as well as Windows and generally I love Linux, but I find myself loving to tinker with it rather then doing work.  One good thing about not liking Windows as much is that it is great when you just want to do some work.  Any way, I am back in the PC/Linux world and honestly it seems to be what works best for me.  I’d love to hear what other people like and think.

Custom Ajustable Stand up/Sit Down Desk

Awesome custom desk
Awesome custom desk

WP_20140517_001 WP_20140517_002 WP_20140518_001 WP_20140518_002 WP_20140518_003I have seen a lot of very awesome stand up desks.  Just to name a few we have uplift, updesk, and even some simple tables on center blocks.  I think these desks are totally awesome and if I had the money I would of bought probably a custom uplift desk for $1500.  I had one problem with this though.  It was to expensive to me and I didn’t really think I needed the motorized ajustability.    I did want some ajustability though; I knew I would eventually set aside enough cash to buy an uplift desk, but I wanted to also have a really nice desk/work table I could use in the future when I didn’t need it any more.  So what I did was a happy medium.  While my solution is more expensive then the table on center blocks it is a lot cheaper then the motorized desk.

Here are a list of the supplies and the locations that I got them.

  • Butcher Block – Lumber Liquidators
  • 1 Inch plumbers pipe – Home Depot
  • RV Jack Stands – Walmart

All together this stuff cost me around 350 bucks.  While not the cheapest desk it is solid as can be and is so large it takes up 1 of my entire walls.

In order to save money I decided to use some old stain I had laying around and then I put all the piping pieces together in the shape that would ensure the most stability.  After I did that I took the footing pieces for the pipes I got from home depot and the RV Jack Stands from Walmart into my garage.  You see, one of the nice things is the washer on the top of the threaded riser on the jack stand is it pivots.  If you weld the plumbers footings on the the top of this washer it still allows it to spin.  This is perfect for an ajustable desk.  While it isn’t motorized it is a happy medium for the budget constrained, or some one that just needs something that isn’t plugged in, but can still move up and down for what ever reason.  You can also score some rubberized matting to put on top of this protect your main area from stains, or dents.

Just as a side note because I didn’t mention it earlier is that in order for this desk to also be an optional sit desk you can either move it to the lowest setting, or you can also just get a drafting chair.  They are generally taller and perfect in case you are fatigued from standing to long.  I also picked up an anti-fatigue mat from amazon.  I have linked both below.

Genuine Joe Anti-Fatigue Mat, Beveled Edge, 2 by 3-Feet, Black

Boss Multi-Function Leatherplus Drafting Stool with Adjustable Arms

Any way I hope you try out the desk for yourself and if you do please post a picture and link, or let me know how it went.

What do you know?

don't be boring
don’t be boring

I wanted to write something fun and hopefully a little interesting to some random person that sees this. When you are doing your daily routine in my mind I think we all end up falling into a specific trend of habits. Usually when you fall into that trend you don’t learn new things and you sometimes lose passion. I understand with everyone hustling to make a buck sometimes passion isn’t something we focus on, but it is important. It is the difference between waking up loving life, or waking up not wanting to get outta bed while hazily looking forward to nothing. I think having goals is great, but passion is so much more important. It can make the lives of everyone around you so much richer.

One thing that I tend to find invigorating is learning something new. When I get a chance to learn something new, or devour a new book I’ve been wanting to read it can be a read treat. If you get a couple free hours try learning something new. If you enjoy watching the boob tube that is all well and good. I love watching my shows as well, but giving yourself an hour just to learn something you didn’t know before will greatly increase your happiness.

Any way, keep on kickin ass and love what you do.

 

Image Source : https://plus.google.com/116091863159915563291/posts/SLJpks8Krbe