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Breaking away from the Apple Ecosystem

I’ve recently come to a crossroad with Apple and it’s ecosystem. I’ve had an iPhone 4S for the last 2 years and I was itching for a new device. Giving the current iPhone lifecycle, it makes more sense to hold out for the next iteration of the iPhone than jump […]

URL Routing with PHP

I’ve been taking a lot of programming tests / challenges recently as I was in the market for a new [and hopefully exciting] opportunity to spend my time on. Because of this, I am full of new blog post ideas based on the questions / challenges asked. This week I’m […]

Having a child ruins your life

I started a new contract gig this week and one of my new co-workers was very candid in letting me know that having children ruins your life and implying that I in fact had ruined my life in doing so. To be quite honest, I was very taken back by […]

Spending money on advertising only to acquire spammers

I performed a little experiment last year, I decided to spend a small bit of money on advertising one of my sites via AdWords. My budget was low as I didn’t want to spend more than 100$ and my daily allocation fluctuated between 1$ and 5$ as I made adjustments […]

Google Places PHP Library

I tend to shy away from these self gratifying posts about my own open source contributions, but I’m going to make the exception because this particularly library has been receiving quote a few downloads this month. I’m unsure for the increase, but my Google Places PHP Library has had over […]

Linode vs. Digital Ocean, performance benchmarks

I mentioned the in my last Linode vs. Digital Ocean post that I would be doing a performance comparison of the two in the near future and here it is! I used sysbench with some pretty basic settings to compare a 2GB server from both hosting companies. Apples to apples, […]

How to Install PHP Redis on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Previously, I had shown you how to install PHP Redis from source but things changed with the latest Ubuntu LTS release. Now you can install the phpredis extension from the Ubuntu respositories. First, if you don’t have it installed already, let’s install Redis: sudo apt-get install redis-server After we get […]

Swallow your pride and stop blaming your tools

I was at my favorite neighborhood biergarten last week when I spied a flyer on the bar for the today’s Cinco de Mayo event. Upon closer examination, I noticed that the kerning was set very high in between the Ma and the Yo so it looked like Cinco de Ma […]

How to Install the MongoDB PHP Module on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Installing the PHP module for MongoDB on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is just a command away, but first, let’s ensure that we have MongoDB itself installed: sudo apt-get install mongodb Once we have MongoDB installed, we can proceed with installing the module. Please note that you could combine these commands to […]

Linode SSD vs. DigitalOcean

Time for another installment of my Linode vs. DigitalOcean series. The most notable improvement this go around is on Linode’s end by offering SSD Linux servers exclusively. This had been the pain point for many as DigitalOcean has been offering this since day one and Chris Aker had made it […]

How to Setup a LEMP Stack on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Last week I covered setting up a LAMP server on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS but for my money, it’s all about LEMP stacks. The “E” actually stands for Nginx (pronouced Engine X) and it’s an altnerative to the Apache web server that is built for speed and has a very low […]

The pros and cons of being accessible to your users

How accessible I am to my site’s users is something that I’ve went back and forth with over the last few years. When I say “accessible” I don’t mean venturing into offline interactions or anything like that, just in regard to how I interact with the users. I tend to […]

How to Setup a LAMP Stack on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

The newest long term support release of Ubuntu (Trusty Tahr) is finally here! I just spun up a droplet over on DigitalOcean to walk through setting up a LAMP stack for this post. I also recommend making sure that your system is completely up to date. At the time of […]

Reducing Redis used memory by moving back to MySQL

If you know me then you know I fucking adore Redis. Over the last few years it’s slowly worked it’s way into the majority of the things I have built. Unfortunately, recently I ran into a problem that Redis could easily accomplish but would require more RAM than I have […]

Compressing and uncompressing a string with PHP

Today I went on a mission to find a PHP function that I’ve never used before and knew nothing about. The mission was such a success that I have two functions to discuss and honestly, I’m pretty sure I’ll never use them. That being said, if the need ever arises […]

PHP's /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead

I’ve discussed the use of preg_replace_callback in the past in regard to passing variables to anonymous functions but never touched on how to use preg_replace_callback or the fact that the /e modifier has been deprecated in PHP 5.5+. Even though /e still works in PHP 5.5 in the near future […]

Migrating from WP Engine to GitHub Pages

After giving it nearly a full calendar year, I have decided to migrate my PHP blog (PHP Avenue) off of WordPress via WP Engine and on to GitHub Pages. The decision ultimately boiled down to WordPress having way more available functionality than I was actually using and me not seeing […]

Transactions with PHP Data Objects (PDO)

PHP Data Objects (PDO) is arguably the best database abstraction layer available in PHP. It provides a consistent interface across multiple datasources (MySQL, PostgreSQL, et cetera) and helps boost your site’s security by way of prepared statements. It even supports transactions which we’ll be taking a look at here. Database […]

The dirtiest thing you wear

Not only is it the dirtiest thing you wear, it’s quite possibly the dirtiest thing you own and it’s fucking disgusting. What is it, you ask? It’s your belt, your dirty disgusting belt. Why is your belt so disgusting? Because it’s something that you don’t launder. Not only do I […]

The importance of code editor proficiency

Hi, my name is Josh and I am a Vim addict. I have been for quite a while now, nearly 15 years by my estimates. I love everything about it but in all honesty, I have only really started to get “good” with it in the last couple of years. […]

How to zero fill a number with PHP

Zero filling (or zero padding) is when you pad a value on the left side to a specific length. This is something you will commonly see in database schemas for integer columns. But what if we’re not working with data that’s already zero filled by a database? All we have […]

How to get keys from an associative array in PHP

One of PHP’s most powerful features are arrays and the multitude of functions available to interact with and manipulate them. Arrays can be indexed by integers as well as string, known as an associative array. Instead of looping through the array with foreach and assigning the key to another array, […]

Dynamic page titles with GitHub Pages

Ran into a bit of an issue today when deploying some changes to my blog. The home page, which was working just fine locally, was being treated as if it were a blog post page. What keyed me off to this was the title of the page which was “joshtronic […]

Passing variables to anonymous PHP functions

The other day I ran into a situation (first time, it seems) where I needed to access a variable inside of an anonymous function inside of preg_replace_callback(). My first thought, even though it went against my better judgement was to simply define the variables as global inside of the function. […]

Opt-out responsive design using LESS

I liked Chris Coyier’s post Opt-Out Responsive Design? but really didn’t like the idea of having to qualify all of my selectors with a parent class to indicate that we should be using the responsive version of the site. I do favor serving the user a single stylesheet instead of […]